Monday, May 31, 2010

"Animal Attraction"

The last time I checked, a certain word defined a mountain lion. In more recent times, the word has metamorphosed to accommodate another definition.
cou·gar [kgər, k gaar]
(plural cou·gars or cou·gar)
"a woman over forty who likes younger men because she doesn't like older men. Usually a cougar doesn't sexually pursue younger men but is attracted to these younger men, typically more than eight years her junior." [1]
It's an unfortunate fact of life that society views men very differently from women of the same vintage. It has been a societal pre-determination that men must be older in a dating relationship, for whatever reason it is. This means that if a woman turns the tables and dates a younger man, she is christened after an animal in the zoo whereas her male counterpart dates a younger lady, society regards this as normal and if she were born when he was already an adult, he may even get celebrated for it.
The idea that women should look for a man that is more educated, has a better job and makes more money to take care of her seems like a fairy tale now. Relationship taboos and conventions have clearly been loosened if not totally flouted, with regards to age, religion, race, economic status in recent times. Feminism has adopted even more suffragettes and enthusiasts, seeing more women becoming as ruthless and as successful as their bosses and even occupying laudable positions at the top of the corporate ladder. Women have learnt business secrets and the game rules for success from their male counterparts and many have gone further to run self-financed businesses, boosting their self-image and becoming self-sufficient. This empowered state and status has left a small pool of compatible men those two to three years older, of similar background and higher levels of education and income and may result in women having delayed marriage whereas men still have a tendency to date and marry younger women. Clearly, self-pollination and self-pity are not options for some. Cougars are fearless predators and are admired for their hunting skills. However, a cougar-cub alliance suggests that not all relationships spin around the axis of reproduction. Sometimes, sex is just about sex – even, heck, especially for women over 40. Some are content with having fun and others seek more in the relationship.

However the burgeoning question is why would younger men, knowing that they have quite a large selection of eager younger women to choose from, opt to date a cougar woman? Older mates are perceived to have greater resources, wisdom, and/or sexual knowledge.
Some say age is only a number when it comes to the heart. Where the women liked the vitality the younger man brought into their lives, men liked the confidence and maturity in the women, in spite of the sometimes uncomfortable generational differences and huge potential for infidelity.
Despite the fact that many cougars have undeniably earned major criticism for dating guys that can be young enough to be their own sons, cougar dating is already accepted and has even become the latest dating trend within the dating scene. It's a fairly well excepted theory that women mature ahead of men, so dating an older man makes a lot of sense for some couples. While the age difference may be obvious, the mental connection is often on the level. However when an older woman is dating a young beau, isn't she dumbing down to his level? (My thoughts in a most sincere question, please).
Would you date someone younger? If so, how many years younger?

[1] Wikipedia - ""
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

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