When you hear the term “cougar” in today’s society, it is typically not referring to a large, wild cat but rather to an older woman who prefers to date younger men. It is predicted that almost one third of unmarried women over the age of 40 are dating much younger men. Thanks to movies such as “The Graduate” and television shows like “Cougar Town,” today the cougar phenomenon is usually not scorned, but admired. Just look at some of the Hollywood cougar couples who have been popular over the years: Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer, and Madonna and Guy Ritchie.
Why has this cougar trend become so popular lately? What really attracts older women to younger men? Here are several possible reasons why an older woman might prefer a younger man:
1. It Could Be Love: “Age is just a number,” goes the saying. Who says that an older woman cannot fall in love with a younger man? Love can happen to anyone at anytime. It’s said that love makes people do strange things.
2. Not Every Woman Wants a Father Figure: Often older men can assume the protective and paternal role. Many women these days enjoy their independence and taking care of themselves. The father figure can tend to be a turn off for women who like to speak on their own behalf and pay their own way.
3. Younger Men are More Encouraging: Younger guys tend to be captivated by the maturity or accomplishments of an older woman. They often appreciate women who are successful and make sure to share this with them. What woman does not enjoy constant compliments and encouragement?
4. Younger Guys are More Physically Attractive: Often older women are just more attracted to younger men with built bodies and great smiles rather than middle-aged men going through physical changes such as balding, wrinkles, and love handles.
5. To Prove They Can: Sometimes an older woman wants to prove to herself that she has the power to attract someone younger. If an older woman senses she is devalued or degraded she may feel the need to prove that she is desirable. Dating a younger man can often be a boost to an older woman’s ego.
6. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Many older women are still young at heart and desire to have fun. Dating a younger man often fits the lifestyle these women desire of staying out all night.
7. To Feel Young: Older women often feel much younger when they date younger men. When women feel their youth disappearing as they enter their middle age, they can tend to want to recapture it through dating younger men.
8. To Nurture: Many women want men that they can nurture. Women tend to naturally desire to have someone to take care of. Dating a younger man can help satisfy this mothering instinct.
9. Younger Men are the Forbidden Fruit: It is a normal tendency for people to go after what is ‘forbidden.’ Sometimes the excitement of dating a younger man can fulfill this natural desire to go after the illicit love.
10. It Makes Sense: Women usually live an average of ten years longer than men so dating a man ten years younger makes perfect sense. Who wouldn’t want “The Notebook” inspired perfect picture of love and dying together in each other’s arms?
No matter the reason behind the desire of the older woman dating a younger man, the heart wants what the heart wants. Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson!