There are a number of myths and misconceptions when talking about age-discrepant dating between an older woman and a younger man, which have no real basis in truth or in real life.
Most of the misconceptions are based on the idea that cougar and cub relationships are only based on physical attraction and as you’ll notice, many of these misconceptions have to do not only with age, but the appearance of the cougar. Which, I’m sure you’ll agree ladies, is pretty insulting, right?
There is a basic misunderstanding when it comes to cougars and cubs where their relationship is seen as an untraditional relationship much in the way that homosexual relationships are still not accepted in some places or the way that interracial relationships were once talked about. So, let’s debunk some misconceptions!
Misconception #1: A cougar is an old woman who trolls bars to look for innocent younger men.
Cougars are independent, bright, and beautiful women. They are women who are aware of their appearance and take care of themselves both physically and financially.Misconceptions about cougars are rampant, with Urban Dictionary even breaking it down based on what they wear and the city you can find them, “waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path.”
While some of them may enjoy bars, there is no need for them to chase after the younger men. The younger men come to them.
Cougars are not looking for prey despite the lingo which is so commonly used. They are looking for an equal and as they have been unable to find it in men their own age, they look for younger men—or in some cases, just seem to attract younger men. Most cougars are incredibly driven women and as such, need someone with a lot of energy to keep up with them.
Misconception #2: A younger man will want women his own age who have less wrinkles and/or love handles.
There are many cougars who keep themselves very fit, but even the idea that it’s wrinkles/weight alone that will determine someone’s interest in dating is insulting. Not all younger men like models and just as there are many types of younger girls for men to be interested in, there are just as many types of cougars as well. While sexual attraction is definitely part of the cougar and cub relationship, there are many factors that can go into the relationship. To say that this type of relationship is only based on surface attraction, and that it’s the only thing that’s keeping either of them there, is insulting to both parties.
Misconception #3: Cubs and cougars have nothing in common.
Despite the gap in ages, people are able to find common interests over any period of time. Someone doesn’t have to be around when the Beatles were popular to think that they’re a great band. Some cougars might love Ke$ha or Rihanna or any of the other music that is popular right now. To say that interests are specifically limited by age is more than a little naïve. Especially nowadays when the internet makes almost all popular culture widely available, there is nothing to suggest that someone will be limited by the era that they grew up in.
While the Daily Mail reports that 20% of divorces are due to age discrepant relationships, that swings both ways, stating that one in five couples who divorce have at least a seven year age difference. While this myth holds a little water, most of the famous age gap divorces result a lack of commonality between the two.
Will cougars have a different worldview due to the experiences that they’ve had compared to their cubs? Probably! But half the fun of being in a cougar and cub relationship is learning to bridge those gaps while experiencing new things together.
Misconception #4: An older woman will miss out on all the fun things that she could be doing with her life while a younger man struggles to establish himself and his career.
This one is downright silly because it isn’t something this is exclusive to age gap relationships. In fact there are many relationships between people of the same age where one partner could be restricted by the other partner while they “figure it out.” Dating an older man does not guarantee that they will be successful and established. This also implies that the cougar is passive within the relationship—which is a toxic view in any relationship, but is certainly not true for cougars.
Older women are free to do their own thing while the younger man establishes himself and indeed, most of them do so. They’re also there to guide them and give them the advice of someone who has been there, done that already. A cougar is an independent woman who has been fending for herself, there is no need for her to wait while her cub is working his way up the corporate ladder. She has a life to live and a job to do and will not be restricted in the least by her relationship unless, of course, she wants to be.
Misconception #5: Cubs will eventually cheat on cougars with someone their own age.
This is just wrong on so many levels. Infidelity is a personal choice that a person makes and the age of who they’re dating has little to do with it.
If a cub cheats on a cougar it has nothing to do with her age and is because he is someone who is inclined to cheat. The fact that he would cheat just to be with someone his own age again supposes that the relationship is not based on emotion, intellectual attraction, and connection, but on the shallow pretext of a sexual relationship which is just based on looks.
While this can be said to be true for some cougar/cub relationships, those are usually some form of NSA relationships and if you stray while in one of those… it’s not generally thought of as cheating. That’s the whole point of those relationships. If a cub cheats, it wouldn’t be because of the age, but because of something else that is wrong with the relationship and if that something else is wrong, it wouldn’t matter whether you and your cub were both the same age or not.
There are a number of myths and misconceptions that get thrown around when discussing age discrepant relationships, but the reality is that the bond between cougars and cubs is quite often the same kind of bond that you may experience in similar aged relationships. The actual issues or struggles in the relationship may be different, but it doesn’t mean they love each other any less. It doesn’t give anyone a right to stereotype, and it’s harmful to make assumptions.