Everything You Must Know About Dating a Cougar

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What is a Cougar?

In the dating world, some women are called “cougars.” What exactly is a cougar? Simple, when someone calls someone a cougar, they are making a reference to the woman’s age and her dating or relationship preferences.

Cougars are typically heterosexual older women that prefer to have a relationship with a younger man. Another widely used phrase to describe these women that is similar is “sugar mama.” 

The best way to spot a cougar is to look at how she dresses. Cougars will typically dress young for their age. This includes revealing tops, short skirts, and tight outfits.

Cougars go out in groups with other cougars, usually their friends who are divorced and also looking for fun.

How old is a Cougar?

There is not a specific age that a woman reaches that makes them a cougar. In general, cougars are women who are at least 35 or older.

They also just want to be in a relationship with a younger man. 

If a woman has reached the age of at least 35, and she is dating a younger man, to be placed in the cougar category, the woman must prefer men much more youthful than herself.

We aren’t talking about just a year or two younger, either. A good age gap between the older woman and the younger man is at least five to eight years.

What is it Like to Date a Cougar?

Dating a cougar varies from couple to couple, but there are some commonalities that couples in an older woman/younger man relationships might notice.

While people aren’t as quick to judge a man for dating a younger woman, people are not as used to the idea of an older woman dating a younger man. Men in these types of relationships have noted that there are some difficulties.

If a younger man is dating an older woman, he may be uncomfortable if she has children. Sometimes children whose mothers are cougars are closer in age to the male, and that can make for sticky situations. 

A younger male must also have a thicker skin when it comes to dating an older woman. His friends and family members may give him a hard time and crack jokes at his and her expense. The most common cracks include terrible “mom jokes.” 

Difficulties like these can cause relationship problems – not just between the couple, but between each individual and their relatives and friends. 

Thankfully, some good things happen when dating a cougar. Men have mentioned that they enjoy dating cougars because there is less relationship drama, she knows exactly what she wants in the bedroom, and she has life experiences that he has not yet had.

Tips for Dating a Cougar

Dating a cougar can be similar to regular relationships; however, there are some things that men can do to ensure an above-average relationship with a cougar.

Where to Find a Cougar

There are several places that you can meet and pick up a cougar, you just have to know what you’re looking for and where to look. Right places to look including online websites, bars, and gyms.

Online Websites

Many online websites will lead you to older women. Simply fill out the demographics of what you’re looking for.

How much older do you want a woman to be? Are you looking for a fling or a long term relationship? Follow the online dating tips below to set up the best profile.


Many cougars enjoy looking for men while having a sweet cocktail. Notice the words “nice cocktail.”

These women are not out at clubs where you can’t hear another person speak, or people are out getting hammered. Cougars like to keep it classy.

If you’re looking for the right bar to find a cougar, don’t go to the local college hot spot. Find the more delightful bars in your area.

You don’t necessarily have to go downtown to find the right place either. Excellent restaurants often have nice bars, and cougars are all about that setting.  

Hotels often have fancier bars that aren’t geared towards the younger crowd. A nice bonus is that if you meet a cougar and the two of you hit it off, they’re a very convenient place for a sleepover. 


This may be one place you may not have thought of; however, many cougars like to stay fit. How do they stay fit? They hit the gym.

If you hit the gym too, you may be able to find a cougar. 

If you regularly work out and are confident in your skills, you may be able to approach a cougar. Cougars are much easier than younger women to strike up a conversation at the gym. 

If gyms aren’t your thing, but you like to stay in shape, look for cougars at other places where they may be working out.

Online Dating

Many men meet their cougar through some type of online dating website. Some websites specialize in dating for older women.

There are things that younger men can do online to attract the attention of the older cougars and make a great first impression.

  1. Choose the right profile picture. If you choose a blurry, hard to see, filtered, or childish, profile picture, she may be instantly turned off.

    Go for something simple, mature, and clear. Photos from waist or mid-chest and up work the best.

  2. Choose the right profile name. Go with something creative that tells her a little bit about yourself without being offensive, or making reference to wanting an older woman.

    For example, don’t use anything that says you want “mommy” or that you’re a “cub.”

  3. Choose the right title and tagline for your profile. Grab her attention by keeping it clean, simple, and intriguing. Follow the same rules as #2 above.

  4. Write the best bio. Cougars want to know your interests, most aren’t looking for homebodies.

    In your bio talk about things that you enjoy doing. What do you do for fun? Entice her by showing that you like to get out and do things that aren’t routine, correct grammar and spelling helps, too.  

  5. Messaging also has rules. Again, don’t make reference to age, unless she brings it up.

    Even then, be genuine, kind, and respectful. Don’t use a lot of slang in your messages. Come across as confident, not cocky.

Beyond the Internet

Once you have met a cougar, be it online or somewhere like a bar, it is important to keep several things in mind while you are dating. While some of these tips apply to dating in general, you will want to follow this list. 

  1. Don’t reference her age. This is a good tip for dating in general, but if you don’t want to crash and burn leave comments and jokes about her age out of the conversation.
  2. Get to know her. Not all cougars are looking for long term relationships, and not all cougars are looking for one night stands.

    They will typically know what they are looking for. Also, don’t be afraid to let her know what you’re looking for, she doesn’t want to be led on.
  3. Leave the drama and games at home. Cougars are past that stage in their life where drama or games create excitement. They don’t want that type of mess in their lives.
  4. Be a gentleman. This tip works for dating no matter what the age gap is, but it will really help you go far if you are dating a cougar. Open doors for her. Use your manners. Be genuine in your compliments.
  5. Be energetic. As mentioned above, cougars aren’t looking to “Netflix and chill” every night. They want to go out, have fun, and enjoy life.

    Be ready to match her energy – just because she’s older than you, it doesn’t mean that she’s ready to give up and retire.

See Also: Why Guys Don’t Like Needy Women

Advantages of Dating a Cougar

There are several advantages to dating a cougar. As previously mentioned, cougars have lots of life experience and know exactly what they want.

They may be looking for something long term, something casual, or simply a one night fling.

The rumors are true, cougars don’t just know what they want in terms of relationships, they also know what they want in the bedroom. These women have more experience and can often teach their partner a thing or two between the sheets. 

Cougars are looking for adventure. They want to get out and go to places or experience new things. They are not looking for boring or mundane. This can make for some fun times.

Disadvantages of Dating a Cougar

One major downside of dating a cougar is that you have to be ready for the other relationships in your life to change. Your friends and family may become judgmental about your relationship with an older woman. 

Many of your friends may start to joke that you have a “sugar mama” or a “mommy complex” when you start dating a cougar. 

Your family members may be concerned about the age gap, too. Many parents do not want to see their son dating someone who is old enough to be considered a cougar.

Cougars, not all of them, may have baggage. Ex-husbands and children often play a part in a cougar’s life.

You may be uncomfortable around her children or ex-husband, and it could be a strain on your relationship. 

You just need to remain confident in your decision and not let the jokes and off-handed comments get to you.

How do you spot a Cougar?

Spotting a cougar can be difficult at first, but there are ways that can help set you off in the right direction.

Do you see an older woman and wonder if she’s a cougar? First, check to see if there’s a ring on “that” finger. Next, evaluate her outfit choice. Does she dress young for her age? Cougars wear tight clothing that can often be revealing. 

Sometimes you can spot a cougar if she’s smoking. Cigarettes can often be used to strike up a conversation…need a light?

Cougars are confident. When you make eye contact with a cougar, she will maintain eye contact, and often outlast younger, less confident men.

Myths of Dating a Cougar

There are several myths when it comes to dating a cougar.

Here are the top 5:

  1. These relationships won’t last. False, there are plenty of people in successful relationships with cougars. 

  2. No one will accept your relationship. Wrong. While there are people who may have trouble with an older woman/younger man relationship, it is not a mandate for your friends and family to reject the relationship.

  3. He will miss out on the prime of his life and/or she will miss out on her golden years. Untrue. People in these relationships simply have a different view on the stage of life that they are experiencing. 

  4. Cheating is a guarantee. No way! Just because a man is dating an older woman does not mean he will stray from her. 

  5. Looks fade, and the relationship will end. Nope, not true. Not all men find women at their same age attractive. Also, women can age gracefully. Finally, true love is not about looks.

See Also: Reasons Why She is Ignoring Me But Actually Likes Me

Famous Cougar Couples

Many famous men have been in a relationship with a cougar. Check out these famous cougars and some of their partners. 

  1. Madonna’s relationship to Brahim Zaibat had a difference of 30 years. 
  2. Sharon Stone tied Madonna’s age gap with her relationship with Martin Mica
  3. Mariah Carey once married to Nick Cannon who was 11 years her junior. 
  4. Demi Moore once married to Ashton Kutcher who was 16 years younger than the actress.
  5. Robin Wright is married to Ben Foster, their age gap is 14 years.

FAQs – The Short Answers

Is it OK to date a cougar?

Yes! If you are comfortable with the age gap, there should be nothing stopping you from having a successful relationship.

What is a cub to a cougar?

A cub typically refers to the younger male that the cougar is dating.

How do you date an older woman?

Dating a cougar is not much different from dating someone close in age to you. Follow the tips above for online dating, beyond internet dating, and use your common sense.

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