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what is a cougar

Cougar: Definition, Examples & The Need-to-Knows

Ever heard the term “cougar” and wondered what it’s all about? Let’s dive into the world of cougars, those fabulous older women who prefer dating younger guys. We’re breaking down what it means to be a cougar, the age game, the mixed bag of reactions to the term, and how cougars are rocking it in popular media and real-life celeb stories.

What’s a Cougar, Anyway?

A cougar is basically an older woman who’s into dating men significantly younger than herself. We’re not just talking about a couple of years here but a gap that’s impossible to ignore. It’s not just about the age, though; it’s about the vibe. Cougars are all about confidence, independence, and, let’s be honest, enjoying the finer things in life, including attractive younger partners.

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number

So, when do you officially enter cougar territory? While the magic number often thrown around is 40+, there’s a lot of wiggle room here. Let’s break it down:

  • 35-39: The early phase. You might be dipping your toes into younger waters, but the “cougar” label isn’t quite a fit yet.
  • 40-49: Prime Cougar. This is the sweet spot where the term starts to stick, especially if you’re scouting dates a decade (or more) younger.
  • 50+: Super Cougar. Here, the age gap can really start to widen, and you’re living proof that age is just a number.

Some also consider the age-gap with their “cub” to be the determining factor on what makes someone a cougar.

The general rule of thumb is anything over 10 years, however this varies wildly based on a host of factors, such as the type of relationship, the age of the woman, etc.

Cougar relationships are traditionally understood to be more casual. Of course, we’ve seen first-hand this is the case. Age-gap love know no bounds and from love, lust to romance, a self-confessed cougar is not stuck on one specific relationship type.

The age-gap also has a different impact depending on the “cougar’s” age. For example, a 30 year old dating 20 year old would be more likely to be called a cougar, than a 60 year old dating a 50 year old.

With something so subjective and filled with nuances, it’s not unreasonable to consider the “cougar” moniker to be one of choice. You either consider yourself a cougar or you don’t.

Compliment or Insult

Is being called a cougar a high five or a low blow? Well, it depends on who you ask.

  • Pro-Cougar: It’s a compliment, suggesting you’re attractive, confident, and capable of attracting younger mates. It’s all about the power and the glory.
  • Anti-Cougar: Some folks find it a bit insulting, as if being with a younger guy is the only thing defining you. It can feel like a backhanded comment on your age. Or, it can be seen as suggesting you’re only after casual flings.

Cougars in the Spotlight

Cougars have been stealing scenes in movies and TV shows, and some celebs are living the cougar life IRL. Here are a few notable mentions:

  • TV & Movies: “Cougar Town” with Courteney Cox took us into the heart of cougar-dom, showing the humor and challenges of age-gap dating.
  • Celebrity Cougars:
    • Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher: A headline-grabbing romance that brought the cougar conversation mainstream.
    • Madonna: The Queen of Pop has famously dated younger men, proving age is no barrier to romance (or anything else).
    • Jennifer Lopez: J.Lo’s dating history includes significantly younger men, showcasing her unstoppable energy and appeal.

Cougars are more than just a buzzword; they’re a sign of changing times, challenging outdated norms about age and love. Whether celebrated or criticized, one thing’s for sure: cougars are here to stay, turning heads and breaking hearts in the best way possible.

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