On the Prowl: "Cougars" (Older Women) Hunt for "Cubs" (Younger Men)
Article By Josie Brown and Martin Brown
The stereotype of the old maid is so last millennium: according to a recent survey by the American Association of Retired Persons, almost one-third of unmarried women over the age of 40 are dating much younger men.
Actress Demi Moore, 41, is the most recent high-profile example of a "cougar" -- the new term for the older woman who is open to liaisons with younger men, or "cubs," such as Demi's 25-year old boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher.
She is certainly not the first woman of a certain age who prefers robbing the cradle to rocking it: Mae West, Judy Garland and Liz Taylor all blazed that path. Today's other well-known cougars and cubs include Susan Sarandon (56) and Tim Robbins (44); Mary Tyler Moore (67) and Robert Levine (49); Joan Lunden (52) and Jeff Konigsberg (42); Julianne Moore (42) and Bart Freundlich (33); Daryl Hannah (42) and David Blaine (30); and Madonna (44) and Guy Ritchie (34) -- proof positive that love is priceless at any age.
Grounds for mutual attraction are many: the younger man can't help but be drawn to a woman who is more knowledgeable than needy. Like him, she is at a stage of life where personal pleasure now takes precedent over marriage and making babies.
As for cougars, they are looking for a partner whose drive for unencumbered fun and satisfying sex meets their own.
Can such a match have staying power? Certainly under the following
1. The emotional criteria of both partners stay in sync. If the need of one partner changes, and it is obvious that the other partner cannot or will not meet that need, it may mean a break in the romance. For example, most cubs "mature" to desire a relationship that can provide them children -- something their current paramour can no longer do, or for that matter may not want to do at her stage of life.
2. Both enjoy similar sexual appetites. Even in unions where the ages are equal or the woman is younger, a dearth of passion is a relationship killer. However, those couples whose levels of lust are on a par will benefit from that whenever other issues arise.
3. Both recognize the need to take the relationship a day at a time. While it would be wonderful if we could freeze ourselves in the present, the fact is that we cannot; life moves on, and may move the two halves of a couple in two different directions. An open mind and open heart to accepting change will certainly keep the relationship alive. Granted, you may not always be lovers, but you may stay friends for life.
© 2004 Josie Brown and Martin Brown/Relationship NewsWire. All rights reserved.