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It doesn't matter what you call them, the trend of older women (cougars, pumas, cradle robbers) dating younger men is on the rise. Whether it is as accepted as the reverse, the clichĂƒÂŠd older men and younger women, is under discussion. In a story on Hollywood's hottest cougar couples, reporter Courtney Crowder notes the theme seems to be getting a higher profile on television and in gossip magazines. An online dating service specifically targets this new demographic. Gocougar.com touts itself as the premiere online community for mature women who prefer to date younger men. They advertise that their site is dedicated to younger men who worship older women and have a sincere desire to get involved in this specific type of relationship. (Their sister site is for the older man/younger woman called agelessdating.com). The older woman/younger man relationship is so popular that there are a couple of shows on TV. The reality show, The Cougar, stars Stacey, 40ish, a beautiful, blonde mother of four from Arizona. Stacey - who's a successful and determined real estate agent - is eager to shatter dating stereotypes. She believes society has placed a double standard on women who date younger men and wants to prove that age is simply a number. Stacey's dating experiences have led her to believe that men her age and older live under the pressure of a "ticking clock" that dampens their spontaneity and zest for life. Her personal success is based upon upbeat optimism, and she believes that younger men have a similar spirited tempo, a demeanor that Stacey finds crucial for her future love interest to possess - a love interest that she plans to find on The Cougar. At the end of Season 1, Stacey chose Jimmy, a 24-year-old personal trainer. Jimmy grew up in San Francisco, where he graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a degree in theater. Jimmy is an extremely confident, driven person. He knows how to work hard, but he likes to play hard as well. Jimmy is extremely loyal when he's in a relationship, but confesses to being quite the player when single. He's open to falling in love although he says finding the right woman is not easy. At 24, Jimmy says he knows how to treat a woman because he has four sisters. He also likes the experience older women bring to a relationship. Cougar Club, a film directed by Christopher Duddy, came out in 2007. The film details the attempts of two college graduates, Marshall Hogan III and Spence Holmes, to find direction in life. While working as interns for abusive divorce lawyers, they come up with a plan to make money from the passion that is Hogan's pride and Spence's secret desire: having sex with older women, cougars. Then there is Cougar Town, a hit TV shows (ABC) starring Courtney Cox. The series focuses on a
recently divorced woman (Cox) who reenters a dating scene filled with younger men (making her a "cougar," hence the series title) while living with her 18 year old son and embarks on a journey to self-discovery while surrounded by fellow divorcees. In his book, Market-Led Strategic Change, 4th Ed.: Transforming the Process of Going to Market, (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008) Nigel Piercy cites 'cougars' - women dating younger men - as one of his 75 identity groups who are shaping the future.
Daphne has been married and divorced once, both in and out of relationships for over 40 years, and has been on over 100 dates (with different guys) in the past 3 years. Currently in a relationship, Daphne also writes short stories, which are being turned into a film series, "Emotions". Daphne blogs at Dear Daphne and at the book review site Consuming Books.
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