The New Cougars
Dating Advice for Women Series
Welcome to the era of the new cougars. The census data tells us that only 1% of all marriages in 2008 were cougar marriages, that is, between a woman who was 10-14 years older than her husband—while only 2.6% of the brides were 6 to 9 years older. But even though these weddings are rare, the concept of the “the cougar,” an older woman who dates or marries a younger guy, is creating new possibilities in dating. In this Demi-Ashton era, many 40+ women have happily broadened their matches to include younger men.
But according to a survey of 100 self-proclaimed new cougars the rules have changed. The old stereotype of the man-eater woman, a la Stifler’s mom from ‘American Pie,’ no longer applies. These days it is not about a sugar mama having a no-strings-attached fling. It’s about finding a new form of true love.
More than 90% of these new cougars say they want a long-term relationship with a younger man. They expect the guy to pay his way—to cover dinner or split the check. These women want the full experience of dating someone who is romantic, chivalrous and, best of all, relatively free of the emotional baggage of past relationships. 52% of the cougars in the study were in their 40s and their ideal guy is aged 24-27. 45% were ‘lifestyle’ new cougars who have dated more than five younger men.
Over-40 women don’t mind being called new cougars but they are redefining the definition of cougar dating. They know what they want in relationships and are opening doors to new possibilities for themselves. Go to for the new cougar survey for more details.
Wishing you love,
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Dr. Diana Kirschner
Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
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