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Cougar alert (19 comments)

Cougar alert

Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 10:59 PM

A reader writes... Q: I’m a 32-year-old single girl and I haven’t been having much success meeting guys. One of my friends wants to set me up with a co-worker. She says he’s cute and smart, but he’s only 23! Is that too young?
ChazB
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 12:03 AM (#41441)

Speaking as a guy who has dated older women almost exclusively since he became sexually active, age only means as much as you want it to.

Point being, when I was younger than him I was having a friends with benefits relationship with someone older than you and it was fine. We didn't adjust our social lives at all. My friends were cool with someone almost old enough to be their mom hanging out with them and her friends were cool with someone almost old enough to be their kid hanging out with them. The sex was great and it was win-win.

What I'm trying to say is that as long as you and him are OK with it, and your friends are OK with it, don't worry about it and have fun.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 12:28 AM (#41442)

Three questions:

1. Would you date a 41-year-old man?

2. What are you looking for -- short-term or long-term relationship? Long-term, you'll probably be disappointed, especially if you fade and he's immature. Short-term, you're both at your sexual peaks, so you'll probably go at it like bunnies.

3. The answer to your question probably depends most on what you and he consider fun and interesting. You call yourself a 32-year-old "girl" ... would other people call you that?


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ElBueno
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 08:31 AM (#41445)

Maybe, maybe not. It's impossible to say, really. Only time will tell.

I wouldn't hurt to try, so long as you know going in that you're going to be dealing with someone who is inexperienced both in relationships and quite likely sexually.

It sounds to me like you're already apprehensive about this, which is probably going to undermine things from the get-go. If you're better judgment tells you not to get involved with this guy, don't go against it. If you don't want someone ten years younger than you, very little is going to change that.

If you do decide to give this a shot, keep an open mind. Don't let your visceral reaction to the situation cloud your opinion of him.


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 08:52 AM (#41446)
In Response to Murgatroyd (#41442):

--Long-term, you'll probably be disappointed, especially if you fade and he's immature.--

To Poster,

Ignore THAT comment!! I've been with my wife for almost 10 years now, and she's 19 years older than I am. We've even moved to another state together. A good friend of mine was happily married to a woman 10 years older than him, until she passed on.

What matters is --> "What are you looking for -- short-term or long-term relationship?"

And in ANY new relationship where sex is involved --> "you'll probably go at it like bunnies." At least for 3 - 6 months.

At what age did you start being responsible for yourself and your decisions? The guy's 23. OK. So, do you think your girlfriend is going to intentionally put you in a bad situation? If not, give him a chance. If it doesn't work out, will it really be any different than the 35 year old men your trying to date now?

Yes, a long-term relationship will have it's issues. If you're concerned that you'll bring too much baggage into it. Learn to unload some of it. I'm sure he'll have his own.


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Threesome
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 09:06 AM (#41447)

What everyone else said: It depends.

Statistically speaking couples are most stable if the woman is six years younger than the man, has a few IQ points less and earns less money.

So, if you are looking for a long-term relationship you might be better off with someone a little bit older.

Then again, statistics work out fine for the average person, but really don't deal well with exceptions.

I am picking up two things - one has been mentioned before.
You call yourself a "single girl". Not single, but "a single girl".

Secondly, you claim you have not had much success "meeting" guys.

Let us focus on this second bit. What does that mean ? Do you have problems finding guys to talk to ? Are you from some small village where everybody knows each other, is related to each other, or is married ?
Do you have problems finding guys who qualify for your high standards ? If so, what are those standards ?
Or do you have problems speaking to guys, or do guys pay no attention to you or are even actively rejecting you ?

In my experience, getting laid is quite simple for a woman, but she'll end up with a sleazoid, most likely. Getting quality into bed is more difficult, but most guys will be flattered, at least. Studies show that most guys will at least consider having sex with a stranger if asked nicely.

When I was 15 (almost 16) I lost my virginity to a woman who was 27. It certainly didn't bother me. Until I was 27 almost all my girlfriends were older than me. Worked out fine.

Also, do not equate age and experience. It has been hinted on that he might be immature, but that is not necessarily so. He might have clocked up a fair amount of experience, especially sexually, but not necessarily limited to that, that makes you look immature.

My flatmate was more mature at 21 than I was at 31.

My advice would be to try it - in thirty years time you might remember it fondly or with an amused horror, but you don't have to wonder about what could have been.


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markdf
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 09:45 AM (#41448)
Go for it. What's the worst that can happen? If it doesn't work out, well, that's the risk you take when you go out with anyone.

Ultimately, you really don't know until you at least meet him. Take him for a ride, see how he handles.
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LizKitten
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 11:06 AM (#41450)

The question is, do -you- think he's too young? You shouldn't be asking us.

It stands a good possibility of working, depending on what both parties are looking for from a relationship-- just like any other relationship. It's up to you whether or not age is a factor.


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abb3w
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 11:20 AM (#41452)

The classic rule-of-thumb for lowest age you should consider is seven more than half your age. 7+(32/2)=23; he's borderline passable by rule of thumb.

If you're looking for something long-term, the age difference means he may not yet be ready to commit, want kids, etc. However, as long as you bear in mind that his hopes for the relationship may not be the same as your hopes, I can't see the harm in it.


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Guairdean
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 01:48 PM (#41453)

My wife is ten years older than I am. We've been married for nearly 30 years and we have two wonderful daughters (one's technically my step-daughter, but she's mine in my heart) and two handsome grandsons. Imagine growing old with a younger man and realize that the significance of that difference in years will shrink with each passing year. Then, imagine that you decided not to meet him because of the age difference and you're now in your twilight years looking backwards at what could have been. Take a chance and see what happens, it's just a date.


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Kyle_Voltti
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 14, 2008 - 01:57 PM (#41454)

I’m going to give the same advice I give anyone who ask the “Should we be together” question.
Life sucks. It is a horrible awful soul draining hope crushing life taking process that takes everything from you and leaves you broken and in the dust. And if in all of this S***storm we call life you can find a person who can give you the strength to look the maelstrom in the eye and say “Is that the best you’ve got?” who keeps the demons away in the cold dark night. Who lets you make sense of it all. And you do that for them as well? Well then that’s a bloody miracle and no power in heaven, hell or anywhere in between should make you feel ashamed.
So basically, if he makes you happy and you make him happy then just live and make each other happy. In the end that’s all that really matters.

I can’t tell you that he’s going to be the one or not be the one because of his age any more then I could say it about a man the same age as you or older then you.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 03:43 AM (#41455)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#41446):

--Long-term, you'll probably be disappointed, especially if you fade and he's immature.--
To Poster,

Ignore THAT comment!! I've been with my wife for almost 10 years now, and she's 19 years older than I am. We've even moved to another state together. A good friend of mine was happily married to a woman 10 years older than him, until she passed on. ...

Yes, a long-term relationship will have it's issues. If you're concerned that you'll bring too much baggage into it. Learn to unload some of it. I'm sure he'll have his own.

Um ... I'm very happy for you, and your example shows the danger of applying statistics to individuals. I have friends who are in the same situation. (Hi John! Hi Heather!)

Nevertheless, this woman is not trying to decide whether to marry the love of her life, who happens to be nine years younger than she is. She's trying to decide whether to allow herself to be set up on what amounts to a blind date.

It might work out in the long term -- we don't even know whether this woman is looking for a long-term relationship. What the hell, it's almost certainly worth a try. But even if they hit it off on a short-term basis, she shouldn't be astonished if he's not ready to settle down.


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Pengy
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 02:06 PM (#41458)

It might be too young, and it might not be. It really depends on what you're looking for and what he is in relation to that. What's the harm in checking him out? Go on a date, see what he's like, and go from there.


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 04:03 PM (#41459)
In Response to Murgatroyd (#41455):

Your phrasing was as if any possible relationship is doomed from the start. It also implies that she may become less than beautiful, and possibly in the near future. I can't help but to take exception to both.

As for his maturity, I know guys in their mid-thirties who still live with their parents, and don't intend to ever move on. Some guys are ready for a life of their own at an earlier age. Maybe she should meet the guy and at least get a 'first' impression of him in order to make that determination. As some have already pointed out, she may or may not be as mature as he; or may even not be looking for anything beyond a steady boyfriend.

I never said she's going to meet her future husband, and I'm sorry if that's what came across. My point was that she might find something she didn't expect, and that it "may" not hurt her to try. Hell...this guy could be the next Son of Sam, for all I know. To paraphrase a movie, 'Love is just two neurosis recognizing that they're a perfect fit for each other.'

Even the best success story isn't all roses and happy endings. My wife still has issues about our age. She's probably insecure about me possibly leaving her for another, younger, woman. But, I still love her, and am hanging in through all the craziness.


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mbnmac
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 06:08 PM (#41460)

Can't really add much more to this other than it's very likely he'll jump at(pardon the pun) chance.

My first sexual, and pretty much real relationship was with a woman of 40-42 (as we were together a couple years) while i was 16-18 (and before anybody says anything, 16 is legal here :P )

So don't worry about him being turned off by age


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 - 01:49 AM (#41462)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#41459):

Far upthread, I wrote:
--Long-term, you'll probably be disappointed, especially if you fade and he's immature.--
--

Your phrasing was as if any possible relationship is doomed from the start. It also implies that she may become less than beautiful, and possibly in the near future. I can't help but to take exception to both.

I see two -- count 'em, two -- qualifiers in that sentence. I was simply trying to convey the idea that the odds were much less good for the long term than the short term. Nothing about "any possible relationship" being doomed, and nothing about "the near future." But you're right, I did say that her physical beauty might fade as she ages. Some women age well, others don't. And some guys are shallow twits who care only about physical appearance.

BTW, note that word "especially" ... A different potential problem for a long-term relationship could be her fertility clock. What if she decides at age 38 that it's now or never as far as making babies is concerned, and he, at age 29, doesn't want to be stampeded into an irrevocable decision? One more possible gotcha to consider.

As some have already pointed out, she may or may not be as mature as he; or may even not be looking for anything beyond a steady boyfriend.

One of those "some" who pointed that out was me, in fact.

But, I still love her, and am hanging in through all the craziness.

Without sarcasm or irony: Good for you!

OK, time for some heavy philosophy [youtube.com]:

Ever since we could think for ourselves
We've wondered what will happen to us
But it can't be foretold
What the future will hold
If you'll get rich
Or get hit by a bus!


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 - 01:39 PM (#41469)
In Response to Murgatroyd (#41462):

--I was simply trying to convey the idea that the odds were much less good for the long term than the short term--

I do understand that you had some questions to her, that will probably go unanswered. But, in the absense of those answers, I would just like to know this:

Have you considered it from 2 other perspectives (you in her place, and you in his)? If a mutual friend was looking to hook you up on a blind date, would statistics be your guide?

Your comments do lean towards her looking for a stable, long-term, familial relationship; and him not. I think it may be likely that she calls herself a "32-year old girl" because she isn't sure what she wants. So, obviously, we've established our picket fence, here, and we could either or both be wrong. So, in the absence of a chosen path for the future (i.e. marriage, children, etc.); would you advise her to not meet him?

P.S. - Thank you for your congratulations towards me and my wife.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 - 04:57 PM (#41470)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#41469):

Have you considered it from 2 other perspectives (you in her place, and you in his)? If a mutual friend was looking to hook you up on a blind date, would statistics be your guide?

I'd be informed by statistics, I wouldn't be controlled by them. When I was 23, I definitely would have gone for it. I would have been too immature for a long-term relationship, though, no matter what her age.

Your comments do lean towards her looking for a stable, long-term, familial relationship; and him not.

If you'll recall, I played both sides of the fence -- I had different answers for short-term vs. long-term prospects. If they hit it off, I think there's a very good chance they could have a satisfying short-term relationship. Short-term, the biggest hazard would be to pay attention to the opinions of others. The proper response to critics would be to grin smugly, say "Perhaps you're right!" ... and then ignore them.

I think it may be likely that she calls herself a "32-year old girl" because she isn't sure what she wants. So, obviously, we've established our picket fence, here, and we could either or both be wrong. So, in the absence of a chosen path for the future (i.e. marriage, children, etc.); would you advise her to not meet him?

No fences here -- I agree with you! But it's not a sure thing, and it's not for everyone.

My advice to her: Go for it, girl! But keep your eyes open, and try to figure out what you want and why you want it. Be aware of the things that might go wrong, and avoid them if you can.

P.S. - Thank you for your congratulations towards me and my wife.

As I said, I know others in your situation, and it definitely can work. It takes a lot more than luck, it takes love and integrity. Congratulations on that, too!


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jasonred
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - 04:57 AM (#41508)

Short answer to title question:

The only way to tell if he's too young is: Try going out with him.

It's entirely possible that there'll be no chemistry and the whole discussion becomes moot.

A guy being 10 years younger might possibly POSSIBLY be a reason against a long term relationship...

But not against just meeting up for a date. Right?


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BillyName99
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Re: Cougar alert (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, April 06, 2008 - 05:12 PM (#42050)

Once you reach your 21st birthday, age really becomes irrelevant.
I met my Wife back in 1992 when I had just turned 22. She was 31.

Don't sweat the age thing. This could be a Great Thing for both of you. It might not, But you never know 'til you try.

So go out for coffee or whatever and find out.


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