Can a Single Mom be a Cougar With Kids in Tow?
By Melissa Chapman
SMW: A little background about you- your own dating experiences, what drew you into this world of cougar dating?
Valerie: When I found myself single (between my many marriages) I was being pursued by younger men for dates. I thought it was great yet when I looked around at other older women doing the same they were hiding it. Why I thought? Because society frowned on it and gave them a hard time. So I said to myself us older single women obviously need a book to support us and boost our self esteem.
When I wrote the book five years ago, it was written in a cheerful, cheeky way to make people smile as it was still a taboo subject. Of course, a cougar is a predatory cat and that’s how the book was written. I set out to turn what was a derogatory term into a positive image of female empowerment and offer older women in the prime of life an option which men have practiced for centuries – to have relationships with younger people and benefit from it. But in the five years it has been on the market this has changed completely.
Now this trend is driven by younger men, who call themselves “cougar hunters” and set out deliberately to find attractive older women. Today, when attractive women older go out, younger men will flock to them and are far more open about their admiration.
SMW: What is the definition of a Cougar?
Valerie: Not every woman who dates younger is a cougar. Cougars are an elite group of women usually; successful, professional women in excellent shape, sexy, sensual, very smart, sophisticated and independent financially and emotionally. They do not want to marry, cohabit or live with anyone and usually do not want children as they may have already had them. They want a good relationship with a younger person on their arm and in their bed and want to enjoy a great time with them. In other words, exactly the same as older men see being with a younger woman.
SMW: Why do you think single moms are a bit apprehensive dating younger men?
Valerie: I think single mothers are concerned that younger men might not want to be with a woman who has children as they may not be familiar with children and not know how to deal with them. They may think younger men won’t want a relationship that has distractions in it for their partner and that a younger man is not mature enough to handle the division of loyalties a mother will have when, of course, she will choose her children over him. Children come first. Still, it depends entirely on the maturity of the younger man and the sophistication of the single mother. It depends entirely on the two people in the relationship – as in any other.
SMW: Do you think single moms can be cougars like other single childless women? Are there a different set of circumstances that single moms need to be aware of that would not apply to childless single women?
Valerie: A single mother can certainly be a cougar like any other woman. Why not? Where are the rules written down that say she has to date someone her own age or older? As with any new relationship a single mother begins, it is wise to get to know the man well before introducing him to her children.
SMW: What are the benefits single Moms may reap by being “Cougars” and dating younger men?
Valerie: The benefits of dating younger are beneficial to all women, not just single mothers. It means being with someone who is enthusiastic, not jaded, sexy, energetic and often coming from a different generation so there’s lot of new things to learn from them (just as they learn from you- the cougar). The generation gap is, to my mind, a plus as both sides learn from their different worlds and experiences. If your children are older, they may benefit from having a younger man around as they may find they relate to him far more than older men. Or they may hate and resent him!
SMW: What are some of the best ways for single Moms to meet younger men, and get their Cougar on?
Valerie: Meeting younger men is much the same as any other dating – you go where they are – at least to places you and a girlfriend will enjoy going to. Look interested and interesting, dress sensually, laugh and smile warmly and you will attract men, including younger men. Single mothers can actually be more attractive to some younger men as they already have their children, so if the relationship becomes serious (and many do), and the young man wants a family, there’s one already there.
Just a point: the younger men that date cougars are more mature than most. They dress better, are more sophisticated and smarter. They find cougars and all older single women to be a challenge which is what enthralls them and once they start dating in the cougar world, they rarely want to go back to women of their own age. In other words, these young men want more from their love life, sex life and relationship and they find it all with older women.
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