If you’re a woman with a significantly younger partner, you may be familiar with the term cougar being used to describe you. Not all women find it flattering being named after a secretive, ambush predator, so if you’re one of these then our advice is not to take it personally. People enjoy coming up with labels, it’s easier than taking the time to understand a situation.
Labels and wildcats aside, whilst you’re bound at some point to encounter some of the same challenges as a man dating a younger woman, there are some others that we also see often. It’s worth reading the below, to get the heads-up on what to be conscious of and ways to make the journey smoother.
Check your reasons for dating him
Establishing the reason why you’re dating your particular younger man can be a very useful exercise to undertake, particularly because so many other people will have opinions and you don’t always want these influencing your own. It will also inform the way you behave and what you expect. For example, whether or not long-term mutual goals are important or if you’re happy to have fun and take it a day at a time. Really, you should have answers to these questions in any relationship, but when it comes to large age gaps it can be even more beneficial.
Check the role you’re playing in his life
Regardless of their boyfriend’s age, some women simply have a tendency to mother or nurture the man they’re with. There is nothing inherently bad about this, it’s part of the way they’re programmed and can often be an expression of love.
What you need to be aware of when nurturing happens and you’re dating someone of a similar age, is that here it can feel like more of a supportive role that’s being adopted. On the contrary, when there is a large age gap the danger is that nurturing becomes mothering. So, watch your behaviour carefully, and be sure not to lose yourself to a cause.
Check how secure you are
If you’re not aware of it already, then dating a younger man will be a super-fast way of realising there are a lot of other young, fit and good looking women out there. Confident as you are of your own unique attributes and qualities, it’s likely there will come a time – however brief – when you’re fixated on the people closer to his age that he could be dating. If you can’t handle the perceived competition, then dating younger is not for you. If instead you have the self-esteem to stand your ground and own every facet of your womanhood, then a younger man will likely find you even more irresistible.
Caring what people think
If there’s a considerable age difference then some people will surely notice the unique arrangement you and your beau are enjoying. Don’t be surprised however if you’re caught in some embarrassing situation, such as finding yourself being referred to as your partner’s mother. You may even encounter the ever so ungracious assumption that your man is only with you for some sort of monetary gain. How rude!
Whatever the challenge that presents itself, you’ll need to know how you’re going to deal with these situations and we can definitively say that going on the defensive rarely works. Try humour, try confidently correcting people, or don’t even bother if it’s not important to you. Be smug in the fact that you’re most definitely having more fun than they are.
Preparing for family introductions
If the relationship is serious or public enough, then family introductions may be firmly on the cards. Again, how this goes may well depend on the size of age gap you have. If it’s large try to be prepared for and understanding of family reactions.
Is your lover the same age or younger than any children you have? Are you the same age or older than his parents? Children, no matter how mature, will not want to feel usurped or embarrassed. Likewise, caring parents may want to envision their offspring in a long and successful relationship that includes grandchildren, a role for which they may not believe you’re prime candidate.
Treat all introductions like any other family meet and greet, but be open to a different sort of curiosity and atmosphere. Try to put yourself in their shoes.
Visit the Our Members page for more information on our matchmaking services can help you.