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Boomer women are looking younger and feeling better than ever.Widowed, separated, or divorced, a growing number seek young men for dating and companionship.I was a cougar before there were cougars.” Indeed, Wheeler’s pre-marriage and post-divorce dating history reads like a steamy screenplay.She listed a string of young men with whom she had various relationships, occasionally punching numbers into a calculator to determine age differences she had never considered in the first place.“This isn’t about dating,” said Kevin Mercer* candidly. A.’s entertainment industry and isn’t shy discussing his city’s cougar phenomenon.“It’s a total transactional situation.” And that works out just fine for these young men, who often prefer relationships—whether fleeting or long-term—with cougars.“I can’t explain why, but I’ve always been,” she said, pausing.“Without even knowing someone’s age, you can be sure I’m going to gravitate toward the younger guy.
It’s just their energy, their enthusiasm” and—the biggie—“less baggage.” In fact, the stuff of the past may be what keeps her from dating men closer to her age altogether. “They’re always going on and on about their exes and the kids,” she said of her male peers. And being stuck in the music they listened to in college. 1 complaint from both single men and single women—42 percent and 35 percent, respectively—dating in their 50s was the history a partner of the same age carried into a relationship.On the contrary, they’ll even boast about them, wearing them, in the words of Mercer, “as a badge of honor.” According to Gibson, young men are driving the trend, sometimes even calling themselves “cougar hunters” when they’re out on the town looking for sexy older women.“Younger men have no problem whatsoever in approaching an older woman who’s single or obviously not wearing a wedding ring anyway,” she said.And since men have been dating younger women for ages, why are so many of us surprised — shocked, even — that women would follow suit?Valerie Gibson, author of Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men, is all too familiar with this double standard. They were absolutely horrified that older women should be having sex with younger men.”When many of us think “cougar,” we picture the ultimate cougar of the big screen: The Graduate’s legendary, martini-sipping Mrs. These days, real-life cougars are stars like Demi Moore (who, in her 40s, married then-twenty-something heartthrob Ashton Kutcher), the coiffed reality-show cast of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and, yes, everyday women — suburbanites and city-slickers alike.
“They don’t mind at all what age she is as long as she’s vital and gorgeous or something attracts them.