A MALE COUGAR SPEAKS – PART ONE
Cougars (aka older women dating younger men) have become 21st century pop culture icons, showcasing the enduring sex appeal of middle aged women with Demi and Ashton the Queen and Kings of the movement.
But when folks think of older men and younger women its all about Donald Trump and his ‘hair’ and Hugh Hefner and his bathrobe. As an older man who has dated many young women, you don’t wanna identify with either of those dudes. (Thank god for the most interesting man in the world beer commercials — that man’s got style.)
I asked some of the women at my favorite tea shop what they called men like me. One said, ‘Poacher, cause you’re stealing a woman’s youth.’ Ouch. Another said, ‘Puma. Cause you guys are all sneaky and smooth.’ Better, but seems like a weak imitation of cougar. The last woman
said, ‘Pedophile.’ Oooh, that really hurt. We definitely need some work on our public image.
Now my relationship to younger women is a little less complicated than many of my peers. I’m not married. I’m not divorced. I don’t have kids. So none of those very fraught issues are part of my package. That’s probably given me more leeway than a lot of folks. Not as much baggage, though never having been married is baggage too.
I may be a genetic male cougar. My namesake Grandfather was 15 years older than my Grandmother when they hooked up in Virginia way back in the day. Even the fact that she was a foot taller than the original Nelson George didn’t disturb their groove. Though my mother and father were just a few years a part in age when they married in 1956, she was unusually young looking as her nickname ‘Doll’ suggest.
My last significant relationship was with a woman twenty-five years my junior and it was, for 3 1/2 years, a beautiful thing. She was extremely mature and I can be seriously silly, so we met somewhere in the middle. The age difference worked for and against us. She kept me tuned in to new trends, ideas and music. I gave her insights into life and business, and lots of fun travel. But did the age difference finally pull us apart? Sure, it played a role in how we reacted to the
challenges of love. Ultimately it was who we were, not how old we were, that pulled us apart.
I’m not ruling out dating and/or marrying a woman in their 40s or 50s — its foolish to rule out any option when it comes to love. But, for the time being, I’m wondering what to call guys like me, who have consistently dated women ten or more years younger? Silverback? (You know because of the gray hair.) Alright. No. I’m definitely open to suggestion.
-Nelson George | follow me @nelsongeorge