A "cougar" is a term used to describe an older woman who focuses her attention on a younger man, otherwise known as a "cub". The concept of someone who dates much younger men has certain cultural stereotypes - often pegged as weird or desperate. But, in reality, the cougar life is normal. For some reason, people have a much easier time getting on board with the idea of younger women in a serious relationship with older men. At the end of the day - any type of relationship is valid and should be accepted regardless of the age gap.
Luckily, the cougar phenomenon has gradually entered the mainstream in recent years, especially through movies and television. Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate is a great example. This has helped to remove certain associations of shame or disgrace placed on cougars and older women in general. We live in a day and age where dating and relationships of all kinds are becoming more and more accepted.
If you're thinking about dating someone younger, don't let anyone stop you. Plus, finding cougars and cubs is easier than ever before and that's mainly due to the various cougar dating apps and sites available online.
Best Cougar Dating Sites
Related Read: Best Cougar Dating Sites
This cougar dating site is a great resource for older women looking for younger cubs. The user base is filled with cougar women and young men, so there's no guessing game when sorting through the various dating profiles. Everyone active on the site is intentional and forthcoming about their dating goals. There are over 7 million members worldwide, with the number of male users outpacing females.
The platform and its members firmly believe that age is only a number and a true connection between two individuals involves so much more.
CougarLife aims to be more than just a niche dating site. The company is on a mission to reduce the stigma surrounding older women who date someone that's a different age. Within the site, there are several blogs, articles, and other resources that normalize cougars. Overall, it's a safe and secure place for a mature woman to match and interact with young men.Pros:
- Designed specifically for cougars
- Over 100,000 new members every month
- Easy 1-step registration process
- Extensive search capabilities based on age, location, body type, height, etc.
- Free to download Cougar Life mobile dating app
- Expensive membership fees
- Reports of fake accounts
AdultFriendFinder has a large community of open-minded singles and couples. It's the perfect environment for older women to explore their dating life in a new and exciting way. The point of this dating website is pretty clear - casual dating that's straightforward and to-the-point. Don't go onto the AdultFriendFinder dating app if you're interested in a committed relationship. But, if you're looking for a hookup or one-night-stand, it's the ideal site to start searching.Pros:
- Judgment free zone where anything goes
- Good for a hookup
- Not a dedicated cougar website
- Some scammers on the platform
Bumble is all about empowering women and putting them in charge to make the first move on who they want to connect with. This woman-first outlook applies to cougars just as much as young women.
You'll have a 24-hour time limit to send your matches a message. After that timeframe, the connection will disappear from your profile. You have the option to connect your account with Facebook or your phone number when registering. Overall, this is a great way for cubs to meet older women and vice versa.Pros:
- Mobile app dating platform for on-the-go matches
- User-friendly interface
- Puts women in charge
- Other app features, including BFF and Bizz
- No search feature
- Not a dedicated cougar dating app
AshleyMadison is one of the best cougar dating sites. While the platform is mainly for people looking to have discreet extramarital relationships, it can also be a great spot for women looking for younger guys.
As a major bonus, premium accounts are free for women and pretty affordable for men. Women can also send chats and access other premium messages all for free. It's important to keep in mind that members who sign up for Ashley Madison are likely looking for casual dates and likely a hookup.Pros:
- Good for flirting and casual dating
- Easy to use mobile app
- Messages disappear to ensure secrecy
- Several security protections to keep your identity safe
- Not a place for long-term dating
Plenty of Fish is a dedicated dating website for singles looking to find love - at any age. There are multiple free features available, even messaging and an "Online Personality Assessment", which can help make compatible matches. There are over 90 million registered members worldwide, offering a large platform to find your perfect match, whether that's cougars, cubs, younger women, etc.Pros:
- Automatic sign out for inactive users
- Free-to-download mobile app
- Tons of free features
- Some catfishing
- Thorough personality quiz for quality matches
- All profiles are verified
- Limited features without a paid membership
Match is a dating site for singles, including older women and young men, who are on a quest for love, a committed relationship, and likely marriage. This company has been highly successful in matching people for the last 20 years. The site has over 8 million users worldwide, filled with all different kinds of singles. Match also includes features that will help you make new friends, meet new people, and ultimately find love.
- Free to download the month to month success stories and positive reviews
- Quality security features to keep user information protected
- You need a paid plan to send messages
While certain sites, like Match and eHarmony, are focused on finding love and forming long-term relationships, platforms like Mild-Dating are just the opposite. This site is designed for casual meetings and connections. It's great for older women looking for some fun without the commitment.Pros:
- Good for casual cougar dating
- All photos are verified
- Bad user interface
Cougared is another one of those dating sites curated specifically toward cougars and cubs. While the site aesthetics aren't as sharp as some other dating apps, Cougared is entirely free to use. There are no hidden fees, even if you want to message another member or use the online forum to discuss an interesting topic. This free cougar dating site is a great place to connect with the community and meet other like-minded people.Pros:
- Completely free cougar dating platform
- Outdated website
Reasons to Date Younger Men
Maturity doesn't always correspond with age
Oftentimes, experience and a lack of maturity discourages older women from dating younger men. An age difference of a couple of years can indeed feel like you're a world apart from your partner. While that's a valid point, a person's maturity and age are not necessarily related. Someone older doesn't guarantee emotional maturity in a relationship. Just because a younger man maybe hasn't hit all the concrete markers of adulthood - a successful career, financial independence, etc. - doesn't mean that individual is any less mature. Chances are - five years into your relationship, no one will even notice the age difference anymore.
Younger men can be great in a serious relationship
There's a myth that dating younger men equates to a casual relationship full of emotional commitment issues. Many people believe younger guys are in a much different place developmentally and not ready for all the responsibilities that come with committed, serious relationships. But, that's simply not true. You can't generalize someone's dating values and intentions solely based on age. A lot of younger men are more than open and interested in pursuing serious relationships, as long as it's with the right person.
You could have a lot in common
Depending on your interests, hobbies, and passions, you could wind up having more in common with a younger man than you may expect. The younger dating pool is packed full of a diverse bunch, with varying desires for life. Not giving someone a shot because they're not the same age as you is nuts.
Younger men aren't young forever
The fact of the matter is - older men were once young and younger men will eventually be older. Youth is not an everlasting state. An individual will age from year to year, month-to-month, and minute-to-minute, but that person's personality will remain pretty consistent through these years. If someone is slightly lacking in the maturity department, that could change pretty quickly. But if you like their personality, values, and outlooks, that's likely to last forever.
The Relationship Roles of Cougars Versus Cubs
Whether you're the cougar or cub in the relationship, determining your role and your partner's role is key. For the most part, the dynamics of your relationship are entirely up to you and your significant other. But there are some things you can expect and plan for with the age gap.
Young men are often in peak physical shape and ready to deliver on their cougar's wants and needs. Men who love dating mature women are usually frustrated with the typical drama and games involved with dating younger women. They may want something more steady than what's available in the current dating pool. With cougars, there's no guesswork. They are independent, established in life, and know what they want - unlike a 20-something or 30-something younger woman.
On the other hand, cougars themselves are low maintenance and simply want to have a good time with their cub. They're not seeking constant, draining attention, but rather they're looking for some quality time, affection, and true companionship. Many mature women may have gone through a divorce, or maybe a spouse has passed away, and they want the opportunity to care for someone else. Or, she might just want to avoid marriage and children altogether. Regardless, cubs won't get caught in the middle of drama when in a relationship like this. Everything is relatively straightforward.
Overall, every relationship is different, and determining the dynamics is up to the people involved. But the cougar life provides the perfect connection between two people that want to have fun, be cared for, and experience the joys of life with another person.
Cougar dating can turn out to be a great thing. Whether you're interested in a simple date night or a long-lasting match, you'll have plenty of options when using a cougar dating site. The popular cougar dating websites listed above are all great options to start browsing and ultimately meet the perfect cougar or cub. Have fun!