I Say Cougar Like it’s a Bad Thing

EBE and I had a talk on Friday about the fact that I need to start dating again.

Damn, damn, triple damn.

It’s just that I’m so content right now, and I’m really not looking to screw that up. But, apparently, I’m “not getting any younger,” and I really need to be out “flying [my] freak flag.”

Carrie and I were reviewing my options for additions to the dating rotation.

I can call up New Guy from New Year’s, apologize for my appalling behavior, and try to make nice.

In the plus column for calling New Guy are 1) he really liked me; 2) he was funny; 3) he lives across from the beach – Rock Star Parking!; 4) no clingy ex-girlfriend as far as I could tell; 5) after I blew him off, he went away without putting either of us through that uncomfortable just-checking-to-see-if-maybe-you-really-did-lose-my-phone-number call, which shows he’s got pride.

In the minus column, we have 1) he talked about his work – a lot – which made my eyes roll back in my head – a lot; 2) I blew him off, which means I’d be coming from a place of weakness if I call him; 3) he showed some signs of possessiveness early in the game; 4) he was looking for something serious, and I’m so not; and 5) after I blew him off, he went away without putting either of us through that uncomfortable you-totally-suck-how-could-you-pass-this-up phone call, which means he’s probably really done, really pissed off, or completely disinterested.

Yeah, I’m thinking that’s not my best option.


So that leaves us with the last few guys who’ve shown interest. There are four and three of them are younger than me by about ten years. Ack!

The guy in my age group has some close ties with the people I work with, and I’d like to avoid what will inevitably be an awkward situation down the road. I’ve been putting him off since December, and I’m already sensing some frustration when we do talk. So I’m thinking he’s close to done before anything’s even begun, which leaves the three younger men.

Okay, I’m usually not attracted to younger men. I did date a younger guy when I was leaving my twenties. He was a super guy. He asked me out for almost a year before I finally agreed to go out with him as a friend. We ended up dating for about six months before it ended. We were friends afterward, so I count that as a successful relationship that just ran it’s course.

The three who’ve been sniffing around lately,.. I really don’t know them well, but I have to say that all three show a lot of maturity. They’re all educated, successful guys who can tap out a giggle-worthy text in under a minute. They’re uncomplicated. They’re all funny, good-looking, athletic – running, swimming, and volleyball respectively – and tall. From what I can tell, there’s not a loser among them. It’s like I hit the jackpot of younger men.

But here’s what’s holding me back: The Cougar Brand. I don’t judge other women for doing it. I just so don’t want to be that woman. No matter what the situation, older women who date much younger men are perceived as weird. Admit it. When presented with one of these couples the term “mommy complex” has floated through your mind, too. And it’s such a double standard. And I totally should not care. But I do.

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