I used to be worried about hitting 30, but actually it was reasonably painless and nothing much changed. I’m fairly sure that 30 is the new 21 or something. I don’t feel old, even though my young 16 year old colleagues think I’m positively ancient (and the other week worked out that I’m legally old enough to be their mother…). Now I’m in my mid-thirties, and my 40th birthday isn’t actually that far off. Now, this bothers me because my earliest memory is of my Dad’s 40th birthday party. And my Dad isn’t young.

Anyway. 40. It’s not that far off. I think that’s when in the dating community I start to get the “mature” label. Mind you, I already get that occasionally and I’m only in my mid-30s! There are plenty of men who are always looking to find mature cougar women. In fact, sometimes I think I might find more men to date when I hit my forties than I do now!

Adopting The Cougar Label

Will I adopt the “cougar” label when I’m older? Yes, I think so. I’ve always liked dating younger men and will quite happily meet 18 year olds with no real second thought. It’s not like I’m looking for a life partner, so I see no reason why I shouldn’t. I know that the word cougar as a label can sometimes have quite negative connotations, but as long as you’re adopting the label rather than being called it, then I think it’s fine.

In fact, I think it’s more than fine. When I go to clubs, and when I’m looking online, I’m definitely looking to take the lead. I wouldn’t say predatory because I think that word can have quite negative connotations when used in the world of dating and sex, but I’ve never been shy of telling someone what I want and how I want it. I’ve never really restricted my friendship group by age, and I doubt I will do so in the future. So finding websites, when I’m older, that will help me to start friendships and potentially have relationships with younger men will certainly be on my list of things to do! That’s assuming that the online dating scene doesn’t change too much in the next couple of years!

Like Mother Like Daughter

Of course, none of this will come as any surprise to the people who know me. Both my Mum and my Aunt have married younger men after getting divorced! In fact, my stepdad is younger than one of my partners which everyone seems to find quite strange! It was difficult at first since he was so close to my own age, but now it turns out that having my Mum’s husband near the same age as myself is pretty cool. I don’t know if she’s a cougar, but she’s definitely an older lady married to a considerably younger man! Is that enough to quality? Perhaps.

Fifteen years ago there used to be more of a stigma to both online dating and older women dating younger men, but I’m not sure that’s so much the case any longer. There’s more freedom in society to behave how you want and do the things that make you happy. This is excellent news of course and hopefully it’s just the beginning of the freedom that women, in particular, will have in the future. Nobody should be judged for who they want to date, or even just who they want to have sex with! Who you choose to meet and be intimate with is between the people involved and nobody else.

I do wonder, if my Mum was single now, if she’d look online for a free older singles dating site. When she got together with my Stepdad she didn’t need to look online because she met him at work, but I wonder what she would have done if that hadn’t worked out for her. Would she have done online dating? She’s not the best with technology, but I like to think that perhaps she would have worked it out and met someone new.

Technology Generation

As we get older though, we’re a generation that was born into technology. Computer scientists in their forties are not unusual. They were the first generation to have computers as they left secondary school and went to university! Everyone now is so much better with technology and navigating the world of the internet. It does give me hope that people who are older and who have perhaps divorced, lost a loved one, or just simply chosen to have an open relationship are now being able to access websites where they can find lots of likeminded people.