What defines a “cougar“? This discussion came up at work. We (a mixed-gender group of varying ages) came up with something of a formula that defines the cougar parameters.
One person suggested if a woman is 10 years or more older than the guy, she is a per se cougar. (pedophiles excluded)
Another proposed that as both parties get older, the age difference can be somewhat greater without it being cougar-y anymore. So, if the lady is 65 and dating a guy who’s 54, it’s not real cougar-y. Basically, you can “age out” of cougar-ism.
Someone else said that the bigger the age difference, the higher the cougar factor goes up. So there might be some leeway for a 38 and 28 year old couple, but 42 and 28 was definitely cougar country. The old “I know it when I see it” standard.
Finally, there was a general agreement that a cougar must be 35 years or older. Basically, you can’t be a cougar if you’re not yet 35, even if the guy is 10 years younger.
Okay, so maybe this discussion didn’t just arise out of a normal conversation. Basically, I was told today that I am of cougar age. !!! I wasn’t as shocked by the implication that I was not even completely divorced and people thought that I was already stalking much younger men (which isn’t the case at all) as I was that I was now “old” and basically a per se cougar. : / I had a hard time processing this, so I took it to the office floor for general discussion and debate.
My conclusion was that, to be on the safe side, I should just always date someone slightly older or slightly younger than me. Or declare myself a spinster. I’ve already got two cats, just gotta add a few dozen more. I guess I could become a nun, but I’m not so great at singing or wearing long dresses or anything else nun-ish. Guess I’m just going to have to live with being feline (a cougar) or with multiple felines (crazy cat lady).