I know what you’re thinking: I must be a Spinster, Mrs. Robinson-wannabe who spends her evenings scouring the campus bars of my hometown in search of that football quarterback/GQ model who grew up equating Bush with September 11th instead of Bush with “read my lips” as my post-Reagan generation had.
I also even know what pop psychologists are probably thinking: I’m some weeping willow who refuses to grow up, to accept her new life as an adult and who suffers from the female version of the Peter Pan Complex that now makes searching for the Lost Boys seem all too Freudian and NC-17ish.
But when I look in the mirror, that’s not who I see. I’ve developed this unhealthy habit of falling for the wrong guy. It all started with Crush Boy, the son of a family friend, a guy I saw yesterday for the first time in awhile (more on that later…). I proceeded to fall in a downward spiral from there. The introspective writer. The hardcore Marine. The nude model (even I’ll admit that wasn’t my finest hour, but I was 16 and he was the 25-year-old lifeguard at the local pool; I’ll chalk it up to hormones). The firefighter (or was he an EMT?). The hospital doctor in his third year of residency who called me “brave” for my sheer tolerance of needles.
Most of these men were all older, of course, or at least around my age. They’d had the sort of world-class charm I thought people went great lengths to find: in Paris, beneath the Eiffel Tower or in some other French bistro, or maybe even in some aimless boat floating through Italy, stopping only to walk down some cobblestone street to pick a flower for your love.
Researchers can even diagnose me as perfectly normal. Human, even. An AARP study found that 34 percent of women 40+ are dating down in the age department (3,500 Americans were polled, both men and women). So what are they looking for? You guessed it: They want someone to hang out with and have fun.
What do you think, friends? Does this ring true for you? At what age do you think women become cougars? Do you think society views older cougars differently from younger cougars? Why? Let’s chat! xoxo
[Photos via We Heart It]