When you are asked what a cougar is, don't think you have the correct answer if you start describing an animal. The definition of cougar is much more these days and may surprise you.
Historically, cougars are mammals that are also known as mountain lions or pumas. They are secretive and stalk their prey at close range, often using the element of surprise.
OK, that's one definition-so what's the other definition of cougar?
A preying mammal
The modern standard for cougar, not to mention its slang definition, is an older woman usually over age 40 dating a much younger man. Think Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher or the classic 1960's movie, The Graduate.
Back when a young Dustin Hoffman and older Anne Bancroft starred in that Academy Award-nominated movie, it was pretty much a no-no for older women to date younger men-hence, the movie's popularity. Never mind that older men dated and even married much younger women. That's a sugar daddy, not a preying mammal.
Not to be feared
Yes, a cougar is female. However, it should be noted that rather than being compared to a scary, man-hunting female, today's cougar can be described as attractive, intelligent, financially independent and highly confident. She's been around the block a few times, and she knows what she wants and when.
What's she looking for?
The short answer is she wants a younger guy to date or have a relationship with. Why? Because to a cougar, the fact the guy could be young enough to be her son is meaningless and attractive to her. In fact, to a cougar, her own age is meaningless and attractive to her.
A cougar's makeup
A successful cougar is fit, attractive and healthy and likely looks younger than she really is. She's not afraid; that's why she goes after younger men. A cougar's confidence doesn't waver.
Why are cougars attractive?
In addition to their physical attractiveness, cougars are attractive to younger men precisely for the reasons they are called cougars. Men appreciate their confidence and independence. Her experience is also a plus in both relationships and in life. She's been there, done that. A cougar can likely teach her young male prey a lot that he can appreciate. And she knows what he wants, whereas younger women may not.
It's risky and a leap of faith for a woman to become a cougar. After all, with the competition out there from their younger counterparts, there is a risk the cougar will be ignored. That risk is minimized, however, by the fact that a cougar knows what she is getting into. She is proud of who she is and what she wants.
For women who want to be cougars: Take control of your life, show your confidence and the rest will follow. For men considering a relationship with a cougar: Go for it.