Stop Calling Me A Cougar! Why Dating A Younger Guy Is No Big Deal

dating younger

Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart seem happy! | Source: Judy Eddy/

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of questions from you guys about dating a younger person. A lot of you are wondering if it’s weird/creepy/not okay to date a dude who’s younger than you. I can totally understand your concerns. But as a girl with a younger boyfriend, I’m here to tell you guys a little secret: it’s seriously no big deal.

I’ve been dating a guy who’s three years younger than me for a little over two years now. I’ve dealt with constant criticism, shocked reactions, confusion as to why I would go younger and questions about what it’s like. Honestly, I’m so sick of people making a big deal about the fact that my boyfriend is younger than me. His age doesn’t matter to me, it doesn’t matter to him and it has never affected our relationship… so why do people care so much?

When I first started dating my boyfriend, my friends were all super excited for me. Everyone asked me the usual questions: what does he look like? Where does he work? Where’s he from? How old is he? The second I said his age, the majority of them raised their eyebrows. “He’s younger than you?” they would ask, confused expressions taking over their faces. “That stinks.”

My reaction to that? I’m a pretty non-confrontational person, so I usually shrug and say, “It’s really not a big deal.” What I really want to do is say, “You’re extremely rude” and walk away, but… that’s not the point. The point is, why do people think it sucks to have a younger boyfriend? I know that typically, girls mature faster than guys, and so a lot of people think younger guys are more likely to be immature and to act like a bad boyfriend. But that’s not the case, at least not for me.

The first time I went on a date with my boyfriend, I’ll admit that I was a tiny bit worried about his age – but my worry was more about what my friends would think than anything else. I knew they were going to tease me about how old he was, but for me, age had always been nothing more than a number, so I decided that I didn’t care. I had several best friends who were a few years younger than me and I got along with them better than I did with some people my own age. How could this be different?

Turns out, it wasn’t. Our first date was amazing and our second, third and fourth dates were even better. Over the last two years, I’ve barely given our age difference a second thought – in fact, I usually forget that he’s younger than me. Sure, he has his immature moments… but so do I! And, sure, he was in sixth grade when I was a freshmen in high school and that sounds creepy. But the more important thing is that we get along really well and he’s my best friend. So, really, his age doesn’t matter. 

So, to all of the people who continue to make fun of me for “being a cougar” and going younger: you sound lame. No, seriously, you do. If you’re going to let an age difference of a few years stop you from getting to know someone legitimately cool, that’s something you need to work on. It’s the same as judging someone for their looks or for where they work – it’s unfair. Let’s all agree to stop making age a huge issue and to focus more on someone’s personality than their birthday date. Sound good? Good.

Have you ever dated someone younger than you? Would you? Do you think age difference is a big deal in a relationship? Tell me in the comments.


Confession: I dated an older guy

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Posted in: Relationships
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  1. avatarjane says:

    You are definitely right. We are actually on the same position. Age doesn’t matter as long as you truly love each other. In fact , the age gap that we have is not the cause of any misunderstandings that we had but it’s also the same with any other relationships. I don’t really care what other people may say, because no matter what path you choose in life, people always has the “say”.
    Relationship is more on acceptance and respect for each other.
    Open your mind people.

  2. avatarLilly says:

    Although we get along perfectly I wanted to add something else . When we talk about the future it seems like he doesn’t wanna get married till 30. Which means I’ll be 32 . It’s something to think about maybe his just saying that now . An another worry I have is that he might realize his young and wants to experience different things when I have been there and done that . By the way I am 23 his 21 , so I guess the only down sound of saying someone younger is if you’re on the same page or not .

  3. avatarLilly says:

    Hey there I am so glad I came across this article . My boyfriend and I also have a 2 year difference , and I literally get shit from everyone . How I probably take the relationship more serious than he does . In my mind I know that’s not the case but sometimes I can’t help but to over think . Then I pinch myself and realize that it’s my relationship and no one really knows my relationship better than I do . So your article only reassured me that I am not alone , p.s I also get called a cougar but I laugh about it now . Anyways wish you the best with your relationship and thank you for posting this much appreciate xoxo

  4. avatarMychell says:

    Well I’m a Junior in high school, is it wrong for me to date a Freshman?

  5. avatarMychell says:

    So I’m a Junior in high school.

  6. avatarIce says:

    Hi my boyfriend is 4 years younger than me.. Im 25 and he’s 21..
    I dont have problem with his maturity but the problem is
    I am ahead of him.. I have a stable job while he is still unemployed..
    Well it doesnt really matter to me because I know he will
    not be unemployed forever right? But some of my friends
    And i know that my family will think I am stupid..
    Of course what they want for me is a successful man..
    That’s why i decided to keep our relationship in secret.
    Its not that i am ashamed of him.. I just know that
    My friends and my family will criticize him..
    And i dont want him to get hurt and feel small..
    What should i do? Should we be together?

  7. avatartaylor says:

    I with a younger man hes cute but am allways waiting because i no he will cheat

  8. avatarAlessia says:

    My boyfriend is 3 years younger and he’a more matured than most guy my age.

  9. avatarJane says:

    I think the age does matter more if you’re younger. I mean if you’re 70 and your boyfriend is 67, that’s barely anything. But if you’re 14 and your boyfriend is 11, that’s more of a big deal (because 11 year old boys are basically kids and they reach up to your elbow and they’re SO immature) . (I’m not saying no one should ever date guys who are younger than them. my boyfriend is younger than me and i’ve never had a problem with that)
    Oh, and it’s also REALLY annoying when people see your boyfriend and go “why are you with a guy who’s smaller than you?? I only date guys who are taller than me!”. Have these girls noticed the fact that they’ve NEVER had a boyfriend in their lives?

  10. avatarLetitia says:

    Wait, but stop, Sandy. You’re 45 and your boyfriend is 20 years younger than you??? WTF is going on? He’s 25, so think about when he’s your age, you’ll probably be dead, and he’ll have to go searching again but he’ll probably be too depressed because you’re 20 years older than him. Rather than having to go through the whole stages of dating crap AGAIN, you both should find people your age so that no one gets hurt in the end.

  11. avatarMara says:

    My boyfriend is two and a half years younger than me and we get along perfectly!
    Age isn’t the least bit of an issue. People do tease us from time to time but we generally just laugh it off and take it with a little humor.
    Clearly they just haven’t been in a position to understand that they’re being rude and a little irrational, whereas some others know better.

  12. avatarkathlyn says:

    I ´ve been dating someone 3 years younger and my friends are always making fun of us , age it´s noo big deal , I´m not doing something wrong …
    He´s super special , why they can´t see that if we´re happy nothing else matters ? But it still feel so uncomfortable to hang with them because I know that later they´re going to talk shit behind my back .

  13. avatarJoanne says:

    A lot of older women look great and some even look better than younger women. Many of these so called “cougars” are very attractive and confident women. I think that as long as you don’t let yourself go as you grow older and live a healthy lifestyle than you should look and feel young for as long as you can. Some men are attracted to beauty, confidence and women who are classy and sophisticated. Therefore, it makes sense that a younger man could be attracted to and love an older woman. It’s the same reasons that some younger women might be attracted to older, sophisticated and established men.

    As long as both partners are consenting adults (i.e. 21 and older), I don’t see any reasons to discriminate against others based on their age, gender, sexual preference, religion/beliefs, height/weight or ethnicity. Life is short and if you can find happiness and love without boundaries and without hurting others than that’s all that really matters.

    You might not like that an older woman is in a relationship with a younger man but what about a tall woman dating a short man? or a skinny woman with a fat man? What if all older men decided to date younger women because they believed that all women over 30 are past their prime? And finally, what if science could stop physical aging and humans remained looking like they were 25 years old even at the chronological age of 100? Finally, it should be noted that the 30+ and 40+ year old women of today look so much younger than the ones from previous decades.

  14. avatarTima says:

    Gosh I love your article! My boyfirend is also two years younger than me and so far the only people who cares the most are those around me; ok I wasn’t really comfortable with it first but man he’s awesome and we truly love each other and dare I say that I’ve been the moslty ne causing troubles in our relationship due to my fears..But once

  15. avatarlily says:

    No, it’s wrong. As an older woman dating a younger guy ie 28 vs 21 you are robbing the guy from experiencing what it’s like to be in his 20s. You’re making him go with what you want in life, moving in together, settling down. It’s extremely selfish just so you can have your kicks.

    • avatarsnowgirl says:

      While I do agree with the “experiencing what it’s like to be in his 20′s” I would beg to disagree the relationship would be wrong. why?

      1. The guy is a WILLING participant. He’s 21, he’s an adult. There are a lot of 21 year old daddies out there. Are you saying that his girlfriend (of same age most probably) is “robbing him from experiencing what’s it’s like to be in his 20′s” as well? Come on. People, regardless of any age, make decisions. 21 and up is an adult. I don’t think they need parents to tell them what to do.

      2. Women who get into this relationship DO THINK too. You think every woman who is in a relationship with a younger man just grabs and go? Of course not. There are some women who don’t look for love in the boy’s department. It just so happens that a young man wants her. That’s not something she should be apologetic for!

      3. Falling in love has its risks – REGARDLESS of any age. Would you say he’s actually going to be happy with a girl of his age? Or would you say an older woman would be happier with someone her age? That depends on the person! You cannot say who is right and who is not – most of all, you cannot say you can choose who you love.

      That is all.

      • avatarLiana says:

        You are right snowgirl. I just hope that these rules of engagement you have put forth apply when there is a relationship between a much younger girl and an older guy.
        Unfortunately it seems it is okay for an older woman to date a much younger guy but if an older guy were to date a much younger girl, even if she wanted it and enjoys the relationship, society does not look favourably on such relationships.
        We women are such hippocrites, enjoying the kind of relationship with younger guys but heavily criticising a similar relationship between and older guy and a young girl.
        This is so fuc**d up !!

    • avatarsandy says:

      That is just plain silly..I am 45 My boyfriend is 25..We love eachother and hate being apart.. We have a lot in common.. He is more man than most men ive met..I encourage him to get out there… He can even get a hall pass if he wishes.. Any relationship works as long as you have respect and communication…

  16. avatarangie says:

    So I’ve been doing my research too on this whole age difference thing & wow!! It’s very inspirational to me. But I still get that ugly feeling one day I’m gonna get ditched for a younger bombshell…it really hurts that I actually think of that because I’m scared to face that if it does happen. I’ve never been so soo happy in any of my relationships..I can be me & he let’s me speak freely & express my thoughts & feelings..he don’t judge me its wonderful. So he’s 27 yrs old we are going on 2yrs dating this July2013. We started out as friends only 3months, I finally let the guard go down since I knew he was a good friend of my brother’s. It was like by the 3rd time my bf asked to go out on a date I decided why not this should be interesting…then went out many times later. Now I’m wondering about things…I know its my own insecurities but I catch him looking at other chics! I know its normal to look because that’s just natural to do. I’m a ppl watcher too but when u buy a shirt of a hot young chic makes me think like damn!! I’m a hot 40 something never married, no kids, have an amazing personality, easy going, pretty I feel, smart, I work, responsible of my own things. I take care of business, I’m very energetic, I don’t feel old I look like I’m in my mid 30′s on a good day early 30′s so I’ve been told by others. And not to mention he has a beautiful 6 yr old daughter& was married 6yrs ago. I live with him & his family for now & he’s gonna go to school soon. Omg I need some inspiration here please. Thankyou for reading this story:-)

  17. avatarGabs says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but to me a Cougar means like a 20+ year age difference and the guy has to be like 23 or younger. I’ll admit age stuff get be kinda weird, my BFs best friend is dating a girl almost four years younger than him. My issue? She’s still in high school and he graduated college already. Once she graduates it’ll feel less weird (also my brother, and his little brother is the same age as her so it seems kinda off to me). And really now, 3 years is not that big of a deal. Your friends suck.

    • avatarJanelle says:

      So you feel uncomfortable? isnt that your problem and NOT the high school girls issue. See this is the kind of crappy judgement and opinion that people impose on others. So what if her boyfriend has finished college? It is their choice. Their duty is not to please you but to do what they feel is okay with them. Their lives dont have to revolve around whether you approve of it or not. You have a problem and you need to get over it. I am still in school and my boyfriend has completed his postgraduate studies. My relationship has been fantastic. Ive been with him 2 years now and weve managed to keep it quiet though this has been a challenge. I think there are too many people sticking their beaks into other peoples businesses. I dont give a damn what others may think. I just dont want him to get into trouble.

  18. avatarEmily says:

    i think that if you DO have a really good relationship, then people will want to find AT LEAST one thing wrong with it, even if it’s something stupid, so they look for things to make a problem out of just so they can rest assured that you, in fact, are not a Disney movie. It makes them feel better about themselves or something. I’ve gotten a ton of “whaaat?!”s and “wow somebody’s into older men!” and my boyfriend’s only a year older than me. whatevs.

  19. avatarjess says:

    So.. I agree there is nothing wrong with an older woman dating a much younger guy. So if this is okay with women why is there such a big problem and difficulty in understanding that it SHOULD be okay for an older guy to go out with a much younger girl.
    The first thing is that age differences DO NOT MATTER. Relationships are about the meeting and acceptance of two minds, hearts, souls and spirits. If there is an age difference, SO BE IT.
    Why is there such a big fuss. What is all the drama about. Why is there such a social stigma attached to such relationships. Why is society so paranoid. Love happens and happens in the strangest of ways.
    So when I have a much older boyfriend, I want society to accept me for that and NOT penalise the guy for going with someone who is much younger. To me its a choice made by the ones in the relationship and has nothing to do with what others think or if they approve or not.
    There are bigger issues to get busy and worried about. When two people are in love, just give love a chance. Leave them alone for god’s sake.
    We have become such a paranoid society and so goddamn politically correct, even our love lives are being governed by society and law makers. Shameful!!

  20. avatarTalia says:

    The only two guys I have ever been involved with have BOTH been younger than I am … It felt strange at first, considering the taboo that younger guys are so ‘immature’, but it really just depends on the person! I know guys my own age and older who have been much less respectable than the two younger guys I went for. And honestly, in the midst of flirting and conversation and generally LIKING someone, age is one of the last things that crosses my mind.

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