A debut author turns the cougar stereotype on its head.
Older women who pursue relationships with younger men are usually known as cougars, but Lynne doesn’t favor the term. A cougar, she says, is “a hunter, a ravenous predator of young, twenty to thirty something, gorgeous men.” These women exist, but there’s also another category that she dubs M.A.R.E.S., or “mature, attractive, respectable, experienced and even-tempered, single, professional, extraordinary ladies.” (Yes, it’s a mouthful.) These 40-plus women don’t stalk young prey but remain open to a relationship with a “developing man.” Lynne counts herself among this group, and her book explores the characteristics of a M.A.R.E., the attributes she seeks in a mate, and the ground rules for her behavior. Among the last is a strict prohibition against pursuing attached guys and a focus on always acting like a lady. The emphasis is never on sexual conquest but rather on being open to fulfilling relationships with men no matter their ages. What Lynne has written isn’t a simple dating guide. Rather than tips on how to meet members of the opposite sex, the volume offers the author’s thoughts on how women can become comfortable and confident in their own skins. She argues that assured and appealing women who transform themselves into M.A.R.E.S. will attract men almost without effort, especially guys looking for the experience and maturity older women possess. While Lynne extols the virtues of age gaps in relationships, her view of the male-female dynamic is otherwise traditional. Women should take care to remain feminine and to not be too controlling, she urges, since “men do not respond positively to demanding, attention-seeking women. A man desires a lady who makes them feel manly and proud. ” Many of Lynne’s insights are delivered in the form of anecdotes involving herself or her friends. Sometimes these tales ramble a bit, but they largely get their points across. Throughout, she persuasively makes the case that it’s time for society to rethink its raised-eyebrow reaction to these May-December relationships.
A fresh look at age differences between romantic partners.