A Puma is a woman in her 30’s seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man. Before my sister was married she called these boys puppies, happy-go-lucky, piling on top of each other, trying to slobber on her face. A woman who paid bills and kept the toilet clean easily impressed a puppy.
I’ve noticed that more young guys are hitting on me lately. Plausible explanations include the fact that I’m older than many of my friends so there are more young guys around. Also, I look younger than I am. Still, my age is correctly displayed on dating apps. I attempt to deter these young suitors by pointing out our age gap but for the most part, they don’t care. I’m pumaized?
I feel a lot more put together, confident, and attractive than I did in my 20’s. I’m sexy and I know it. I’m certainly more than a bill payer with a clean toilet. I don’t mind the attention. Younger boys that I’ve gone on dates with have fewer relationship suitcases in their closets. Many seem to want sex as much as I do.
But, I prefer to date men with their own money and sparkling clean bathrooms rather than boys. I’m uncomfortable teaching a partner the ways of the world. It’s uncomfortable when someone looks up to you just because you have lived longer (you understand this, they may not). Boys, you’re cute, so cute but I’m not you’re puma. I’m not ruling out becoming a cougar in the future, however.
My therapist K is fucking great. With her help, I’m becoming a better dater. This week she told me to focus on figuring out what I’m looking for in a partner and only date men who fit the bill. That’s not exactly groundbreaking advice but this next part is. She told me to write about how I would feel when I’m with my ideal guy instead of creating a laundry list of qualities and characteristics. Woah.
The mistake I make again and again is that I feel attracted to people whom I deem “special.” I meet someone who’s handsome, released an acclaimed album, and has a great job at Google and I’m besotted. This next part is even worse; I proceed to put him on a pedestal. I’m down here waving like an idiot and he’s way up there. People hate pedestals. People on pedestals have to fall.
What I’m really looking for now, after my past missteps is someone with whom I can build a life, someone who is my equal. I want to build up that pedestal with someone and then stand on it together. Unfortunately, being in my later 30s means that these guys are harder to find. Most of them know it too.
So, how would becoming Mr. and Mrs. Pedestal feel? I would feel like he likes me as much as I like him. He’d make me feel kickass and inspire me to be even more kickass. I’d feel secure knowing we’re a team. I wouldn’t feel batshit if I did something thoughtful for him. I know the, “she’s batshit because she just gave me homemade jam” look all too well. I wouldn’t have to worry about when to text, or if to text, or the text of my text, or the subtext of my text.
I would feel he’s interested in what I have to say even if it’s about boring codes on boring government paperwork. I would feel special knowing that he trusted me and felt like he could be himself with me. I would feel like him paying for things was not somehow synonymous with masculinity or chivalry. We’d both pay for stuff as we could because it was for us. Finally, I’d feel sexy because he’d want to do sexy time as much as me.