I have never been the girl to go after or date guys younger than me. I don’t know what it is, but younger has never been my thing, and older guys tend to hit on me so I’ve come to terms with it. But even though I usually don’t attract to younger, there is something to be said about the cougar mentality that, god forbid, if I stay single late into life I hope to possess. Something about reliving your youth and those wild and free days is definitely appealing. I’m only 27, but I actually got to experience a similar sensation last summer when I had month-long fling with a 20-year-old. And now I completely get why cougars do what they do.
Last year, I spent five months living and working on Mackinac Island in Michigan. When I started the seasonal position, it was very quickly made apparent that I was on the older end of my coworkers. They tended to be college kids using it as a summer job, not an adult escaping the confines of the traditional corporate grind. For the first two months, I was admittedly in a man drought. Pickings were slim on the 8-mile wide island, and I felt too old to think any of my coworkers were bangable. Sure, a couple were cute. But between the slang, the way they dressed, and the constant vaping, I was too much of an adult to stoop to their level. One even told me I was too old to sleep with, but it would help if I were actually older so they could check off a ten-year difference on their To-Do list. Not exactly what you want to hear, but, respect.
And then things changed.
It was a mutual day off with the 20-year-old cousin of my friend’s ex-boyfriend, and after a hungover lunch, we opted to hang out in his room and take naps since he had AC. We chatted a lot about dating and jobs and life in general, and somehow ended up making out. Things progressed, and much to the dismay of my friends who were informed of the incident later, I had middle of the afternoon sober sex with a guy seven years younger than myself. (One friend actually responded with “Nooooo!! Por que????” when she found out.) This fling continued until he left the island a little over a month later.
There were definitely some cons to the situation. Although he was packing heat in the equipment department, bro was always far too fast to the finish. Alcohol actually helped his endurance, so drunk was better than sober. (I say as he was underage and I had to buy him that alcohol.) But I get it; he’s young and just needs to get some more experience under his belt.
The biggest issue was that his previous hookup was an 18-year-old coworker who caught the feels and would get drunk and ask me for advice about what to do. Maybe don’t open the door to my room and see that he’s in my bed and avoiding you? Did I feel kinda bad about the whole thing? Yes, I’m not a completely terrible person. But welcome to the real world. Guys are dicks, and he told you he didn’t want to date you. We kept it secret for a surprisingly long time, and when she finally found out there shockingly wasn’t any issue.
Things got relationship-y quickly. He was spending the night more often than not, and there were more cuddling/make out times than sex. He took me out to dinners and never complained about paying the check even when my bill was double his due to the fact I could actually order alcohol. He bought me books because he “likes a girl who reads,” and we would end up being that couple who read next to each other before bed. When we were having formal nights at the Grand Hotel, he asked what I was going to wear so that our outfits could coordinate, and joked that he wanted to get me a corsage. On one such evening, he pulled me away from the group to wander the art gallery and held my hand as we snuck into the theater. And although I was a bit drunk from the flask I had brought along, I couldn’t stop smiling like a giant idiot.
He got sick a week before his intended departure date and left early. He asked me to walk him to the ferry, kissed me goodbye, and made me promise to visit. I later found out he had mono and strep throat, both of which he blamed me for. Doesn’t everyone want to be a 27-year-old who gave her 20-year-old boy-toy mono?
We knew it was never going to go any further than the island, especially once we returned to the real world. He was going back for his senior year of college at Michigan State, and I was heading back to Iowa to potentially be an adult again. And that’s kinda what made it so great. We didn’t try to label it or force it, and it just was what it was: a summer fling that made me respect the hell out of cougars.
I’m not saying everyone should go out and hit on kids roaming the campus down the street, but there are definitely some diamonds in the rough and it may be exactly what you need. Because you know what they say, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. .