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Older woman, younger man: Benefits and pitfalls

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Are you a cougar?

Men want a woman who is grounded, confident and mature -- but they often can't find that in their own age bracket. On the flip side, women want a man who is ambitious, attentive and attractive. Given those variables, it's only logical that the older woman-younger man relationship can actually work. Here are some ways "cougars" and their "cubs" can make love last.

Demi & Ashton

Cougar pros and cons

With the popularity of cougar dating sites, the prominence of TV shows like Cougar Town, and high-profile couples like Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore (who manage a 15-year age gap), everyone is talking about the older woman-younger man relationship. Often "cougars" are portrayed as women over 35 who actively pursue younger men for sexual conquests. However, sometimes it's a bit more than that. In fact, many women have found very satisfying relationships with men who are several years their junior.

If you are single and find yourself attracted to men who are much younger, go for it! However before diving in, consider both the benefits and the pitfalls.

The benefits

1Less baggage

The younger a man is, the less "baggage" he carries. If you are dating a man in his 20s rather than his 40s, you probably won't have decades of past relationships and other issues to deal with. You won't have to worry about his ex-wife and children — it will be all about the two of you.

2Ambition

Men in their late 20s/early 30s generally aren't as jaded as those that are older. They are driven by desires rather than constrained by obligations. Being around a younger man may actually help you set and reach your personal goals, because his ambition and energy inspire you.

3Willing to learn

You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can teach a puppy everything he needs to know. In the bedroom and beyond, younger men are more eager and willing to learn -- and it's refreshing to have someone appreciate the value of your life experiences. Additionally, younger men are normally not threatened by a woman's accomplishments -- they actually admire them.

4Attraction

Let's admit it — younger men normally look better than older ones. And physical attraction is a big part of a relationship. Younger men are in shape. They have stamina in the bedroom. And they look fabulous on your arm at a party.

Up next: The pitfalls of being a cougar >>

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