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She never analyzed her attraction to younger men (or their attraction to her), but with “cougar” an increasingly popular term used to describe older women dating much younger men, her longtime preference is suddenly in the spotlight.For Wheeler and other women like her, younger men — many of them 15 years or more their juniors — are a natural fit.
The same poll, which surveyed 3,500 single people (both women and men) aged 40 to 69 years old, found that 56 percent are currently separated or divorced from a spouse, 31 percent have never been married, and seven in 10 (74 percent) of formerly married singles in their 50s have been single for five years or more.
*Editor’s note: Names of some of the interviewees have been changed for privacy.
Annette Wheeler* didn’t recall the exact moment she first heard the term “cougar,” but she did remember dashing to her computer to look it up.
The study stated that the divorce rate now, compared to when cougars were married some 25 years ago, has contributed to the amount of single, 50 women, said to be “on the prowl” in today’s dating pool.
More Fun, Less 'Baggage' For Wheeler, younger men have been a natural fit for an energetic lifestyle that her male peers have never quite matched.