whether or not Your lips move

You speak to me

cougars January 6, 2010


I had a really interesting discussion at dinner tonight. A friend shared a story about her teenage son who just graduated from high school. Apparently a woman at their church (who has three kids of her own), fully aware of his age, gave him her phone number and told him to call her sometime. And this happened AT church. She even wrote her number on a prayer request card.

Obviously there are so many things going on with this situation that it’s impossible to discuss them all. But in recent years I’ve really been fascinated by this “cougar” trend. It’s been explored in movies, reality shows, and sitcoms. Normally a woman is considered a “cougar” if she is 40 or over and seeking out men at least 8 years younger than she is. “Pumas” are women in their 30s–“cougars in training.”

I like to try to understand people and put myself into their shoes. I know I could easily be just as susceptible to doing something “crazy,” too. I wonder if these women are fulfilling a part of their lives from the past. Maybe they didn’t feel attractive to guys when they were in middle school or high school, and so they are “reliving” that desire with much younger boys. Or maybe they never quite grew out of the way they related with boys at that age. Maybe older women are going for much younger boys these days because of the lack of father roles in their lives. For a long time everybody would say girls look to marry guys that remind them of their dads. I think a lot of women got tired of hearing this because they wanted to be with someone who was anything BUT like their dads. So some end up looking for WAY younger guys so they can “train” them to be what they want them to be, instead of dealing with unresolved emotional issues.

And, our culture seems to think it’s hot for a young guy to be with an older woman. Just look at all the movies that have this theme in them (American Pie series, etc.) and popular songs (“Stacy’s Mom”).

But I don’t think it’s just “older” women who are “cougars” these days. I’m often shocked at the way even young girls are with boys. The girls do all the pursuing. They seem to look for guys who need rescuing. In our society’s efforts to empower women, I really feel like we’ve gone quite a bit too far in this area. I’m looking around and seeing a lot of unhappy girls and women–single and married–who have taken pursuit into their own hands.

Call me old fashioned, but I really believe ladies should back off and give guys a chance to be the ones to pursue. Yeah, that means they have to man up and take initiative and not sit on their rears expecting the world to come to them on a silver platter. But honestly, deep down this is what they want. They want to have to man up. They want to have what it takes to make a woman truly happy (this will take up a whole other blog post). They want to have to fight a little for it. But many of them have no earthly clue.

What say ye, ladies? What can we do to change things around? Or do you think things are okay the way they are? What’s your story and experience?

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4 Responses to “cougars”

  1. Lee Bailey Says:

    Well…call me harsh, but I don’t recall Jesus ever asking the woman at the well or the woman caught in adultery whether their fathers had abandoned them, or what their “childhood issues” were. No, He simply called their behavior what it was, although I’ll grant you He did respond to them in unqualified love, just as we can and ought to do with sinners today. However, He also told them to go and stop their sinful behavior. We’ve gotten so caught up in psychobabble these days that it has allowed us to rationalize and make excuses for SIN! Until we call sin what it is and stop softening it in ANY way, we cannot FLEE from it! I’m not about to put myself into any “cougar’s” shoes and try in any way to imagine or visualize any possible situation that might in the least open temptation. Unfortunately, I speak from sad experience in a long ago life…just don’t go there!!!

  2. Ash Says:

    Wow, Lee, definitely sounds like there’s a story there. Thanks for sharing a bit of your perspective.

  3. Anne Atkins Says:

    Okay, this is a topic that I can address due to the fact I am a Sinner Saved by Grace who pounced with the paws of what is defined here as a “puma”. At the age of 37 I dated and became engaged to a fella aged 23. Ashley, you will remember this well — you did not like him at all. In retrospect, I believe that my emotional age was more in the mid-20’s than my true physical age at the time. This was corroborated by a psychotherapist (who by the way, served God’s purposes in keeping me from committing suicide on several occasions), at the time of your dad’s and my divorce. This expert informed me that due to cumulative emotional, sexual and mental trauma, my emotional development had abruptly halted at about age 16. So, years later after 2 failed marriages and a complete nervous breakdown, I firmly believe that my emotional immaturity was the major contributing factor in being attracted to a younger Christian man in the first place–who was a certain and willing participant in this particular entanglement. If getting run over by a truck wasn’t enough for God to get my attention, it took allowing the church to be burned down that the young fella & I had met and were planning to get married at– to get the message across — WRONG MAN, WRONG TIME. Interestingly, there was a 14 year age span between him & I. 14 years later I finally did marry at that same rebuilt church — the RIGHT MAN, RIGHT TIME. God always, always provides — even for those of us who have screwed up in countless failed [sinful] relationships. But, with Him, nothing goes to waste! I can relate to the woman at the well only all to well. I have been forgiven much and deserving of the fiery rages of hell–not necessarily because I’m divorced or was a “puma”, but because I am what I am — a SINNER. But God is so long-suffering, forgiving, and so full of Mercy and GRACE that He blessed me by providing the gift of a godly marriage to the man I firmly believe God intended for me all along. I just wish I’d paid closer attention to Him when his Spirit nudged me approximately 30 years earlier when we should have met, at the Christian Center, where we both attended and my face was engraved upon his mind. But, it is what it is. My children call someone else “dad”. I can question and grieve this fact, BUT in no way does it negate their existence. The fact is, “children are an inheritance of the Lord”, via natural means, adoption, or petri dish. I LOVE YOU ASHLEY, MY FIRSTBORN!


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