According to the online dating site PlentyOfFish, a cougar is a woman between the ages of 40 and 60 who dates a man about 10 years younger. After analyzing their messaging data, the researchers found that Texas claims five of the top 10 cities with a high rate of cougars among the fish. Dallas and Fort Worth rank No. 7 and 8 respectively.
Steve Oldridge, research lead at PlentyOfFish, says that little thing called life expectancy — women live longer than men — might explain why some women end up dating younger.
"Once you hit that 50-year-old mark, there's fewer and fewer men for the women in Dallas to date. I think that's one of the key reasons [for the cougars]," he says.
OK, but that's everywhere. Why Dallas? Oldridge didn't have a good theory for why DFW, or the South in general, dominates the top 10. "It was an interesting finding for sure," he says.
PlentyOfFish's research also confounded the stereotype of cougars as spendthrifts who love to drink. Most of the cougars they examined had a lower than average income and drank only socially.
Researchers looked at 500 single women* between the ages of 40 and 60, and found that 28 percent of the women answered, "It's purely physical and fun" when asked about the benefits of dating a younger man. Another 24 percent selected 'other,' and filled in things like "better health and appearance," "age is just a number, we connected" and "a younger man has more energy."
Anyway, congrats Dallas and Fort Worth. We suppose it's better to be known for something rather than nothing.
Top 10 cougar cities, according to Plenty of Fish:
- San Antonio, Texas
- Houston, Texas
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Dallas, Texas
- Fort Worth, Texas
- Los Angeles, California
- El Paso, Texas