Move over cougars – nougars are in town!

Move over cougars – nougars are in town!



22:35 GMT, 16 September 2012

The Cougar has a competitor: the Nougar. Typically in her early to mid-30s — so about ten years younger than your average cougar — the nougar (which stands for new cougar, also known as cougarettes or pumas), refuses to grow up, take dating too seriously and thinks that because she’s still living like a 20-something she might as well go out with one, too.

While cougars such as Demi Moore and Courteney Cox hang up their Jimmy Choos and lick their wounds as their relationships with younger men founder, nougars are going on the hunt.

The poster girl for nougars is 32-year-old presenter Caroline Flack, who controversially dated One Direction’s Harry Styles, 18, last year.

Nougar no more: Daily Mail writer Kathryn Knight, 40, with her lover-turned-husband Duncan

Nougar no more: Daily Mail writer Kathryn Knight, 40, with her lover-turned-husband Duncan

I was a nougar once, too, when, aged 33, I dated the 23-year-old Duncan (reader, I’ve since married him).

He made the first move, as I wouldn’t have dreamed of approaching him: ironically, one of the reasons the relationship worked is that I had zero expectations given the age gap.

Fast forward a few years (we’re now, respectively, 40 and 30 and have been married for five years) and a new generation of women in their 30s seem far more confident about approaching younger men.

‘I’ve got nothing to prove,’ says
Jen, a 34-year-old film publicist who has been dating Tim, a man 11
years her junior for the past three months. ‘My relationship happened
pretty naturally: we got talking in a bar and just hit it off.

attitude was, and is, “why not” Tim’s quite mature while I still have a
wild side, so we even out. Who knows if it will last, but right now I’m
having too much fun.’

Caroline Flack

Harry Styles of One Direction

Nougar poster girl: Presenter Caroline Flack, 32, left, dated One Direction's Harry Styles, 18, right, last year

So will these new-generation cougars have more success with their cubs than their older counterparts Relationship expert Julia Coles thinks it’s all down to the way women view their younger partners.

‘It’s about not taking it seriously,’ she says. ‘It’s important to recognise the relationship primarily as a great ego boost.’

Most nougars aren’t looking to settle down, although that doesn’t prevent a happy-ever-after — just look at what happened to me. Kathryn Knight