Hello, i’m guest blogging for Slick Kook this week. This place needs some estrogen and I have a story for you.

When I was 46, I went out with a 24 year-old guy for a year. There, I said it. That wasn’t so hard.

Here’s how it started.

I was sitting at the gate of an airport waiting for my plane back home. I glanced over and noticed a young man, and thought to myself, “Wow, that’s a hot guy. Hopefully he sits next to me on the plane.” And guess what? He did! It felt like destiny. We got to talking, and, though I was nervous at first, I could tell straight off the bat that he was into me. He was pretty charismatic and there was an instant connection between us, but maybe that was the in-flight vodka.

We were into the same TV shows and shared the same sense of humor. The only catch was that he was 22 years younger than me, but it didn’t matter to us — at the time. He took my number, called a couple of days later, and before I knew it we were going out on our first date.

Here’s the thing — I would get paranoid when we went out to eat, paranoid that the other guests in the restaurants were talking about us,. Our friends, on the other hand, definitely were talking about us! A couple of my friends asked me what I thought I was doing. I told them I was going with the flow.

Anyway, my sex life certainly took a turn for the better, even if it did leave me somewhat exhausted. Men hit their sexual primes in their 20s, apparently. We communicated clearly and often in the bedroom, making sure we each knew what we wanted from the other. It led to some raunchy and memorable times. Not to brag, but you know.

Being with a younger man made me feel younger. I fed off of his youthful, vibrant energy, feeling as if he was somehow transferring his youth to me. Does that sound cheesy? It probably does.

We had our fair share of dinner dates, sure, but it was the other activities that he got me into that really made me feel young — activities that an older man would simply not have had the energy for. We would go to a concert one night, followed by a long hike the next day. We had movie marathons with tubs of ice cream, we’d play in the snow for hours, and drink hot cocoa afterwards. He would come up with extremely creative ideas for dates. He was romantic, whimsical, and deeply fulfilling. He brought a sense of adventure back into my life, making me feel empowered and free. With him by my side, I got to explore myself in exciting and energizing new ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I found it refreshing going out to meet people with him. He wasn’t jaded and had a naivety about him that was oddly disarming. He didn’t speak to people with a personal agenda, but because he was genuinely interested in them.

Now, did he do some things that would irk me? Of course. but I understood that with life experiences, we all change. And so there it is — I very much liked him, but deep down I didn’t know if it could work out. Was I not allowing him to be young? He still had to go through what I had already gone through in my twenties, no? He still had to learn about himself, his wants, his desires, and his identity as an individual. He had a lot of messy terrain to traverse.

I was afraid of people thinking I was a cougar, but with time I became more comfortable with the idea of being a cougar. I drew inspiration from Madonna, who is unabashed in her liaisons with younger men.

In time, I started making cougar jokes myself. I learned to truly put my happiness over my fear of being judged, as many other women have done.

I will admit, of course, that going into the relationship I was carrying a lot of baggage — the baggage of expectations, of my previous relationships, of preconceived notions and ideas of what I could expect, and what I should be prepared for. He, by contrast, was free from any such baggage. He seemed to come into our relationship completely open. It was charming.

Until, of course, everything wasn’t very charming anymore and we started becoming more distant from one another.

Maybe because of the age difference, when we argued about something, I was always prepared to compromise, because that’s what my experience had taught me. He, on the other hand, was rarely willing to do so. And so we drifted apart after a year of seeing each other and broke up shortly after.

I guess the relationship just fizzled out and yet I don’t regret a second of it. We had our fair share of awesome moments together and I’ll always cherish that.

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