Maybe you’re a younger guy who wants to learn from a more experienced woman, or who just finds older gals more attractive than his same-age counterparts. Ladies, perhaps you’ve hit your, er, prime, and want someone who can keep up, or maybe you’d just rather someone with less baggage than many of the men your age. Regardless of your reasoning—there’s zero judgment here—you’re trying to meet someone for a May-December romance. Although frankly, most people seeking dating sites in this category usually want something along the lines of casual dating, NSA, or FWB. Consider yourself warned, should this be a concern or point of interest.
You’ve figured out the easy part—you know what you want. Now comes the hard part: finding a cougar dating site that works, caters to your needs, is affordable, transparent and has enough members in your area to warrant signing up. Phew! Let’s get started.
The top pick in this category, and it’s easy to tell why even at first glance: the site caters specifically to cougars and cubs (zero sharing databases with other, unrelated dating sites that I could find), there’s a huge membership base (1,000,000+), the search options seem endless, and the price is reasonable (ranging from $13.33-29.99/month). Where DateACougar loses points, however, is their difficult navigation, likely stemming from all the features they do offer. I found the site cluttered and a bit overwhelming, if fully fleshed out, and had a difficult time actually getting a reply to any of my messages.
The cheapest and priciest option listed here ($12-40/month with credits; free for cougars), Cougar Life also sports the most confusing payment options, similar to Lavalife. In a nutshell, you buy a month-long membership and then will need additional credits to do anything of use on the site. The site is well laid out and modern, and it’s likely the most well-known of the cougar dating sites because of its extensive media coverage (yet only has 500,000+ members). While the Inbox is a bit annoying (each message takes up a whole new slot, instead of filtering down and combining them), Cougar Life is where I had the most luck in talking to people, and actually connecting—and really, that’s the biggest factor here.
Slightly more expensive than some other sites on this list ($15.55-29.95/month; free for cougars), and missing any sort of live-time chat options, this site does boast an eye-catching, slick layout with many fun features. There are ample members to choose from (1,000,000+) from mostly Canada, the US and the UK, and you can verify your account to prove you’re real. Although the site says it’s dedicated to cougar dating, OlderWomanDating does partially share in the database of members at SuccessfulMatch.
As the only 100% free cougar dating site that I could find with enough members (800,000+) for a potential match, Cougared got some major bonus points right off the bat. It does look more dated than all of the higher-ranking sites on this list though, and many of the male members seemed way too old to be considered cubs. Still, it’s the best option out there for those with limited budgets.
While goCougar looks different (smart, sleek and fun), they also share a database with Hot or Not, which includes other cougar dating sites like AgelessLove—making it a bit tricky for me to review in this category. Why? Because Hot or Not is a completely different kind of site, more geared towards people wanting a quick interaction, instead of specifically looking for someone to date. How does Hot or Not know someone’s a cougar or cub? Exactly. Some other things to note: zero live chat options, no way to stop people from reviewing your profile, all profiles get a manual review before being added, and prices ranging from $8.23-9.99/month.
AgeMatch caters to all sorts of age gap relationships, whether it’s older men courting younger women, or older women looking for younger men. With this in mind, you’ll find more people here than many niche dating sites, in part because their site shares a database with a plethora of other niche dating sites, with SuccessfulMatch acting as the umbrella company (like OlderWomanDating listed above, however, the full database is shared with AgeMatch). With a cost ranging from $15.98-29.95/month, there’s little here that I found particularly engaging or special to make it noteworthy.
There’s live chat, more than a million members, a beautiful interface, “naughty” mode, and lots of search options, so why does BeCougar rank lower on this list? First off, all payments only are in pounds (UK$), thus skewing how I can report the affordability of the site. It’s about middle-of-the-road cost-wise, depending on the exchange rate. The site also feels cluttered with way too much information (if pretty to look at) and has singles as well as couples/swingers listed, likely because their database is (partially) shared with Cupid PLC, a rather large dating site conglomerate.
There are a few similarities between higher-ranked DateACougar and CougarFling: the pricing ($13.33-29.99/month), and oodles of search features, for starters. CougarFling does, however, a much better job of laying out the site and making it easy to use, yet has so few members—most of whom live in the US—that it’s barely worth your while to sign up.