Modern Family: Cougar

Does Age Matter?
"I'm 50 and a mom, but that doesn't mean I'm dead," says Jennifer. "My boyfriend, Jeff, is 32."
 
"Jennifer is a very hot mom!" Jeff declares.
 
"Some people call Jeff and I the cougar and the cub," recounts Jennifer. "I like to have fun. I like to have excitement in my life. I ride on the back of his motorcycle. I'm starting a pole dancing class."
 
[AD]Jeff says he admires his girlfriend's vivaciousness. "She's someone I aspire to be like when I get older," he says.
 
Jennifer's 28-year-old son, Jonathan, says he fears for his mother's future. "My mom is so infatuated with Jeff that she can't see any of these problems that are going to arise in their future," he says.
 
"Jonathan's biggest problem in my relationship with Jeff is that it is now becoming serious," Jennifer says. "The problem between John and Jeff is tearing me apart."
 
Dr. Phil addresses Jeff. "What is your interest in dating someone who is substantially older?" he asks. "Why is that your agenda?"
 
"It makes me step up my game to be more of a man," Jeff replies.
 
Remarking that Jeff's mother and Jennifer are close in age, Dr. Phil asks, "Does that cross your mind, ever?"
 
"In the beginning, it was definitely intimidating being with someone older," Jeff admits. "When I'm with her, I feel like I'm with someone my age, if not younger."
 
Dr. Phil asks Jennifer why she's attracted to someone 18 years her junior. "I have always had a young spirit, and I've enjoyed adventure and excitement," she replies. "I never thought that I would get to a certain age and have to bury all of that. I don't feel that I should have to, as long as I take my responsibilities seriously, and I do. I don't feel as though it should be society's job to tell me who I should and shouldn't date."[AD]
 
"I haven't placed a judgment on this yet," Dr. Phil assures her. "And I'm not saying that society should dictate anything to you. What is unappealing about men your age, if anything?"
 
"I'm sure that there are men my age who have a lot of great qualities, but a lot of the time when I've been with a man my age or older, after dating for a while, I start to feel as though they can't really appreciate the younger side, or spirit or the independence that I enjoy," Jennifer says. She tells Dr. Phil that her ex-husband, Jonathan's father, was 18 years older than she was. "I understand what it feels like to be younger and to have that spirit, and not be able to express it."
Dr. Phil addresses Jeff. "What is your interest in dating someone who is substantially older?" he asks. "Why is that your agenda?"
 
"It makes me step up my game to be more of a man," Jeff replies.
 
Remarking that Jeff's mother and Jennifer are close in age, Dr. Phil asks, "Does that cross your mind, ever?"
 
"In the beginning, it was definitely intimidating being with someone older," Jeff admits. "When I'm with her, I feel like I'm with someone my age, if not younger."
 
Dr. Phil asks Jennifer why she's attracted to someone 18 years her junior. "I have always had a young spirit, and I've enjoyed adventure and excitement," she replies. "I never thought that I would get to a certain age and have to bury all of that. I don't feel that I should have to, as long as I take my responsibilities seriously, and I do. I don't feel as though it should be society's job to tell me who I should and shouldn't date."[AD]
 
"I haven't placed a judgment on this yet," Dr. Phil assures her. "And I'm not saying that society should dictate anything to you. What is unappealing about men your age, if anything?"
 
"I'm sure that there are men my age who have a lot of great qualities, but a lot of the time when I've been with a man my age or older, after dating for a while, I start to feel as though they can't really appreciate the younger side, or spirit or the independence that I enjoy," Jennifer says. She tells Dr. Phil that her ex-husband, Jonathan's father, was 18 years older than she was. "I understand what it feels like to be younger and to have that spirit, and not be able to express it."