Started in the mid-2000s by a Canadian-based company, CougarLife has been providing a safe and easy to use platform for a middle-aged single woman for over a decade now. Somewhat atypical in that its member base is primarily women, CougarLife sees almost 400,000 site visits in the United States alone.
Its parent company, Ruby Life Media, has always held to the idea that age is nothing more than a number. They aim to connect like-minded individuals who agree with this idea, and after so many years in the field, I had to ask: Are they worth the investment?
Living Your Best “Cougar” Life?
Here’s my full review of the site, starting with creating a profile…
The process required to create a base level profile is really straightforward. Name, age, email address, and you’re all set. I should warn you that it doesn’t look quite so simple upon first glance; There’s actually a lot of additional fields that you can fill out if you’d like.
However, the truth is that only a few fields I mentioned above are required to gain entry to the site and begin browsing CougarLife’s offerings. If you wish, you can easily finish the remaining parts of your profile after you’ve decided whether or not CougarLife is for you.
Your First Time (Searching)
Searching through user profiles is actually pretty seamless with CourgarLife’s profile search function. You can specify things like age, location, orientation, and a bunch of less-common attributes like eye color and build. I found plenty of matches within the first few minutes of browsing, which doesn’t always happen.
The unfortunate part about CougarLife’s messaging function is that it’s limited to paying users only. Until you fork over the cash, all you’ll be able to view is a list of profiles. There is the ability to “flirt” as a free user.
This is akin to what some sites call a wink or a poke, which mount to non-messages, or ways to gain someone’s attention without formally drafting anything.
If the user on the opposite end of your “flirt” deems you interesting enough, and they’ve got a premium membership, they can choose to start a conversation with you that you’ll be able to participate in.
Your Classified Ad
To be perfectly honest, the profile quality here is a mixed bag. There’s a lot to like here, but also a few facets that don’t really make a lot of sense (at least to me). As mentioned above, the user profiles offer a lot of stats that other sites ignore, which makes it especially attractive to the particular-minded.
I can’t say I’m a fan of the private galleries, either. CougarLife allows users to keep some photos separate until they deem other individuals worthy of viewing them. For me, this makes the site a bit uneven, as it’s generally understood that on erotic sites such as thing, leaving it all out for display is part of the process.
Barring even paid users from seeing images that would make or break whether or not they reach out to another person seems counter-intuitive, to say the least.
Another issue I should mention is that due to the aforementioned profile stats not being required to gain entry, you’ll often come across profiles that have hardly been touched. It got a little annoying for me to browse profiles after the 10th “non-person” I encountered.
The Mobile Network
The CougarLife app does exactly what it should, nothing more, nothing less. Every bit of functionality you find in the desktop application is available here, which is great. However, I was a little disappointed that CougarLife didn’t include a little something extra, like a Tinder-esque “swipe” function, some that even lesser sites like OKCupid provide completely free of charge.
By my estimation, this tends to date the app quite a bit and is something CougarLife should address in the future.
How Well Does It Work?
If I’m being brutally honest, the design scheme on CougarLife looks as if it was lifted from a late-1980s sitcom. Sharp pinks and greens assault the eye, and the choice of fonts is uninspired. That being said, it’s quite easy to find your way around, and not once did I happen to encounter dead links or 404 errors. As with the mobile app, the site could stand a facelift when it comes to their visual approach.
What’s It Going To Cost You?
No surprise here, CougarLife wants some money before you can truly enjoy the site. While cost structures are quite common with dating sites, this cougar dating website charges what I would call an absurd amount for the features it offers in return. Wait, did I say features? What I meant to say was baseline functionality. Without paying the high costs that CougarLife demands, users are unable to do so much as breathe when trying to access the site. Sure, you’ll be able to check out profiles, but reaching out is all but impossible.
If you do decide to pay the price of engagement, you’ll be smacked with a $40 per month charge. When you pause to consider the fact that the paid features offered here are free on most other dating sites, it becomes a lot harder to be convinced that the investment is sound.
The only exception to my complaints here is the Find a Date function. This tends to mimic a lot of commonly seen calendar apps, except it specifically shows what days cougars (or cubs) are available in your area. I actually had a bit of luck with this function, but admittedly it wasn’t enough to convince me that CougarLife is a solid bet.
I really wanted to like this site. As a single male, the prospect of hooking up with eligible women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s was not only exciting but intriguing as well. And honestly, at first glance, I was pretty convinced that the experience would be all-around enjoyable.
The problems began when I realized just how heavily taxed users are to enjoy content and features that would otherwise be free. I am unwilling to pay $40 a month to enjoy simply messaging another person, as I can find it for cheaper elsewhere. In fact, there’s no reason for me to do so given that I’ve been hooking up with random women on this website for months. There are more milfs.
If you’re seeking a realistic alternative to CougarLife, I’d personally recommend one of the better dating apps that are available today. They typically offer much more comprehensive profiles, as well as free messaging and full photo viewing from the start.
However, you can give CougarLife.com a shot if you really want to try it. No one is stopping you here.