1. The older woman does the initial pursuing (Flat out false. The vast majority of the time the younger man does the initial pursuing. I was actually fairly hesitant at first because of the age gap)
2. The relationship is mostly sexual and neither party is interested in commitment (Mostly false. While there are a few exceptions to this most older women and younger men in a relationship are very interested in trying to work it out long term. Yes, there is a sexual relationship, but there's a lot more to it then just that)
3. The older woman is having a mid life crisis and trying to regain her youth (Mostly false. With only one exception, every woman with a younger man (including myself) was in a very good place in her life she was happy with prior to the relationship starting. There is some truth in this in that younger men often bring an energy and fun that the older woman is attracted to, but that doesn't mean she's having a mid life crisis and trying to "regain her youth")
4. She's probably paying him to be with her (Super false. There isn't a single older woman with a younger man I've talked to who is paying him to be with her. In fact I've offered to give my fiancé money when he was in a tight financial spot multiple times while we were dating but he turned it down every time I offered.)
Why do so many people believe these stereotypes when the overwhelming majority of older women with younger men don't fit them? Where are these assumptions coming from? Why are they so prevalent in our society?
Because your not a cougar. You are just engaged to a much younger man. That is very different. He was the one who wanted to be with you for most other reasons. But cougars refer to women who do everything on that list. While we don't know what was his intent was when you two met, especially when you said you were nervous, it is possible that you two were just compatible. And he was mature enough to make that decision.
However, many cougars do just that. And because of that, it gets so many women caught in trouble because many women are shameless and do very similar to men wanting younger women just because she is younger. But I think the mid-life crisis one is just a bit sketchy and comes from men who already don't seek women over 30 anywhere. Plus, you never know. A lot of them could be lying so be careful who's a word you take as gospel. A lot of them know how it started out and it is often just sexual. Whether or not it turns something else becomes solely on them and oftentimes again, it is because of the sex. Money doesn't always have to be involved. If sex is mostly involved that's all the evidence people needs.
Maybe it is just where you live, but you can think of television for that because they express that 100% of the time. However, where I live in the northeast, it happens all quite too often. It may not be all the time in the countryside, though you can't help but hear they're having bar women having sex so often. And before anybody or you saying it is not true. My dad knows people, truckers especially those who have done it on the roads. It does happen, and you can't necessarily blame people. How you carry yourself can affect how you come off to people.