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And let’s not forget that I’m just a theme song word for word, but couldn’t for the life of me name ONE song from Kanye’s latest album. I mean, if I can manage to balance everything life throws my way while parenting an infant at my young age, I can certainly handle dating. Still, to sharpen my skills before heading into the trenches, I asked a few experts for advice on navigating the dating scene as a single 20-something mom. Sure, it used to seem like great fun to get tipsy and swipe right on potential hookups less than 10 miles away—20, if he or she is really hot—but apps like Tinder are more likely to land just that: A hookup and not a serious dating candidate.“Swiping apps shouldn’t be your screening process for dates,” says Dr.Jenn Mann, host and lead psychotherapist of VH1’s “Couples Therapy with Dr.Jenn,” and author of For better results when checking out prospects online, “focus on characteristics, qualities, and life desires,” adds Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist, clinician and author of the relationship wellness blog, That means that if they didn’t bother to include those interests in their profile, they’re probably not worth a date.“You already have a family, so if you want more than a fun hookup, your focus should be on a man who’s clearly father material,” says Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of . “Keeping your sex life separate from your child is crucial,” she says.It makes perfect sense to me: My needs and desires have changed since having a child, so I want a more stable partner to be around regularly—not just for a booty call. “Having someone come in and out inconsistently isn’t good for any child, especially if they’re mourning the loss of two parents breaking up, or the absence of a parent in general.” As a young, single mom with a full plate, it’s a surprisingly common fantasy to seek out older partners for their wisdom and life experience—but experts advise not to date anyone just because he or she is your senior. “By locking into specific age, you may miss the perfect woman or man who’s right in front of you by applying these limitations.” Remember that age really doesn’t equal maturity.(Exhibit A: Me.) “It’s important for a single mother to find a partner who is at her level and has the maturity to be a step parent,” says Dr. “He or she doesn’t have to be much older to be both of those things.” Known best for being the experimental and selfish decade, your twenties are certainly a time for exploration and growth – not only for your interests and travels, but for who you are as a person.
“If you’re splitting your kids’ time between you, remember that what happens at your ex’s house is up to him or her, and what happens at your house is up to you, unless it’s a safety issue,” she says.
Of course, you can’t expect everyone you date to make a triple-digit income, or alleviate your own financial burdens.
“The key is to find someone who’s financially self sufficient, who can at the very least take care of him or herself without depending on you,” says Dr. If you had a child with someone you broke up with, learning how to co-parent will keep things positive and avoid any drama with new dating prospects who enter your life.
(Unless, that is, you’re just looking for a hookup—even new moms need to blow off steam!
) To be fair, not everyone I’ve met on a dating app or website turned out to be a catfish (or serial killer).Still, the experts say single moms would do well to look for prospects in places other than our glowing screens.