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“When we’re young, we don’t have a ton of life experience,” says Dr. “Not all 20-something’s are that way, but it does take a while for women to figure out who we are as a person, and develop the strength to assert ourselves and make good boundaries and know who – and what – we want.” Bottom line: Figuring out who you are is something you owe yourself, and something that will help you find a more suitable partner in the future.

It can be tempting to vent on Facebook about how stubborn an ex is being, or share how happy you are in if you’ve found a relationship with someone new.

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.

“Well-meaning friends and family often can’t help but offer cautionary tales and unsolicited advice, projecting their own fears onto your new relationship,” she continues.

“This can confuse you and add unnecessary tension with your mate.” Same goes for a spat with an ex (or your child’s father) on social media: “Don’t post anything negative on social media, since nothing good can come of it, especially now that you have a child to worry about.” says Dr. “Take the high road and let it go.” Knowing when to introduce a love interest to your child can be really tough, but when in doubt, wait it out.

(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).

When you’re a 20-something single mom, though, it can be a little tough to remember that …and even though you’re confident in your role as a mother, you still have a lot to learn about yourself.Still, the experts say single moms would do well to look for prospects in places other than our glowing screens.“We treat online dating like we do our social media streams and select only the images that stand out to us,” says Silva.There are plenty, like me, who are blissfully lacking in life experience, have yet to reach the big 3-0, and spend more time swiping left on Tinder instead.Real talk: Considering the 200 different directions I’m pulled in each day—which include working full time; waking up with my six-month-old daughter at ungodly hours; cooking; cleaning; carpooling; bathing; co-parenting; dealing with temper tantrums; and still attempting to take care of myself—the mere of dating can sometimes seem nothing short of impossible.

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