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.Not to mention that in the rare and precious moments I do have to myself, it feels like a major risk to spend that time with someone I might never see again rather than catching up with friends, reading, zoning out to Netflix, or, you know, sleeping.“If that’s not there, there’s no need to introduce him or her to your family unit.” Money isn’t everything, but a potential date’s financial situation should matter to you when you’re a mother.“Financial stability in a prospective partner is a clear indicator that her or his life is in order,” explains Winter.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.
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.) 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.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.(Unless, that is, you’re just looking for a hookup—even new moms need to blow off steam!“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.“We treat online dating like we do our social media streams and select only the images that stand out to us,” says Silva.“That creates a culture of immediate gratification, unwillingness to compromise, and objectification.“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.“Don’t involve children in your dating life until you’re relatively sure the person is a long-term keeper,” says Dr. “I suggest single moms wait six to 12 months—that’s typically how long the ‘honeymoon phase’ lasts.” Holding off until then is a good way to minimize the risk of your child getting attached too soon.