After Miley Cyrus‘ emotional performance of her breakup hit “Slide Away” at the MTV VMAs, she needed a little air — but when she stepped out for a stroll through Manhattan, she did it hand-in-hand with rumored fling Kaitlynn Carter. After the show on Monday, August 26, the two newly-single women and the singer’s mom, Tish Cyrus, were seen walking around the city. While Miley was matching her mom as they both donned cowboy hats, it was the Hills: New Beginnings star she was cuddled up to.

Miley, 26, had changed out of the black dress she wore on stage and into jeans, a cut-off white tank and an open button-down shirt, while Kaitlyn, 30, was still wearing what she’d been spotted in earlier while supporting her lady backstage. Though the two haven’t officially confirmed that they’re a couple, sources close to the blondes say that they’re “dating.” After they were spotted locking lips in Italy, they’ve spent plenty of time together back stateside — and, apparently, mama Tish, 52, approves. The three have even been spotted sharing lunch in the past.

“They’ve actually met a few times,” a source exclusively told In Touch in mid-August. “Tish met Kaitlynn a month or so ago in the U.K., and they’ve also all met up in L.A. before Miley and Liam [Hemsworth] announced the split. … Tish has given her seal of approval and really likes Kaitlynn and thinks she’s fun. … Tish’s main priority is Miley’s happiness.”

And the “Mother’s Daughter” singer is happy. In fact, another insider told In Touch that she’s the “happiest she’s been in years,” adding, “She’s embracing her sexuality and newfound freedom, and telling pals she can finally be herself without anyone getting in the way.” Kaitlynn is on the same page. “They’re both very sexual, open women who don’t take life too seriously and like to have fun,” the insider said. “They’re crazy about each other, and friends say they make a great match.”

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