Single Parent Life 2.0
It is easy to let your single parent life revolve around the kids and the job, neglecting your own need for human contact.
When you have the time to go out with your friends, you may not have the energy. Or, when you have the energy, the kids are asleep at home...and there is no babysitter in sight.
The web is a natural place to turn to build your social network. You would be amazed at the amount of social networking sites for you to choose from!
Are you looking to date?
Plenty of Fish
Are you just looking to chat?
...and these are just the first that come to mind!
Personally, I have tried out Match, Twitter and Skype.
My favorite is Twitter. You can only post a bloglet size update at a time. I'm following a variety of people, so I am always getting interesting links and recommendations.
I've had some fun with Match and Skype, but felt like I put in a lot of effort to meet a few gems. The interesting part about Skype is that you can chat internationally. In one night, I chatted with an Englishman, an Irishman, and a Dane.
I would highly recommend exploring what single parent life 2.0 can offer you, but you might want to consider a few things.
1) You don't have control over who views what you write...
When you set up your home page...would you be embarrassed if your children saw what you posted?
Or before your divorce is final, could your spouse use it against you in court?
And of course, don't forget about work! A lot of companies are now researching YOUR online persona.
Easy rule of thumb: If you think that what you are writing will come back to haunt you... it probably will... DON't post it.
2) People lie...
As in life, some people are not always what they seem to be. These are a couple of my personal safety rules for meeting a new person:
~ If you are going to meet this person, drive your car to the first date...which leaves you an exit plan if they are creepy or just plain boring.
~ I try to set up my first meetings as coffee dates. I figure it is be a lot harder to get me drunk on (or slip something in) a mint-mocha-frappacino.
~ Don't give out too much personal information (phone / address / work) before meeting them a couple of times. No one likes a stalker!
~ Let a friend know where you are going and what you are doing...just in case you need that 3am rescue call.
3) Have realistic expectations...
When you are cruising around some of the 'dating' sites, it can seem like a ordering that burger and fries "Your way." But people don't really fit into those description boxes.
Be careful not to get too caught up in the nuances and just have some fun meeting interesting new people.
4) Don't become addicted...
I've chatted with a few people who seemed to have it together online, but couldn't relate to a human being sitting next to them. The internet is a great way to start relationships, but don't let it replace real people.
Happy Networking 2.0!
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