I've been navigating my way through the minefield that is internet dating for nearly a year now. In fact I even started a forum thread on the subject a while back asking for advice! Since last November I've tried three different dating websites, with varying degrees of success, and have been on a fair number of dates. I'm sorry to say that I remain single (maybe I'm too fussy!), but I have met some really nice men along the way (as well as some not-so-nice ones).
Despite the fact that I haven't met Mr Right yet, I have found it an enriching experience. I have been on dates with men I never normally would have met in my daily life, I've gained confidence, and on the whole I have been fortunate enough to discover that the men I've chosen to meet up with are very similar in person to how they come across in their profiles. Only one nasty surprise, but I suppose that's not bad going in the scheme of things...
I've learnt lots of lessons on my 'journey' and have even contemplated writing a book about my experiences of dating in my forties. My anecdotes certainly keep my friends amused anyway. I think the secret is not to take it too seriously, not to be too prescriptive about what you're looking for and not to take rejection to heart.... easier said than done, I know.
It can be demoralising and emotionally draining if you're not ready for it, and I think it's vital not to start dating until you're well and truly over your ex. I waited two years and even that was probably a bit soon. In my case, internet dating is probably the best way to meet a future partner as I simply don't meet eligible single men in my daily life. Even though I haven't yet met someone I'd consider boyfriend material, I am an eternal optimist. He's out there somewhere!