Divorce and relationship breakdown can leave you feeling broken, lost and scared of what the future might hold, but once you've got to a level of acceptance and come through the other side, you might just be ready to dip your toe into the world of Internet dating.
Finding yourself single in your 30s and 40s, with kids, an ex husband, a full-time job and everything that goes with it is a very different place to where you once were back in your dating heyday. Your lack of free time, coupled with living in a world where everything is at the disposal of your iPhone means that whether you like it or not, Internet dating will most likely be the way you will find your next partner.
Just like childbirth, you will find that your friends, family, colleagues and strangers will come forward with horrendous internet dating stories and you will start to think that everyone who is out there with a dating profile must be flawed in some way and that actually you are the only 'normal' person.
However, there are lots of positive love stories out there from Internet dating, with mine being one of them, I met my husband on match.com and 3.5 years later we are happily married and have a beautiful baby girl and have blended our family of 6 together.
Here are my top tips for all you Internet dating virgins...
Make a wish list of all the things you are looking for in your future partner. What things would be a deal breaker for you? What things are absolutely crucial for you? Let this guide you in who you choose to spend your precious time talking to and dating.
Keep your profile short (you want to create an element of curiosity) and focus on your best bits. Make sure you have more than one photo (that's current). Ideally have a bit of a photo gallery that reflects you and your life.
Don't lower your standards, ever. Go out there and find your champion and don't settle for anything less than you deserve, no matter how lonely you are.
Be yourself. Don't pretend to be someone you're not or hide part of yourself to fit someone else's ideals. Be honest about what you want and what you don't want.
Keep safe. Make sure someone always knows where you are and who you are with.
Go with an open mind and just be you.
Don't overthink things. It's a date. You are not committing yourself to marrying this guy so leave all your worries behind and just enjoy the moment.
Treat people how you want to be treated in return. 'Ghosting' someone after a date is a really horrible thing to do to another human being. If you had a bad date and don't want to see the guy again, be honest (in a nice way).
Remember that there are no rules, and that the only limitations are the ones you set yourself. If you have a bad date or a run of bad dates, don't get disheartened. Your champion is out there and the only way you will find him is to get out there.
Catherine Asta Labbett, is the founder and owner of Yorkshire based 'Bringing Sparkle Back' delivering Psychotherapy, Relationship and Life Coaching exclusively for women.