Yes, there are 'rules' and algorithms - but there's also a lot of fun to be had.

Experienced daters guide you through the process, from profiles to puckering up First things first: where to look There are lots of online dating sites, and they all have different personalities.

On the bright side, you might find that while people in the same age group as you aren't that plentiful, there's a greater probability that they're going to be proper grown-ups who don't want to play games; lots of them will have children of their own, and many will have had at least one long-term relationship.

"I'm 48, I can see through the bullshit that blinded me when I was younger, and I'm definitely calling the shots." Hard data shows that men tend to reach out to women who are younger than they are, so it's understandable that some women are tempted to lie about their age.

"Some of the best looking men I have met looked grim on their profile. " "Almost all of the men I've met are better looking than their pictures. they're also consistently shorter than they claim to be." That said, Mumsnet users have been known to have a bit of fun spotting men's photo cliches. Opinions differ: some women like to be with a partner who will take the first step; others can't be bothered with hanging around.

Do remember that nice, genuine men are often nervous too and find it hard to send the first message.

Here are some guidelines for single parents to make the most of your family life and situation.

They might seem general at first glance and it will be up to you to find practical ways to put them into practice in and for your family. Tip # 8: TRY AND SEE THIS FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES AND FROM YOUR CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE AS WELL Tip # 9: REESTABLISH LASTING CONNECTIONS, BONDS AND TIES THAT DEFINES WHO THIS FAMILY IS AND WHAT THIS FAMILY WANTS, SET PRIORITIES AND HAVE A PLAN Tip # 10: Encourage confidence and have some fun, rebuild and strengthen one-step at a time, laugh together, empower and engage your family Tip # 11: Sometimes follow your kids’ lead, let them take on roles and responsibilities and share the load Tip # 12: Take charge when necessary and discipline accordingly, consistently and fairly Tip # 13: Learn to love what you hate and try new things together, set boundaries and guidelines that make sense to all of you Tip # 14: Accept that emotions, roles and people change and that strong feelings, even disagreements are part of life (their and yours) Tip # 15: Sometimes rethink and revisit what you are doing as a single parent – rethink the way you are disciplining, cool off, use good judgment Tip # 16: Always tell the truth! Tip # 17: Respecting each others being, preferences, sharing and socializing with others are all important lessons to learn in the family and at home to prepare better for life Tip # 18: Recharge your own energies and load your batteries, take time and space for yourself to better help and support others Tip # 19: Make the most of every opportunity to show your family that you love, care, support and champion their best interests Tip # 20: BE YOURSELF! You do not have to be a super-single parent, hero, warrior or champion… The loving parent that your kids want and deserve to have! Being and becoming a new family is an exciting journey, even if it starts out a little rough…I felt like it put me back in control a bit." Don't give away information that will allow people to find you in real life or on Google.We hate to say it, but there are some unsavoury characters on these sites, and you don't want just anybody to be able to turn up at your front door or in your personal email.But do put photos up: profiles with photos get a lot more interest.And put up a few: dressed up, dressed down, indoors, outdoors, formal, relaxed. You don't have to be amazing looking to present well: have a nice photo taken, wear fashionable clothes etc.Think down the line though: if you really like someone, at what point are you going to come clean - and how will they feel about having been lied to?