But if you do that, you're going to attract a lot of people who aren't a good fit, and that can be exhausting - and demoralizing." Instead, says Rosenfeld, when you are creating your online profile, "Avoid generic likes and dislikes, like walking on the beach," he says.

"Don't be strident or negative, but don't hesitate to state strong beliefs. You may get fewer responses, but you're likely to be more compatible with the people who respond." Whether you're dating online or not, it can't hurt to also let friends, family members, and acquaintances know that you're available and want to meet people.

The important thing to remember, however, is that almost every woman shares at least some of that same anxiety.

Moreover, if you do want to start dating again, you won't have to look far to find companionship!

There is no guarantee that you are going to like your sister-in-law's newly divorced first cousin, of course, but the connection ensures that your date is not a complete unknown. Arrange to meet at a café or restaurant rather than at your home or his. For your first meeting, it is best to arrange a coffee date rather than a dinner or an afternoon at a museum.

Once you've made a connection -- either online, through friends, or by striking up a conversation with someone in the grocery store -- and you've arranged to get together, there are some important things to remember. If you have made a connection online and know nothing about your date, you may want to be extra cautious by letting a friend know where you will be meeting and at what time. If you don't seem to be hitting it off, it's easier for both parties when there's a quick escape route!

Whether or not pregnancy is a possibility, you need to make sure you are protected from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

San Francisco relationship expert and writer Mera Granberg advises women to carry condoms if there is any chance they will be having sex.

"And there is no more efficient vehicle than the Internet." "Remember that you are looking for a good fit, not validation," Rosenfeld continues.

"Many people make the mistake of putting out a generic profile that will attract a lot of people.

To help you along the way, Web MD offers these tips from the experts on how to get started. San Francisco psychologist Jonathan Rosenfeld points out that dating is a numbers game: You're probably going to have to meet a lot of people before you find someone you really like.

"If you are a busy adult with work you're committed to, and children at home, then you have to make dating efficient," Rosenfeld says.

Now, if you have a happy and fulfilling life without dating, you shouldn't feel pressured into a social scene that's not right for you.