11/22/2010 07:37 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Online Dating Advice for the Newly Divorced

I entered into my marriage believing in happily-ever-after with the hope of it going the distance. Thoughts of growing young together made me a beaming bride on my wedding day.

Unfortunately, like a large percentage of those with good intentions, my marriage did not last. In less than five years, I was another statistic. I became divorced. Unlike other newly divorced singles, I had a lot of experience with online dating. I met my now ex-husband online and it is quite likely that I will meet my new spouse on one of the many popular online dating sites.

Should I be afraid to jump back on that online-dating saddle due to a bad experience? Absolutely not, and neither should you.

Unlike 16 years ago when I created my first online dating profile and wouldn't tell a soul, Internet dating has became mainstream. We can thank the over 500 million members of Facebook for contributing to the validation of online dating and the growth of the many new sites that are cropping up daily.

So what should a newly divorced person do while looking for love online?

First of all, my recommendation is to be ready and to be authentic. What I mean by this is to accurately represent your relationship status. If your divorce is not final, you are separated, divorce pending. Too often singles say they are divorced only to reveal after you become emotionally or intimately involved that there's a nasty court case still in progress. Understand that sometimes a newly divorced person will need to find a transition relationship during this difficult period.

Think about why your marriage did not work out and write down a list of values that you're looking for in a relationship. I like to think of online dating like the Crayola crayon box from childhood. There are many of flavors and colors to pick from and it just takes one to make the perfect picture.

There are millions and millions of divorced online daters visiting popular sites such as eHarmony, Match and OkCupid, as well as niche sites such as JDate or Christian Café based on your religious beliefs, to Date My Pet for animal lovers and Alikewise, a new site which matches you based upon your taste in books.

Benefits of signing up and signing on:

1. Joining an online dating site can boost your self-esteem and ego when you're at an all-time low.
2. Online dating sites are a terrific way of meeting other divorced singles when your friends are no longer fixing you up.
3. Divorced singles and men are joining online dating sites for the first time.
4. You have an opportunity to expand your social and business network.
5. You can date as often as you really like, if you put your mind and effort into it.

Tips for successful online dating:

1. Don't spend time talking about your ex. Misery doesn't love company.
2. Don't spend time talking about your divorce or financial settlement.
3. Do spend time talking about your children.
4. Do spend time talking about the activities that bring joy to your life.
5. Do find the time to get organized, create a terrific profile, and post recent photos.

By joining an online dating site, you can feel alive again and get a second chance at love through the comfort of your own home computer, or on one of the many dating apps on your mobile phone.