If you think about the importance of dating - in terms of your short-term emotional wellbeing longer term prospects, you'd expect people to think hard and long before embarking on it. Yet in an era where dating websites and apps proliferate, the opposite has become the case: millions of singles (and many non-singles) regularly sign up for various services, devise some kind of online profile for themselves, and off they go.

Find out how to date safely

Here at Single Living, the experiences of thousands of members and site visitors has taught us to be cautious. Yes, dating can be fun - who doesn't enjoy the thrill of flirting and the excitement of a new relationship those first exploratory dates - but it really does pay to exercise caution. Check out our advice on how to prepare for dating, how to ensure you are ready to get started, and how to chose the right dating service(s).

Choose the best dating sites

Visit the Singles Directory for details of dating organisations (online and offline) you might like to try out - and don't forget to tell us all about your dating and dating site experiences in the Singles Forum.