I cannot emphasise this enough to anyone thinking about giving this cyber-matching thing a whirl. Early on I decided that when I first met up with a potential candidate (shall I just call them "dudes" from now on? I think I will), after exchanging detailed enough email messages to determine that they were a) genuine, b) sane and c) relatively normal, that I would call the first meeting just that: a meeting. Not a date. If, when you meet in the flesh and things go well, and there is laughter and easy chatter and a definable spark; then you can arrange an official Capital-D Date. If however, things don't go so well, and there are awkward moments and no flow or attraction, then you can go home with no harm done, and look forward to your next meeting.
(I should say at this juncture that I haven't had a bad experience yet. This whole experience so far has done nothing but reaffirm my faith in the general goodness of people.)
This "emotional holding back" has been a hard-won lesson for me. I have often invested too much, too early, and made myself far too vulnerable to upset if things didn't work out, especially in my late twenties when I was seriously unhappy and thought that salvation would come in the form of a man. On the other hand, if things did work out, the relationship would be rushed through from "dating" to "serious" way too quickly, and I would end up falling into a full-on, overwhelming, life-changing, compromise-making relationship without even the time to stop and think about whether this was actually what I wanted.
Right now, I am finally (at the grand age of 31) in that place where I would like to have a boyfriend, but actually, I am doing just fine on my own.
In fact, I am even beginning to question whether I want someone in my life right now. Boys just take up so much damn energy. And I seem to attract that particular species of bloke who needs a hell of a lot of looking after. Right now I just want to look after myself for a bit. Also, I am feeling more content than I have in a long time, and I don't want to rock my little boat too much.