There are more single people in the UK than ever before but for many individuals, finding Mr or Ms Right has never been more of a challenge.
Fortunately help is at hand in the form of dating coaches such as Bryony Anne Leatherbarrow, whose helpful and no nonsense approach to putting customers on to the path to loving relationships has helped hundreds of people.
Bryony Anne, who runs the Stroud-based 121 Dating Coach, encourages clients to take a proactive approach to finding their ideal partner.
This includes putting themselves in the position of meeting single people with similar interests and attitudes to their own by getting involved with groups or societies or adding their profiles to online dating sites.
"For some people, it could be something as simple as joining a walking group or socialising more so that potential partners realise they're available, while the internet makes it possible to narrow searches to specific types of people," she says.
"Some people look down on internet dating sites but where else are my customers going to look for single people? Prince Charming is hardly going to come riding up their drives.
"I recently attended a business awards evening and everybody on my table had met their partners through internet dating, which shows how important it's become."
Along with helping customers to write attention grabbing online profiles, Bryony can help them with wardrobe makeovers and even accompany them on "mock dates" and provide feedback.
"Dating is different for everybody, but for most people, confidence often brings success," says Bryony Anne.
"I help people with confidence issues to feel better about themselves so that they're likely to be more successful.
"I can also give them pointers on elements such as handshakes and conversational subjects and steer them away from putting off potential partners with a litany of woes."
While there aren't any set qualifications for dating coaches, Bryony Anne's career path has left her well-equipped with the sorts of skills she needs to help her customers.
She is a chartered marketeer and qualified business coach, and worked for a time as a model in Paris and London. More recently she has been an agony aunt on various dating websites and ran speed dating sessions in Cheltenham and Bristol.
"I've always been interested in people meeting their match and have always enjoyed introducing single friends to each other – I have quite a string of successful marriages to show for my efforts," Bryony Anne explains.
"The journey to finding a match can be exciting and fun and while there will be quite a few disappointments along the way, those who try can have a marvellous time and meet some great people."
According to Bryony Anne, her customers are equally split between men and women and include people from all walks of life, ranging from individuals who have never been in a long-term relationship to those who are divorced or widowed.
"Women come earlier for help," observes the mother-of-two.
"They are better at taking action and admitting there is a problem.
"Some of my customers are the types of men whom you would think were fighting women off; they tell me the type of woman they find easy to attract is not the type that wants to settle down and have children, which is what they really want.
"The New Year is an especially busy time for me: people resolve to take action after feeling lonely and unloved at such a special time of year.
"Customers often tell me that there aren't any other single people within their circles, even though we're living at a time when there have never been so many single people. The fact is there are lots of single people out there; it's all about being proactive."