It’s not always much fun being single in the holiday season. Maybe you’ll suffer tipsy aunts and uncles asking nosey questions across the Christmas table about your love life – or lack of it. Then comes January when couple friends disappear off on overseas holidays and rent houses on the beach and you’re left on your own watching lovers wandering hand-in-hand on warm summer evenings.

The post-Christmas blues is one of the peak times for people signing up to online dating. Our biggest site, the Fairfax owned RSVP, normally averages over 12000 singles signing up every day but hits twice as many numbers towards New Year as many thousands decide to bite the bullet and do something about their sorry single state.

It’s the New Year thing. Another year has gone by filled with Saturday nights watching reruns of Mad Men or out with the girls for yet another fun but male-free evening. It inspires many to resolve that next year will be different, to sum up the courage to go looking.

But that can be a daunting prospect, particularly for mid-life divorcees whose last taste of dating was twenty earlier and many kilos lighter. The scary business of staring at that blank screen wondering how to write a fascinating online profile is enough to deter many. I was seduced into the dating coaching business when friend after friend sought help with that tricky task and I found the process totally fascinating.

I’ve now been working as an online dating coach for over three years, not only helping with profiles but supporting people through those scary first dates and early relationships. My busiest time of the year is from mid-December into the first few weeks of the New Year as I help many newcomers to online dating to dip their toes in the water.

The whole business is very rewarding: I’ve had my first client getting married, and many others are settled into long term relationships. But often online dating is not just about finding The One but gaining a new aspect to your social life, a chance to meet new people and enjoy the fun of getting dressed up for a date on a Saturday night. That’s a lovely thing to do on a warm summers evening.

Here’s a few comments from my clients about how professional help made the whole process a little easier:

I thought I’d let you know how I am going after your wonderful effort in getting me established. I must say I am amazed at the results to date. After only 4 weeks, 203 people have viewed my profile, 64 have sent kisses and 15 have sent a message. This is running at about 4 times the degree of activity when I established myself on line 4 years ago. By all means use this as a testimonial for yourself because you deserve it. It shows the importance of professional help not only with the profile development but also your insistence that I went to a professional photographer. So, take a bow, Madam and may you go on helping others in the way you have helped me!” Richard, 67

“Sometimes you just need someone to tell you exactly how it is. Bettina isn’t one to hold back. Her pragmatic approach led to my current romance, still going strong after a year. We’re soon moving in together!” – Janet, 34

“Bettina livened up what was a rather dull profile and I’d highly recommend the photo session as I had a limited range of pics (mostly unflattering) and the new ones looked great. I had a very good response from the online profile update and was very happy with Bettina’s service” – Philip, 42

 “Bettina is unique, with her background as a clinical psychologist and sex therapist offering credible professionalism. Her ‘ready to use’ package of a succinct, personality-revealing profile combined with confidence- inspiring photographs does not stop there. Add wit, style, no nonsense mentoring and experience .I vouch for her service as a rewarding investment and am richer for the exposure to her infectious energy, enthusiasm and light hearted approach.” Jenny, 66