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Charly Lester, founder of the UK Dating Awards, has seen a substantial rise in new coaches being shortlisted, while Auret and other coaches Jo Hemmings and Madeleine Mason have all noticed greater demand for their expertise.

Mason and Hemmings are also psychologists, although anyone can market themselves as a coach. Some have been concentrating on their careers, others are looking for relationship guidance.

‘If you are still chatting about hobbies on a third date, you will never go beyond friends. Talk about family or past relationships.’ But this can take courage.

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Under the surface, the coach is directing the conversation, trying to find out why you are having difficulties.

Sessions tend to be weekly or fortnightly, and you may well be given homework (perhaps an exercise such as striking up a conversation with a stranger you like the look of at an event, or keeping a diary about an ongoing problem such as your relationship with your parents or getting over an ex).

Dating has become really competitive, especially for women in their 30s,’ says Hemmings.

‘At that age, there seems to be more women than men on apps.

‘They might need to prioritise different qualities and look more carefully.’ Jenna was initially resistant when a coach recommended she improve her profile with better quality pictures. ‘I ignored friends who’d made the same suggestion; I needed an expert to tell me.

A friend took new pictures of me and I got more attention.’ But most women don’t enlist a coach just for tips such as these.

Fearing he would never commit, Hannah broke up with him, yet struggled to get over the split.

But when she heard about his engagement, the 33-year-old graphic designer knew she had to move on.

Natasha, 31, a recruitment consultant, says: ‘I thought I was attracting men with no social skills because they appeared to have nothing to say.

My coach asked me more about the dates and I realised I was so anxious that I would chat away and never let the man speak.

Apps can give you the impression that there are any number of men out there and that you will meet someone who fulfils all your criteria – looks included.

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