Flip This Single!

ByABC News
March 23, 2007, 3:27 PM

March 23, 2007 — -- Mr. Right has been on your mind for what seems like an eternity. But you never seem to meet him.

You check your inbox constantly. You've submitted so many pictures to your online dating service that you don't even know what you look like anymore. The dates you do go on are dreadful. What are you doing wrong? Well, probably a lot. Just ask Marianne Kost.

A few years ago, Mr. Right just wasn't in the cards for Kost, 49, who was having zero luck with traditional dating. So she decided to take her dating mission to another level.

"I didn't want to waste my time with losers anymore," she told ABCNEWS.com. "I thought, 'If I'm going to do this, I'm going to take it seriously and put in a good effort.'"

Kost took it seriously enough that she had professional photographs taken and her entire profile revamped by an online dating review service, part of the growing number of firms who help package people for dating by whipping up a personal ad and giving image consultations.

After only a couple of months, the digitally enhanced Kost met her current boyfriend, 46-year-old Stephen Micalles. They now live together in New York with Kost's 9-year-old daughter.

"We just back from Cancun," she said. "I'm as happy as can be."

Kost is not alone. Not too long ago, personal dating profiles were little more than 50-word summaries filled with abbreviations like SWF or SWM. But the advent of online dating has prompted more singles to take a multimedia approach -- written summaries, photographs, videos -- and some are soliciting professional help to gain an edge over their competition. Dating coaches and sites dedicated to online matchmaking advice are popping up on the Web. And some experts say it's worth the extra effort.

"They're looking for a way to better their odds," Los Angeles-based dating coach Julie Furman told ABCNEWS.com. "It's competitive out there."

By the time most of Furman's clients call her, she said, they're completely "frustrated" and "disappointed" with the dating scene. And they're ready to step it up.