The Illusion of Intimacy
Problems in the World of Online Dating
by John C. Bridges
May 2012, 154pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39951-0
$41, £31, 35€, A59
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39952-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

For a huge number of Americans, online dating has almost become the “only game in town.” For a variety of niche populations with extremely varied motivations, and even more varied capacities for honesty and self-interest, the Internet has become the vehicle for a search leading to intimacy and the fulfillment of their desires … at least for a while.

This book examines online dating from the "inside," using in-depth interviews with dating website members to reveal—and keenly analyze—what relationships and romance in the 21st century are really like.

The members of the current generation of “digital guinea pigs” are true social pioneers as they embrace digital technology to create a new realm of mating, dating, and intimacy in America. Ironically, “digital dating” frequently results in an outcome that is exactly opposite to its participants’ intended purposes.

The Illusion of Intimacy: Problems in the World of Online Dating is more than a thorough investigation of the realities of modern relationships, many of which begin online—one in five, according to; the book introduces the reader to some of the natives and industry “users” who make up its clientele. Author John C. Bridges shows how they have adapted to technology to find new interactions, meet new partners, and share new experiences. The research focuses on the dating sites ranked in the top five by actual members of these sites who interviewed with the author to share their personal stories and experiences, all documented by saved emails and text messages.

John C. Bridges, PhD, is a professor, writer, teacher, and speaker. Bridges has taught at several colleges and universities, including the University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, and Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA. His published works include Making Violence Part of the Game, a book that traces the institutionalization of violence in American sport.


"Bridges stresses the importance of self-knowledge and emotional resilience in the search for a soul mate. The Illusion of Intimacy can be viewed as an important antidote for the idealistic expectations that millions of people bring to the online search for love with a perfect stranger."—PsycCRITIQUES, December 5, 2012
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