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Is Tinder meant to be used for hookups? Find out whether people use the app to start meaningful relationships as well.

Is Tinder just for hookups?

When it first launched in 2012, Tinder was branded as an innovative app that removes many blockers associated with modern dating. Its swipe-and-match system meant only people who actually ‘like’ each other will have a chance to connect. For men (and women) who fear getting rejected when approaching someone attractive in real life, Tinder was a godsend.

But just like how Facebook evolved from being a simple website that connects Harvard students into the social networking giant it is today, Tinder has evolved as well — or at least, its reputation did.

From its early days of being the hot new dating app that all the cool kids were into, Tinder has carved a reputation for being a hotspot for hookups. Ask around what the most popular hookup app is these days, and Tinder will probably be brought up a lot.

That said, Tinder usage statistics for 2020 revealed some pretty interesting findings. Is Tinder really just for hookups? And if you’re trying to look for a life partner, is Tinder still worth using?

Read on to find out!

What are Tinder users looking for?

Several years ago, Tinder attempted to compete with Bumble BFF by releasing Tinder Social, which is a way for people to meet friends and form platonic relationships. This feature is now defunct, so if someone is active on Tinder, they’re probably looking for something more than friendship.

Because of this, Tinder use among people in monogamous relationships is commonly seen as a warning sign of cheating. Websites even specialize in finding out if a specific person is active on Tinder, making it a good resource for people who suspect that their significant other is galivanting on the famous app.

But is Tinder really just for hookups? Well, yes and no.

A 2020 survey found that around 22% of people use Tinder for this very purpose. Compare that to 5.1% from a study done in 2017, and you’ll see that there’s definitely a trend going on here: an increasing number of people use Tinder primarily to look for casual encounters.

However, finding people who are looking for long-term relationships is still very much possible on Tinder.

Although the recent survey mentioned above reveals that only 4% of the participants are looking for serious relationships, a whopping 44% are on Tinder for “confidence-boosting procrastination.” While not explicitly looking for long-term partners, these people are not using the app just for casual sex, either. Their wait-and-see and go-with-the-flow stance indicates that most Tinder users aren’t exclusively looking to hook up.

Given the massive percentage of Tinder users without a definite intent to date, you might fare better using apps and sites that are made specifically for serious dating, such as eHarmony and OkCupid. Still, the vast number of Tinder users in practically all corners of the world should give you a good chance of finding what you’re looking for.

Male vs. female user intention on Tinder

Tinder user intention also varies depending on gender. According to a Cornell study, women are more likely than men to use the app just to chat and look at profiles. Meanwhile, men are more likely to use Tinder to look for one night stands and casual dates.

One surprising finding is that men are more likely to be looking for a partner on Tinder than women. This might be attributed to the fact that competition among men on Tinder is more intense due to the gender imbalance present on the app. As a result, women are not as pressured to find their perfect match while swiping and liking profiles.

The bottom line

Tinder is increasingly becoming a hookup platform, but this doesn’t mean finding people looking for long-term relationships is impossible on the said app. Factors like age, gender, and location will impact your chances of success.

Nonetheless, Tinder’s large user base is a gold mine full of possibilities. Tinder is still the most popular dating app in the modern world, and not giving it a try — regardless of your intention — can easily equate to considerable loss of opportunity.

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