“Is Tinder worth it?”
Most people would say to just download it and try it out for yourself simply because it’s free. It’s a good argument, but it doesn’t really tell you if it’s worth investing time and effort into dating on Tinder.
For instance, can you actually find someone compatible for a long term relationship? Is the app really only for hookups? Is it as trashy as most people say it is?
As a short summary to the rest of the article, Tinder has many, many people on it that use the app in many different ways. Some want only hookups. Others only relationships. Others are undecided and would like both. You may even find couples who want to spice up their love lives by adding a third person in the relationship.
How effective Tinder is for you will depend in large part on how patient you are with the app, and how much time you’ll give yourself to figure it out.
Also, the Tinder experience is different between the two genders.
In any case, if you’d like to know whether Tinder is worth spending time on, take your test below as a starting point.
The rest of the article covers important things you should know about Tinder, as well as relevant stories from readers that talked about their own experiences.
(Guy test) Should I download Tinder?
(Girl test) Should I download Tinder?
4 reasons Tinder is worth it
Tinder really does work for finding relationships
Tinder has a bad reputation for being mostly focused around hookups and short term relationships.
However, a significant part of its users are looking for something more serious, including long term relationships and even marriage. In fact, marriages that started out as Tinder matches are so common, Tinder (the company) doesn’t really bother to count them anymore.
When I did use Tinder, I matched only with 3 girls.
One ended up going no where.
Another one ended up with an almost date. We’re still acquaintances who talk once in a while
I’ve been dating the third match for the past 2 years and have plans to get married.TINDER USER’S STORY
As a straight girl on Tinder, I had lots of matches. Many maintained solid conversations, many tried for hookups. I went on multiple dates with several different guys, one of whom I’ve been dating for 9 months and actually live with now. 🙂 I consider that a success for myself! I was never in it for hookups.TINDER USER’S STORY
I totally suck at Tinder. Met a girl for a one night stand. Four months later, we’re getting on a plane to go on holiday together. I’m such an amateur.TINDER USER’S STORY
Tinder is good for hookups
Overall, Tinder is a good app for hookups, even though it isn’t expressly designed for hookups.
It has the most users of any dating app. It also doesn’t separate the hookup folk from the relationship folks, as other more “serious” dating apps do by way of personality tests.
Add in the casual nature of swiping and the sensation of “human catalog” and it’s easy to see why Tinder is viewed as the go-to place if you’re into hookups.
I went to a bar with a friend once, and after we got our drinks he goes “A girl I went on a Tinder date with is here with another guy…”
So I look, and there is a cute girl at the bar, clearly on another date. I ask “Are you sure it’s her?” (the bar was a little dark).
He says “Yup, she’s still wearing the same clothes as when she left this morning.”TINDER USER’S STORY
Tinder can lead to interesting memories and life lessons
Some of the most memorable Tinder interactions don’t even lead to relationships or hookups. Instead, they’re experiences so offbeat and unusual you’ll keep going back to through the years.
Sometimes they’ll bring a smile to your face. Other times, you’ll remember them as cautionary lessons as to what to do and not to do in certain situations.
Also, if you’re the kind of person who hasn’t dated much (because of long term relationships or other commitments), then Tinder is a good place to acclimate yourself to the current dating culture and see what works, and what doesn’t.
Once, while studying, I got a text from a Tinder girl I’d been seeing that said: “Hope your midterm goes well! Why don’t you come over for board games after?” Now I’m usually pretty oblivious, but “board games”? On a Friday night? Yeah, I’m getting laid.
So I finish my midterm, text her that I’m on my way and hop on a bus. The entire bus ride I’m smiling from ear to ear, waiting patiently until I finally arrive around 9:30pm.
I entered her place and BAM! Bottle of wine on the table. Yeah, I’m getting laid. I go and sit down, we start drinking and BAM! Settlers of Catan. We played for 2 hours. She hugs me goodnight and I leave. I didn’t get laid.TINDER USER’S STORY
I chatted a girl up that had a nice dresser in one of her pics. I needed a dresser for my new house. She ended up selling it to me for $10. That was a good hookup.TINDER USER’S STORY
One of my mates’s first hook up was some really cute girl (showed me pics) that was somehow in the sports industry. She got them special access to a game, then they went to a party at somebody’s uber expensive apartment (rooftop garden in NYC, in the millions).TINDER USER’S STORY
Couples looking to spice up their lives
Spend long enough time on Tinder and chances are high you’ll come across couples looking to spice up their romantic lives with someone outside the relationship.
This can happen to both men and women. There’s even a term for women who will accept being part of a romantic triangle, but without expecting serious emotional commitment: “unicorn”.
If you’re the type of person who is in this sort of experience, Tinder can be a good place to explore a different sort of romantic setup.
6 reasons you should not download Tinder
Many repetitive profiles and openers
Spend long enough time on Tinder and you’ll notice that many repetitive patterns emerge. For instance, you’ll see an unusual amount of people professing their love of the TV series “The Office”. Other times, you’ll see an unusual amount of guys posting pictures holding a fish they’ve probably just caught.
There are many other such patterns you’ll likely come across, and it’s ultimately something you’ll have to get used to.
Lots of bland dudes with pictures of dogs, fish, and bios about how much they like The Office. But I did meet my fiancee on there so eh.TINDER USER’S STORY
I swear most men have a fish fetish. Almost half the men on Tinder seem to have a photo of them holding a fish.TINDER USER’S STORY
Some people lie on their profiles
As ridiculous as it may sound, some Tinder users lie on their profiles with things that really become obvious if you happen to go out on a date.
For instance, some people use older photos of themselves when they were still in shape and younger looking. What you get on the date is someone who’s put on a few pounds and has some wrinkles.
Other more ridiculous things people lie about is their height and age, even by noticeable margins (think 3-4 inches or 7-10 years).
Tinder (and other dating apps), have an option to filter out people based on how old they are. To bypass this, many users simply lie about their age when completing their profile so they can appear in more searches.
I once matched with two guys in one night, one was 42 and the other 44. After chatting with them, it turned out the 42 guy was actually 46, 44 was 50.TINDER USER’S STORY
I’ve had more than a handful of dates that were dead on arrival simply because the woman was carrying somewhere between 20-50 extra pounds than what she portrayed. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at spotting the telltale signs, but sometimes it’s just people straight up using old photos from when they were more fit.TINDER USER’S STORY
People that don’t reply to messages
Another bad side of Tinder is how many people don’t bother to message back. For the most part, this is a complaint both men and women have.
Even if they do reply, many conversations turn stale very quickly and one person will simply ghost the conversation.
This happens for a variety of reasons, but probably the most common one is that some users get so many matches they get overwhelmed, so they decide to focus only on the people they find more interesting.
To be fair, I engage quite a bit with matches when I’m going through a dry spell, but when they are rolling in (5+ in a day) then I just stop caring after a certain point. Tinder is very poor at distributing my profile evenly.TINDER USER’S STORY
I wouldn’t say I have lots of matches but I have about 200 in a few months which is probably average for a decent looking guy.
I find that I really limit myself to my most attractive matches and end up not speaking to the rest. Either that or I lose interest after a few messages. This may be why I’ve had barely any dates.TINDER USER’S STORY
I get matches but I hardly get replies and the conversations go nowhere. This is happening quite a bit recently, reinforces the idea that many people use online dating for attention and to waste time.TINDER USER’S STORY
People who use the app as an ego boost
Many Tinder users are on the app only for a quick ego boost and nothing more. For these users, matches are simply a form of validation, a sign that they are still attractive and desirable.
As a result, they rarely (if ever) bother to actually start conversations with their matches, or reply to messages they send.
I honestly sort of use it as a small ego boost as a guy. It’s nowhere close to how girls get matches left and right, but even just swiping when bored at night and getting a match or two is a nice feeling.TINDER USER’S STORY
Women are much more selective than men
Men swipe right far, far more when compared to women. This is something every Tinder user could tell you, and is also backed up by studies on the subject.
According to the same study, women usually match with 10% of the men they swipe right on. By comparison, men match on average with only 0.6% of the women they like.
As a result, men have a much harder time getting matches on Tinder.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the figures mentioned above are averages. Poor photos or badly set up profiles can drag that match rate much lower.
I’m a guy, and I’ve had Tinder for 16 months and have still yet to get a message. Not even from spam bots.TINDER USER’S STORY
Tinder’s algorithm doesn’t give you much control
Unlike other dating apps, Tinder is built in such a way that it becomes very difficult to know what the people you’re talking with on the app want from you.
For example, Tinder doesn’t have a “Looking for:” (Hookup / Relationship / Friend / Etc) feature. Because of this, you can’t filter out people based on what you’re looking to date at this moment.
Next, Tinder has no “Compatibility score”, which matches people based on their interests, preferences or personality type. Instead, it’s algorithm will suggest users based on a simple like-to-dislike rating, without taking into account personality or interests.
The combined effect of those two elements is that you’ll end up wasting a lot of time on:
- vaguely figuring out the other person’s personality through texts.
- trying to understand if the other person is on Tinder because of boredom, hookups, relationships etc.
You won’t really feel this effort if you only get 1-2 matches a week. However, an active user can reasonably expect to have 1-2 matches per day. Once you start chatting with 5-10 people a week, Tinder will really start to become a time sink and grate on your nerves as you have the same conversations over and over again.
It is for this reason that you can expect to be on Tinder for a fairly long period time and put in a lot of “work” filtering out the compatible people, from the incompatible ones.
Ultimately, Tinder is the most popular dating app in the world for the simple reason that it works, more or less. Because of it’s simplicity, it’s become the “default” dating app of much of the world.
That being said, there are lots of alternatives to Tinder. These alternative apps are usually built in such a way that they attract different types of users, match them differently, use different types of algorithms, personality metrics etc.
Below is a short list of these alternatives:
eHarmony is one of the oldest dating apps still in use and is generally oriented to serious relationships, and people looking for marriage.
The dating app works by putting you through a fairly long and detailed process where you fill in your details, preferences, personality type and more. Once this step is completed, eHarmony will then match you with people who are most similar and compatible to you. That’s basically the gist of it.
Zoosk is somewhat similar to Tinder in it’s user experience, and is oriented towards all spheres of dating, including hookups, relationships, friends etc.
Unlike Tinder however, Zoosk asks you to complete a personality profile, and it’s algorithm will then suggest people based on that.
EliteSingles has made a name for itself by being the dating network for young, educated professionals who are looking for a serious relationships.
When you join the app, you will be asked to complete a personality profile, and their algorithm will find you matches based on that.
Bumble is nearly identical to Tinder, with one major exception: the girl has to message the guy first. This changes the dynamic of using a dating app since it moves some of the pressures and expectations on guys to be the “initiators” and places it onto women.