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How To Figure Out What You're Looking For On Tinder in 2024

What if she asks you,

What are you looking for on Tinder? Do guys who say they want a relationship get more matches? Or will women be more likely to swipe right on you if you’re honest about your search for hookups? It’s a bit of a tricky situation, especially for guys who are new to the app.

As the most popular dating app out there, understanding why women and men use the platform is essential for dating success. Fortunately, this article will shine some light on the many reasons that people use the app, as well as what you can say to a woman when she asks, “What are you looking for on Tinder?” to get what you want. Let’s begin. 

What Are People Looking For on Tinder?

There are a number of things people look for while using Tinder. Let’s break it down with some statistics that shed light on why women and men swipe on this app:

  • Tinder has 75 million monthly active users, 7.8 million of which are from the United States.
  • 76.9% of Tinder users are male, leaving roughly 23.1% of female users.
  • According to a survey conducted by LendEDU, 9,700 respondents said the following about why they use Tinder:
    • 44% use it for “confidence-boosting procrastination”
    • 22% percent answered that they are “looking for a hookup” 
    • 4% said they are “looking for a relationship”
    • 29% percent answered that they use Tinder for “other reasons”

Taking these last stats in mind, let’s explore what people are looking for on Tinder based on their goals.

Confidence-boosting procrastination

Using Tinder while waiting

Ever match with a number of women on Tinder, only to have a conversation that goes nowhere? Like many apps, procrastination from other life tasks is what a majority of men and women use Tinder for. Being desired by men is a confidence boost for women, and those who need a pick-me-up throughout the day often turn to Tinder to get their fix (while many don’t even bother meeting up in person). 

For these types of encounters, understand that weeding through time wasters and ghosters who are looking for ego boost are some of the unavoidable experiences that come with the relatively new paradigm of online dating apps. 

New course


Tinder’s main appeal is as a hookup platform, where women are looking for sexual partners

Usually, hookups through Tinder follow a pattern:

  • Chat over Tinder
  • Exchange details to meeting up in a public place, such as a bar or a coffee shop
  • Having a brief in-person conversation or going on a short date so she can screen out the weirdos and creeps 
  • Going back to her place or yours

Whether these are a one-night stand or serve as the basis for a friends-with-benefits relationship depends on how you perform, what her needs are, and other factors in her life. 


A couple kissing in a park

Hookup culture is certainly here to stay in our modern dating world thanks in large part to Tinder, but it’s not uncommon for people to pursue relationships.

Tinder acts as a buffer to ensure a good match from the get-go, so it’s up to both people to meet up and see if there’s any chemistry for a short-term or long-term relationship. 

With dating apps dominating how many people meet for the first time, the nature of Tinder relationships can be short-lived; after all, if you don’t meet her criteria, there’s an enormous number of men (and women) at her fingertips. That being said, long-term relationships that form from meeting on Tinder are also common.

While meeting through a hookup app might not have the same “how we met” romantic first-encounter that meeting in person may have, Tinder is still a viable way to meet when you want to cast the widest net for compatible partners in your area.


Friends who met through Tinder

Believe it or not, but many women use dating apps to find friends. This is usually a choice for girls who are more conservative and don’t want to ruin their reputation. 

While Tinder has a notoriety for being a hookup app, there still are plenty of women who use it as a way to extend their friend group beyond their current social circles. Some women use this friendship as a screening period, where men can attempt to gain her trust and parlay this friendship into getting more intimate. Or, men may simply get “friendzoned”. 

On a side note, pay attention to a girl’s profile, especially if she’s looking for friends as a “plug”, meaning drug dealer. Considering how many fake profiles there are, you may find yourself in a sticky situation with law enforcement or other dangerous scenarios.

A third

Some women are partnered, but looking to spice up their relationship with a threesome. Commonly known as “a third”, couples use Tinder to find a sexual partner or pursue a polygamous lifestyle. 

Being a third can include simply being a hookup partner for a partnered woman with her partner’s knowledge, engaging in a sexual threesome, or pursuing a serious relationship with two people (for example, a bisexual female couple).


Here’s a pro tip: One of the little-discussed reasons to use Tinder isn’t to use the app for its intended usage. Instead, you can use Tinder to gain some information to meet women in real-life (or at least figure out who’s available in your area). 

Women tend to include personal information in their Tinder profiles, including where they work, which school they attend, where they volunteer, Instagram profiles, where they hang out, and so forth. For example, if you’re browsing her profile and learn that she runs marathons, chances are that she’s involved with local running groups or maybe even an upcoming 5k.

It’s up to you to decide whether you should swipe right on her profile to give you a shot online. If she says yes, then you can proceed from there. Or, if you want to stay incognito on Tinder, swipe left and attempt to meet her in real-life encounters. 

Bear in mind that this strategy can be a bit creepy (especially if you tell her how you found her), but it can certainly beat your odds when most women are inundated with Tinder messages from men.

H apps promo

What Are You Looking For on Tinder?

Now that you have an understanding of the myriad reasons that people use Tinder to find a short-term or long-term partner, it’s not uncommon for a woman to ask “What are you looking for on Tinder?”. 

The question is often presented to gauge your interest level and screen out those who don’t fit what she’s looking for. Here are a few responses you can give when you’re faced with this question:

“I'm looking for fun.”

They're both looking for fun on Tinder

Who doesn’t like fun? This response is ambiguous enough to spark her curiosity without giving away your intentions. After all, women tend to be shy about revealing their sexuality to strangers, so offering a tantalizing response creates a bit of mystery in her mind.

Remember, even if she wants a sexual encounter, it’s rare that she will send a stranger a direct response. And you can scare her off by being too upfront. Instead, “fun” ranges from lively conversation, going for a hike, or having discreet sex five minutes after meeting up. 

“I’m looking for trouble.”

Got a bit of a bad boy streak? Using this response appeals to women who enjoy a bit of excitement in their lives. 

Just as the previous example of “fun” is ambiguous, “trouble” has a more polarizing effect but will attract women that are looking to explore their darker side. Remember, much of the world is a place of safety and monotony for many women. So you can set yourself apart by playing into a “bad boy” archetype to offer up something to shake up her world a bit. 

“I'm looking for chemistry”

Talking online is one thing, but meeting up is where you’ll see if you have some chemistry. There’s only one way to find this out - meeting up for a date - but this response also shows that you have some experience with women (i.e. you know what a lack of chemistry is like) and want to pursue a relationship. 


Need some time to think about your intentions? This response can buy you some time but also give her a bit of excitement. By waiting a few seconds with your “real” response, you can reveal your intentions in a manner that shows a bit of vulnerability and lays out your intentions.

Humorous responses: nonsense & non-sequiturs

Humor goes a long way on dating apps. Choose to respond in a way that shows off your witty banter and creativity. Here are a few examples:

  • “I'm peanut butter looking for my jelly.”
  • “Ma’am, this is a Wendy’s.”
  • “I'm looking for the Holy Grail”
  • “Just your license and registration, ma’am.”

Responses of these nonsensical types also serve the function of keeping things ambiguous. After all, you may not want to reveal your intentions until meeting up and getting to know the other person. 

H apps promo

“I’m looking for a hookup.”

So you’ve chatted up a bit, maybe alluded to some sexy fun, and she pops you with the “What are you looking for on Tinder?” question. Time to state your intentions

This direct method works if you assume that she’s looking for a no-strings-attached encounter.

If she says “me too” then start asking for logistics to meet up and let the games begin.

It should be noted that this response is risky, as some women are turned off by discussing sex with strangers (even if they have every intention of having sex immediately). Then again, some women appreciate when you cut to the chase. It’s up to you to decide when is appropriate. 

“I don’t have any expectations. I just like to meet cool people and see where it goes…”

This might seem like a non-committal answer, but she may be asking you the question to suss out any men who might be too clingy or those that try to shoehorn a relationship in before you’ve even met.

This response also takes the pressure off any preconceived expectations and shows that you’ve got options. 

“Someone like you.”

If you’re having a great conversation and she wants to know what you are looking for on Tinder, be bold. Tell her “someone like you”. It’s a highly flattering response and plays to her ego - both of which increase the chances of meeting up in person. 

Bear in mind that some women may misinterpret this as a creepy comment if you haven’t spent enough time chatting or she hasn’t revealed enough about herself for you to cast this type of judgment about her.


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