Why do people use Tinder?

Tinder is a very popular dating platform among young and emerging adults. Tinder, an app for phones, is known for hook-ups and casual sex. Besides that, there are also a lot of stories about finding love on Tinder. What are the motivations to use Tinder? Is Tinder just for casual sex? Or are there more motivations?

Researchers found six different motivations for the use. The first two motivations they found were love and casual sex. With both motivations, users aim to start a new relationship, a long or short, casual or serious. Love turned out to be a stronger motivation for Tinder than casual sex. This fact tells us that Tinder is not a platform for just casual sex or hook-ups. In line with earlier research, men showed a higher score by the motivation for casual sex than women did. However, men had less casual sex relationships with other Tinder users than women did. The older the users are, the more Tinder is used for love or casual sex.

The third motivation is ease of communication. It is simply easier to meet people on Tinder than it is in real life . The forth is self-worth validation . A match with someone is seen as positive feedback on the hobbies or the appearance of the user. In earlier research it is found that this motivation is stronger for women than for men, but that is not the case in the study of Sumter, Vandenbosch and Ligtenberg (2017).

The last to motivations are thrill of excitement and trendiness. Social media network sites are used for entertainment. Tinder is also used for this goal. Men used Tinder more for entertainment than women. Trendiness is a motivation that will be less and less for the use of Tinder. Trendiness was a motivation because Tinder was fairly new, and everybody used it. Tinder is nowadays an app that everybody knows, and Tinder is not a trend anymore, so this motivation will not remain present for long.

In the end, there are a lot of motivations to use Tinder. Researchers also concluded that the outcomes of the use are related to the motivations of the user. It is clear that Tinder is not a dating platform purely for casual sex of entertainment, but also for real and meaningful relationships.

~ I. Begthel, 2019


Crocker, J., Luhtanen, R.K., Cooper, M.L., Bouvrette, A., 2003. Contingencies of self-worth in college students: theory and measurement. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 85(5), 894–908.

Haferkamp, N., Eimler, S.C., Papadakis, A., Kruck, J.V., 2012. Men are from mars, women are from venus? Examining gender differences in self-presentation on social networking sites. Cyberpsychol. Behav. Soc. Netw. 15(2), 91–98.

Sumter, S. R., Vandenbosch, L., & Ligtenberg, L. (2017). Lover me Tinder: Untangling emerging adults’ motivations for using the dating application Tinder. Telematics and Informatics, 34, 67-78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2016.04.009

Timmermans, E., & Courtios, C. (2018). Form swiping to casual sex and/or committed relationships: Exploring the experiences of Tinder users. The Information Society, 34(2), 59-70. https://doi.org/10.1080/01972243.2017.1414093