The best part of dating apps can also be one of the most frustrating. There are new apps being made available every day, claiming to be "the relationship app" or "the hookup app." Despite the marketing, a seemingly endless number of people use these apps for so many different reasons, from those who are new to a city and looking for friends to show them around, to those who are set on finding true love online. What women are looking for on dating apps varies from woman to woman, and is completely dependent on where she is in her life and what her current priorities are.
While I'm a big advocate of being honest about what you're looking for in relationships early on, people aren't always 100 percent sure of what they want. Even if a person says they're looking for more than just a hookup, that doesn't mean they're really ready to commit. Take it from these women; even if you are upfront about why you're on dating apps, not all of your matches are guaranteed to be as straightforward.
Finding someone on a dating app who is looking for the exact same thing as you are isn't always easy, but it's definitely worth it. Here's the honest truth about what six single women are really hoping to find on dating apps.
This woman is looking for a more serious relationship.
In the past, I used [dating apps] to find friends with benefits. Good sex and a bit of charisma, at the very least. Now however, I use them to try to find a more serious relationship, and even though I advertise that on my profile (and ask men looking for hookups to swipe left), I still get a ton of men who match with me and try to just have a hookup-based relationship. Several dudes in the recent months have initially acted like they, too, wanted relationships, but then revealed within weeks that they just wanted casual sex.
— Olivia, 27
This woman just wants to meet someone she can have fun with.
I recently moved to New York, so I don’t have a lot of expectations just yet. The city is new and so are the people. So if and when I decide to actually commit to a dating app, I really am looking for someone to just have fun with, whether that ends up being a hookup, a short fling, or something more serious.
— Carley, 23
This woman wants to find a boyfriend.
I have profiles on Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge. What I’m looking for depends on my mood, but ... I do want a boyfriend. I’ve gone on a couple dates and actually ended up 'talking' to someone [from a dating app]. Things didn’t work out, but it was nice to bond with someone.
— Tara, 25
This woman is searching for a friend with benefits.
I’m looking for something more serious than a one night stand, but less serious than a relationship, partially due to the fact that I'm leaving the area and don’t want to get attached to anyone. I haven’t been successful, because I feel that most guys [on dating apps] are looking for a one night stand. I kind of see it as a friends with benefits or no strings attached situation. It’s the best of both worlds: no constant texting, no dates, no holding hands or mushy things, but still friendship with sex.
— Ana*, 23
This woman wants a serious relationship.
I got into online dating after a seven-year relationship ended. After I turned 27, I realized that I'd pretty much maxed out all my social circles — basically, I knew my friends' friends, I'm not in a workplace where I meet a lot of people my age — and that if I wanted to meet new people it'd have to be through an app. I've had multiple successful relationships with men I've met via dating apps, and it's why I'm using it again right now. I'm looking for a serious relationship. I don't advertise that, but depending on which app you use, it's pretty safe to assume that people I'm matching with are looking for the same thing. In the past I've looked for casual relationships or a serious relationship and I've found both via dating apps. Some of these relationships that I had on dating apps have now turned into friendships. In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to use dating apps and I could meet people organically, but that's just not my reality right now.
— Sara, 29
This woman is open to anything, but eventually hopes to build to a relationship.
I am on a few dating apps and generally have the outlook of being open to anything, with the goal of building to a relationship. I have talked to several people on the apps and have met with some in person (the ones I seem to gel with the most). I think especially at a younger age, people are less looking for a relationship which is understandable, but can be discouraging. I’ve just gotten back in the game because I stopped for a while. It was just getting tiring. My advice? Don’t resort to just one app. Try many.
— Sidney*, 24
It's easy to get dating app fatigue when you aren't totally sure what you're trying to find. Knowing what you want to get out of using a dating app is the first step to actually meeting someone whose preferences align with yours.
*Name has been changed.
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