In our last lesson, we showed you how to set up Tinder by creating an account and filling out your profile (including uploading photos). Now, it's time to get to the good part: looking for potential matches! The system that Tinder uses to match people is very simple, and we'll teach you everything you need to know about using it.
To get matches on Tinder, open the app and log in. From your main Tinder page, choose to "like", "ignore", or "super like" your current potential match. If you "like" or "super like" someone, and they do the same for you when you appear as a potential match for them, Tinder will match the two of you.
There are some other matching functions that you can use, as well as some strategies that you can employ to potentially get more matches on Tinder. We'll discuss them all in detail below.
How does Tinder match people?
Tinder matches people by simple mutual interest. For each user picked as a potential match (based on your profile details and settings), you have a choice to "ignore" them or "like" them. They will make the same choice about you on their own account. If both of you "like" each other, you're matched!
There are a few other factors that determine who your potential matches on Tinder are. These include your geographical location, age, religion, political standing, and other details from your profile. Some of these parameters can be adjusted (for example, what age range of users you're looking for or how far away from your current location, distance-wise, you're willing to look for matches).
Unlike on eHarmony.com or Match.com, you aren't automatically matched with other people based on your profile data or questionnaire answers. On Tinder, you have to actively show interest in someone, and they have to do the same for you, before you get matched with them.
How to get Tinder matches
Turn on your mobile device, launch the Tinder app, and log in. See steps 1 to 3 in the first section of our How to Set Up Tinder tutorial if you need any reminders on how that process works.
When you get to your main screen on Tinder, you should see a photo and a brief description of a potential match. If you tap the green heart button, or slide your finger across the screen from left to right, you will "like" this user. If they choose to "like" you as well when your profile shows up on their account, the two of you will be matched!
If you don't like your current potential match, tap the red "X" icon, or slide your finger across the screen from right to left. This will "ignore" this user, so you won't be matched, even if they "like" you. Be aware that if you "ignore" a user, you won't ever get a chance to "like" them again, so give it some thought!
If you tap the blue star icon, or slide your finger across the screen from bottom to top, you will "super like" your current potential match. Then, when your profile shows up on their account, it will be highlighted to let them know that you're really interested in them. Other than that, this option works pretty much the same as the "like" function from step 2.
Oh, and one last thing to remember: you can only use the "super like" function once per day.
If you chose to "ignore" or "super like" a potential match when you didn't mean to (or maybe had second thoughts), you can tap the yellow looping arrow icon to use the "rewind" function. This undoes the decision you made concerning your last potential match (but not any potential matches further back).
Note that this function won't work unless you have a subscription to Tinder Plus, which is its paid premium service.
If you need some help deciding whether to "like" or "ignore" your current potential match, tap their photo. This allows you to see more information about them, including any other profile photos that they have on their account.
You can tap and hold your finger on the information box, and then slide your finger up and down to see the different kinds of information about your current suggested match that are available. You can also tap and hold your finger on your current potential match's photo, and then slide your finger left and right to see any other profile photos that they have. The dots highlighted in the screenshot above show you how many photos the user has available; the red dot denotes which photo in the sequence you are currently viewing.
When you're viewing a potential match's extra information and photos, be sure to slide your finger around the screen slowly and carefully! Otherwise, Tinder may mistake your action as a "like", "ignore", or "super like"!
If you're finished looking at your current potential match's additional information and photos, tap their photo to go back to your main screen on Tinder.
4 ways to get more matches on Tinder
Getting matched with other users on Tinder can be a bit of a tedious experience. If either you or another user chooses to "ignore" the other, then no match occurs, even if the other person chose "like". Also, barring the use of the "rewind" function, you won't get a second chance to make the match work.
The upshot of this is that you may have to go through a lot of user profiles to even find a few users who will match with you. Fortunately, there are a couple of tricks that you can use to increase your odds of getting a match. We'll list four of them below.
1. Flesh out your Tinder profile with as much information and as many photos as possible.
The more information you add to your profile, the easier time Tinder will have with finding potential matches whom you might like (and who might like you back). In addition, having more information and photos on your profile might make a better first impression on potential matches, as it shows honesty and genuineness. Potential matches will likely appreciate this more than someone who leaves their profile incomplete, as this may signal that they have something to hide.
On the other hand, as we advised in our Is Tinder Safe article, don't feel pressured to put information on your profile that could allow others to identify or contact you outside of Tinder. Strike the balance between openness and privacy that's right for you.
2. "Like" more potential matches; a small chance is better than no chance.
Unless you're positive that you won't click with a potential match on Tinder, why not give them a shot? You may as well take a chance on someone whom you might like (and who might like you), rather than choosing "ignore" and missing your chance to connect with them on Tinder forever. Who knows… you might have more chemistry than you first thought! And if things don't work out, you can simply block the person. (To learn how to do this, go to the Tinder support page and click "How do I unmatch/block someone?")
Just keep in mind that there's a limit to how many potential matches you can "like" within a 12-hour period, unless you're subscribed to Tinder Plus (see tip #4 below).
3. Use the "super like" function to let a potential match know that you like them.
If you see a potential match on Tinder that you really want to be matched with, try using your "super like" on them. This takes the guesswork out of matching for them, as when they view you as a potential match, they'll be able to tell that you "like" them. It's not a guarantee that they will "like" you back, but it's worth a try! Also remember that you can "super like" one of your potential matches each day, so make the most of this feature!
4. Get a subscription to Tinder Plus to power up your matching tools.
We've already suggested for you to "like" more potential matches and use the "super like" function in order to increase your chances of getting matches on Tinder. However, if you're subscribed to Tinder Plus — Tinder's paid premium service — then these two strategies get even more powerful!
For one thing, you can "like" as many suggested matches as you want, so there's less pressure to "ignore" someone and potentially regret what could have been. For another thing, you get to use the "super like" function up to five times per day, instead of just once! This allows you to let more potential matches know that they're on your radar, and maybe give them extra incentive to "like" you back and create a match!
For more information about the features and cost of Tinder Plus, visit our Is Tinder Free article.
That's our primer on how Tinder's matching system works! In our next tutorial, we'll show you how to start conversations with the people you get matched with on Tinder!