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5 Ways to Use Tinder that Aren’t Hooking Up

Harry Guinness 16-05-2016

Tinder has a reputation as a hook up app, but it can be used for a lot more than that. While it might not be the best service if you’re looking for a long-term romantic relationship, quite a few of my friends met their current partners through the service.


But Tinder even has non-romantic uses. If you’re travelling you can meet new people to hang out with or get local recommendations. It’s a great app for killing time or learning a new language. You can even use it for political purposes. Here’s how.

Meet New People When You Travel

Travelling is awesome. You should take every opportunity to see the world you get even if it means going it alone. The biggest problem with travelling solo is that it can sometimes get lonely. Instead of getting out and exploring your destination, it’s all too easy to stay near a Wi-Fi connection procrastinating and chat to friends back home.

If you’re alone in a new place, Tinder is a great way to get out and meet people. As long as you’re upfront that you’re not looking for a hookup, plenty of people you match with will be willing to meet up and show you around. In fact, they’re often more willing to grab a coffee because there’s no pressure to be a romantic match. You don’t need to be attracted to someone to meet up and show them around your city.

Depending on where you are in the world, you might end up matching with other travellers rather than locals. Either way, you’ll quickly find some people to have fun with.


If you travel a lot and use Tinder, you’ll quickly get matches all over the world that you don’t talk to. If that happens, remember to declare Tinder Zero Why You Should Declare Tinder Zero At the beginning of this year I declared Tinder Zero. It's just like Inbox Zero, except with Tinder instead of your email account. Read More and start from scratch every few months.

Get Recommendations From Locals

Even if you don’t want to meet up with new people, Tinder can still be really handy when you travel. One thing I’ve done in the past is ask locals what bars and restaurants they’d recommend. Online reviews can be dubious Ignore These Five Kinds Of Online Reviews Online reviews can be a great way to decide if something is worth paying but, even if you avoid the dodgy reviews, there are plenty of other kinds you should ignore. Read More so I prefer to actually chat to people around my own age with similar interests to find out where to go. I’d sooner hit a new bar that young locals love than one that has hundreds of great reviews on Yelp! and is overrun with other tourists.

I’ve also been on the receiving end of this one. I’ve matched with people who are visiting Dublin for the weekend that use Tinder to plan what they’re going to do. I was happy to recommend some of the best spots I knew even if we didn’t meet up.


Kill Time

I’m a huge productivity fan How a Simple Pomodoro Timer Made My Life Better The Pomodoro Technique is one of the simpler time management life hacks. Break through distractions with the help of 25-minute chunks and a timer. It could be a life-changing routine change if it suits you. Read More but everyone occasionally needs to do something completely brainless to relax. Yes, reading a great book Read the World's Best Books for Free With the Harvard Classics The Harvard Classics is a multi-volume collection of the world's best books. Collated by Dr. Charles W. Eliot in the early 20th century, these can now be downloaded absolutely free of charge. Read More would be a “better” use of your time but you need to cut yourself some slack every now and again. For some people their brainless guilty pleasure is reality TV, for me it’s Tinder.

It’s really easy to waste an hour or two just lounging around, swiping left or right, and chatting to people. Most of the time, I’m not even looking for anything to come from it.

I’ve even got friends who use Tinder Passport to swipe in a city they’ve no intention of visiting. They just want to find some random people to chat with to waste some time. It’s almost like Tinder is an old-school Internet chatroom.


It’s not the best use for Tinder but it’s a very common one. Just because someone’s using Tinder, it doesn’t mean they’re looking for a hookup; they might just want to kill time. If someone doesn’t want to meet up with you, this may be one of the reasons why.

Learn a New Language

Learning a new language is tough but the Internet can help How I Finally Learned a Different Language. And You Can Too. No single language learning app is the magic wand. The secret to learning a new language is a blended solution. With desire and motivation you too can learn any foreign language. Read More . One of the most important parts of learning to speak a new language is talking to native speakers. It’s all well and good to work through books and CDs, but until you actually have to use your newly learnt vocabulary you won’t be really on your way to fluency.

LC Haughey from Fluent in 3 Months recommends using Tinder to help. Just like my friends use Passport to match with people in random cities for fun, you can use it to match with people that speak the language you want to learn. If you’re learning German, swipe in Berlin. If you want to speak Portuguese, swipe in Rio or Lisbon.


There’s only so much you can do using Tinder’s messaging system, but if things go well, Haughey suggests taking things to Skype so you can talk properly. It might seem a bit weird at first but she says all her experiences have been positive.

While I haven’t tried it, the next time I get serious about learning a new language I’ll certainly be using Tinder to help.

Campaign For Your Favorite Politician

The most unusual use for Tinder I’ve come across recently is political campaigning. Earlier this year, some Bernie Sanders fans had the idea to message guys on Tinder to try and get them to support their candidate in the primaries. It’s certainly a different way to use the app.

There’s nothing to stop you taking their lead and using Tinder to campaign for your favorite politician, or even for an important issue. If you want #Trump4Prez or more people to recycle, you can reach out to people in your area through Tinder. Just be careful not to get banned.

What Do You Use Tinder For?

While Tinder is mainly a dating app, it doesn’t have to be just that. Especially if you’re travelling, Tinder can help you meet new people or get recommendations for things to do. If you’re bored you can use Tinder to kill some time or even, help learn a new language. You can even use it to start a political campaign — though I wouldn’t advise it.

If you’re going to use Tinder for something crazy, you should probably mention it in your profile, but otherwise you can use the app however you want.

Have you used Tinder as something other than a dating app? Let us know how it worked out in the comments.

Related topics: Online Dating, Tinder.

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