Expressing your feelings over text or DMs can be difficult, which is why heart emojis are extremely helpful. But the issue is every emojis are open to interpretation. To save you from sending the wrong type of message, here’s what each colour heart emoticon actually means.
Emojis have become the language of texts. They’re the answer to lightening the mood, showing empathy, creating LOLs, you way out of difficult situations when you really don’t know what to reply back, or when you’re sexting your Tinder match at 1am and can’t be bothered to type actual words.
But the problem is this: a single emoji can be translated 374,789… ways. And this especially goes for the humble heart emoji.
So you send that sparkling pink heart emoji to your BFF whenever you’re thinking of them, maybe you’ve signed off work emails with an orange heart because you didn’t want to come across as rude, or flicked a non-romantic green heart to that random who slid into your DMs. Maybe you just like the colour purple and that’s become your go-to heart emoji you use for every situation (if this is you, you’ll maybe-definitely want to choose a different favourite colour).
But according to a WIRED report, every colour heart carries a VERY specific meaning.
Here’s what each heart emoticon actually means…
Meaning: True love.
Use: No surprises here. The red heart emoji can be used to convey passion and romance, and should be reserved for your partner.
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Meaning: Dark humour.
Use: When you need to express morbidity or sorrow, or need to sprinkle in some irony.
Meaning: Happiness and friendship.
Use: Send it to a close friend or the person you message the most frequently. Because it has “gentle” connotations, it’s commonly used for Mother’s Day and convos with grandparents. In a romantic situation, it symbolises your relationship is moving into friendship territory.
Use: While it carries feelings of envy, it can also indicate organic and healthy living.
Meaning: Compassion, wealth, duty, honour, royalty and good judgement. BUT it can also be considered horny…
Use: Could be sent to an elderly who you respect and want to show gratitude towards, or when you want to shamelessly booty call someone. Use it at your own risk.
Meaning: Serenity, care and comfort. However, if you’re receiving it from a potential lover, it means something entirely different…
Use: Great to use in your family’s group chat. But, if you receive this from say, a guy you’ve been seeing, it means his fingers hovered over the red heart but decided to send the “non-committed” version instead. Sorry.
Meaning: Pure love that can’t be destroyed.
Use: Can be used by parents to send to their children, or someone who wants to convey love that will stand the test of time.
Meaning: Trust, harmony, peace and loyalty. It can also imply a shallow friendship – like one you’d send to a “bro”.
Use: Should be reserved for people you don’t trust with your emotional baggage, the random who slides into your DMs in a nonsexual context. If you’re conveying trust and loyalty, stick to another colour.
Pink sparkle heart
Meaning: Dictionary.com says the sparkle heart “shows love and affection, often with a happy, playful or sweet tone.”
Use: It’s playful and cute enough that it doesn’t carry heavy romantic complications. Use it in any conversation to show a sense of appreciation without putting an emotional edge to the tone.
Vibing pink heart
Meaning: Confession of love or apologetic.
Use: Have nervous butterflies in your stomach when your crush messages you? This emoji will tell them exactly how you feel. On the other hand, it’s great if you need to apologise to someone in a kind manner. It basically translates to “all is forgiven”.
Red broken heart
Use: It’s not rocket science to understand what this emoji means. Send it to your partner if they disappoint you and you want to give them a hard time (but obviously you’re fine and just want to stir the pot a lil’). Just don’t use this broken heart emoji in a serious context because that’s a little cringeworthy, tbh.
Red heart exclamation mark
Meaning: Enthusiasm! Fun! Excited!
Use: Sprinkle this into conversation with friends, family or even a new flame whom you enjoy spending time with. It can also be used to sign off when brunch/dinner/date plans are made. Keen!
Heart with arrow
Meaning: Falling in love or love-struck.
Use: If you’re bold, you could send this at the start of a romantic relationship to show how giddy you are. But since it’s one of least used emojis, you could also send this to your long-term partner where nothing is new anymore and you really want to show them you care.
Meaning: Mutual love, cute love, flirtatious love.
Use: A good emoji to send to someone you’ve gone on a few dates with to tell them you’re into them. Or reserve it for your BFF when you want to text “you and I forevz, bebe”.
Orbiting pink hearts
Meaning: Mutual understanding.
Use: Having a heavy talk with someone via text? This shows you understand them. Also use it when you need to accept an apology or when you need to do the apologising.
Heart with bow
Meaning: You are giving your heart to someone, for life.
Use: Only to be sent to the person you are totally head-over-heels with.