Emojis have the power to say what words can’t, to emphasize certain words you do choose to say, or to replace “LMAO” or “WOW, you’re hot” with a friendlier, less abrasive message (i.e. with crying laughing faces or heart eyes). But do you know how to use emojis at the right times and in the right places in order to get your messages across in the best, most effective way?
To help you master the modern language of Emoji, we’ve compiled an emoji dictionary for you to refer back to when you want to use them (properly!) throughout your online dating journey. Here are seven of the most commonly used emojis on online dating apps and in your inboxes, along with a brief definition of what they typically mean and/or are typically used to represent.
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1. When You Want to Say Hey: Smiley Face
Say hello to the original smiley face emoji! It’s kind, it’s sweet, and it never means any harm. It’s typically used to express happiness or friendliness, usually if you’re excited to meet someone in person or if you’re saying hello for the first time that day.
2. When You're Embarrassed: Blushing Smiley Face
This smiley is a bit more timid and shy than the full on smiley face. Why? Because this one is blushing. This emoji usually pops up when you’re – wait for it – blushing! You’re most likely to send this one in response to a compliment someone gives you or if you’re asking someone out in a low-key type of way.
3. When You're Into Someone: Heart Eyes
“Damn, you’re beautiful” or “I really like what you said” are two of the most common instances to substitute words with this heart-eye face emoji. You think someone is hot? Send the heart eyes! You love that they’re a veterinarian and work with animals for a living? Heart eyes. This emoji is sent to express adoration, interest, lust, or admiration. Use it wisely!
4. When They Make You Laugh: Crying Laughing
Sometimes an “LOL” or a “hahaha” isn’t enough to convey how funny you think someone or something is. And nobody uses “ROFLMAO” anymore, so that’s not an option, either. When acronyms about how hard you’re laughing fail to express the sentiment, it’s common practice to replace them with a crying laughing emoji (or three). This is one of my personal favorites for that reason. It’s cute, friendly, and versatile, and gets the point across every time.
5. When You Want to be Sarcastic: Tongue Wink
This isn’t a normal “winky” face because the tongue is sticking out. So if you’re receiving or sending this emoji, it’s because someone is being sarcastic or sexual. It’s often used in reply to a flirtatious comment or something said as a joke.
6. When You Want to Flirt: Tongue Smiley
The above wink emoji is definitely flirtier than the friendlier tongue smiley, so be careful how you use both of them.
7. When You Want to Get Intimate: Eggplant
Here, we have one of the most sexual emojis in the entire emoji glossary. I’m sure you can guess what it stands for, but in case you live under a rock, allow us to explain. The eggplant symbolizes a penis.
8. When You're Looking for Fun: Peach
The peach represents an ass. If you’re down for a hookup and trying to express that without using any words, all you need is to use either the eggplant or the peach to drop the not-so-subtle hint… and maybe the next two, too.
9. When You're Very Impressed: Water Droplets
These three, light-blue water droplets could be drops of sweat. But they could also be used to express that you’re drooling.
10. When You're in the Mood: Tongue
When you combine the wet emoji with the straight-forward tongue emoji, the duo can convey that you want to… you know. ‘nuff said.
3 Tips On How To Use Emojis
Simply explaining what the emojis mean isn’t exactly enough, so here are some tips to keep in mind on how to properly use popular emojis when messaging matches on online dating apps.
1. Use an appropriate amount in one text. It’s easy to go overboard with emojis when you’re trying to seem fun and friendly or really want to get your point across. Be careful not to send too many, though, because one too many kissy faces can easily be perceived as “extra” or creepy. Avoid coming off too aggressive by keeping these rough rules in mind: only use one smiley face. Keep the crying laughing emojis to a max of three (unless you think the joke is absolutely hysterical and you’re literally rolling on the floor laughing your ass off, then use, like, seven). Only use one heart. Because let’s face it, four hearts speak WAY louder than one.
2. Space them out throughout your conversations. Try not to use emojis in every single message you send. Only use them where emojis can speak louder than words, when you need to emphasize something, or when you want to express excitement or enthusiasm. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of coming off a bit immature if you can’t send simple messages without smileys and emoticons flooding their inbox.
3. Gauge the conversation and someone’s texting style before sending. Think about the person you’re planning to send these emojis to, and even stalk your date a little if you have to. How and when do they usually use emojis? Never, or always? When they do, how many do they send? Is it the occasional emoji, or do they overload (and need to take a look at the previous tip)? Although you’re free to text however you feel comfortable, and you don’t need to necessarily “match” your match’s texting style, understand that they may misinterpret your overuse or underuse as coming off a bit too strong or not strong enough, depending on how many you send.
To Emoji or Not to Emoji
Now that you know which emojis mean what, and how to use them when, it’s up to you to take matters into your own hands. A smiley face here and there probably won’t cost you a first date, but the next time you go to send a heart, think to yourself whether or not you want to risk sending the wrong message. You might want to save it for after you meet in person to let them know how much you enjoyed the pizza you got together. Because every relationship and conversation is different, “to emoji or not to emoji” is the question that you’ll need to answer yourself.
Now that you’ve got the flirty emojis down, test your knowledge on the latest dating terms to become the ultimate online dating pro.