ICYMI, there are a bunch of different heart emojis on your keyboard. Like, there are hearts in pretty much every color, and you’ve also got lots of ~quirky~ options at your disposal. (Hi, sparkly heart and anatomically correct heart.) That said, because there are so many darn heart options out there, it makes sense if you’re not really sure when to use them. Which kind of heart emoji should you send to a crush? Which one should you put in your Instagram bio? When is it appropriate to send a bunch of mini hearts? These are the important questions. (Related: 14 Rules To Help You Decide Whether Or Not To Text Him)
Alright, now that you know there’s a solution to your heart-emoji cluelessness, it’s time to get to work. Keep reading for each and every heart emoji meaning out there, and when to use each color and type of emoji, exactly. Rest easy knowing your thumbs won’t freak the next time you’ve got to send bae (or your mom!) a cute li’l heart text.
“This emoji is best to use along with other black and white emojis or any emojis that give off ~angel~ energy (i.e. ☁️🐚🕊🦢),” says social media expert and writer, Naydeline Mejia. “It’s purely for aesthetic purposes in captions and Instagram stories.”
Good for: Making your message ~look a certain way~ visually.
Bad for: Showing passion or love. (Let’s face it: This emoji can be a little bland.)
While this emoji isn’t available on all smartphones (make sure you download all the latest phone updates for access!), it’s definitely a special one. Many reserve this emoji for Black and Brown folks. It’s a means for BIPOC individuals to show love and healing, which means that if you’re a white person, you probably shouldn’t use it.
Good for: Use by any Black or Brown people.
Bad for: White people trying to show solidarity. (Pro tip: Just use a different color heart!)
If you haven’t heard of this heart, it’s time to learn ASAP. Why? Not only is the bare-bones outlined heart kind of cute, but it also shows some ~personality~. (To access this heart, press control, command, and the space bar.) Like, you have to really put in effort in order to access this heart, so it’s very intentional.
Good for: A quirky IG caption or a mushy paragraph to bae in your notes app.
Bad for: Communicating a specific meaning. This emoji is for the mysterious only.
This heart is straight up weird, but that’s probably why you like it. You can use this one with your friends who get your odd humor, but definitely refrain from usage if you’re trying to genuinely convey desire or love with someone new. (They might be confused!)
Good for: Using in your bio if you’re a medical student, being weirdos with your siblings or friends…
Bad for: Communicating genuine love or lust, or when talking to someone who won’t get your anatomy humor.
ICYMI, the red heart is defined as “the love heart,” according to Mejia. “The red heart is reserved for your closest friends, family, and your partner,” she explains. “I wouldn’t send this to an acquaintance or friend you’re just getting to know because it might come across a bit intense. This is also great to send to anyone experiencing loss or grief to let them know your thoughts are with them.” Noted!
Good for: Partners, close friends, family, grief.
Bad for: Casual relationships.
This is sort of the lazy man’s red heart, unless you’re going with some kind of orange theme for your social media or texting aesthetic. That said, to each their own. Use this emoji if you so desire!
Good for: Instagram aesthetics. Casual hookups or dating situations.
Bad for: Anything serious.
“This is the unofficial platonic friendship heart,” Mejia explains. “It’s great to send to friends, acquaintances, and mutuals who you want to be friends with IRL.” Basically, it says, “hey, I don’t know you, but I appreciate you and think you’re cool.”
Good for: Creating all sorts of warm and fuzzy friendship vibes.
Bad for: Sending to a potential love interest.
While this doesn’t have a specific meaning, exactly, this heart is great for anyone with a green thumb. (Looking at you, plant-lovers!) It could also be associated with the environment, helping keep our earth safe, being waste-free, etc. Use it with a bunch of different plant emojis or green items to best convey your point. (Example: 💚🌱🍃🍀🎋🍄🌻🌷)
Good for: Creating a ~go green~ vibe.
Bad for: Communicating with someone who doesn’t understand emoji culture.
It feels like the blue heart is typically used in a patriotic context. Like, say you’re trying to caption your Fourth of July IG picture. Or maybe you’re tweeting about the inauguration. Or maybe you’re celebrating the fact that Georgia went blue while texting your mom. This is kind of a use-as-you-see-fit emoji.
Good for: Political decrees or patriotic celebration.
Bad for: This emoji is pretty neutral. No need to worry about misusing.
In today’s culture, the purple heart emoji conveys horniness. This mutual understanding of all things purple heart is all thanks to Ty Dolla $ign, who has a song (called “Purple Emoji”) about insinuating sex by sending someone the purple heart emoji.
Good for: Telling your bae that you want to smash, ASAP.
Bad for: Anything at all platonic. No need to send the wrong signal that you want to be more than friends!
“Another heart that is purely aesthetic—it pairs well with 💀👻🦷🕷⛓,” Mejia explains. If you’re an avid TikTok user, odds are you’ve seen this heart used at least once in your life, since it’s popular among the e-girl/guy crowd.
Good for: Captioning your e-girl TikTok or showing your bestie you’re sad.
Bad for: Anyone who doesn’t understand why your soul is so dark.
This one should be pretty obvious. A broken heart emoji conveys sadness or disappointment, and it works in just about any heartbreaking situation: You could be upset because of a failed romance or because of a tragic event. Regardless, the broken heart emoji is pretty widely accepted as a way of saying I’m crushed. (Both in serious and sarcastic situations.)
Good for: Demonstrating heartbreak or sadness. It can also be used ironically.
Bad for: Sending to your grandma as a joke. She will probably take it seriously.
This emoji is meant to be silly and fun. It’s unique, some might say. You can use this emoji in just about any situation, especially if you’re trying to convey excitement. Send it to your friends, family, or partner when you have good news, or if you just want to tell them that you’re excited to see them.
Good for: Telling someone a piece of exciting news, giving someone a compliment, or just about anything else that’s lighthearted and positive.
Bad for: When you’re having a rather serious convo.
The two static pink hearts emoji is what Mejia calls the “token of appreciation” heart. “It’s appropriate for any and all circumstances really,” she says. “It’s a great one to send your crush to let them know you think they’re a cutie. Commenting three of these under a friend’s selfie is also a less aggressive way to show love compared to “🔥🔥🔥.”
Good for: Being flirty, cute, or complimentary.
Bad for: Trying to express deep love or meaning via text.
If you’re having a heart-to-heart, in-depth conversation with someone, this is definitely the appropriate heart to use. The double, circling heart signifies that you guys are on the same page and that you’re being open or communicative.
Good for: Sending during deep conversations, apologies, granting forgiveness, exchanging ideas, or any other sort of mind meld.
Bad for: A super surface-level conversation.
The vibrating pink heart is for, well, vibing. Maybe you and a crush just had an amazing date. (Or amazing sex.) This emoji tells whoever you’re sending it to that you’re operating on the same wavelength, and you’re pleased.
Good for: Sending and receiving all kinds of good vibes.
Bad for: Anything non-sexual or non-romantic. Just send a different emoji so that there’s no confusion.
Its interpretation is up to you. Some ideas: Maybe you want to show that your love for someone is growing, that your heart is beating, that you love multiple people at once, etc.
Good for: Making someone scratch their head.
Bad for: Trying to be straightforward.
This heart gives off all the fairy godmother vibes. It’s universally accepted as cute, upbeat, and good-in-a-neutral-way, which means that you’re good to send it in just about any and every situation.
Good for: Any kind of chill, fun conversation.
Bad for: It’s hard to mess this one up!
This emoji should be used on a situation-by-situation basis. It’s great for love-themed events like Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, a proposal, a wedding, etc. It can also be used to convey any kind of flirtation or sexual interest while texting a potential (or already) bae. Since they may not know the exact meaning behind your use, they’ll probably find you mysterious and alluring for throwing it out there.
Good for: Romance-themed days or captions and flirting with a potential sexual partner.
Bad for: Anything remotely platonic.
Send this to your partner and let them know that your heart is theirs. It’s literally wrapped up, yellow bow and all, and they can keep it forever. Basically, if you send this emoji, you’re obviously in a relationship with somebody. You’re cuffed.
Good for: Sending to your S.O. to make them feel the most special.
Bad for: Any kind of causal relationship. No one needs mixed signals!
Some possible suggestions: Use this emoji when trying to create a purple-themed aesthetic, or in a caption where you’re donning the colors of your purple-themed sports team, or to stand out among red hearts everywhere.
Good for: Being quirky and different.
Bad for: Anything where the purple theme won’t make sense.
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