What Each Color Heart Emoji Really Means When Texting

Emojis speak louder than words.

Last updated on Sep 22, 2022

woman with heart emojis behind her Krakenimages.com & Unsplash / Shutterstock

Since the dawn of time, new relationships have been full of questions. Does she like me back? Is he the one? ...What do the different color heart emojis mean when he texts me? Alright, well maybe some questions are newer than others.

We should be thanking our lucky stars that modern technology has made dating easier.

Sure, there’s no more courtship rules, delivering handwritten letters, or waiting by a telephone for their call, but that doesn’t mean dating doesn’t have new obstacles to replace the old ones.


RELATED: If You Use These 13 Flirty Emojis, Here's What You're Telling Him

Emojis have created a whole new love language that makes reading between the lines even more complicated. It’s hard enough having to overanalyze every last word of a text, and now we’re expected to know what different colored hearts are saying to us?


While we wish we could just jump inside our crush's head to figure out what exactly they were thinking when they hit that emoji, even the newest iPhone update hasn’t given us that ability just yet.

For now, all we can do is wonder and come up with what each heart symbol and emoji means, what it’s used for, and when to avoid it.

Different Color Heart Emoji Meanings

Red Heart

red heart emoji


The red heart emoji has been around since before emojis came along to complicate things. Its meaning is clear: Love, true love.

Red hearts are traditional and well-meaning, but they are a little boring. If you’re dating someone new and they send you this emoji for the first time, it’s a big statement; in long-term relationships, spicing things up starts with the right emojis.

It’s not an emoji you want to throw out to just anyone, nor is it one to overuse. Keep this for special people and special occasions.

Use for: New lovers and old friends

Don’t use for: First dates

Orange Heart

orange heart emoji


Orange is most often associated with warmth and light. This heart signifies serenity and comfort, making it great for friends who are in need of support.

But given that this is a comforting color, the orange heart emoji is often used by non-committal types who are getting a little too comfortable with you, but are too scared to take it to the next level.

The orange heart is located suspiciously close to the red one, so it could be a sign of someone who has hesitant fingers when it comes to expressing love.

Use for: Sending encouragement and support to friends

Don’t use for: Complicated situationships

Yellow Heart

yellow heart emoji


On Snapchat, the yellow heart emoji appears beside the name of the person you snap most. This just about sums it up.

If you’re receiving this emoji from a friend, you two are close besties who are constantly in touch. If it’s from a love interest, you guys need to cut the crap, ditch the cyber relationship, and move things forward in real life.

This is a gentle, soft emoji, and if that’s what you want from your relationship, keep sending that yellow heart. (Personally, I’d rather see these emoji coming from my grandmother than my crush!)

Use for: Family members, best friends, and during the “figuring it out” stage

Don’t use for: Anyone with whom you want to stir up passion


Green Heart

green heart emoji

Green is the color of envy, making this heart the emoji equivalent of smiling on the outside but seething with jealousy on the inside.

The green heart emoji is the kind of heart you leave as a comment when the guy you’re crushing on puts up a cozy picture of him and the girl he’s been assuring you is “just a friend.”


It does also radiate clean energy, so it’s possible the person sending you this emoji only eats organic food and recycles a lot.

Use for: Deliberately passive-aggressive comments; inviting friends to come to the farmer’s market with you

Don’t use for: Trying to look like you don’t care; posting pictures of plastic straws and disposable coffee cups

Blue Heart

blue heart emoji


Ever had one of those awkward encounters with someone you’re crushing on where you go in for a hug but it turns out they were just trying to give you a high-five? That’s what the blue heart emoji means.

Blue is the color of trust, so it’s not entirely bad. Using the blue heart emoji means they appreciate your loyalty, but they definitely don’t intend on ripping your clothes off anytime soon.

Use for: People you want close to you... but not that close

Don’t use for: Someone you want to trust you back

RELATED: 15 Different Ways To Say 'I Love You' Using Only Emojis

Purple Heart

purple heart emoji


Purple emojis should have their own category. The purple devil, this heart, the eggplant emoji — they all mean one thing and it has nothing to do with true love.

The purple heart emoji is for late-night texts when there’s only one thing on your mind. They’re usually preceded by “You up?” or “Come over.” This heart basically means take it all off.

Use for: Friends with benefits

Don’t use for: Anyone you want to introduce to your parents

Black Heart

black heart emoji


The black heart emoji is often used ironically or by someone with a twisted sense of humor.

It radiates Scorpio energy, which is dark and chaotic. It’s basically saying, “I could fall in love with you... or ruin your life, depending on how I feel.”

If you send this to someone who gets your humor, it will be appreciated. If sent to anyone else, they might call the police.

Use for: Your twin flame or best friend

Don’t use for: Someone you don’t want to scare off

White Heart

white heart emoji


White is supposed to represent purity and innocence, like a virgin wearing white on her wedding day.

If you subscribe to these outdated concepts, the white heart emoji is all yours. It’s well-meaning but kind of bland.

As the brown emoji is becoming increasingly popular to celebrate POC love, using the white emoji could be perceived negatively if you’re not careful. Plus, the white heart is basically transparent and can’t be seen in tweets, so what is the point of it, honestly?

Use for: Captioning a photo of a newborn

Don’t use for: Social justice activism

Brown Heart

brown heart emoji


Celebrations of Black love, Black joy, and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement are often accompanied by this heart.

That’s not to say it’s reserved exclusively for this context, since anyone considered to be BIPOC is free to use this emoji in any context they please.

For non-BIPOC, this emoji could be likened to digital blackface, so it’s best to avoid any misuse. Even if you’re just trying to show solidarity with other races and ethnicities, you can do so using any other color heart emoji.

Use for: BIPOC can use this however they please

Don’t use for: Allying BIPOC

Broken Heart

broken heart emoji


You could use the broken heart emoji to express actual heartbreak, but this emoji is best used ironically.

Using this in any serious context is the digital equivalent of that time Demi Lovato’s ex, Max Ehrich, clearly staged those paparazzi photos of him crying on the beach where he’d proposed after Demi had dumped him. It’s cringey and kind of embarrassing.

If someone has actually broken your heart, maybe try speaking to them in real life instead of blasting this emoji all over social media.

Use for: Jokingly giving someone a hard time by pretending to be more upset than you are

Don’t use for: Actual heartbreak

Red Heart Exclamation Mark

exclamation mark heart emoji


Cute and casual, the red heart exclamation point emoji is just right for new relationships when “I love you” hasn’t been said yet.

You know when you’re at that stage where you want to say it, but you don’t want to be the first one to say it? That’s where this emoji comes in.

It’s for that giddy honeymoon stage before you’re ready for the full red heart.

Use for: Making plans with a new lover

Don’t use for: Serious conversations

Two Pink Hearts

two pink hearts heart emoji


These two are the ultimate duo. Whether you’re getting these from a lover or a friend, they’re telling you they want you close.

The two pink hearts emoji is cute and mini, so they don’t carry the same intensity as some of the bigger heart emojis yet still show love.

Use for: Closest friends and flirty texts

Don’t use for: Someone you’re not close to

RELATED: How To Tell If A Girl Likes You Over Text

Two Pink Circling Hearts

circling hearts heart emoji


The two pink circling hearts kind of look like the two pink hearts from above reaching out for a hug, making it more intimate than the two hearts.

It’s kind of a step up from the friend stage. You’re kissing at parties and having late-night calls, but if anyone asks, you two are “just friends.”

Use for: Friends with benefits, future boyfriends/girlfriends

Don’t use for: Someone you’re about to dump

Beating Heart

beating heart emoji


Be still, my beating heart! If you’ve received the beating heart emoji, someone is really putting themselves out there for you.

They’re literally showing you that you make their heart pound. Could they make it any clearer?

Use for: Confessions of love


Don’t use for: Anyone you’re not crushing on

Pulsating Heart

pulsating heart emoji

Commitment-phobes use the pulsating heart emoji to subtly tell people their icy heart is melting and they’re ready for love.

Of course, they don’t want to wear their heart on their sleeve and actually say this so, instead, they’ll send one of these hearts your way and hope you do the figuring out.


Just like when the Grinch stopped being a buzzkill and his heart grew three sizes, anyone sending you this emoji is clearly having a change of heart.

Use for: Letting your guard down

Don’t use for: A substitute for words — just say how you feel

Sparkling Heart

sparkling heart emoji

The heart with stars, also known as the sparkling heart emoji, says, “You’re great.” Don’t read too much into this because you’ll only be disappointed.


It’s definitely a heartfelt sentiment, but it’s not exactly a confession of love.

Use for: Showing appreciation

Don’t use for: Flirting

Heart with Arrow

arrow heart emoji

Outside of Valentine's Day, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use the heart with an arrow emoji, which means we have no choice but to jump to conclusions about it when someone does.


They’ve been struck by Cupid and have got it bad for you.

Use for: Valentine's Day; spicing thing up in a long-term relationship

Don’t use for: Platonic relationships

Heart with Ribbon

ribbon heart emoji

My heart is yours! Anyone sending you the heart with a ribbon emoji is literally gifting their heart to you. Take care of it.


There’s nothing half-hearted about this.

Use for: Your one true love

Don’t use for: Someone who only texts you late at night with purple emojis

RELATED: What The Texts & Emojis You Send Reveal About Your True Personality

Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her on Twitter for more.