What Each Color Heart Emoji Means

Photo: getty
What The Different Color Heart Emojis Mean
Love

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 10 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 color 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.

Different Color Heart Emoji Meanings

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

Red Heart

Photo: Emojipedia

This one has been around since before emojis came along to complicate things. Its meaning is clear: Love, true love.

It’s traditional and well-meaning, but it is 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

Photo: Emojipedia

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, it’s 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 

Photo: Emojipedia

On Snapchat, this 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

Photo: Emojipedia

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

It’s 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

Photo: Emojipedia

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 emoji means.

Blue is the color of trust, so it’s not entirely bad. 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

Photo: Emojipedia

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

Photo: Emojipedia

This 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

Photo: Emojipedia

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

If you subscribe to these outdated concepts, this 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

Photo: Emojipedia

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

Photo: Emojipedia

You could use this 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

Photo: Emojipedia

Cute and casual, this 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

Photo: Emojipedia

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.

They’re cute and mini, so they don’t carry the same intensity as some of the bigger heart emojis yet still show love. 

Use for: Best friends and flirty texts 

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

RELATED: People Who Use These 3 Emojis Get The Most Dates, Says Study

Two Pink Circling Hearts

Photo: Emojipedia

This one kind of looks 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

Photo: Emojipedia

Be still, my beating heart! If you’ve gotten this one, 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

Photo: Emojipedia

Commitment-phobes use this one 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 3 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

Heart with Stars

Photo: Emojipedia

This 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

Photo: Emojipedia

Outside of Valentines Day, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use this 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

Photo: Emojipedia

My heart is yours! Anyone sending you this 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: The 3 Emojis That Are Instant Turn-Offs For Guys (And The 3 They Like Best)

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Alice Kelly is a writer and storyteller with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics. When she’s not creating content for Your Tango, you can catch her working on creative fiction and vintage shopping.