3 Emojis That Are Instant Turn-Offs For Guys (And 3 They Like Best)

Be careful with your emojis.

a guy texting, emojis flying out from the screen Mix Tape / Shutterstock

Be careful with those emojis because they may be sabotaging your chance at love. That’s right, not all emojis are created equal, and if you use the wrong one, it could be fatal to your love life. Just one wrong waving hand or smiling poo pile could send your love interest running.

Don’t fret though — the dating site Plenty Of Fish did a study to find out which emojis were the biggest turn-offs, especially for guys (and how to flirt over text the right way).


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So, according to the study, here are the 3 emojis that are instant turn-offs for guys, and the 3 they like best.

The survey included 2000 people, 47 percent of which were men and 53 percent of which were women. The participants ranged in age from 18 to 55 to make up four different age generations. The largest group was the Millennials, making up 29 percent of the sample.


The other groups were Gen X at 27 percent, Boomers at 27 percent, and lastly, 16 percent Gen Z. 83 percent of the participants were heterosexual, 10 percent gay, five percent bisexual, and two percent identified as something other than those categories.

While you may not think that the use of emojis is that big a deal, think again.

According to the survey, 32 percent of singles said that emojis were their favorite form of communication. Dang, that’s a whole lot of cryptic conversation! As someone who almost never uses emojis, it kind of seems like we’re regressing back to the days of cave drawings (I’m in the minority I’m sure.)

The Plenty of Fish survey shows that Gen Z are using emojis most often, followed by Millennials (23%), Gen X (14%), and Boomers (6%).


Emojis have become more specific over the years, and their meanings hold more weight in conversations. While each emoji actually offers a description of its meaning, it is often up to the people texting to determine what they mean in context. It all seems a bit confusing to me.

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If you’re trying to flirt with a guy, there are three emojis that you definitely DO NOT want to use. According to the singles in the study, the eggplant, peach, and fire were their least favorite emojis.

  • Eggplant: 75% of singles said this was their least favorite emoji.  
  • Peach: 49% of singles said this was their least favorite emoji.
  • Fire: 32% of singles said this was their least favorite emoji.

However, their favorite emojis were the wink face, kissing face, and heart eyes.

  • Wink Face: 55% of singles said this was their favorite emoji.
  • Kissing Face: 43% of singles said this was their favorite emoji.
  • Heart Eyes: 41% of singles said this was their favorite emoji.

So, it seems that if you want to win a guy over, stick with the kissing face and hearty eyes. The eggplant has no place in your message anytime soon.

The study went a step further to investigate which type of message would be most likely to get a reply on a dating app. With 62 percent of singles saying that the first conversation was very important, getting this initial message right means a lot.

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According to the study, 60 percent of singles said that they would reply to a message that referred to a shared interest in the experience. So next time you match with someone you're interested in, check out their profile to see what they like. If they love riding their bike, it’s probably safe for your initial message to include an awesome new bike trail you found.


The study showed that 18 percent of singles would respond to a message that was complimenting their photos or appearance. Tread carefully here as you don’t want to come off as creepy or overly infatuated with the way they look. Mentioning that you think the photo of them at the Grand Canyon is awesome is way better than saying, “you look hot in your photo.”

An additional 15 percent of participants said that they would respond to a message containing a joke or a funny story. And, eight percent said that they would respond to an emoji or GIF. Checking out the interests on their profile and finding some common ground seems like your best bet.

So, from now on, be careful about which emojis you use and when. Start with a message that talks about a shared experience or interest. Follow with a heart eyes emoji, and please, please, please save the eggplant for another day.


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Shannon Ullman is a freelance writer who writes about her adventures traveling abroad, and love and relationships.