The True Meaning Of Every Colour And Type Of Heart Emoji

by | Jul 17, 2023 | Relationships

Gone are the days you had to use the same plain red heart emoji in every text and tweet. In 2023, your emoji keyboard features hearts in pretty much every colour, shape and form, giving you plenty of options at your disposal for daily communication, from blue hearts to purple hearts to hearts on fire.

Because there are so many darn options out there, you may not know which ones to add to your regular emoji rotation. Which one should you put in your Instagram bio? Which one should you send to the casual crush who may or may not reciprocate your feelings? If someone sends you a purple heart, are they trying to hook up, or are you in the friend zone? These are the important questions.

Well, rest assured, because Women’s Health has all the answers right ahead. An important caveat, though: Everyone uses emojis differently and how you decide to text with them is ultimately up to you. Still, using some pop cultural references, firsthand experience and real social media data about the keywords generally associated with each heart, WH will help you decode that IG comment you just received.

Keep reading for each and every heart emoji meaning, as well as some ideas about when to use each colour and type of emoji. Your thumbs can totally relax, knowing you and your recipient know exactly what the heart hands emoji means.

1) On-Fire Heart

This enflamed heart emoji pretty literally says, “You set my heart on fire,” which can be either romantic or totally platonic, IMO. It also has passion and sexiness written all over it. Use this heart to caption a hot selfie on IG, or send it to a friend who’s looking amazing.

Good for: Your besties or S.O., or for a ~passionate~ conversation.

Bad for: Your situationship or family.

2) Bandaged Heart

Siri, play SOS by SZA.

IDK about you, but this one totally says “Healing Girl Era” to me. It also represents protecting your own energy—maybe you’ve been hurt in the past and you’re feeling a little guarded.

Good for: Sending to close friends and family to show them you’re feeling sad or going through some personal growth.

Bad for: Sending any potential S.O.s or friends or family you don’t talk to on a daily basis.

3) White Heart

“This emoji is best to use along with other black and white emojis or any emojis that give off ~angel~ energy (i.e. ☁️🐚🕊🦢),” says Naydeline Mejia, an assistant editor at Women’s Health. According to 2021 data compiled by Emojipedia, Twitter users frequently pair this emoji with words including “peace,” “remember,” and “angels,” meaning this heart emoji is often used to express grief over someone’s passing.

Good for: Making your message ~look a certain way~ visually, or remembering someone close to you.

Bad for: Showing intense passion. (Let’s face it: This emoji can be a little bland.)

Heart Emoji

4) Brown Heart

This was the least-used heart emoji on Twitter in 2021, per Emojipedia. That said, it does have its own unique purposes: Emojipedia’s data shows that words like “skin” and “Black” are often used in Tweets with this heart. In other words, this one’s a means for BIPOC individuals to show love and healing.

Good for: Use by any Black or Brown people.

Bad for: White people trying to show solidarity. (Pro tip: Just use a different colour heart!)

5) Copy And Paste 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~. Like, you have to really put in effort in order to access this heart, so it’s very intentional. (Psst, you can copy and paste: ♡).

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.

6) Red Heart

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.”

Fun fact: The red heart emoji was also the most popular heart emoji on Twitter in 2021, per Emojipedia. Twitter users tend to pair this heart with sentiments of affection, gratitude and appreciation, so it makes sense why you’d only use it with your nearest and dearest.

Good for: Partners, close friends and family.

Bad for: Casual relationships.

7) Orange Heart

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: Any serious expression of love.

8) Yellow Heart

Just like yellow roses symbolize platonic love, “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.”

Good for: Creating all sorts of warm and fuzzy friendship vibes.

Bad for: Sending to a potential love interest.

9) Green Heart

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.

10) Blue Heart

Emojipedia lists the blue heart as the unofficial “brand” heart, often used alongside language about shopping, deals and sales. You could also use this one in a patriotic context: Like, say you’re trying to caption your Fourth of July IG picture, or maybe you’re tweeting about a recent election.

TL;DR: The blue heart emoji is pretty versatile and appropriate for most situations.

Good for: Brands, neutral topics and political decrees or patriotic celebrations.

Bad for: This emoji is pretty inoffensive. No need to worry about misusing.

11) Purple Heart

In today’s culture, the purple heart emoji often 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.

On the other hand, it’s also the emoji that’s associated with the K-pop band BTS since V coined the phrase “I purple you” in 2016. In V’s words, the colour purple symbolizes love and trust and members of the BTS ARMY have claimed this emoji ever since.

Good for: Telling your bae that you want to smash, ASAP… or showing your support for V, Jimin and the rest of BTS. Hey, the purple heart contains multitudes!

Bad for: This one’s also pretty versatile, but maybe not ideal for a heavy, emotional text to your mom.

12) Black Heart

“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.

13) Broken Heart

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.

14) Anatomical Heart

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 humour, 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.

15) Heart Exclamation Point

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.

16) Two Static Pink Hearts

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 ‘🔥🔥🔥.'”

It’s pretty ubiquitous, too: It’s the second most popular heart emoji used on Twitter, per Emojipedia’s data.

Good for: Being flirty, cute, or complimentary.

Bad for: Trying to express deep love or meaning via text.

17) Revolving Pink Hearts

If you’re having a heart-to-heart with someone, this is definitely the appropriate heart to use. The double, circling heart signifies that you two 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.

18) Vibrating Pink Heart

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 can literally feel your heart beating.

Good for: Sending and receiving all kinds of good vibes.

Bad for: It might be less than ideal for anything non-sexual or non-romantic. Just send a different emoji so there’s no confusion.

19) Pink Heart Growing In Size

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, et cetera.

Good for: Making someone scratch their head.

Bad for: Trying to be straightforward.

20) Sparkle Heart

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!

21) Heart With Arrow Through It

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, et cetera. 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.

22) Pink Heart Wrapped With Ribbon

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!

23) Purple Text Box Heart

Some possible suggestions: Use this emoji when trying to create a purple-themed aesthetic, or in a caption where you’re donning the colours 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.

24) Heart Hands

I’ll say it: I have an obsession with the heart hands emojis. Not only are they super cute, but they can be used for nearly anything. Versatility means you can send it to a potential hookup to get your ~flirty energy~ across, or send it to your mom in a goodnight text. It’s also fun for showing appreciation over text or IG.

Good for: Literally whatever you want, especially if you want to be flirty or cute in any text convo.

Bad for: I’ll be honest, I can’t think of a situation where you shouldn’t send this emoji!

25) Smiley Hearts

This adorbs emoji has a simple meaning, in my eyes—it’s meant to convey your love for someone, whether your partner, friend, or a family member. I most commonly use this emoji when saying “I love you” over text, or when I’m thanking someone.

Good for: Sending to your love interest, family, or friends, especially when words aren’t enough to convey how much you appreciate them!

Bad for: Your situationship or FWB—reserve this li’l guy for someone you truly love.

This article was originally published by Addison Aloian on

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