How to Respond to a Heart Emoticon

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Emoji have become more prevalent in text messages thanks to Facebook Messenger and the Android and iOS keyboards implementing them as core features. While the icons are fun and can add flair and emotion to plain text, they've presented a problem for quite a few people. Because emoji are just images, and there's no universal dictionary for them, it can be hard to figure out what someone means when they send one. Certain emoji can be read as flirty or mundane depending on who's sending them. When you first text someone new – especially if you're romantically interested – an unexpected emoji response can quickly turn a conversation into a puzzle. A heart emoji, often called a heart emoticon or a heart smiley, can mean almost anything. Instead of panicking when you see one, keep cool and think it over before responding.

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Heart Emoticon Meanings

There are 14 heart emoji, distinguished by color and style. While the broken heart emoji is easy to understand, the other 13 can make conversations confusing, especially when magazines suggest that each heart has a code or special meaning assigned to it. Some suggest that each color of heart should be reserved for a certain type of person in your life, while others claim that anything but the normal red heart is a recipe for social disaster unless you're flirting, in which case you should avoid that emoji like the plague. In the end, though, emoji are just images. Although there are 14 heart emoji, there are also roughly 20 different smile emoji. Rather than trying to assign a meaning to each, look at the context to figure out how to respond.

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Context Is Always Key

There is no quick list of emoji that guys use when they like you, and if a female colleague at work sends a kissy-face emoji, it doesn't necessarily mean she's interested. When trying to figure out how to respond to a heart emoji, regardless of color or style, it's important to consider the context of the conversation and the person you're texting with. Look at the text the emoji is sent with and take note of the tone. If you're sent only a single heart emoji and nothing else, think about the conversation you've had and who you're talking to. A classmate sending a heart after you've sent over lecture notes is likely more thankful than flirty, and a cheery co-worker sending a heart or string of hearts is probably being peppy. On the other hand, if you're texting with someone you met on Tinder and you receive a kissy face with a single heart, that could be considered flirtatious. Overthinking every emoji sent can stress you out unnecessarily.

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Don't Panic Over Hearts

At the end of the day, when responding to a heart emoji, the most important thing to do is respond without panicking and continue as though the conversation is normal. Don't be afraid to ask what someone meant when they sent a certain emoji if you're unsure, and remember that many people use heart emoji the same way you might use a thumbs up or grin emoji. In most cases, you can respond to a text or message with a heart as though the emoji didn't exist or send a lone heart emoji back in response.

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