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I heart you: How Brits flirt with emojis

02/06/2018 · Blog · Insurance2Go

Let's take a look at the UK's emoji habits, and some of their most embarrassing emoji stories.

Prone to ending your texts with a winking emoji? Or do you prefer to impress your crush by adding a flexed bicep to your messages? Emojis often say what words can't, and when it comes to flirting they're a go-to not just for Brits, but for smartphone users worldwide.

Let's take a look at the UK's emoji habits, and some of their most embarrassing emoji stories, below.

Most-used and most-hated emojis

After surveying over 1,000 Brits, we've uncovered the most common emojis used in flirty texts. The worrying thing? We also asked the nation which emojis put them off when messaging a partner or potential partner, and the two results are very similar. Perhaps we're all getting it wrong when it comes to using emojis right in a quest for love.

Top five emojis for the flirtatious:


1. Winking face 😉 66%

2. Blowing a kiss face 😘 54%

3. Heart eyes face 😍 40%

4. Tongue out face 😛 34%

5. Winking face with tongue 😜 27%

Top five emojis to turn the recipient off:

1. Winking face 😉 29%

2. Blowing a kiss face 😘 19%

3. Heart eyes face 😍 17%

4. Tongue out face 😛 16%

5. Pile of poop💩 14%

How do the results vary, depending on gender? If you're texting a woman, be warned. According to our survey, the emojis females tend to be put off by include the top five above, as well as a flexed bicep, the diamond ring and the notorious eggplant. The smirking face is disliked too, and the lipstick mark doesn't go down too well either.

Flirting with a guy you like? Try to avoid the lipstick mark emoji, the crying with laughter face, the holding hands emoji and the starry-eyed face. For some reason, it seems men really don't like the idea of their flirty texters feeling star-struck!

Emoji stories Brits would rather forget

An emoji can speak a thousand words, but what happens when you slip up and send a suggestive emoji to the wrong person? In our survey, many of the respondents revealed their biggest emoji fails, which ranged from sending love hearts to builders to pile of poop emojis ending up in a boss' inbox - awkward!

Some of the worst however, revolve around the aubergine/eggplant emoji. Sending the rather phallic-like vegetable to a parent - instead of a partner - cropped up way too often. We hope, for the unfortunate sender's sake, that the rest of the text was clean. They might just get away with pretending they were enquiring about dinner - or even growing vegetables - instead. After all, almost a quarter of Brits (24%) have admitted to misinterpreting an emoji in the past!

Get it right - advice from the experts

Want to avoid the embarrassment and mishaps of the poor Brits above? Whether you're trying to add a spark to a current relationship or kick things off with a crush, there are certain dos and dont’s when it comes to flirting with emojis.

To help you out, we sought the advice of Martina Mercer, relationship expert at Sunday Women Magazine. She acknowledges just how confusing emojis and their meanings can be, stating: “Emojis can be a minefield to use in texting and messaging, as different people interpret them in different ways. There are some that should be used sparingly, and others which should be retained until the relationship has reached a certain level.

“For instance, the cat with love eyes emoji signifies a very deep connection to the other person and a declaration of love – although it can also be used to show adoration for food. The aubergine emoji is particularly naughty, and should really only be used if the relationship has reached the sex phase, the same is true of the dripping water emoji.”

Still worried and confused? We agree 100% with Martina's next statement: “If in doubt, follow your partner’s lead. See how they use emojis and follow suit to play it safe.”

Of course, some often wonder why emojis are used to flirt in the first place if they are so easy to misinterpret. Our second relationship expert, James Preece from, sheds some light on this, revealing that it's the universality of emojis that makes them so useful. Even a kiss, for example, can be used in a funny, teasing or serious way, however it shouldn't really matter if you send it to the right person.

Expanding on this further, James says: “The bottom line is that if someone is interested in you, they aren't going to mind what emoji you use.  If they think you are funny, they'll see the symbols as funny. If they aren't attracted to you then anything will be considered offensive. Emojis are a good way to find out if someone is into you or not very quickly. Use them sparingly for maximum effect.”

Can't stop using flirting with emojis? Let us know what your go-to picks are when on the look-out for love.

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