- 1 in 3 Brits use emojis in their dating profiles
- The most popular emoji is the Red Heart (❤️), with 71% using this emoji on their dating profile
- The Splashing Sweat (💦) and Tongue (👅) emojis, often associated with sexting, were only used in 1% of dating profiles
- Nearly a third of people who use emojis in their dating profiles have frequent sex (at least once a day or a few times a week)
Whether you use emojis in your WhatsApp or text messages or put them in your online dating profiles, emojis are more popular than ever.
Not only are they fun and flirty, but emojis often help us express ourselves while adding tone and clarity to our communication with one another.
According to Celebrity Dating Expert & Dating Coach James Preece, not only do we live in a time where our “attention spans are shorter,” but the use of emojis, especially in online dating, helps singletons “express complex emotions in a very succinct manner.”
To get a better understanding of emoji use in the world of adult online dating for World Emoji Day, Vivastreet analysed over 100,000 dating profiles on their site to discover which emojis are the most popular.
Here’s what the data revealed about emoji use in online dating.
The most popular emojis in UK dating
Who said romance was dead? According to our data, us Brits are romantic at heart, with 71% of singletons using the Red Heart emoji (❤️) on their dating profile.
While there are various heart emojis to choose from, we wonder, what makes this classic emoji appealing to people?
According to Emojipedia, the red heart emoji is commonly used for expressions of love and affection.
While sex and romance may not always be intrinsically linked, the use of this emoji could be a sign that the majority of Brits prefer a romantic connection before jumping into the sheets.
With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting our mental health and how we navigate our relationships with others, it’s fair to say that lockdown and social distancing has made some of us appreciate romance and companionship more than ever.
This sentiment is shared by James, who believes that being unable to meet in person has increased the importance of communicating online and through text.
He says, “the big difference now is that conversations are longer, and singletons are more serious about finding a long-term partner. As they’ve been home more, it’s become completely normal to have deep, meaningful chats in this way. To do it well, they need to be sprinkling in emojis too.”
However, although restrictions saw many people turn to dating apps, Dating & Attraction Expert Kezia Noble believes that there is still “a real desire for face-to-face interactions.” Within a few months of lockdown “there seemed to be an unexpected ‘dating app hangover. People have realised how precious face-to-face interactions are, and whenever lockdowns are lifted, people seem determined not to waste those opportunities,” she says.
Perhaps considered a more traditional emoji in the dating world, the Kiss Mark emoji (💋) was the second most used emoji in UK dating profiles, with 11% of Brits opting for this suggestive symbol.
Symbolising a lipstick imprint of a kiss makes this kiss emoji more seductive in nature, and for many is perceived as flirtatious.
When initially getting to know someone, flirting helps build confidence and self-esteem, and although it doesn’t necessarily have to prelude to sex, it’s the notion of sex that can turn one on.
Rounding up the top three, was the Hundred Points emoji (💯), which came third place in the emoji ranking for dating profiles. While this emoji isn’t the sexiest, 6% of Brits still use this emoji.
This emoji can emphasise approval and connote reassurance, which is key to feeling comfortable and secure, especially in an online dating environment. Also, people use this emoji to show they are genuine or that they are eager to do something.
The least popular emojis in UK dating
Despite sexting being a popular form of communication in the dating world, the data reveals that surprisingly, the sexily suggestive Tongue emoji (👅) was Brits’ least favourite, with only 1% using it in their dating ads.
This emoji typically suggests desire or being “thirsty” for someone. In some cases, it can also imply oral sex.
If romance is something Brits are looking for the most, it may not be such a surprise that this emoji is their least used due to its forward nature.
Unlike the Red Heart emoji (❤️), the Black Heart (🖤) and Purple Heart (💜) emojis were also used by just 1% of Brits.
The colours of these hearts play a huge part in why they may not be popular in dating communication, as they lack romantic connotations.
While the red heart symbolises lust, passion and seduction, the black heart can express morbidity and sorrow, while the purple heart signifies more compassionate love.
Interestingly, if you thought the Splashing Sweat emoji (💦) would be commonly used within dating apps, according to the data, it was the fourth least-used emoji.
This symbol has typically been known to symbolise sex, orgasms and ejaculation. Unless you’re using an emoji during a hot sexy texting exchange, you might want to consider holding back from this emoji to avoid appearing a bit presumptuous.
Surprising emojis used in UK adult dating
Our data revealed some emojis that you might not have expected to see in our top 20 used in dating ads, especially when sexual emojis like the Aubergine (🍆) didn’t make the cut.
Kezia explains why emojis with sexual innuendos weren’t the most admired by Brits’. “We are living in a very puritanical era right now, where men have been made to feel that whatever they do could be interpreted as predatory, so they are extra careful about what emojis go in their bios. The heart emoji says ‘I’m kind, loving and big hearted’ and present no threat.”
6% of Brits used the Green Tick or Check Mark emoji (✅). In dating, this emoji implies approval, guarantee, or ‘the right one’. It is also used to signify genuineness, whether referring to one’s appearance or characteristics.
1% used the exclamation mark emoji (❗). Depending on the context, this emoji is generally used for emphasis or to attract attention in dating profiles. It can set a playful tone or convey excitement or interest, which is exactly what daters admire.
Emojis used in different UK regions
In contrast to other regions, the data revealed that aside from the Red Heart emoji (❤️), the Star emoji (⭐) appeared in 1 in 10 dating ads for London daters.
According to Emojipedia, this emoji is used to signify fame or success. In the context of the dating world, it could only seem fitting that one of the most expensive cities in the UK, sees daters imply their social status
Though Bristol and Cardiff are not known for their hot weather, when it comes to emojis used in dating ads, they certainly bring the heat – with the Fire emoji (🔥) being the second (11%) and third (6%) most used emoji amongst daters.
Has anyone ever sent you the Smiling Face with Hearts Emoji (🥰 )? If you’re looking for a lovey-dovey partner, you might find them in Exeter, Leeds, or Aberdeen, as this emoji was the third most popular in these UK regions.
This emoji with smiling eyes, rosy cheeks and floating hearts is known to symbolise affectionate feelings or being in love, perfect for those wanting a committed relationship.
It’s fair to say that Glaswegians are the most sexual region in the UK, as it was the only region that saw the Splashing Sweat emoji (💦) in its top 10 most used emojis for dating.
“It’s a lot easier to make sexual remarks that you wouldn’t normally have dreamed of. This can help things escalate quickly”, says James.
If you’re on the hunt for erotic fun, then perhaps you should begin your search in this part of town.
Top emojis used in dating worldwide
When it comes to the most popular emojis used in dating ads internationally, it varies country by country, and some of them might surprise you.
In India, 60% of daters preferred the Telephone Receiver emoji (📞), which can be used to initiate a phone call.
Indians appear to be fond of chatting, suggesting they may like a bit of dirty talk or are keener to strengthen the connection through verbal communication.
Phone calls are also a way of decoding messages, avoiding things getting lost in translation, and often results in quick responses.
James supports this, stating that daters should always try to “speak on the phone to spice things up. That way you can get an instant answer to a question.” This is a great tactic for those wanting to drive things forward and waste no time.
In contrast, dating profiles in Chile seem to be less romantic and more on the raunchy side, with the top emoji being the Smiling Face with Horns emoji (😈) and the Red Heart emoji (❤️) being the least popular – the complete opposite to other countries.
Using the Smiling Face with Horns emoji (😈 ) to a potential love interest can indicate that you’re feeling sexually aroused or feeling frisky or cheeky. Perhaps adventurous sex could be a significant factor in relationships for Chileans.
Aside from Chile and India, like most countries, the Red Heart emoji (❤️) is the top emoji in Belgium. Additionally, some of the other popular emojis for this country was the Ghost emoji (👻), Aubergine emoji (🍆) and Peach emoji (🍑).
While the Ghost emoji (👻), which was used by 19% of Belgians, is associated with scariness, supernaturalism and Halloween, it can also depict a fun and wild character due to its playful look, suggesting that Belgians look for partners who don’t take themselves too seriously.
The infamous Aubergine emoji (🍆) is typically used to represent a penis, which could suggest that sex is a significant part of dating for Belgians.
The Peach emoji on the other hand generally symbolises the buttocks (🍑), a women’s specifically. “Because emojis are visual, you can build up a playful and flirtatious vibe much quicker than you can with words,” says Kezia.
“A woman who has a peach in her profile is intentionally or unintentionally sending a message that she’s open for some fun with the right person.” Could this be the most attractive body part to Belgians? Or, perhaps Belgians have a thing for anal sex.
More Emojis = More Sex
So how does using emojis in dating ads/profiles impact your dating life?
We surveyed over 17,000 people to further understand how emojis impact Brit’s dating game.
And it’s official, A LOT of Brits use emojis in their dating profiles, with the survey revealing 1 in 3 people use emojis.
This comes as no surprise to James, who emphasises that not only do emojis “brighten up” and otherwise dull ads, “they show a fun, playful personality which is essential when seeking a match.”
Likewise, when asked why they used emojis, nearly half of survey respondents said that they used emojis because it was easier to express their emotions.
Kezia was expecting this. When face-to-face, she explains that we would usually “communicate those feelings with our vocal tonality, body language and facial expression”, but we are unable to do that when communicating online. That’s why we tend to “text an excessive amount of emojis to make up for it.”
Not only that, communication via text and messaging can be a lot clearer when using emojis. “We can often experience times where things we have tried to communicate have been totally misinterpreted, but just by adding an emoji, the person you are texting will understand whether you are being playful, serious or sarcastic.”
According to the survey data, not only do more people who have dating profiles use emojis, but they also have MORE sex too.
According to the results, nearly a third of people who used emojis in their dating profiles had sex at least once a day OR sex at least once a week.
This comes as no surprise to James, as he states that, “people who use emojis tend to be more outgoing, energetic, and invested in getting to know someone. These types of people are going to therefore get more sex than someone with no imagination!”
Our data suggests that Brits appreciate some personal connection and a feeling of genuine care from their date before feeling comfortable having sex with them.
James urges to “avoid anything that can be taken the wrong way – especially sexual ones when you have only just started interacting.”
So, if you’re looking to woo your date, perhaps a more affectionate approach, like using the Red Heart (❤️) and Kiss Mark (💋) emojis is best to achieve your desires instead of going straight in for the kill with a sexually explicit emoji.
The rules of using emojis in dating like a pro
Want to be more successful in your dating life? Then you might want to consider using emojis in your dating apps and dating profiles.
When initiating a conversation with someone you’re interested in, James recommends using emojis right from the first message. He advises to “start in a fun, light, playful way, as it’s a dating text, not a business one.”
However, as well as considering having an affectionate approach, the use of emojis should not be overused.
Kezia refrains from using too many emojis, as she believes “it can make people lazy.”
James feels that “if you overdo them it can look too childish, and if you use the same ones repetitively it can get boring quickly.”
He also advises avoiding “using too many sad, angry or disappointed emojis. That could be a big turn off.”
So, whether you’re in the mood for love or a casual hookup, try using some of the top emojis we’ve revealed in our data to help propel your dating game.
We grant permission to use the images found on this page freely. When doing so, we ask that you kindly attribute us by linking to Vivastreet.co.uk and this page so that your readers can understand this content in its truthful context.