The subtleties of text shorthand – what are your flirty emojis really saying?

in dating •  10 months ago

Modern technology has created a door into a vast new universe of possibilities, especially when it comes to romance. Nowadays singletons don’t even have to leave their homes to start relationships with desirable people – they can meet them via their keyboards, using online dating sites. The actual text used in exchanges is constantly evolving, with cute little symbols – emojis – being created as shorthand for every possible emotion.

Obviously, there’s time and place for inserting a cartoon element into a paragraph of text, but they can be terrific fun, even diffusing an argument. A range of these emojis are available to give a graphic response to something being discussed and a lot of these are about flirting. While these can certainly spice up a string of texts, emails, Facebook or Whatsapp messages (and many more), like any other form of language they can be open to misinterpretation. When you feel like flirting, choosing one emoji from a long list can lead to ‘clumsy thumb syndrome’, with inappropriate images being selected. So it makes sense to get to know a bit about flirtatious emojis before you begin peppering your communication with the little critters! Here are some examples.

The Wink
This is a classic one because it’s so universal. Granted, winking can be inserted into general conversation, just as it can be in real life. But when used in the context of flirting, this emoji takes on a whole new meaning. It basically has a similar effect to dancing with someone boring in a club, looking over her shoulder, then catching the eye of a far more attractive single who winks at you. That one gesture can send butterflies rippling through your gut. A flirty text, especially if it's from someone you’re just getting to know, can speak volumes.

The Tongue
This emoji is a bit more difficult to analyze because it can be as much about being playful as romance. You send a tongue emoji to a female while inviting them to a restaurant and she might assume you’re commenting on the tasty menu. But the fact it communicates pleasurable food in such a tiny picture also indicates how powerful it is. Used in context, it can be much more impudent and suggestive. Placed in a flirtatious conversation, this emoji can be a cheekier version of that dancefloor wink scenario, but it also alludes to French kissing.

Hearts for Eyes
The familiar smiley face with eyes replaced by love hearts is another universal gesture. For that reason, its use should be strictly rationed. It implies strong emotions, but in a flippant way. You would send this emoji in a message to a long-term partner, in much the same way you would close a text message with XX. So when merely flirting, perhaps with someone you’re less familiar with, you would have far less cause to include it. What you’re effectively using is shorthand for telling someone you love them. If this is directed at someone you just want to flirt with you’ll be in danger of sending out the wrong message completely. You may well give the impression of someone a bit desperate who is to be avoided rather than flirted back to.

Angel Baby
Surely one of the most emotive of all emojis, there is nothing ambiguous about this one. It may come in a variety of skin tones, with angelic wings, a halo, and a little kiss curl, but this is all a front. It may look like a cute cherub but when it comes to text shorthand, this symbol is ironic. The message it is conveying is the complete opposite of what anyone, not in-the-know might assume. It’s basically about being up for sex.

So like no other emoji you need to be entirely focused on who you are casually sending this one to. It’s probably too extreme for casual flirting, although if you have reached a point in your conversation where getting dirty seem to be the natural progression, by all means, drop the Angel Baby bomb into your text. A further breakdown of these and many other wacky and wonderful symbols can be found by checking out this site.

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