Hearts, in general, have been symbols of love since the, believe it or not, mid-11th century. Yep, hearts have been thrown around as proclamations of one’s love for a very, very, long time now. But, one particular heart stood out from the pile. The red heart.
This ❤️ heart came to be used more and more extensively as the years passed. It has always been used as an exclusive reference to romantic interests and romantic lives.
We’re not sure, just yet, of the reasons behind that generalization. But, through the post, we hope to find some answers behind this strange connection between a red-colored heart symbol and the innate human emotion and tendency of love.
Meaning of ❤️
The ❤️ Red Heart emoji signifies deep affection. It could be for a person or any other inanimated aspect. The digitalized interpretation of the red heart falls not too far from the original meaning of the red heart.
It expands the same amount of deep love (if not always romantic) to things, hobbies, passions, luxuries, fashion, and so much more. But, usually, it’s saved for the ‘one'(s) you love the most. Usually, a person(s).
📜 A Brief Backstory of the Heart Symbol
The oldest recorded history of the heart being used as a symbol of love goes back to ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Both places in the past, as well as the mythology they embraced and brought forth to the world, have subtle mentions of the shape of the heart we know of today, and of its implications.
But what exactly was the reason for this strong correlation between a humane emotion and a human organ?
According to internet sources, the story of the heart symbol traces back to a plant called silphium, which grew in ancient North Africa at the beginning of the first century AD and a little before that. This plant soon saw booming exports to ancient Greek and Roman cities and towns.
Now, here’s a fact. Silphium is an actual plant, but the account that follows is a “fact” that’s up for some serious debates.
Silphium was used as a culinary ingredient. But, it was also believed by the Greeks and Romans of the time, to possess contraceptive abilities along with a range of medicinal properties. In fact, some sources state that silphium was consumed as an aphrodisiac as well. Eventually, this plant became a rare commodity, and soon, it is said to have gone extinct.
Silphium Plant = Love
Now, the reason why it was associated with love, is one, its supposed properties that enhanced the sex lives of ancient Greeks and Romans, and kept unwanted pregnancies away. Two, the seedpods of the silphium were heart-shaped; the shape of the heart ❤️ symbol we use today.
Why Does the Red Heart Mean Romance?
Now that we’ve read into the alleged origin story of the heart symbol or pictograph, we’re curious about the red heart in particular. If the heart symbol in general means love, why does the red heart in particular mean romance, ‘true love’, intimacy, lust, and eroticism?
Red is not just the color of love. It is also the color that’s often used to paint the strongest of emotional responses and stimuli. Love, anger, and danger make it to the top. The reason for this intense connection between our emotions and the color red could lie in one single thing; blood.
Apart from blood, there’s nothing that’s innately red to us, humans. Blood is the only thing that’s red in all our bodies, and because of the way heightened emotion influences the blood flow in our bodies, we tend to attach those strong emotions with the color of blood.
This is why our blood boils when we’re mad as hell, why we see red, why we can hit or be hit beet red, etc. Even in the face of danger, we go pale because of less blood flow to vital parts of the body.
When we blush, we go red. When we’re flushed, we’re red. We bleed for the ones we love because we find blood to be thicker. It’s more to do with the substance that’s red, than the color in itself.
Significance of the ❤️ Red Heart Emoji
As our communication transitioned online, we became more intuned with the digital way of talking. So much that we find texting to be the better alternative to talking. Virtual communication hasn’t taken over us, it has only taken the possible communication bandwidth higher, with us.
All things have exceptions, and likewise, this notion too has its own limitations. Human connection can sometimes be a lot stronger than communication. But otherwise, we do find it pretty comfortable to “talk” online. Casual e-conversations and e-meets are easier, at times. We rely on emojis to convey emotion in such situations, so what does the red heart emoji mean when used in virtual frameworks?
What Does it Mean When Someone Sends You the ❤️ Red Heart Emoji?
Above all, we’d first like to establish that the digital significance of the ❤️ Red Heart emoji can slightly differ from its actual interpretation.
Going by all that is said so far about the heart and the red heart symbol, specifically, it would be safe to say that when a person uses this emoji on chat, it’s mostly a sign of interest.
Now, the object of interest can vary, because online, things are not always red roses. ❤️ can suggest that the person likes/loves you. Or, it can translate to love (deep, intense, love) for something you did or said.
Here are two examples describing the two different scenarios:
- Aww. Aren’t you the cutest ❤️
- Wow. Your art is amazing! ❤️❤️
The first scenario is when the person is romantically inclined towards you. If not romantically, then, the text message was just another loving, warm message from a best (or bestest) friend.
But if a stranger sends you this, it’s because they want to be friends (and hopefully escalate between the sheets ASAP), be just friends, the person finds you attractive, they want to know you more and isn’t patient about it, or they just genuinely appreciate you.
In the second scenario, the focus is evidently, not you. It’s something about you. In this case, your art. So, the person means to say that they love your art, your talent, your skill, your ability, essentially something outside your physical.
It could be sapio too. But, mostly, you’d know if someone’s sapiosexual. It will be written all over them. All that being said, it is also possible that when a stranger compliments your work with a red heart, it’s because they actually like/love it, or it’s because they like/strangely love you.
Should You Send the ❤️ Red Heart Emoji?
We’re not experts on relationship advice, but based on the kind of texting psychology that goes on behind two or more screens, here’s our shot at it.
Every emoji has its own special effect on the conversation. It could mean something more to some texters than the rest. If you’re emoji-nally expressive, then you can use the ❤️ Red Heart to convey that you really mean what you say in a textual conversation.
A lot of times, we don’t really admit it, but many of us, take emojis personally. Even if it’s not actively controlling our perception of the ongoing conversation, somewhere, deep down, it has power over us. So, when you mindlessly throw around the ❤️ red heart emoji, especially, without real emotion on the backdrop, you’re essentially creating incorrect impressions of yourself and your intentions in the mind(s) of the receiver.
So, our advice is to use the ❤️ red heart emoji meaningfully. Use it when you mean it. This way, you wouldn’t be conveying unintentionally romantic or creepy approaches or vibes, and you will be building emotional truth and honesty (especially if you really want the conversation to last).
Textual vibes are a real thing, believe it or not. People are quite quick to read between chat lines. All emojis, and the red heart emoji, in particular, need to be used with intent and meaning.
The Other Colors Heart Emoji
Heart emojis are as diverse as heart symbols in reality. There are tons of heart emojis apart from the ❤️ Red Heart emoji that have their own significant role in digital modes of communication. Each heart has its own unique meaning. But, all heart emojis have the same emotion in common.
The orange heart suggests love for the color orange, to begin with. Orange is the color of enthusiasm, energy, excitement, sportiness, and zeal. It’s an active color.
Therefore, 🧡 is the heart you’d send to someone when you like their energy and the vibe y’all have together. You could also represent your enthusiasm and zeal coupled with something you love with 🧡. Like, “Oh, man! I’m excited as hell!! 🧡🧡”.
Yellow is a happy color. It’s the color of good vibes, cheer, joy, and casualness. If we were to paint childhood, yellow would be the perfect color. It’s the shade of the sun, summer, warmth, and happiness.
💛 conveys a strong positive vibration. It suggests feelings of positivity and likemindedness. This heart emoji symbolizes love in friendship and resonates with the kind of affection that’s enriching and encouraging. Unconditional in other words.
Green is the color of nature. It makes up half the spectrum of the earth and is also the color of anything that’s organic. Green is a color endowed to us directly from the earth’s nature, which makes this shade that much natural.
When we merge the color significance of green with the heart symbol, it could only mean love for the earth, nature, organicity, eco-friendliness, and harmony with nature 💚.
A green heart can also be a way of saying that you love, naturally. That you love the rawness of something or someone, or that you appreciate someone or something as well. It also means that being full of love comes naturally to you.
When we speak of calmness and peace, it’s often blue that fills our minds. However, blue lingers when serotonin levels drop and we feel all glum, low, and blue.
Blue indicates cool weather, winter, ice, water, the beach, and anything to do with this blue element too. The 💙 blue heart refers to love for the color and everything about and related to it. But, this emoji, used on chat, conveys friendliness, and moreover friend-zone-ness.
Purple is a little different from the rest of the colors. It has a different presence altogether. Purple is generally considered to be the color of luxury, wealth, and affluence, and 💜 can be used to paint those aspects. Like “Live a rich life, on the inside and you will be happy 💜”.
Purple is also the color of calmness, serenity, meditation, spirituality, and the cosmos. 💜 can have a special meaning at times, going by the higher concepts it affiliates with. For instance, “The only difference between spirituality and religion is love 💜”.
When green takes the first half of the earth’s color spectrum, brown takes the rest. Sure, blue does too, but brown takes it all, as it represents the land; the surface without which land-based life would be impossible.
Brown is a neutral shade. It’s a color that’s seen in almost every part of the world, yet, it’s perceived to be quite exotic. 🤎 signifies love for anything that’s brown, naturally or otherwise. On chat, 🤎 could also denote love for one’s origin and one’s roots. It speaks of authenticity on many levels.
Black is the color of darkness, and nothingness. It’s what we see when we see nothing, and sometimes, when we feel nothing as well. As much as black is the color of nothing, it’s also the color of depth. So, 🖤 can symbolize that someone loves deeply.
Black is a color that’s frequently associated with negativity, death, evil, fear, and horror. But, above it all, black is an unmatched shade. It’s present everywhere in one form or the other. The 🖤 black heart can be a symbol of love for this color, something about it, or something that contains it.
Contradicting its popular opposite, white is the color of purity. It’s the color that resonates with honesty, perfection, peace, and divinity. White is often a color that has an unspoken air of superiority for many reasons only we, humans, can come up with.
The 🤍 white heart can suggest “pure love” or that someone loves something or someone flawlessly, in other words. A white heart can also signify love for the divine. Mostly, 🤍 is a symbol of love for the color white in any form.
The Slightly Extra Heart Emojis
The red heart also comes in different forms like cupid heart, or broken heart, or sparkling heart, and so on.
Anyone who isn’t familiar with emojis can immediately express what 💘 means, to them, or generally. The arrow in this emoji is said to be Cupid’s arrow aimed at and pierced through a smitten heart. It’s a symbol of passion and infatuation.
This emoji is largely a sign of love that’s destined to hurt. We all know of “love that hurts”, and 💘 represents that kind of love. It suggests that something or someone struck the heart so hard that it will be remembered (because it must’ve hurt in some way).
A heart that has a ribbon wrapped around it and tied into a bow, says one thing; a gift or a present. It could be the “gift of love” or a figure of emoji speech that someone’s gifting their heart.
A wrapped heart that’s presentable and in fact presented as a gift can also mean that someone has packed/bought/made something with love and is now offering it as a gift.
When a ✨ sparkle is animately used on something, it describes the cleanliness of the object. The freshness and newness of the object that’s now good as new.
Similarly, a heart that has a couple of sparkles on it doesn’t nearly mean that it’s a “new heart” but a heart that’s free from past experience. It’s ready to face the ever-changing newness of life. In essence, it has healed.
When something’s sparkly and shiny, it often turns reflective. So, metaphorically, the 💖 sparkly heart emoji can mean that the person, the thing, or the heart in itself reflects. That the sender can see themselves in something or someone.
The significance of this 💗 emoji is in the name itself. It’s a growing heart, and since the heart depicts love, this emoji signifies growing love and affection. The ‘love’ here, means all kinds of love, from platonic to erotic.
Also, when something grows, there’s naturally an expanse of space (unless it’s simultaneously being occupied). So, 💗 is a way of saying that someone has a “big heart”, that you’ve given a place in your heart for someone or something, or that something’s growing with/in your heart.
The 💓 beating heart, basically, represents all our hearts (not just humans). But, we extra-peeps know better. A beating heart is one’s authentic expression of constant and consistent love for someone or something. A heart never ceases to beat as long as it’s alive, and likewise, one’s emotion associated with that heart continues forever as well.
This emoji talks about priorities. When we ‘revolve’ ourselves around something or someone, we’re innately giving a crucial part of our time and space to the subject. Invariably, we’re prioritizing that person or thing.
The 💞 emoji is a representation of that dedication and commitment towards someone or something. We make them the center of our world, but they too revolve with us, making this emoji a symbol of mutual connection.
This emoji essentially accommodates the ❤️ red heart emoji in a decorative frame. This could mean that the emoji is framing the red heart and/or its significance within its circumference.
We tend to frame something or use the phrase pertaining to it when something is spectacular, unique, and rare. We honor the subject of beauty and use it as a piece of decoration to flaunt and celebrate one’s treasures. 💟 conveys the same. It refers to love and something about the red heart to be special. Hence, it’s showcased with an ornamental frame.
The ❗ exclamation mark makes its appearance in contexts of emotional arousal. An excited emotion is often expressed textually with exclamatory punctuation. Be it anger, irritation, love, excitement, sadness, any emotion that’s at its pinnacle of reception and expression ends with an ❕.
So, a heart that’s being translated into an exclamation only evokes feelings of arousal, but with emotional responses and stimuli associated with love. It’s not necessarily romantic love (though it’s a red emoji), but any type of love and relationship.
The heart in this emoji is the same as the ❤️ red heart, but one that’s broken or cracked right in between. It is in the process of being divided into two. 💔 is an obvious heartbreak from a romantic relationship.
However, breakups, in relationships other than romantic ones are just as painful too. So, depending on the amount of pain caused by the event, the 💔 broken heart emoji covers for them all.
Online, the communicative vibe is generally laid-back. The broken heart is sometimes used to express a sense of being let down, sad, or “heartbroken”, but in a casual sense. Mostly, there’s no actual pain.
A heart that’s on fire is most definitely a graphic figure of speech. It’s just morbid and horrendous otherwise. The ❤️🔥 heart on fire emoji portrays the picture of burning passion. It conveys an intensified image of an emotion that identifies with the red heart.
In most cases ❤️🔥 is a mark of burning love, lust, sexual tension, and a sense of having the hots. On a virtual platform, this emoji could mean a little more, alongside existing interpretations. Sending ❤️🔥 could also be a way of saying that something or someone has captivated you.
A bandaged heart is a healing heart. At least a heart that’s taken the first step on the healing journey. This emoji describes the positive consequence of a painful situation. It’s a symbol of hope, strength, and growth.
But a bandage is not always a sign of healing. It’s could also be a mark of immediate collision. Meaning, ❤️🩹 can also mean that the heart has received the necessary first-aid, and is not necessarily healing. It could be an unfortunate event that results in an eventual, but collapsing end.
This ‘heart emoji’ is a combination of the ✉️ Envelope emoji and the ❤️ Red Heart emoji. It’s not entirely a heart emoji, but it is a love letter, and which symbol says love better than the red heart?
Pop culture has made the love letter a written confession or just a message shared between romantic lovers. But, truth is, any loving relationship can have love letters going on in between them. However, the 💌 emoji settles as a romantic love letter because of the visible red heart.
The Human Heart Emojis
Love is not just in the air, it’s often written all over your face and you probably can’t hide it.
This emoji is not entirely a heart emoji but has a pair of red hearts defining its visual expression. A collab between the 😀 Grinning Face and two ❤️❤️ red hearts for the eyes showcases love, admiration, attraction, and special attention towards something that’s visually capturing.
😍 could also represent the same emotions for just about anything and not only content that’s visibly alluring. It could be audio, reading material, news, anything. The cat version of this emoji is the 😻 Smiling Cat With Heart-Eyes emoji.
Hearts, as we repeatedly know now, are symbols of love. So, when a face, representing a human visage is framed by a couple of fluttering hearts, it definitely means that the face, which is also a synecdoche for the person sending it, is in love. Apart from being in love, 🥰 can also mean that the person, aka the face, is feeling loved too.
Now, this is the perfect use of the romantic, red heart. It iterates the exact meaning and significance of the red heart emoji. The couple in this emoji is gender-neutral. There are gendered variants of romantic relationship emojis too – 👩❤️👨 Woman and Man With Heart, 👩❤️👩 Woman and Woman With Heart, and 👨❤️👨 Man and Man WIth Heart emojis.
The Heart Organ
The human heart and the heart emoji are two different things. And we have an emoji for the actual non-cute human heart as well.
This is a new emoji on the list, hence, is not visible just yet on all platforms. But! The anatomical heart, as the name and the emoji says it all, is the precise pictograph of a human heart. Yep, not as pretty. If you’re someone who wants to keep it real and raw, then the 🫀 anatomical human heart is for you! All puns intended.
We’d like to say that the ❤️ Red Heart emoji, in particular, is stronger in its essence and significance than most emojis. It may probably be the strongest too because ❤️ is one of the very few symbols that has been known, accepted, and recognized much before it was an emoji.
This means, even users who aren’t well-versed with emojis, would instantly understand what the ❤️ means. The red heart emoji has and still does participate in many offline platforms, as well, and each time, it means the same thing.