Christina Wolfgram
December 02, 2015 5:44 pm

Let’s be real: No one is whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears anymore. These days, flirting has gone from sexual to textual — and sending the perfect text message is just as essential as how you communicate IRL.

For those of us who aren’t natural Shakespeares, emojis are key to creating these cute “I like you” cues for our crushes. Recently, a UK-based company called DrEd picked up on this trend, and conducted a study to find out which of the little symbols were getting sent the most frequently on Twitter. The results have us ready to get our flirt on.

Surprisingly, the top three emojis were very tame. Heart eyes dominated the findings, popping up in over 2 million romantic tweets. Though there’s no indication of what DrEd qualified as a “romantic” tweet, the heart eye emoji makes a lot of sense: It’s relatively safe to send to a crush compared to, say, an eggplant with a bunch of sparkles. The kissy face and kitty with heart eyes emojis — which took home the silver and bronze respectively — are also pretty clean.

The rest of the top ten included some more “suggestive” ones, like the unpeeled banana, the tongue, and the eggplant. (You know, the emojis you don’t want to accidentally send to your parents.) But overall, the list was very balanced.

DrEd also found that women are more likely to use flirty emojis than men, especially when it comes to the lipstick mark and kitty with heart eyes. Dudes, however, seem to prefer sending the more explicit eggplant emoji: According to this survey, they use it 16% more than the ladies.

Emojis start to take on heightened meanings when used in combinations, like emoji sentences. Apparently, three tongues in a row is America’s favorite way to flirt.

As per usual, the grinning poop emoji is missing from these lists, but I guess I’m the only one who flirts like a fourth grader. Since when did tweeting suggestive vegetables become a better way to say, “I like you,” than poop jokes?

Guess we’ll just have to save those emojis for the rest of our tweets.

(Images via DrEd, Inside Amy Schumer / Comedy Central.)

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