Dating apps. So fickle. Besides the fact that it seems like you rarely ever match, once you do, it’s like trying to find enough cash in between the seats of your car to pay for valet on South Beach during a holiday.
But researchers at Clover, an online-dating app, say there is a way to improve your success at landing a date: Emojis.
The team analyzed 90 million messages from about 3 million users to determine the impact emojis had on the initial contact between two people (so much for privacy). According to their study, people respond 6.5 percent more often if an emoji is included in the first message — with women being 5 percent and men being 8 percent more receptive.
Miami is a whole different animal when it comes to the dating scene, we know. But if you think throwing any emoji at your potential will do, think again, Miami bro. The great thing is that the researchers at Clover also discovered the emojis that don’t elicit a response from women.
These are emojis to avoid sending to women:
This is how ridiculous you look sending the eggplant emoji.
Why it doesn’t work: Seriously? This is just so inappropriate — the only exception being if you were proposing to make her a home-cooked eggplant Parmesan. But since that is highly unlikely, try keeping your thoughts clean and your eggplant in your pants. (Also, like what if she replies with a knife? Traumatic).
Replacements: If you’ve been using the eggplant emoji, chances are you need to take a few notes on subtlety. Here are two emojis you could use instead:
- ?: This is the perfect emoji for leaving your intentions up for interpretation. Not exactly forward, no. But an upgrade from the eggplant, for sure, and according to Clover, women are very receptive to it.
- ?: OK, maybe you are just plain nasty. Fine, but women still don’t want to see the emoji-version of a dick pic — maybe because it screams “I’m all into myself!” Let this potential date know you’re altruistic, if you know what I mean.
Like, what does the clapping emoji really even mean?
Why it doesn’t work: I’m trying to think of the kind of conversation that would warrant a round of applause, but I’ve got nothing. When it comes to unfamiliar women, using the clapping emoji could easily come off as patronizing. Impressed with her looks? Sending the clapping emoji makes you come off like a condescending prick. Even if she just earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry and was named a Nobel Peace Prize winner, it could still be perceived as trivializing. No one wants to feel like a circus act, so just don’t.
Replacements: You have to understand context. For one, she doesn’t really know you. And also, the vagueness of the clapping emoji is too much of a burden on flirting. Like, is this a slow, pity clap? Or are you clapping enthusiastically like she just performed an entertaining trick? There are other ways to express your adoration, and in ways that will improve your success, for example:
- ?: Girls love the heart eyes emoji. But be careful. It definitely cannot be your first message to a date, because that’s weird. Did she send you a really cute selfie? Share an awesome accomplishment or detail about herself? Go for it. Don’t overdo it, though.
- ☺️: You will look like the opposite of a snooty douche bag if you use this blushing emoji. In fact, she’ll think you’re affectionate, maybe even a sweetheart. Prove her right.
Be honest, this is what you were looking for when you sent that bicep emoji.
Why it doesn’t work: If you’ve been using this emoji with women, I’ve got one thing to say: LOL. You don’t even deserve advice. You’re probably in the gym alone right now with a fresh haircut, taking selfies of your triceps in the mirror. Are you looking for a gym partner or a date?
Replacements: Beside the fact that you really just need to grow up, just stop using the bicep emoji with women. It’s not cute. And actually there are no replacements. How about you just cut it out of your texting vocabulary. You know, kind of like how you’ve cut out leg day from your workout routine for the last five months.
The original fist bump? Pound.
Why it doesn’t work: Look, unless you’re the same guy who lives in the gym, then you probably had great intentions sending the fist bump emoji. Thing is, in most cases with women, it just doesn’t work. It wreaks of the friend zone (or a black eye). A potential date isn’t looking for another bro or a WWE beat down.
Replacements: If you’ve used the fist bump emoji with women, the great thing is that you probably value camaraderie. You might even want to get to know your date before making any major moves. But if this person is worth a try, take risk with these emojis:
- ?: You think this girl is cool. Let her know you’d like to take this beyond the DMs with the kissy face. If you’re a little nervous, just follow up with the ? or ?.
- ❤️️: Don’t want to take a risk? The heart emoji (and any of its color variations) will work. Include some real words about how you’re really feeling your date. Compliments are nice!