Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Perhaps not. Turns out, "smirk emoji, kissing-heart emoji, stuck-out-tongue emoji" might be a more successful pick-up line. 

New research from the Department of Psychology at Lake Forest College in Chicago has revealed that people who spice up their messages with emojis have better romantic and sexual encounters. 

The research, compiled from two separate studies, suggests that emojis play a far greater role in our everyday flirting and banter (aka "flanter") than just adding colour and personality. 

In fact, it found that people who use emojis when texting a potential date were more likely to lock down that all-important second date - heart-eyes emoji!

In other words, if you want your flirting to heat up, it might be time to drop a fire emoji in the mix. 

The first study polled 5,327 single people in the United States aged 18-94 years old. Of these, 87% of the participants identified as heterosexual, about 10% as gay or lesbian, and 3.5% as bisexual. The majority of respondents - 62% - identified as white. About 19% were African American, 15% Hispanic/Latino, 6% Asian, and 2% Native American.

This survey found that 38% of the respondents never use emojis, with 29% rarely using them and 28% using them regularly. Given our emoji-obsessed society, where Kim Kardashian can market perfume based on the peach emoji and Lush sells bathbombs in similar shapes, a surprisingly small amount of respondents were avid users. 

Just 3% of participants use at least one emoji in every text, and 2.5% use more than one in every text.

The second study was an online survey, polling 275 adults, with participants aged between 18-71. Of this group, 4% identified as heterosexual, 13.5% as bisexual and, 3% as homosexual. Here again, the large majority identified as white - 73%. African Americans made up 13.5%, about 9% were Latino, 8% were Asian, 1.5% Native American, and 0.4% were Arab, Middle Eastern, or Indian.

This study buckled down on the dating lives of the respondents, looking at their most recent dates of the people in this study, which included emoji frequency, intimacy, and continued contact with the date.

Incredibly, just 3% of the respondents said they never use emojis with potential dates, and those who did were more likely to secure a second date. 

Writing about their research, the authors said: "Our findings suggest that emoji use with potential partners is associated with maintaining connection beyond the first date, and more romantic and sexual interactions over the previous year."

More than this, people who used emojis were way more likely to have kissed and had sex with their date. They were also more likely to enter a relationship with said partner.

Sad face emoji, though: the research did not look into which emojis were most successful for wooing someone, and they added that they "cannot determine whether more emoji use leads to more dates and sex or vice-versa". 

So maybe hold off before blanket-texting your crush(es) a bunch of peach emojis. 

But the researchers do have some theories as to why emoji use is so central to ensuring your romantic encounters are more heart-eyes-emoji than crying-face-emoji. 

They believe that when it comes to forming intimate and emotional connections, emojis may be the best way to go about it. They suggested that non-verbal expressions through features like emojis can be useful when softening a harsh message or adding embellishment to a positive one. 

More than this, the researchers suggest that "the graphical nature of emojis suggest they possess greater ability to convey the nuances of affective communication" - so, essentially, when words fail you, an emoji might be the best way to express yourself truthfully. 

Not to mention the fact that they're the perfect medium for expressing your personality - who hasn't apologised for a late reply with the cute see-no-evil monkey emoji, and who can deny the tension-building power of the smirk emoji? 

In conclusion, nerd-face-emoji.