How to Deal With Being Left on Read

They've read your text but haven't's what you should do
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Created by Marios Stamos

Published on May 19, 2023
imessage style text bubble with the words: read 11:30 am underneath

If you communicate through texts, then you've probably been left on "read" more than once. It is one of the few certainties in life, alongside death and taxes. 

You could be having a great conversation with someone (or so you thought), and then all of a sudden, they stop responding. 

You don't know if it's temporary or if you'll ever see their name on your notifications ever again. You may end up with a mix of negative emotions, including insecurity, frustration, doubt, and a big question of what you did wrong. 

No matter how many times it happened to you, every time bums you out just the same. And this can lead to mistakes that can make things worse. 

That's why I made this list with some pointers to make this experience as smooth as possible.

Don't Overthink It 

Yes, being left on "read" could mean that you'll never hear from them again. But it could also mean absolutely nothing at all. The truth is that not everyone can respond as soon as they get your text every single time. Maybe they opened your message, but something distracted them, maybe something important and urgent came up, and they couldn't get back to you. 

Don't Double Text 

This is the cardinal sin of texting. It makes you seem needy and clingy. Don't start sending message after message, and certainly don't call or video call them. Especially if it's been just a couple of hours since they left you on "read". The last thing you want is to seem obsessed. In fact, if they just intended to reply to you at a later time, double texting could make them change their mind and not reply at all. 

Don't Ask for an Explanation 

Just like the "Don't Double Text" rule, this is almost a knee-jerk reaction when you don't hear back from someone. You might want to know why they didn't reply so you'd get some kind of closure. Or you may wonder what you did wrong and want to avoid doing it again in the future. But unfortunately, it will only make you seem desperate and might make things worse. 

Reread Your Text

Look at the last message you sent them. Does it really warrant a response, or did you end the conversation without realising it? If you want to test the waters, wait one day and send an unrelated message to your previous conversation to see if and how they will respond. Plus, you might’ve forgotten to press the "send" button, making you the one who left them in "read" instead. 

Don't Fixate On It 

Sitting around and obsessing over your phone won't help you in any way. Don't check your inbox. Don't constantly refresh their social media to see if they posted something that will give you a hint as to why they haven't replied yet. Instead, try to have a good time doing something else that will help you unwind, either alone or with friends. 

Move On 

Unless it’s someone you’ve known for a long time and feel like you need to clear the air about it, just move on. If it's been over a day and you haven't heard back, there's no point in wasting time and energy on someone who isn't interested.

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