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Being Left on Read: What It Really Means When They Don’t Text Back

being left on read

If your messages to a certain someone are always being left on read, is this a sign you’re being ghosted? Could it be a technological hitch? 

Social media is a wonderful thing, don’t you agree? Not only can you talk to anyone, no matter where they are in the world, but you can also *whisper it* semi-stalk the apple of your eyes without them even realizing it! Until it is used against you, and you’re left wondering what is happening. So, what exactly does it mean when you’re being left on read?

The age of social media semi-stalking

Want to know where they were last night? Check their Facebook! Want to sit and gaze at them in wonderment? Check their Instagram! Want to know what’s bugging them right now? Check their Twitter!

Okay, I know, I sound a little crazy here. I’m not a stalker, I promise. Ask yourself whether you’ve ever done it and be honest! Of course, you have! Everyone has used social media to look into the life of the one they have their eye on, and if you say you haven’t, you’re lying!

If your semi-stalking behavior is causing you to turn up in places they’re tagging themselves into, scale it back a little, but for harmless half-monitoring, I say go for it!

[Read: How to stalk on social media and find just what you’re looking for]

The problem is, if you pluck up the courage to message that certain someone and you’re being left on read, how are you supposed to take that?

If you’re not sure what I’m taking about, being left on read basically means that a message you sent has been read by that person, but they haven’t replied. Scathing. Brutal. Ouch!

Yep, it hurts and it’s embarrassing, but should you jump to the first conclusion that pops into your mind or wait it out?

[Read: How to respond like a grown-up when someone ignores you deliberately]

Why you’re being left on read

Put simply, if someone isn’t answering you and it happens more than once, I’m sorry, but take this as a negative sign. Yep, they’re ghosting you, they’re not interested.

It’s harsh, I know. In a way you should be grateful this didn’t happen directly to your face. That’s the other great thing about social media, you can hide behind it. It gives you a certain sense of false security. When it comes crashing down, okay, it hurts, but you can weather out the storm a little and hide until it passes.

Back in the day, we sent texts and wouldn’t know whether they’d been seen. Then came the ‘delivery report,’ which I have to say was a revelation. You knew they had received the message, the report said so! Now technology has advanced to the point where you can see that the message sent, delivered, and oh, wait, they’ve read it!

It’s wonderful when you see their picture show at the side of the message, or the tick turns blue. You wait for a few seconds, surely those little dancing bubbles are going to turn up in a second, telling you that they’re typing a message. So, you wait. You wait a little more. Then you decide they’re probably busy, and that’s why you’re being left on read. You wait until the evening, still no reply.

Ouch, once more.

Wait until the next day. If you have no reply by then, face the very real possibility that they’re simply not going to reply because they don’t want to.

Okay, I admit, there is the slight possibility *very slight* they’re not replying for another reason, a completely acceptable one. Perhaps they’ve been sick and couldn’t reply and then forgot or they lost their phone. Maybe they planned to reply, got sidetracked, and it slipped their mind.

[Read: The clear signs you’ve been ghosted and how to deal with it]

Should you send another message?

There are possible reasons you’ve been left on read. In that case, how do you feel about sending another message?

It’s a borderline topic. Firstly, does it make you look desperate? I think it depends on the content of the last message. You could follow it up with a joking remark, “hey, did you get lost?” or something akin to that. However, they could take that either way.

I say go for it if you feel you can. Put simply, if you’re being left on read, what harm is one more message? However, if you’re still being left on read after message number two, STEP AWAY FROM THE MOBILE DEVICE!

Seriously, more than two messages being left on read, it’s a serious message that they really don’t want to talk to you. Continuing to message beyond that point is a little desperate. In fact, it’s very desperate. Don’t be that person. [Read: Double texting, seconds texts and rules to play it cool]

Being left on read due to anger

Have you had an argument with someone and your messages are being left without reply? What should you do in that case?

It depends on the argument: who was to blame, what was said, and whether you should apologize.

The chances are they will calm down and reply, but in their own time. After message number two, wait it out. Don’t give up hope, because it’s likely you will get a reply after a day or two. But, don’t keep pushing. Some people need space when they’re angry. Once left alone for a short while, they see sense, come around, and messages flow once more.

If you need to apologize for something you’ve said or done, and your messages are being left on read, there is one important message you should send as a final point. Apologize! Say you’re sorry and then leave it. Allow them to work it out and come back to you in their own time. [Read: The guide to help you grow up and face life like an adult]

Don’t waste time on people who don’t reply

The other point I want to make is a motivational one. Call it my inner Beyonce, but I say if someone leaves your messages without a reply on a regular basis, walk away! Don’t waste a second more of your time on someone who can’t even be bothered to send you a quick message!

Let’s be honest, messages take less than a minute nowadays. We can all type so fast that a paragraph takes 30 seconds. When you look at it that way, the excuse of being too busy is a poor one. It basically means they didn’t deem you important enough to reply to, or they simply couldn’t be bothered. Neither excuse is acceptable, it’s just downright rude. [Read: Why did he stop texting me back? 13 rules you should follow]

Even if you don’t want to speak to someone, even if you’re not interested in them romantically, it’s courtesy to reply to them and make it clear, right? Am I just being old fashioned here? [Read: How to text a girl who stopped responding and win her attention back]

It’s embarrassing when someone leaves more than one of your messages without reply. Don’t embarrass yourself more by continuing to hold out hope, and certainly don’t send them one more message. A quick message might only take 30 seconds to type out and send, but that is 30 seconds of your time they don’t deserve. Do something more deserving of your time.

It’s also possible that they will reply to you when they see fit, i.e. a week or maybe more later. Maybe when they’re bored of whatever was taking up their time before. What does my inner Beyonce say to that? Leave them on read instead!

[Read: The science behind craving them more when you feel ignored]

If you’re being left on read, it’s a pretty clear sign this person won’t reply to you any time soon. Nobody is too busy to acknowledge another person. Don’t waste time hanging around and waiting.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...

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