So you’re dating someone, you’re enjoying getting to know them, but you notice your message has been left on read. Whether they’ve always done this, or it’s gradually happening more and more, we’ll get to the bottom of what it means and what to do.
Why You’re Being Left On Read
When it comes to why you’re being left on read, there’s not necessarily one set answer.
Yes, it could be because he’s not into you anymore. But it could also be because he’s not big on messaging, or perhaps he’s just too busy to reply properly at that moment in time so he’s waiting until he can give you the response you deserve.
I mean, how often should you actually text someone when dating? Click here to find out!
But in terms of what’s normal, what’s not and what it all means – you’ve got to look at his behaviour.
- Is this a regular thing? Has he always done this? Right from the start?
- Or is this happening more and more now? If so, are there any other behaviours that match up with that? For instance, do you feel him pulling away in other ways or becoming more disconnected?
- It could also be that this is just a one off… in which case, cool off. It’s not a big deal.
- If it is more than that, then has he ever acknowledged his texting habits (or bad ones) – said anything to suggest he’s just not a big texter?
- If so, does that match up with what he’s like when he’s with you? Is he typically always off his phone, leaves it on the side, forgets about it even… or is he glued to it? And therefore what he says and what you can see he does, doesn’t align?
- If you’re chatting on whatsapp / messenger, can you see he’s online? Is that what’s bothering you? You’re being left on read and yet he’s still – seemingly – always active? Which makes you wonder why? (Recommended Read: Why Is He Online Late At Night?)
- How about how he makes you feel? Does he seem interested and into you? Does he show you in other ways? (Recommended Read: 10 Signs He’s Losing Interest)
These are the kind of things you want to evaluate to better determine the situation and what it means. And sure, some might say it’s overanalysing… but you want answers right? You don’t want this to play on your mind. So all you’re doing is breaking it down to better understand it.
Should You Ask Him Why You’re Being Left On Read?
So at this point, you may think, well, why don’t I just ask him?! And girl, I’m all about honesty, openness and just saying what you think. But sometimes, it’s better to keep some things to yourself.
It’s not about playing games or caring what he thinks… it’s more about “picking your battles” and bringing something like this up, is just going to make it seem like a big deal. Which it’s not, not really. So at this stage, I’d most certainly leave it out.
Why Your Message Has Been Left On Read
So if you’ve asked yourself the above questions, you’re going to now have a better idea of why you’re being left on read. But to better help you, here’s some common reasons.
- He’s busy. The simplest explanation, the one he’s likely to use and in some cases – it is really true!
- He doesn’t text much anyway. It could also be that he’s just not be a big texter, which means he’s likely to not only often leave you on read, but other people too.
- He wants to reply properly. If you’re sending long messages back and forth, this is great. But they do take time to reply to so he could simply be waiting for a better time to respond – when he can think clearly and reply properly.
- He can’t be bothered to reply right now. It could also be that he’s tired so he’s like, “ah, I’ll just reply later.” Again, nothing to take personal. We all feel like this from time to time. This leads me onto my next point…
- He got distracted. There’s a lot going on in the world, in our lives and so sometimes you can read a message, plan to reply and forget, lose track of time or get distracted. We’re not talking days with this but it can certainly be the case if it’s hours.
What Else Could It Be?
- He’s playing games. Maybe he’s trying to keep you on your toes – make you question, make you wonder. But oh wait, it’s working! Don’t let it! Recommended Read: What To Do When He Pulls Back
- He’s losing interest. It’s got to be said. He could be leaving you on read because he’s not as interested or engaged anymore. That doesn’t mean that you’re not an absolute hoot however. He could lose interest for all kinds of reasons that are nothing to do with you. Although I know that doesn’t always soften the blow. You can try to keep him interested, or you can decide he’s not for you. See how you feel. Either way, to better identify this one – click here for the key signs he’s losing interest.
- He’s lost interest. It could also be a case of he’s lost interest. There’s no going back. For whatever reason, he’s not feeling it anymore. And instead of telling you, he’s fading you out. Uh, immature I know.
- It was always unbalanced. Perhaps the relationship just isn’t balanced. It’s always been you more into him, you grafting harder, you keeping this alive. Again, it’s not ideal, but it’s better to recognise and know.
- He likes you, but not enough. Or maybe that’s it. He’s keen, he values you, he likes you as a person, but there’s just something missing. All this means? He’s not the one for you.
At Least He’s Reading Your Messages
I mean, on the plus side, at least he’s not leaving your messages as unread. He’s actually clicking onto them. And no, this isn’t about taking little mercies. We’re not going to THANK him for that (ha!)
It’s just good to remember. I mean, do you notice he reads your message pretty fast? It’s just the replying part that’s slow? Well that’s a good thing. He is interested in you, and wants to know what you have to say.
If he wasn’t into you, he wouldn’t especially care. So little things like this are worth weighing up. Your question from there is just in determining, is it enough?
So What Should You Think?
After weighing it all up, you may not have a definitive answer. That’s okay. You don’t actually need to know for sure. All you need to know is how it feels. How does he make you feel? What’s your gut telling you?
Take a step back and see the bigger picture. Is this one thing, or has it been multiple things? As a whole, does he make you feel more good, or more bad? And what does that tell you?
If You Feel Better
If you read this and feel better about the fact you’re being left on read – you feel like there is a lot of good still there and it is a case of him just being crappy on text and text alone… then great.
At least you’ve now got your head around it and feel more confident about the situation. In terms of what to do next time when he leaves you on read:
- Don’t react, don’t message again, don’t nudge or nag.
- Try not to track. Avoid “monitoring” your messages so much. Stop seeing if he’s online or has seen it / responded. Focus on yourself a little more and the other aspects of your life. Because when you shift your focus, you’re far less aware of every moment, every instance, every minute and it feels like less big of a deal. In fact, read this – it will help you to stop obsessing (something we’re all guilty of at times!)
- Stop giving so much in this area if you’re not getting the same back. This isn’t about games, but balance. If he takes a few hours to reply, don’t send your reply the minute you see it. Cool it off just a touch.
If You Feel Like It’s Not Right
If you searched this and found the article because you were feeling pretty lousy, if you’ve read through the potential reasons and STILL feel lousy, then girl… remember your worth.
Stop wasting time on people who don’t reciprocate the effort and interest. Stop giving your all when you’re not getting the same back. Because I guarantee – this isn’t just about the texts.
You feel the imbalance. You know there’s things here that aren’t quite right and ultimately, he isn’t making you feel the way you want someone to male you feel.
So feel the sting of rejection, acknowledge it, accept it, then decide “that’s okay!” This isn’t anything personal. It’s just a case of meeting either the wrong person, or a person who isn’t in the same place as you right now.
“Am I Being Unreasonable?”
Now I know what you’re thinking: “But what if I’m being unreasonable? Making a big deal? What if I’m wrong? If this is coming from my own fears and insecurities?”
Well ultimately, only you’ll know that. Deep down, you’ll be able to tell if you’re carrying this “relationship” or if he is equally as invested as you. So have confidence in what you want and how you feel. Trust your judgement. Stand by what you want.
Remember that every time you stop putting your time into the wrong person, it creates space for the right person to come along… and they will, trust me. They will.