What To Do (And Not Do) When You've Been Left On Read Too Long

If you've ever been texting with someone whose name gave you butterflies whenever it came on your phone screen, then you know how equally devastating it can feel to be left on read by them. Being left on read for too long can leave you questioning your self-worth and wondering if it was something you said or did.

Not receiving a reply for a long time keeps you in an unsettled stage of not knowing whether you've been ghosted or not. There's no closure because it's been long enough to feel the sting of being ghosted, but it's not long enough to know if you've been ghosted for sure. It's normal to feel upset after being ignored for too long by someone you like. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help yourself feel better, and some things that are best to avoid doing when you've been left on read.

Practice self-care

Show yourself some love and prioritize your well-being by practicing an act of self-care. When you get ignored by someone, you may start to question your self-worth, feel stressed, and wonder if you're good enough. A self-care day can be beneficial to your mental health and help you de-stress. A study showed that of over 800 students, those who practiced self-care experienced "less stress and higher quality of life."

You can also practice self-care by spending time with those closest to you who make you feel appreciated and loved. One of the best ways you can distract yourself from the thoughts of that text conversation is to get yourself out of the house and doing something you love. Plan a fun day out with your friends or loved ones. You'll be much less tempted to keep running the conversation through your head when surrounded by those who support you.

Go after someone who shows an interest

If the person you were texting hasn't replied yet and has left you questioning whether they genuinely like you or not, it could be time to move on to someone new. Rather than wait for a response from a person who's giving you mixed signals, put your energy into something new. Pursue someone who shows a real interest and doesn't leave you feeling confused about their feelings. You deserve someone who replies to your texts and makes you feel special. 

Modern dating has completely changed over the last few years. Now, more and more people are using online dating apps and sites to meet their potential partners. Instead of feeling sad about being left on read for too long, get back out there and meet someone new. According to a Pew Research Center study, when asked if they've used a dating app before, "52% of never-married adults" said yes.

Don't double text them

Before you start panicking and wondering if you've been ghosted, take a moment to pause and think about the situation. Sometimes in the beginning stage of a relationship, people take a little longer to reply to texts. This is completely normal, and it's not always a cause for concern. Even if it's been a long time since you last received a reply, don't send them another message and double text them. Sending more messages may make you come off as looking clingy, which will end up pushing them away from you (via Essence). 

Remember that when someone leaves you on read too long or completely ghosts you, it's a reflection of who they are as a person and not you. Take it as a sign that maybe you just weren't the right match, and that your potential partner is still out there waiting to be found.