Got left on read? Breadcrumbed? Benched? Wokefished? Roached? Dehumidified? Incarcerated? Mummified?
Okay, we made the last three up but we swear the rest of them are real relationship terms. The point is, you got left on read. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Actually, it happens to all of us. Anyone who says they’ve never gotten seen-zoned is either lying or is The Weeknd himself. Honestly, I’m pretty sure Selena Gomez must’ve seen zoned him at some point!
Being seen zoned isn’t fun. Especially when your hopelessly romantic self had worked out to the last detail the perfect date you were going to take this person on, ending with the best kiss and sleepless nights *wink*.
Instead of all that, you were treated to a cold “seen.” Gone are the days when the third base was associated with sex. In the age of online dating, the first base is texting, the second base is daydreaming, and the third base is getting ghosted.
When anybody gets left on read, there are bound to be a million things going on in their heads immediately after they realize they’ve just been subjected to the 21st century equivalent of the guillotine. Let’s take a deep dive into this unfortunate victim’s mind, for empathetic purposes only, of course. Nobody’s laughing here.
1. “Oh, they must be busy”
“Surely, this didn’t just happen, right? Nah, they’re probably just busy. They’re probably outside. Forgot to reply. Yeah, that must be it. ”
Go on, whatever floats your boat, sailor. While at this stage you may still have yourself convinced that they simply forgot to reply and are busy, you know in the back of your mind that it’s a possibility you got left on read.
But as the sun goes down, taking your self-esteem with it, it starts to dawn on you that maybe it isn’t an absurd notion that you just got ghosted.
Related Reading: 25 Relationship Terms That Sum Up Modern Relationships
2. “I didn’t just get left on read, right?”
“No, they probably went on an emergency vacation… sans phones? Maybe s/he was reminded of an urgent deadline. “
The excuses you’re making to save yourself from the humiliation you will subject yourself to now get worse. By this point, you should tell yourself to not think about it. Put on Netflix and find the section for “this will distract you while you’re getting ghosted”. Honestly, Netflix should really have that genre up by now.
3. “I got left on read. It’s time to change my name and move to China”
A day or two later, you’re now convinced what the silence in return to your “Hey there!” is actually saying. Now, by this point, you might be telling yourself that it doesn’t matter and that there is plenty of fish in the sea. Your very next thought is you realizing that all you wanted was this emotionally unavailable, commitment-phobe trout who decided to swim right past you.
4. “You know what? They didn’t deserve ME!”
There you go! That’s more like it. You’re the boss around here, you decide who talks to you and who doesn’t. You’re funny, smart, intelligent, and a catch. Frankly, it’s their loss.
Until, of course, you realize that this newfound confidence stemmed from anger will last you a grand total of 18.5 seconds. Soon you plummet into the next stage every human being goes to after a defeat as crushing as this one: self-doubt.
5. “I’m a catch…right?”
“Should I have sent that? Was that funny? Did I mess this up? Was that lame? ” If you liked this person, chances are it’d get to the point where being left on read will make you feel horrible and question yourself. Here are the answers to a bunch of questions that might pop up in your mind at this stage:
No, don’t double/triple text them. They will not respond.
No, don’t send them a friend/follow request. They will call 911.
No, don’t contact their friends. They will get a restraining order against you.
No, don’t take it personally. You’re a catch and it really is their loss.
Related Reading: Is Caspering Less Brutal Than Ghosting?
6. “Whatever, I don’t even care”
Only this time, you genuinely mean it. Once an appropriate amount of time passes, you start moving on because after all, the texting stage between you two didn’t even last as long as Netflix’s free trial, so it can’t hurt you much for too long.
Do you want to know the exact moment when you’ll move on? It’s when your pretty new match on your dating app responds to your message or when you go out for “one drink”, which turns into a night of partying with your friends — whichever comes first.
After going through all these emotions Sigmund Freud would’ve never anticipated, if your ghoster one fine day decides to come back into your life, you bet your top dollar you’re going to reply. I could go on and on about why you shouldn’t reply and what you should do instead, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never texted a ghoster back.
Even so, try not to let being left on read get to you. Perhaps they’re going through something, they just forgot or maybe they’re not over their ex. We’d say you just dodged a bullet.