Written by The Strategy
Another day, another series. Welcome to The Dating Diaries. A series on the trials and tribulations of our collective dating experiences. Our rants, our raves, our first dates and our worst dates. It feels good to get this all off our chests.
We’ve all been there before. You send a message, you eagerly wait for a response. Minutes go by. Hours. And then, in the bottom right corner of your text, you see four letters that crush your soul: R-E-A-D.
You know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t, then I suggest you continue living in ignorant bliss and close this post immediately. If you still want to know what we’re talking about, let me enlighten you. The Read Receipt is a cruel feature on most smart phones, that notifies those in the conversation when, (and I mean exact minute when), one party has received, or ‘read’, the message. That means, your smartphone enables you to calculate the exact time that has passed from when you send a message, to when your receiver decides to respond. That is, if they chose to respond.
I believe there are two types of people in this world: The kind of person who disables the ‘read’ option, and the people who brazenly enable it. The former are people who play coy, and need time to decide on a response. They’re fans of excuses like “I totally didn’t see this until now!” and “Sorry, I thought I hit reply!” These people want to read your message, and process how they want to respond without the pressure of having to do so immediately.
The latter are people who are sending a very specific message when they open your text and don’t respond, fully knowing that you know they read it. Once that Read Receipt is delivered, these folks automatically take the position of power in the conversation, while the receiver is left awaiting their reply. They’re game players.
Of course, there is also a tiny third group of people who have their ‘read’ function on, and have no clue about it. This group mostly consists of people living under a rock or those over 40. My mother is in this group. As an editors note, if you are in this category, then please disregard the rest of this post.
Although I am scared of the sadistic people who leave the Read Receipts on, I’m here today to say, I respect, nay, I appreciate, the Read Receipts our devices so kindly provide, and the message that comes along with them.
You see, when there is no acknowledgement of message receipt, we find comfort in our imaginations. He (or she), hasn’t replied because: They are helping a friend. They don’t use their phones while they’re at the dinner table. Their phone died. They take their job seriously and don’t text at work…I can continue. You soon find yourself in a text-avoidance dance that makes it all the more confusing to discern if this person is into you or not.
The Read Receipt doesn’t leave much room for that. They read your message, and they simply didn’t want to respond. Not then, maybe not ever. Maybe they saw your message as the end of the conversation. Maybe they didn’t like what you said. Whatever it is, their receipt is a clear notification that they know you know and they want you to stew in it.
I should note that there are some majestic creatures who have their Read Receipts on, and, when they read your text, they reply it in a timely manner. Sure, they make take a minute or two to come up with a response, but they don’t make you wait. If you come across one of these dating-world unicorns, do not let them go.
For me, personally, I take the Read Receipts as a confirmation of interest. He loves me, he loves me not…He read it. He responded. Let’s pursue this. He read it. He didn’t respond. He loves me not. Sure, things come up. Work gets hectic, your family needs you, you have a ton going on at work/school. Life happens. But, if they’re really into you, chances are they aren’t going to let a couple days go by without responding to you.
And, while their disinterest still hurts, I at least have a clear answer as to whether or not to continue the pursuit. They’re not into me, so I can move on. I’m no longer stuck holding out the hope that they love me, but they left their phone in an Uber and don’t have my number stored on the cloud.