The Unsent Project Reveals Moving Text Messages People Never Sent

All the things we never said ... or sent.

sad woman texting Getty Images

How many times have you typed out a heartfelt message to someone only to delete it or never hit send?

This has happened to each and every one of us and the feeling certainly isn’t good. To show people that they’re not alone, Rora Blue started The Unsent Project.

Rora Blue is a queer disabled conceptual artist that lives and works in Nevada, US. Blue produces artwork that is defined by color, text, and interactivity. The majority of Blue's work relies heavily on color which is used to communicate a feeling to the viewer. Her artistic statement says, "I have always thought that some feelings are so big they can only exist as a color... My work has this duality of being an outlet of expression for myself but also for other people who need it."


Blue is a recipient of the VSA Emerging Young Artist Award of Excellence from the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C and her work has been exhibited in nine different countries. She received her BFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has been featured in many media outlets including The New York Times, Good Morning America, Huffington Post, and Cosmopolitan.

She began the Unsent Project in 2015 and according to the website it was created "to figure out what color people see love in."

What is The Unsent Project?

The Unsent Project is a combination of both a website and physical collages that showcase over 40,000 unsent text messages.


Each text was initially meant for the sender's first love. However, first love doesn’t necessarily mean a boyfriend or girlfriend. It more so means the first person, or animal, to show you love or that you truly loved first. This person could be a family member, an ex, an old best friend, etc.

The messages are coded by the color of the submitter's choosing in order to help interpret what color people see love in. Each color represents the emotion that the sender associates with the message. The project shows the correlation people make with color and emotion as well as the endless feeling we never expressed.

You can search through the messages on the website by color or by name. If you click on the achieve tab at the top of the home page you will see the option to select a color, you can then continue our search that way. However, if you’re looking for something more specific, you can go to the search bar at the top of the page and type in a name directly.

Be patient, there are tons of messages that have been submitted over time so loading takes a few minutes.


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The Unsent Project Color Meaning

If your plan is to explore the messages by their color then you’ll need to understand what each color represents.

The messages are divided into eleven different colors: black, white, grey, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, and brown.


unsent project color meanings


Black symbolizes the feeling of darkness and despair that someone brought to you. This could be anything from a painful breakup to betrayal. If your message is dark it will likely have a black background.


White represents missing someone and wishing that things were still the same. If your unsent message shows how much you miss having someone in your life, it will be categorized as white.


Gray shows pain but understanding. If your message is categorized as gray there is a good chance that while you are upset, you’ve come to terms with the way things are.



Red displays an array of emotions but mostly thankfulness and love. It shows messages that contain hurt but also appreciation. Red is also the second most common color chosen by people who submit their messages.

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Orange is a bit of a curveball. Some of the messages show pain in a humorous way while some show it in a resentful way.


Yellow is less of a loss of love and more of a positive outlook.

I honestly can’t see why these messages were never sent because most of them are so nice and encouraging! It’s always a good idea to send a sweet text.


Green is more melancholy but hopeful. They all seem to have lost in love but most of them appear to have hope that things could still work their way out.



Blue is the most requested color and represents all forms of love. Based on the project, blue is the color people associate most with love. This could be because blue can represent happiness but is also used to show if someone is feeling "blue" or down.


Pink is most closely related to the feeling of trying your best and still not winning. A lot of us have gone through a relationship with someone where we gave it our all and got very little in return. Pink showcases those emotions.


Purple is another one that correlates pain with positivity. Some of the purple messages are just positive notes for others while some are positive twists on their pain.


Brown represents feelings that are a little less intense. The emotions are across the board, but they all seem to have a little less anger or resentment behind them.


All of the colors are very similar in meaning in that they all express love. The colors are associated with the sender’s interpretation of the connection of color and love or loss.

So, what does all of this mean and why should you care?

It matters because it shows us that it is always better to express our feelings rather than unsend them. As long as it is a genuine expression of how that person has made you feel, send the text.


We can learn from the Unsent Project that even if we delete the text, we don’t delete the emotion attached to it.

If you send it and air out your emotions, you’ll never wonder "what if" or think to yourself, "if only they knew." You will be able to move forward with them or move on with yourself.

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Lindsey Matthews is a writer who covers love and relationships, news, and pop-culture.