Did I Just Have a Missed Connection?

As far as I know, I haven’t had any “real” Missed Connections posts written about me. A couple of friends have written me posts as a joke, and someone I met at a party wrote one after I’d told him about my research. Years ago, I wrote a brief post about a guy at the grocery store carrying a vinyl copy of “White Blood Cells,” mostly just to see what it would be like to write one.

None of these really count, as far as I’m concerned, and I’d otherwise never been compelled to consider writing a real one based on meeting a stranger.

I’d assumed that when people have some kind of notable interaction, there were pretty much just two options:

    • Boy/girl meets girl/boy, forgets about their encounter and moves on;
    • Or, boy/girl meets girl/boy, and one of them goes home and writes a Missed Connections post, usually explaining why they would’ve/could’ve/should’ve asked for the person’s name and number, but didn’t.

I’ve spent countless hours analyzing the content of Missed Connections – for fun and under the guise of research – yet had neglected an important angle.

What goes through someone’s mind in between having this memorable interaction, and deciding to write or not write the post?

I had figured someone would know instantly whether they wanted to try to reconnect, and would just write the post, but I realized there might be much more ambiguity in interpreting what actually happened.

A hypothetical girl/boy might wonder: was that actually an unusually great conversation? Did the other person actually also seem interested?

How can you know if it was an actual Missed Connection, and not just a friendly chat?

Let’s say, sort of hypothetically, that I was one of the parties involved in a would-be Missed Connection. If you’re me, of course, you would have an extra layer of “overthinking it” that is nearly guaranteed when you’ve been reading and researching Missed Connections for so long. Nonetheless, I hadn’t fully considered how you would know if you were in the midst of a possible Missed Connection. It seemed as though it would be obvious.

For the sake of this post, it doesn’t much matter who this fellow was, although he and I exchanged an unusual level of detail in the 20 minutes between waiting at Wellesley station and on the bus. Maybe I was just surprised to have an actual, enjoyable conversation with a stranger on the TTC. But there was no handy flowchart to help me determine whether a Missed Connection just happened.

In hindsight, it might have been a Missed Connection if this someone invited you to an event scheduled for the following day (although perhaps you declined, not out of disinterest, but due to of other obligations, and you communicated this ineffectively).

It may have been a Missed Connection if you definitely made a point of seeing if there was a post about you. Or if you considered whether you had enough information to seek out the person, through Missed Connections or otherwise.

In the end, though – and this is just the clichéd “if a tree falls in a forest…” line of thinking, clearly – if neither of you actually wrote a Missed Connections post – was it actually a Missed Connection?

[Update, 10:04 pm March 21st: The reason I didn’t include all the details about the guy from the bus is that, well, I guess I would’ve included that in the Missed Connections post, had I actually written one. Should I have written one??]

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7 Responses to Did I Just Have a Missed Connection?

  1. diddadowrite says:

    This was an interesting post. I would be interested to know why the fascination with this topic. What spurred you to study these situations?

  2. diddadowrite says:

    Like you I dont know exactly what qualifies as a missed connection but check out my most recent post about sandwiches. I think it might be just what you are talking about.

    • @diddadowrite Your post was just right! And in the moment, I was trying to figure out what to say… but I am just as awkward at these things as your “sandwich friend.” Next time, maybe – since he does live in my neighbourhood.

  3. Jasmin Cheng says:

    Now that I’ve read your post, I actually think your mistake was not in not writing a Missed Connection, but that you didn’t have your Moo Cards handy. I think a lot of Missed Connections are people reading too much into a random encounter, but in your case, this guy actually asked you out! Moo Card! Set another date! Oh if only you had this amazing imaginary mobile dating app RNDM so you could let him know you were interested without having to say the embarrassing words!

    • @Jas – I did have my Moo cards in my wallet, but it didn’t seem… well, I felt weird about it. That was really part of the whole “now I get why people maybe write Missed Connections” experience.

      • Jasmin Cheng says:

        I am of the opinion that if you want something, you gotta ask for it. As much as I love reading Missed Connections, I think it’s a lot of wishful thinking. It’s like the scene in American Tail when the boy mouse sings “Somewhere Out There” and across the ocean, the girl mouse is singing it too. It’s more about the writer fulfilling a fantasy in their own imagination about how perfect things could be, rather than that person actually pursuing the possibility. At the heart of it – the same thing that held you back from giving him your Moo Card is what drives the writing of a Missed Connection: fear.

  4. Nicole says:

    Rayanne pointed me here and I’ve been reading a whole bunch of your entries. I LOVE your fascination with missed connections! To be honest, I’d mind of forgotten about them – I used to check them obsessively until an ex got mad and thought it was a sign that I was “still looking for something better”. I wasn’t! I just love reading them!

    Also I once went on a date with someone who wrote a missed connection about me! It was less romantic than I thought it would be.

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