With a population of almost nine million in New York City, finding someone you connect with is surprisingly difficult. That’s why when there’s a chance encounter or spark, it’s a big deal. But with how dense and fast-paced NYC is, it’s often impossible in the moment to ask for a number.
Enter “missed connections.”
RECOMMENDED: Take Time Out’s Sex & Dating Survey!
For years, Craigslist has served as a message board for “missed connections,” messages put out into the universe by people who wished they had made that advance or simply spoken to someone they came into contact with. They range in interaction from the cute guy deep into a novel on the subway or the woman who made meaningful eye contact in the museum to the person at the bookstore who gave a great recommendation. Sometimes the writers of missed connection posts simply spotted someone good-looking across the room and sometimes there was a great conversation or hot dance at a club.
But Craigslist doesn’t exactly have a great reputation for safety or romance—that’s why 35-year-old Alex Lee created a new missed connections board at missedyounyc.com. The Upper West Side resident had always read the missed connections on Craigslist, finding them entertaining, poignant and even strange in the best ways.
“Over the years, their missed connections section has become increasingly overrun with people looking for hookups. I wanted to create a space online where the art of the missed connection could live on,” he tells us. “To that end, I moderate the content to make sure of that: posts overtly seeking hook-ups are not allowed.”
Scanning through missedyounyc.com, there are beautiful posts like “To the one in the Astoria book store” searching for a beautiful lady they “orbited around” in a manga shop; and funny ones such as “The Bedford L,” about “someone” eating pizza at the L subway stop until they locked eyes: “I knew I loved you right then and there, but you turned around and ran into a hole underneath the tracks.” It’s a fun read, especially for Valentine’s Day.
And it’s easy to read, too. Lee wanted to make the words front and center of attention, so he kept the design simple. Although he’s had no luck connecting with someone as a result of the few missed connections he’s posted himself, he hopes others have more luck.
“I would love for ‘missed you’ to become a space where strangers feel safe posting their honest and authentic stories of missed connections,” he says.
If you’ve never posted a missed connection, Lee advises to be as detailed as possible:
“It always helps to be specific about the details of the missed connection—where and when it happened, what you looked like, what the person in question looked like,” he says. “Aside from that, I would encourage everyone to be yourself! Be honest. Be strange. Tell a story. Pour your heart out.”
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.