Missed connection

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You were on your bike on the sidewalk (Sunday). I was walking the opposite direction. You had a plastic parrot on your handlebars. I smiled. You said "Hi" and smiled back. You won my undying admiration for not wearing a football jersey. That's it. Coffee or a drink?

A missed connection from San Diego Magazine, December 2011, p.42

A missed connection is a type of personal advertisement which arises after two people meet but are too shy or otherwise unable to exchange contact details. The "Missed Connections" section of Craigslist gets thousands of ads of this type every month in New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle.[1]

The feature was started by Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist's CEO, after he noticed a common type of posting in their personal ads, which he characterized as "you-smiled-at-me-on-the-subway-platform". He sees the format as addressing a common human need and being ideal for romantic comedy, "Missed Connections give people that second chance...They represent persistence in the face of long odds, which definitely adds to their artistic appeal." A variety of such artistic works have been developed including illustrations, movies, plays, poetry and songs.[2]

Other major cities have similar columns in Craigslist and their own local media. London's Metro newspaper has a "Rush-hour Crush" column for commuters who exchange glances but nothing more. Many connections are re-established and couples have become married in this way, such as "tall rugby player" and "beautiful lady in the red dress with long brown curly hair".[2][3] Various websites like Gumtree also offer the possibility of reconnecting with missed connections.[4]


The nature and location of missed connections have been analyzed.[5] Across the United States in 2013, the breakdown by gender was:

  • 59% Man seeking woman
  • 27% Man seeking man
  • 13% Woman seeking man
  • 1% Woman seeking woman

In the Pacific Northwest, the most common location was public transportation. In the Pacific Southwest, it was the gym. In the Northeastern United States, it was the subway and train. In the Midwestern United States, it was the supermarket. In Texas and the Gulf Coast region, it was Walmart.


The online format for this on Craigslist scrolls so that postings disappear after 45 days. This gives a second possibility of loss as the posting might not be seen in time to reunite the couple.[6] Mobile phone apps such as Grindr or Spotted have been created which facilitate hook-ups between strangers immediately, though these require location data. Protocols for facilitating such encounters more safely have been proposed.[7]

Art, comedy, movies, plays and poems[edit]

The topic has been used as a theme by artists and authors. The New York Transit Museum held a special exhibition of such work on Valentine's Day in 2011.[8][9]

Other artistic uses of the theme include Missed Connections NY, a theatrical presentation of thirteen vignettes and comic songs performed by the Upright Citizens Brigade and the long-running Missed Connections: An Exploration into the Online Postings of Desperate Romantics.[2] One movie was named after the Craigslist feature, Missed Connections. It starred Sting's daughter, Mickey Sumner, and opened at the Savannah Film Festival in 2012.[10]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Jennifer Lee (February 23, 2005), "Romance Beckons (in Case You Missed It)", New York Times
  2. ^ a b c Alan Fueur (February 5, 2010), "You-Caught-My-Eyes as Creative Kindling", New York Times
  3. ^ "Metro's Rush-Hour Crush sparks marriage proposal", Metro, 19 Apr 2013
  4. ^ Manweiler, J., Scudellari, R. and Cox, L.P., SMILE: Encounter-based Trust for Mobile Social Services, Duke University, 2009
  5. ^ Dorothy Gambrell (2013). "Missed Connections". Final Analysis. Psychology Today. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
  6. ^ Brian Oliu (2012), "Adventure Island", Metawritings, University of Iowa Press, pp. 192–193, ISBN 9781609380892
  7. ^ Justin Manweiler; Ryan Scudellari; Zachary Cancio; Landon P. Cox (2009), "We saw each other on the subway: secure, anonymous proximity-based missed connections", HotMobile '09 Proceedings of the 10th Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, ACM New York, doi:10.1145/1514411.1514412, ISBN 978-1-60558-283-2, S2CID 5857888
  8. ^ Alan Feuer (January 21, 2012), "Inebriated Love", New York Times
  9. ^ Alan Feuer (August 5, 2011), "The Ups and Downs of Attraction", New York Times
  10. ^ Frank Scheck (7 November 2012), "Missed Connections: Film Review", The Hollywood Reporter


External links[edit]