Missed Connections: How to Find Them Today

Doublelist Team

January 11, 2023 7 minutes read
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Have you ever made eye contact with someone across a crowded train station and felt a spark? Or had a flirty exchange with a person at a coffee shop, only to leave without their name? If so, you may have dipped your toes into the world of missed connections without even realizing it. Here, we’ll tell you all about these almost-love stories and how to find your missed encounters via the internet.

What Do Missed Connections Mean?

The term missed connections means a chance encounter with someone you’re interested in that failed to turn into something more. These are usually brief, fleeting moments that one has with a stranger in a public place. Like seeing a cute guy while you’re buying groceries, but you never go up and talk to him. In these scenarios, you leave the situation wishing you got their name or number. This phenomenon got its name from a page on Craigslist. A person could post on this page in the hopes that their “missed connection” would see it and respond back.

However, most posters didn’t stop at a simple account of themselves, the person they saw, and where they were. In fact, the page gained popularity and acclaim because of just how creatively written these posts were. Craigslist users would often spin elaborate tails of the potential relationship they envisioned with the person in question. Other times they’d include overly detailed descriptions that sounded like a steamy saga instead of a seconds-long interaction. Long-running missed connections where posters would regularly update their post with new developments also reigned supreme.

Man in bed with a cucumber

3 Funny Missed Connections Stories

As much as Craigslist’s Missed Connections overflowed with grand romantic yarns, it also boasted endless humor and cringe. In the same way, people flock to specific Reddit pages like AITA for a laugh, so would readers to Missed Connections. There are too many funny Missed Connections to share them all. However, there are a few real-life missed connections that still have us belly-laughing years later:

1. Missed Connections: Fartless in Seattle

In 2013, a post to the Seattle Missed Connections page asked a daring question. It was: would you date a man who accused you of farting in the produce section?

Our favorite excerpt? “ You are beautiful, and even though you are a liar and fart like a Clydesdale, I would love to meet up for a drink sometime.”

2. Missed Connections: Condoms and Carbs

Every now and again, a missed connection isn’t so much about love. It’s about trying to do a good deed. Or at least, that’s what a poster in 2017 was thinking. She tried to track down a man who left condoms and bread at her farmer’s market stand. Though short, this story nabbed a “Best of Craigslist” award.

Our favorite excerpt? “I just feel like if I ever spent 40 bucks on condoms (NEVR) and 6 bucks on a loaf of bread (always) and then LOST them while buying a 7-dollar juice, I’d be so mad.”

3. Missed Connections: A Crime of Passion

It’s tempting to judge this man who fell for the girl attempting to B & E his house. But just because love doesn’t come knocking at your door, don’t begrudge those who have it breaking down theirs.

Our favorite excerpt? “You only said “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh…” as you saw me staring back at you through the door blinds. Still, I feel we made a good connection, separated only by inches, the door and the two locks you were trying to pick.”

Hetero couple riding a unicorn

What Happened to Craigslist Missed Connections

All good things must end, and Craigslist’s Missed Connections section is no exception. While the page still exists, it doesn’t function the same due to the shuttering of another Craigslist page: Personals. If you’re unfamiliar with this section, it’s similar to newspaper personal ads. Here individuals could post about what they’re looking for in a potential hook-up or relationship, and others respond if interested. However, in 2018 Craigslist shut down this section after Congress passed a bill on trafficking. The site feared that the way the page functioned could be misused and put them in danger of legal action. But what does this have to do with missed encounters?

Well, all the users of the Personals section didn’t just disappear. These days there are plenty of straight and gay personals sites to replace Craigslist. But at the time, most users just migrated over to Missed Connections and flooded the page with their own posts.
Unlike Missed Connections posts, Personal ads on Craigslist are much more direct, short, and often more sexual in nature. Eventually, this changed the very specific culture of the Missed Connections page, and few romance-seekers continued using it. Since then, there’s been a general dearth online of a place to find “the one that got away.” However, a few apps and sites are looking to change that.

2 Missed Connections Apps: Finding Your Missed Connection on the Go

Not many companies successfully filled the void Craigslist’s Missed Connections section left for a while. It was hard to capture the same viral appeal that the site had. Plus, any kind of personals-Esque page has the potential to fall prey to malicious users. Doesn’t answering a missed encounter ad sound like the perfect inciting incident for scary movies? Especially if you’re young and/or female/femme, you’re more likely to be a victim of cyber crimes.

In fact, 53% of women with internet access have experienced online violence or bullying. While there’s no way to keep out bad actors entirely, missed connections apps offer a modern approach to dating strangers. Just be sure to go over hook-up safety tips before you give them a whirl. Here are the top apps to check out:

1. Happn

Happn is a location-based app designed to help you connect with people you’ve crossed paths with in real life. Much like other dating apps, users can “like” or “dislike” each other. They can chat and set up a date or meet up if they match. Unlike other dating apps, however, it works by keeping tabs on which users you’ve been near. Then it puts together a map of where you might have met. If you don’t mind the tracking, this is a convenient way to turn a missed connection into a found one.

2. TikTok

Okay, so TikTok isn’t a dating app. But that doesn’t stop users from turning it into a place to reunite missed encounters. Thanks to the app’s unique algorithm and the ingenuity of gen Z, TikTok is helping people to meet their match. Users add #missedconnections, #findher, or #findhim to their posts. Then, they leave it up to others to share or boost their video until it falls into the right hands. Though it’s not a sure bet, this is a unique way to rekindle a missed flame.

Eggplant chasing a peach

Lost Connections on DoubleList

Looking for something reliable, safe, LGBTQIA+ focused, and closer to the original Craigslist Missed Connections blueprint? Then explore Lost Connections on Double List. With sections dedicated to hundreds of major cities, you can narrow your search to any part of the US. Feel free to make your post as succinct or flowery as you want. Or, if you’re just looking for entertainment, there are plenty of great stories on the page. Creating an account is a cinch, and we guarantee your anonymity. Sign up for a free account now!

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