I find the concept of Missed Connections written on internet sites fascinating. There is something odd about a stranger seeking another stranger seen or met through a particular event—a happenstance: they saw each other across a crowded room, train, gym, library, cafe, etc. In this technology-based world, where our heads hang low to read our phones, tablets or laptops, we still seek connections with other people. Yet, we’re not using the best practices to make and keep those connections, which is to go up to the person and say, “Hi, I saw you from across the room. You have a friendly smile—or great sweater, or fantastic boots, or a nice beard. My name is…” The default thought is to log on to a website or app where other people take out personal ads for Tops, Bottoms, Submissive, nursing or pregnant women, cubs, bears, NSA—no strings attached, etc., to make a salacious match. While I can’t dismiss those ads because they may connect two people with shared proclivities, I feel that the more poetic ads deserve more attention.
If a couple almost kissed in a kitchen, then why didn’t they have a heart-to-heart? They had a connection which prompted a hug and almost kissed—a natural act between two people attracted to each other. But, instead of confronting the issue head on, a person writes an ad, laying out their innermost feelings—one the intended recipient may never see.
What purpose does that serve?
I’ve thought long and hard about the poster’s intent. I almost wrote a suspense book about these personal ads and how they keep us more disconnected than connected, but felt my story was too critical of the romantic intentions, and the results were more horrific than these connections should be.
What I’ve concluded is this: writing a missed connection post is a release into the universe that something amazing almost occurred and there is no one else in the world to share the feeling, the news, and hopes with. The poster may have considered, or hopes, the recipient would somehow find the message among hundreds (if they were ever looking in their local personals ad) and know it was uniquely about them two. The hope may be to have the recipient do all the hard work by reaching out and accepting the poster’s request, sharing their own harbored feelings for the poster, and undertaking a spectacular romance. This is sweet, but it’s a fallacy. It’s a cop-out. It’s a failure to launch and create a unique relationship, a romance that could last for ages. It’s a fear of rejection before there’s an inkling of rejection.
My husband used to tell me that water finds its own level—meaning, there is always someone out there for a person. But that lonely person must put themselves out there, in the real world, and be open to rejection before finding love—and there must be reciprocity to find true love. A missed connection ad isn’t enough. It’s too anonymous, too impersonal, even with some details sprinkled in the missive. Even when the poster asked the recipient to respond with what the poster was wearing on that fated night/event/moment-in-time, there is no guaranty of them finding each other again. And that is not a love story. That is a mystery. An unsolved one at that.
I’ll create short stories from Missed Connections and post them on Mondays on my blog. The stories may be sweet to dark. They may range from PG to NSFW. The short stories will be a couple thousand words, just enough to allow the couple to make their true feelings known and work toward achieving love. The story may reference the ad or it may be another encounter—they’re destined to be together, even if it’s a happy-for-now. Essentially, I’ll be writing the connection they could have made. Because Romance is about taking risks in love, going on a journey to make their love work, and never wavering in finding their Happily Ever After, I want even anonymous posters who write heartfelt little notes to find love.
Read the first short story here.