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Fantasizing about Missed Connections

Man in Bar

“To the guy in the red ball cap who gave me a hand job on the subway this weekend—please contact me.”

Notices like this proliferate the web. Guys have an unexpected encounter with someone, circumstances prohibit any chance to exchange deets, and they’re left forever dreaming about what might have been. So they send a message in a bottle, busting with high hopes.

I dare say, anonymous public hand job aside, there’s something quite romantic about the notion of reconnecting with what is referred to as a “missed connection.” It’s easy to fantasize about what might have been, or what might still be, if only we could reconnect with the stranger who made all of our dreams come true… briefly, and in passing.

I once had my own missed connection. A few years ago I was at an event, met a guy with whom I made sparks fly, and we fooled around in public as best we could. I gave him my phone number. It took him a couple of weeks to call back, and when he did, I was in the midst of a deathbed family emergency. Not only could I not take the call, I accidentally deleted his message—and phone number. I think about it to this day.

But here’s what I don’t do: I don’t see the opportunity as “missed.” I made lemonade of the situation. Sure, I understand that I’ll likely never see him again, but I LOVE the fact that he’s become the fantasy that won’t go away, that will never be spoiled by the possibility that it wouldn’t have worked out. I keep the memory perfect, as it was, as I’ll continue to imagine it might have been.

The “perfection” of the chance encounter, itself, is a fantasy. It’s the moment that enraptures us, not the person. If we were to meet our “missed connection” outside those circumstances, there’s every reason to believe there wouldn’t be a connection at all. These are fantasies come true, unexpected fantasies.

And if you love the fantasy, and want to keep it alive, don’t chase it down. You may not like what you find.

Be safe!

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