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What is the deal with missed connections? Josh and Jillian tried to apply the dialectic method to better understand, but found themselves agreeing more than disagreeing. Hard-core romantics, head over to Twitter and let them know all the ways in which *they’re* missing the connection!

JOSH: You know those missed connections on Craigslist or in a newspaper (OK Boomer)? While they feel like some kind of enchanting romantic comedy device, when I really think about it, I find them pretty cowardly. Now, I don’t have firsthand experience, but why is it so lovely for someone to not speak up and then take to the interwebs for some kind of profession of amour? I’d even go so far as hypothesizing that putting the onus on the responder. The whole thing is 50 shades of lame. Am I wrong? Am I just a sourpuss?

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JILLIAN: Is it softer for me to call them… puerile? Used sparingly, missed connections can be sweet, but also represent a school of thought that’s not fully educated. Thinking back to when I was 15, I probably would have considered them the epitome of romance. Now that my life experience has doubled, I know that real love comes more in the form of your sig oth buying shallots instead of onions because he knows you really like them but would never indulge yourself in something 3x the cost. Mundanities like that are real life and real love.

And I guess that’s a little unfair to those who are consciously uncoupled. But to me, a better entrée would be a sincere compliment or well-timed joke in the moment. Not a last-ditch effort days later.

JOSH: So we agree that missed connections are not exactly reasonable meet-cutes, nor are they as lovely in application as they are in real life. So I guess my mind takes me to why they still exist and are so prevalent. I figure almost everyone knows what missed connections are but I assume none of us know anyone who have ever actually connected with them. Does that mean we all just ignore the impracticality of them? Or are we just blinded by how charming they seem? Or maybe, are we just really stupid?

JILLIAN: Maybe we’re all romantics at our core, with a hard shell built by years and years of cynicism. Like a Tootsie Pop!

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Case-in-point: I am currently wearing a hoodie that says “So Goth I’m Dead” as I scroll through Twitter… but when I come upon this story I can’t help but wonder if our maladroit heroine finally found her Prince Charming (spoiler alert: she did…n’t). And I’m not aloneat press time, over 1.1K individuals were inquiring if a second date resulted from this serendipity.

But maybe it’s just that… maybe I find this story so twee because there was never a missed connection phasejust a horrible injury, a rescue, and a gigantic coincidence down the road. Does the act of publishing a missed connection take away the magic?

JOSH: I don’t think publishing takes away the magic, but it’s not because I don’t believe in the magic. I cop to being a romantic. I would even disclose (no one reads this, right?) that I enjoy romantic comedies. I like a grand gesture or realizing the love of your life was there the whole time. But for me, there is still a hang-up for a missed connection.

Do people go to the Missed Connection sections just scanning for vague details that may resemble themselves? Are missed connections basically horoscopes, in that manner? On the train, reading, and wearing a black jacket describes gobs of people. I guess I am forever lacking faith that any reconnection has any authenticity to it.

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JILLIAN: I think you’re onto something. It all feels very passive, very flimsy. The poster is taking an action, but it’s overdue, limited in scope, and needle-in-haystack-y. It makes me wonder his/her motivation; is it truly to rekindle a moment s/he shared with someone else? To entertain an audience? Is it stunt marketing? D) all the above?

Hold on, I have more questions: what is the success rate of this action? Is there an inauthenticity to the whole charade? Why do I normally pronounce it /SHəˈrād/ but when proving a point, /SHəˈräd/? I’m growing hysterical.

JOSH: I like how you questioned the poster’s motivation but I think you forgot one addition to the “all of the above” catchall: It’s an easy shot in the dark that poses no risk of rejection and barely any effort. To answer one of your questions, I believe that the probability of reconnecting with your targeted suitor is insignificantly greater than non-zero.

And charade is a spectacle but a SHəˈräd is a British spectacle. I am glad I could clear that up for you.

In conclusion, maybe missed connections are just a fun, fictionalization of the serendipity of love. Does that work for you too?

JILLIAN: …They’re a Meg Ryan movie. Hugh Grant, if we’re using the British pronunciation. May they bring joy and opportunity to those who appreciate them! Just not us.

Older sibs over and out.

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Jillian Conochan

Jillian Conochan is a professional amateur; writing and editing just happen to be two current pursuits. Opinion range: strong to DNGAF.

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