Missing the connection

One of my more unproductive habits has, for years, been a daily reading of the “Missed Connections” board on Craigslist. I guess it is one of my Secret Single Behaviors. I’m pretty sure that everyone who reads or posts to MC knows that it’s futile, although I did once find an ad that was definitely posted for me. I had met the guy through a dating site and gone out with him one time. It was fun, but his mannerisms put me off and I didn’t know how to let him down gently. When the time came for our second get-together—a night of bowling—I backed out at the last minute, blaming the cold weather and icy roads for making me want to stay home. Over the phone, he gracefully accepted my cancellation and my assurance that we’d do it some other time. Well, as you guessed, that “other time” never happened. A few weeks after our phone call, I found an MC posting entitled “Bowling?” by a man who said he still wanted an outing and would wait for me to pick the place. It had no effect on me.

I’ve done some crappy things to guys whose only crime was liking me and/or being irritating.

Since the bowling entreaty, my only definite association with MC has been via my own desperate postings. They have all focused on one person, one love, one lost connection. Some were direct messages to him that I half-hoped would be discovered, although I concealed both of our identities. Others were pleas to the community-at-large to help me understand my heartache. Both types actually yielded a few helpful, supportive responses before I removed them; surprisingly, there are kind people on Craigslist. Of course none of my efforts yielded anything truly satisfying, so I’ve given up. I am back to where I started years ago: imagining what kinds of MC ads might be posted for me by men I see in my everyday life.

Sad girl on the [unnamed bus] Thursday evening—why were you crying? I hope you’ve got a smile on your face the next time I see you.

To the girl eating pie and writing in a blue notebook at [Unnamed Café]. I’ve seen you a few times and would love you know what you’re writing about. You always seem to be lost in thought. Coffee?

I was locking up my bike Wednesday night when I saw you walking up [Unnamed Street] with your arms full of shopping bags. I think we’re neighbors. I’ll try to get up the nerve to say something next time I see you walking down the street.

I wonder how many other people think about this when they catch the eye of a good-looking person on the street. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, but the act of reading these ads every day, hoping in vain that I’ve been noticed, is something I would like to cut down on. After a heartbreaking few months, it is time to stop being concerned with what the men of the world think of me. My recovery and, ultimately, my happiness depend not on external factors. I can’t look for validation from another man to heal the wounds left by the one who betrayed me. This is my time.

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