True story: Recently, an Irishman named Jamie Kelly met a Canadian woman named Katie Moreau on a flight from Dublin to Barcelona. They totally hit it off, but unfortunately for Jamie, he only got her first name and didn’t get a chance to get her digits, before being separated at customs. So he was like “Oh well,” and got back on Tinder.
Just kidding he did the exact opposite: he launched a Twitter campaign, using the hashtags #findkatie and #loveatfirstsight. And badaboom, badabing, Jamie found her. Yay internet!
The best part of the story is that Katie was searching for Jamie too, and was thrilled (and not at all freaked out) that he found her. Now, despite living in different countries, they’ve been chatting online and plan to meet in person again.
The moral of the story: sometimes missed connections actually turn into found connections.
Hell, there’s an entire section of Craigslist devoted to it. But that’s for beginners. I concocted some other ways for people to get in touch with their stranger crushes; because the world needs more movie-worthy love stories.
1. Google search the hell out of someone
This worked for me once when I only knew a guy’s first name, but knew several other things about him: where he went to school and what he said he did for a living. Oh and that he randomly used to model (cool anecdote, bro.) As I write this I am unclear why I wanted to find him at all, but the point is I literally put into the Google search bar everything he had told me. AND IT WORKED. His LinkedIn and Twitter both came up and voila! This should maybe be known as Your Mom’s Method. Because this is exactly how my mother searches for things. Full sentences and all.
2. Remember snail mail?
Let’s say the person you want to find is not a big on the Internet. Well, do what this sweet 90 yr old man did. He sent a letter to his long-lost love from 60 years ago and they ended up reuniting and getting married. True story! If you know their parent’s address from high school, it could be worth a shot, right?
3. Use Location-based dating apps
Hear me out. My friend and I met a couple of cute guys the other day very briefly as we were leaving a bar. She was taken with one of them and we figured the chances were pretty good that he would be on Tinder, so she set her location parameters to include the area we were when we ran into him and eventually—boom!—there he was. Since this dating app is location-based, it can be a pretty great way to “run into” that cute guy you always see at Starbucks. And the best part? If they’re on a dating site, they’re (probably) single.
4. Create a website
Remember when that adorable guy created a website, NYgirlofmydreams, in an effort to locate a woman he made eyes with on the subway? He included a drawing of her, as well as some details about what she was wearing. It worked. The Internet, again, ushered the pair together, and the media got all up in their faces. Ultimately, their reunion didn’t last very long, but, hey, at least he found her.
5. Tweet it up
Jamie Kelly isn’t even the first person to find a missed connection through Twitter. Earlier this year, Erica Domesek, the blogger behind P.S.—I Made This, went on a social media hunt for a guy she met on a plane. She tweeted her airline for help, and hash-tagged the flight number. The trick is knowing who to enlist in your search party, and devising the kind of viral hashtag that will trend hard enough to get the word out there. It worked for Erica.
6. Post your message in a public place
This is a crazy bold move, but it’s also kind of a fun project. If you always see this stranger in the vicinity of your work or neighborhood, you could put up signs around town confessing your love. Actually, one woman posted 300 signs in New York subways in search of her missed connection. It’s not clear if it worked out for her, but at least she could say she tried.
7. Enlist Yelp’s help
It may be a long shot, but if you saw or met this person at a bar or restaurant (or I guess spa?) you could leave a review and either holler at them, hoping they see your ‘review,’ or holler at the owners so that if they see this person again, they can share your message and info! Love at first bite, and all that.
These days, everything and everyone is digital, so it’s almost harder not to find people. Facebook, LinkedIn, location-based dating apps, even Craigslist are great resources for tracking down the one that got away. The bigger takeaway for me is the desire and effort to work this hard to find or connect with someone. In our casual, “whatever” dating culture, it’s super refreshing to see people being so romantic. And yes, hashtags are romantic.