Match is always making changes to its platform to help people find ways to connect with other users to find the ideal match. You might have heard of Match’s new Missed Connections feature, which shares a name with a similar feature on Craigslist. Though both features are similar in that they connect people based on location, Match takes things to the next level.
The Craigslist feature allows people to post messages about people they see throughout the day in hopes that they will be seen. “To the woman with a red hat and sundress at the coffee shop this morning,” one will say, while another could be addressed to the “handsome man sitting at the hotel’s pool.” Like message boards, people leave messages there and hope that the intended recipient will see it.
Match takes things to the next level using the latest technology. Since Match has a robust mobile app, they can use your smartphone’s location services to link the places you go to other users.
Now, instead of randomly searching through profiles you’ll be able to narrow your searches to interact with people who share common interests. While this opens up a whole new world for online dating, there are also some important considerations to think about.
Let’s take a look at what Match’s Missed Connections does and how you can use it to enhance your online dating experience.
How Match’s Missed Connections Works
What Match’s Missed Connections system does is that it uses your location to show you how many people you cross paths with on a regular basis.
Once you enable the location feature on your phone, the Match app will provide you with a list of people who not only have similar profiles to yours, but they are also people you could interact with on a daily basis but you’d never know…until now.
The app will detail how many times you have been in the same places or how many times you have literally walked along the same street. It uses your phone’s location data to compile a list of places you have been, and then it takes that information and cross-references it with other users.
With Missed Connections you’ll know how many times you have been near other users or if you frequent the same places, and this injection of real life encounters could make your online dating experience even better.
Why Is Missed Connections Helpful?
If you’ve ever seen the movie You’ve Got Mail starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, part of the movie’s charm was showing how their characters crossed paths on a daily basis and yet they had no idea. If they’d have known sooner, they might have connected sooner. (Of course, that would have ruined the plot, but you get the idea!)
So much of dating is trying to find the people who are right for you, and online dating has really come a long way in revolutionizing that process. Some people find the process of searching for matches and communicating through step by step processes to be too tedious and time consuming and they give up.
That’s where the old expression that “You always find love when you least expect it” comes into play.
What if the person you’re meant to meet is in the same room as you are, right this moment, and you don’t know it? What if you missed that opportunity to meet because you didn’t know she was there?
That’s where Match’s Missed Connections comes in.
With Missed Connections, you can narrow your search to only people who frequent the places you visit. You automatically have things to talk about when you reach out, and you have something in common. Now, instead of searching through anonymous profiles there’s something that connects you to your matches.
Is Missed Connections Dangerous?
The first question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Missed Connections is dangerous. Unlike platforms like Snapchat, which used to provide instant location data to other users, Match’s Missed Connections doesn’t provide instant location data so you won’t be able to sit in a bar and wait for someone to come in or look to see that someone you’re interested in is there. (Though it’s entirely possible that this could happen anyway if the bar is a place he visits regularly)
Since Missed Connections links you to profiles that you match, you will automatically know what the people you cross paths with look like. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.
Going back to the You’ve Got Mail scenario, when you suddenly know that someone whose profile you like happens to hit the gym at the same time you do every day, you might be able to spot her because of her profile photos. Suddenly you have a link to someone whom you know is single and looking for a relationship. You could use the opportunity to make an introduction.
If the person you’re interested in doesn’t view all of his matches in Missed Connection, then it could come off as creepy that you know who he is. In a lot of ways, it could allow potential stalkers to take advantage of the system by using the information to follow people around, assuming that they have regular patterns of places they go during the day.
Another downside of Missed Connections is that it could lead to a lot of unwanted interactions. Many people prefer the initial anonymity of online dating so that they can establish a relationship on neutral terms, but if someone is watching from afar it gives them the upper hand, and that could lead to manipulation and stalking.
Not only can it be a tool for stalkers, it can also be something that a disgruntled ex could use to track an ex’s activities. Though it’s true that he or she can’t track someone in real time, it doesn’t help that if you’re trying to avoid a crazy ex this feature can give your ex a sense of where you go.
Some people don’t want online dating to creep into their daily lives. He might not want to be contacted in real life, or he might not want to acknowledge that he has been on a dating site if you approach him when he’s with friends. (You also don’t want to interrupt someone who might be on a date, too)
There are any number of reasons why you have to be very careful when using Missed Connections.
How To Stay Safe
Always be aware of when you have your smartphone’s location services enabled. You have to log into your Match mobile app and turn on the Missed Connections function, and then you’ll connect with other Match users who have enabled the feature.
If you’re using the feature, make sure you log in regularly to see who might be viewing your profile. Be aware of strange activity, like someone who suddenly shows up at places you go who wasn’t doing it the week prior. Unfortunately, while the idea is helpful it can lead to bad behavior on the part of others, so you should always be aware of how your location services are being used and who might be looking at your profile.
If you’re not actively searching for a new romantic interest, or if you’re putting the search on hold while you connect with someone you’ve met, always remember to go back and disable the feature on your profile. That way your location won’t show up for other users who are taking advantage of the feature, and this should help prevent unwanted interactions.
How To Make The Most Of Missed Connections
Now that you understand how Missed Connections works, you might be wondering how you can use it to make the most of your quest to find love.
As an icebreaker, Missed Connections is a great way to start a conversation on Match. Not only can you use the profile to find things you have in common, but you might enjoy the same coffee shop on Saturday mornings and that’s a great way to break the ice.
All of a sudden, instead of only having the profile to view, you have a picture of some of the things your matches enjoy because they either live or work where you live or work, and so you have that in common.
When initiating a conversation on Match with someone whose profile was listed on Missed Connections, you can start a conversation by noting that his profile stood out because according to Missed Connections you enjoy the same beach on the weekends, or that you’re both into comedy because he was at the same comedy club.
Sometimes initiating that first conversation can be the hardest part, and so Missed Connections helps break the ice so that you can ease into a conversation with a potential match.
Tips and Tricks of using Match’s Missed Connections
The trick is not to use the information and make it creepy. Never start a conversation in Match with “Hey, we like the same coffee shop” without explaining that you found her profile on Missed Connections. That’s a very important distinction.
Don’t start frequenting places that he likes in hopes of meeting him. Remember, this information will be available for him to see as well, so if you suddenly start showing up in the same place it might look like you’re a stalker.
If you’re using Missed Connections regularly, make sure that you’re staying on top of how many people are appearing in your feed and how and when you come across them. Not only is it a matter of personal safety, but it’s good to be aware of how many people you’re coming into contact with. When you see people on Match that you’d like to connect with, be aware that as soon as you reach out, they will start paying attention, too. Even though she won’t know when you were at the grocery store, she might be there at the same time and she could have an eye out to see if you’re there, too.
If you connect with someone from Match and you’re both using Missed Connections, try not to use a place you both like to visit as a spot for a first date. Sure, it seems like a great idea but if things don’t work out then it will make it uncomfortable to go back. Find a new spot to meet for a first date and start fresh.
The Bottom Line on Missed Connections
All in all, Missed Connections is a great tool for people who are willing to learn how to use it responsibly. You might be amazed at how many of your matches appear along your path on a daily basis.
Always make sure that you’re aware of how you’re using the feature and who might be viewing your profile, and use it respectfully and responsibly.
Like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, you never know if true love is on your path, and Missed Connections could help you find that special someone.