1. Post daily missives, alternating between maudlin, yet not entirely hopeless, pleas for reunion in Missed Connections, and scathing, wrathful inditements of the other person's character on Rants and Raves when plaintive Missed Connections posts are ignored. If your daily Craigslist ritual seems to be further deepening the chasm of your agony, create a list of tips for others who may also be struggling with the demons of misguided internet therapy.
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2. Keep everything as vague as possible. The point of these posts is not to allow the other person to recognize themselves in the weepy or the raging messages you write. Without the cozy cloak of obscurity to hide in, you will run the risk of driving yourself insane with the thought of the person reading your posts and then IGNORING them. Instead, comfort yourself with the knowledge that your posts address universal suffering and collective pain--not one single incident with the jerk who broke up with you while you were attending a conference in Vancouver.
3. Adhere to a jargon-only policy. Use nearly unintelligible titles (nicknames you never actually called the person, first initials of given names only, symbols created holding down the shift and number keys) and extremely obscure references (i.e. lyrics of songs that were playing in the background that time you picked up a six-pack together) when creating the posting. For each true fact, include one completely imaginary item--if you mention a tubing trip down a river last summer that actually happened, cite a line from Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett (never ever refer to the trip directly), then immediately follow with a quote from Wordsworth, to indicate (incorrectly) that you also visited Tintern Abbey near London, England at some point during your relationship.
4. Keep the dirtbag guessing. Ensure that the person you are writing the message for will never ever know for certain that they are the intended audience--but keep the information vague enough so they will also never be able to completely rule themselves out. You will know when you have hit the right mix of poignancy and ambiguity when your messages are followed by a flurry of responses that may include any one of the following phrases:
a. You write what I feel;
b. Can it be you, (some other person's name here), the one I've been waiting for?; or
c. Are you my lost shaker of salt?
5. Make checking Craigslist your new full-time job. For every post you complete, check the list at least five times. An hour. Sacrifice everything in pursuit of this goal--proposals that are due, knitting projects to be completed, cats that in need of food of water.
6. Know that even if some guy out there doesn't like you enough to keep going with your relationship, he might still be amused at the high level of clarity, wit and insight with which you write about the end of your union and you, in turn, may be able to get through a day at some point in the future without thinking of the way his eyes looked when you made him laugh or the way his lips felt when he leaned over to kiss you.
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