When Carol Bloom Stevens traveled into Manhattan to meet a headhunter after graduating from college, she had no idea cupid was gearing up to strike. Her future husband, Mark Stevens, was en route to see a client at the same time. Moments before their Yonkers train pulled into Grand Central Station, he broke the ice with a simple question: What time is the train going to arrive? They spoke briefly and, moments later, he got her digits.
“I guess he wasn’t going to leave it up to fate whether or not he would see me again,” she recalls. Three months later, they were engaged — and three months after that, they walked down the aisle.
The two celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary next January and they have two sons, now in their 30s; it’s proof that everlasting love can strike anywhere and at any time.
Marina Margulis, CEO and founder of New York Socials, says now is the ideal time to break the pattern of missed connections. Instead of being shy, channel that boldness like Mark did in June of 1974.
“Remember, fear is temporary,” says Margulis. “Regret lasts forever.”
(And then it lives online at Missed Connections on Craigslist.)
Margulis’ icebreaker advice: If you don’t have a natural gift of gab, prepare a conversation-starter that’s unique and won’t elicit one-word answers. And practice!
“The easiest way to start is at a bar. Talk to the bartender,” she advises. Ask how long they’ve worked there and what it takes to become a bartender. From there, you can turn to the people next to you.
As for where to find love, it’s anywhere from the A train to the crosstown bus, from park benches to the line at your local bodega.
Suzanne Oshima, matchmaker at Dream Bachelor and Bachelorette, says it can happen anywhere, especially now that winter’s over. More people will flock to parks or sit outside office buildings. Plus, people are “going to be happy and in a great mood just because the weather is great.”
Seize the date
Log off and look around. Suzanne Oshima of Dream Bachelor & Bachelorette recommends being open to all opportunities, including unexpected places. Don’t look down at your phone 24/7 and definitely make eye contact.
Ask a question. Turn around in line at the crowded lunch spot and ask someone cute if that person’s eaten there before. “You’re standing in line, so you’ll have plenty of time to talk,” she says.
Close the deal. “Don’t make a big deal about it, just pull out your business card and say, ‘I enjoyed talking to you, I would love to continue the conversation.’”