A coy glance over the top of a pair of glasses. A wink, a laugh, an especially casual shrug of the shoulder. In the mind of a lovelorn second-guesser, the tiniest sign of interest can set off a long night of romantic speculation, followed by a last-ditch effort at rekindling the spark through an anonymous message board.

The following are real, painfully hopeful entries from the Missed Connections section of Charleston Craigslist, broken into lines and stanzas and minimally edited for clarity:

My waiteress – m4w (King Street)

You were my waiteress

at lunch today and you

caught me checking

you out a few times.

You circled

your name

on my check.

theater restroom – m4m – 26

You were working there.

I was walking out of the bathroom

when you were walking in.

You stopped to let me go by

Ihop on main street – m4w – 28 (Summerville)

You work there..

Me I’ve gone in

a couple times and

just can’t find the balls

to tell you

how much I like you..

You are skinny and short..

We made eye contact a couple times

and I was breathtaken by your smile..

I know this is crazy

but if you read this

please get back to me..

ASIAN guy at Musc wellness center – m4m – 40 (Charleston)

We talked today in sauna.

You are Chinese.

We talked about building in china

that was built in 14 days.

U are very hot.

Would love to play around sometime.

I am tall white dude. Married

here from Macon, ga

Brett in Mt. P – w4m

We met tonight.

You walked away because

you thought I was with the guy at my table.

I wasn’t.

Restaurant tonight watching SBowl – m4m – 41 (MtP)

Hey bud,

you were sitting at the bar

in the restaurant I was eating dinner tonight

watching super bowl.

You walked past the booth I was sitting in

with my family on your way to bathroom.

I really thought you locked eyes with me

as you walked by.

I’m a married dude,

but finding myself

curious and interested

in exploring with someone like you .