Afraid to make the first move? These 13 L.A. stories will inspire you to do it anyway

Illustrations of food and flower characters falling in love
Afraid to make the first move? Don’t be.
(Claire Morales / For The Times)

We were all there for Lizzo “shooting her shot” when she slid into Captain America’s DMs. Chris Evans and the “Juice” hitmaker continue to generate headlines with flirty and friendly back-and-forths, making it all look so easy to just put yourself out there.

So why are the rest of us so afraid to make the first move when we see someone who catches our eye at a crowded bar, in line at Starbucks or at karaoke? The missed connection — that fleeting moment with a stranger that leaves you wishing you’d worked up the nerve to strike up a conversation — makes for great rom-com material. But IRL? Not so much.

Especially because “people are definitely sick and tired of dating apps,” said Alex Lee, a full-time copywriter, part-time web-designer hobbyist and hopeless romantic. Lee founded the online personals site in May to fill what he saw as an opportunity to give people a space to submit missed connections truly based in romance.

We’re giving Lee and his followers an assist. Here are 13 stories we hope will inspire you to channel your inner Lizzo and go for it the next time you see a stranger and feel that delicious spark.

Look at it this way: What’s the worst that can happen? Your feelings might get bruised if someone turns you down? C’mon. You’ve already lived through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic! You’re tougher than that. Shoot.