Is there a common way to say in English that two people were in the same place but didn't know at the time about each other and eventually didn't meet?

I know one can say they passed each other on the way or in the street but can it be used in more general context e.g. they were in the same city or building but never physically walked passing each other?


I'm looking for a phrase that can be used to tell someone that "we almost met".

  • 1
    In the Internet age, the standard idiom is missed connection (I think it was coined by Craigslist, but if it wasn't, they certainly popularized it). – Dan Bron Dec 6 '15 at 20:48

A common phrase for this is to cross paths. E.g.

We were both in the same city but didn't actually cross paths.

We nearly crossed paths in the building today.

We must have narrowly missed crossing paths at the shopping center.


Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,

Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;

So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,

Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Missed it by that much

Maxwell Smart

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