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Everyone Deserves A Date, Including a Guy Named Dan

February 24th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Last week, I received an email at work about my Meet Market column from a man named Dan. Here is what he sent me:

I am a reader of The New York Post and enjoy your Meet Market page. I noticed it says I can email you if I would be interested in winning a date. I would be interested in participating in this and would enjoy the opportunity of meeting a woman with your help. Kindly let me know how to proceed. Thank you.

I get this type of email from readers about once or twice a week, usually on Mondays, the day after the column has appeared in the paper. They always make me happier because they make my job easier; one more person for the column, one less person I have to coerce into participating.

I asked Dan if he was over 21 and lived in either NYC or the immediate area outside of NYC, as I do all people who reach out with interest. He replied he was 36-years-old and lived in Long Island. So I told him to fill out the questionnaire and to come in as soon as he could for the picture he has to take for the column. He said he would get started on the questionnaire and could come in the next day for the photo.

Dan arrived at the time he said he would, and I greeted him downstairs to take him up to our studio.

Most of the people who sign up for Meet Market reach out through through email, so I meet them for the first time in person at that downstairs greeting. I never know what they look like or how they are going to be. Usually they are excited to take their photo, shy or busy and want to get it over with.

Dan was none of these things. I could tell he was different than anyone else I met.

He was nerd-ish, badly dressed, with thick, black-rimmed eye glasses. He looked like a shorter version of Adam Levine if Adam Levine had a Forrest Gump-like haircut. None of this seemed out of the ordinary. What did seem peculiar was his slow, very slow, walk. I never waited so long for someone to get through the security gate. I felt rude for walking at a normal pace.

After the photo was done, I explained how Meet Market worked. He seemed to understand, so I asked him if he had any questions for me.

“Well, actually, I need to tell you something,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. “What’s that?”

“I have OCD and Asperger’s Syndrome.”

I didn’t flinch at what he said. If anything, I appreciated his candor, and I just made a mental note of his condition, saying to myself he will be a little harder to send out on a date. I told him I understood and I thanked him for the heads up while walking him back downstairs.

Down in the lobby, Dan shook my hand but then said he had more to tell me:

“I don’t know how you usually set people up, and I’m going to fill out your questionnaire you gave me, but one thing I want to explain is I need a woman who doesn’t mind being in control, doesn’t mind taking charge. My condition makes it really hard for me to make even the easiest decisions. And I know some women are dominant, but they still want a man who takes charge. I’m not that kind of guy. It takes me forever to make a decision.

“I wanted to sign up for this because it’s pretty hard for me to meet women the normal way,” he continued. “I don’t like clubs or places with loud music and approaching a girl doesn’t work too well for me either. I will try to say this in the questionnaire, but I want you to tell whoever you set me up with about my condition. Oh, and I haven’t been in a relationship since I was 19.”

Look, I can’t make my job too personal. I treat everyone professionally and as sensitive as I am to all the people who participate, my heart can’t get in the way of my deadlines. Do I want the people I send out on blind dates to report back that they found the love of their life? Of course, but I learned very quickly that’s not my job. I am not a match maker, nor am I trying to be. I just want to help people go out on memorable dates and share a good story about it in the paper.

Dan is different.

After he left, it was hard for me to shake the look on his face when he was telling me about all the problems he’s had with dating and meeting women. He told me everything without a trace of self-pity, in a very-matter-of-fact tone, and the more I thought about his story the more I wanted to help him. Here was a guy who knew he had real mental challenges, but no longer wanted to be imprisoned by them.

I have talked to Dan several times since our first encounter and also received his questionnaire. I am pleased to report that with the exception of his conditions, he is a very like-able guy who any woman would be lucky to have. He holds a Master’s in Education and has a certification to teach Social Studies. Currently, he is part of an agency that sends tutors to students who need individual attention in particular subjects.

But, more importantly than his resume, in all of our conversations Dan wants one thing: Love and to his credit, he has put a lot of thought into the type of woman he wants.

“I know I’m 36-years-old, but I might need someone who is around 23,” he told me. “My therapist says since I have such inexperience with love and relationships, a woman that age might be better suited for me.”

About wanting a woman who doesn’t mind being in control, Dan is adamant she be okay with this. “More than someone being okay with my condition,” Dan said. “I think my desire for a dominant woman has been the hardest thing for me to find.”

And on his mental challenges, Dan said, “I just want someone who isn’t going to run if they see me reacting to my OCD or the Asperger’s. I want someone who believes I can get better.”

On his questionnaire, Dan wrote, “I’m four-years away from being a real-life 40-year-old virgin.” But that is only a side-effect of what Dan really wants. He told me, “I see all these people get to experience love, and it’s like this chocolate bar, but I can’t have it. That’s why I need someone to help me meet someone.”

Dan’s story has affected me to the point where I’m bringing it over here and sharing it with you all. I need help finding Dan a date, and I know it won’t be easy finding compatible participants so if you’re reading this, I am hoping you can help me out.

I am looking for women, between the ages of 21-40 who live in NYC, and are interested in participating in Meet Market to possibly go out with Dan. For those who don’t understand how Meet Market works, each week, I give one guy or girl the opportunity to pick a person among three different people of the opposite sex. Dan has faced enough rejection in his lifetime, so I’m making him a guy who chooses instead of putting him in a group to get chosen.

If you don’t live in NYC but know someone who does and might be interested in giving this a chance, forward it to them. If you are in NYC and you yourself might be interested, please, email me at the address below:

Or you can click here to fill out this brief form.

All I said to Dan is I would help him get a date. I never promised to deliver him the love of his life; such a quest is far outside of my responsibilities and capabilities. But I can help him get off to a good start and give him what has eluded him for so very long. After all, it is my job, but Dan is a special case.

I want to help Dan go out on one date – just one free, nice, fun date. Certainly what happens after is entirely up to him, but the first date, I know I can do that with your help.

So please pass this along and help me find a date Dan, because everyone deserves a date, including people like him.

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  • Dom

    This is one of the sweetest blog posts I’ve ever read. At our core, all of us just want to love and be loved, and feel free from judgement in our relationships. Good luck to him!

  • Tierra Johnson

    This is beautiful. You’re a good man, Jozen. I wish Dan plenty of luck finding love.

  • Linaris Casillas

    This is awesome and so so sweet!

  • Miss. Riss

    I have such a sweet spot for people who have problems with social interaction, so this really touched me. I realllly hope you find him a great, open minded date that he can have fun with and if it doesn’t lead to anything more, gives him hope that he can find someone. I unfortunately don’t know anyone in Ny that fits the criteria, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  • Najeema

    Yeah, me too. Interesting that he feels like he knows he needs a woman that can dominate him. I wonder how many women can really stay with a man they can (or worse, have to) dominate. I hope he finds happiness and gets some experience dating.

  • Think about it

    What if Dan is a serial killer in the making?

  • Jozenc

    Don’t be an idiot. What if you are one too? The truth is, every single participant who I’ve set up on a date could very well be a serial killer.

  • Really now?

    How insensitive of you. Just because a person is disabled does not make them a serial killer. At least Dan is upfront about his problems unlike many of us so called “normal people”. Like Jozen said, anyone can be a serial killer whether or not they have or admit to having any sort of condition.

  • JenNimo

    I read your blog all the way from Kenya (I know that’s not saying much since everything is so instant nowadays) and I have to say this post just re-affirms why every morning i check in just to to see what’s new. Such a wonderful gesture…

  • Southern girl

    I used to work with elementary students with this form of autism. It takes a very strong and patient person to be involved in the day to day. This story is very touching and I’m sure Dan is an amazing man. I am hopeful someone who has a tender, loving and compassionate heart meets his desires.

  • Tiffanie Bright

    I’m just tuning in. Did you find Dan a date? *fingers crossed*

  • Layne Victoria Lynch

    Dan’s honesty is so refreshing. I can’t tell you how exhausting it is to date people who are embarrassed to talk about their struggles.If I lived in New York, I’d totally go on a date with Dan. He’ll find what he’s looking for 🙂

  • Joy Evania Spence

    Ahhhh! I totally just cried. Good luck Dan! You’re awesome. From Joy in New Zealand.

  • Dave Aspergers

    I’m an aspie too. Its hard to have relationships when you don’t have any INSTINCT for human interaction. What comes naturally to most people is something we have to learn one embarassing step at a time.

    I’m in my 50’s now and you wouldn’t notice my aspieness right off, you would though after knowing me for a while, see that I shut down when there are too many people around, don’t enjoy socializing and get way to focused on things sometimes.

    I’m married to a woman who is sort of like me, and we have kids and live normally. But I sure do understand what Dan is going through!

  • Erika Lind

    Dan, Your courage ignited a small match inside my brain, or I shou

  • Kayla P.

    This story really tugs at my heart strings! I’m rooting for Dan and he finds what he definitely deserves!

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  • Courtney Wegman

    Did Dan ever find a date!!?