Co-workers finally score a winner for couple
By Ellen McCarthy and Rachel Lubitz,
For years, Dana Logan had been asking her physical therapy colleagues to set her up with a good guy. It wasn’t until she brought a Match.com date to a work happy hour that they finally took action.
“The next day, my co-workers were like, ‘Really? That’s who you’re dating?’ ” remembers Dana, now 37. “They were like, ‘No — we know better people.’ ”
One colleague slipped Dana’s business card to his neighbor, Greg O’Connor. It was the fall of 2009 and Greg, a telecom executive, was recovering from back surgery. He tucked the card away and promised to call when he was feeling better.
But as the weeks ticked by, Dana gave up waiting for Greg to call. She was scheduled for knee surgery to repair a torn ACL in December and needed a break from dating. It was time, she’d decided, to start accepting the possibility that she might never marry.
“There’s a little sadness when you reach that point, and I never wanted to give up hope,” she says. “But I came to the point where I was like, ‘Okay, I’m just going to live my life the way I want to. I’m going to make the most out of my life.’ ”
In mid-November, Greg finally called, and Dana agreed to a date. Over dinner at Policy, the two discovered that they both were scuba divers, adventurous travelers and former competitive gymnasts.
“He made me laugh a lot, which was nice, because I feel like on a lot of dates I hadn’t laughed that much,” Dana says. “I felt he was just really genuine.”
They continued the date over drinks at Saloon and, before she got in a cab to go home, Greg gave Dana a kiss on the cheek. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is really easy and really comfortable and a breath of fresh air,’ ” he remembers.
The next few dates were as much fun as the first, but then Greg left on an out-of-town trip and Dana prepared for surgery.
She was recovering at a friend’s house in Georgetown when a blizzard hit. Greg was back in town by then, and as they talked by phone, he could sense her desperation to be back in her own home. Although the city was virtually shut down, Greg found a cab and persuaded the driver to go to Georgetown, pick up Dana and her 100-pound dog and take them back to her Glover Park apartment.
“I was shocked. Absolutely shocked,” Dana says. “I didn’t know guys stepped up like this. It shows somebody’s character.”
For much of the next week, he took care of her, going on grocery runs and helping out with her dog. They made big pots of chili, watched movies, played board games and laughed.
“I felt so safe with him — it was just that feeling of just security,” Dana says. “And he’s fun to be around. He can be really silly and goofy.”
Two more snowstorms gave them more opportunities for bonding, and by spring they were starting to envision a future together.
“It was serious pretty quick in terms of comfort level with him,” Dana says. “And just willingness to totally be myself and let my guard down and let him in. I hadn’t felt like that in a long time.”
“Yeah,” agrees Greg, now 42. “ ‘Easy’ from the first date turned into ‘real’ pretty quickly.”
In 2010, they took trips to Las Vegas and Italy. When Dana’s dog died the next March, she turned to Greg for support and slowly began spending more time at his U Street condo. Eventually, she moved in with him and decided to pursue her dream of opening her own physical therapy practice.
Greg got a demanding new position of his own, and for much of that year they both worked incessantly. “We were together the whole time, but we had to go somewhere to get away from work,” says Greg, recalling vacations in England, Ireland and Arizona.
By the start of 2012, O’Connor had purchased an engagement ring but couldn’t find an opportunity to propose. Each time he suggested a long weekend in New York, she was booked with clients. In April, he finally persuaded her to take a day off.
Champagne and flowers were waiting in their hotel room. Greg suggested a drink before dinner, and when Dana sat down next to him on the sofa, he asked her to marry him. That night, they saw fireworks explode over the Manhattan skyline. “It was perfect,” she remembers.
“We have the right temperament for each other and the right perspective on things,” Greg says. “We don’t take things too seriously. There was never any drama.”
On Feb. 16, the two exchanged vows before 100 guests at the top of the Hay Adams Hotel, overlooking the White House. The couple asked a friend to read from the Dalai Lama’s “Instructions for Life in the New Millennium.” Among the instructions:
● “Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.”
● “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”
● “Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.”
The couple had already taken that last one to heart.
“It’s such a cliche, but we just have fun together,” Dana said before the wedding. “Whatever it is we’re doing, if we’re together, it’s fun.”