Carpe Datem! Seize the Date!


I almost never met George, my travel partner and now husband. When he first emailed me, I liked his photo and his profile. But I had been on dozens of first dates with not one second date and needed a rest from online dating and unfulfilled high expectations. I sat in my chair, stared at the computer and did not write back. I wanted to but at that moment, the opportunity sailed away.

If I could have read Behrendt and Ruotola’s book, It’s Just a F***ing Date, to hear the essential truth that “almost every date you go on is not going to work out or turn into a lasting and meaningful relationship,” that might have helped me. I was hoping to go on my “last” first date ever.

Behrendt and Ruotola’s focus on “Principle #1 Like Yourself and Know You’re Worthy” is crucial and is part of how I connected with George. As they say it, “Get a Life so you won’t have to pretend to have one.” One of George’s early comments was about how we would at least be friends as not many shared our wanderlust. By honestly sharing my passions in my profile, he was able to learn about me before we ever met and that was why he contacted me a second time.

Many women are quick to share their requirements or “dealbreakers,” things that make a man not an option. While standards about “the kind of relationship you want to be in and the way you want to be treated,” are crucial, dealbreakers are often allowing the one you want to get away. Height, hair color and other superficial characteristics are not what I wanted to build my future on; I wanted a man who was caring, honest and funny. After George and I first met, two different friends commented about their own “dealbreakers” and thought George and I would not work out. Fortunately I focused on my standards and did not let my soul mate stroll away.

“Dating is like going on Space Mountain for the first time. Once you commit to doing it and strap yourself in, you have no idea what’s going to happen.” Being with George has been like a rollercoaster ride from quitting my job, spending a year sabbatical in Asia to getting engaged underwater, I am always excited to see what will happen next.

Behrendt and Ruotola recommend: “Your Gwyneth Paltrow photo must be current within the last 2-3 years, must be close to your current weight and must somewhat resemble you.” While I agree with this, I did not do it. I honestly thought I looked like the photo I posted. George was enamored of my years of exotic international travel and was not thrown by the weight I had gained. During our early years together, I lost over sixty poundsand am much happier at a lower weight and higher activity level.



My philosophy matched the authors that “Every date is an opportunity to practice going on a date so that when you meet the right person, you won’t blow it by being a terrible date.” I tried out different outfits and restaurants to see what I liked so that with every date I felt more comfortable showing up as my authentic self. George and I had a five-hour first date and before it ended, he had already asked me out for another date! It was my best first date ever.

Finding someone to love forever is worth the valiant effort it may take. I tried many venues to meet my match, and my verdict is that it does not matter how you meet, it only matters that you show up and reveal yourself so that you can enjoy a long happy life with your one true love. Seize the date; the next chapter of your life is waiting!

Carpe Datem! Seize the Date! first appeared in the Huffington Post.

About the Author: Lisa Niver Rajna went on her last first date seven years ago and is now co-author of Traveling in Sin and co-founder of We Said Go Travel with her husband, George. They have been on the road since July 2012 and hope you take the risk to make your dreams come true.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is a speaker at the Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Dallas Travel and Adventure Shows for 2023. Her podcast, “Make Your Own Map,” has been watched in more than 11 countries on 4 continents. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have nearly 2 million views. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

One response to “Carpe Datem! Seize the Date!

  1. You are absolutely right. Every date is an opportunity to practice dating and therefore the chances are a lot higher to be self-confident when dating the person that you will eventually fall in love with.


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