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, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 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. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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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