Beware of Carpe Diem Dudes
You’re on holiday in some romantic beach town in Spain, a handsome lover at your side (the dashing Armando! Dead ringer for Enrique Iglesias), the bar is closing and he whispers in your ear to come home with him. You reply that you don’t know him very well and you must go back to your hotel. He persists with some version of “The night is young, be spontaneous. You only live once….. Bailamos”. This is the Carpe Diem dude.
Carpe Diem is latin for “seize the day”. The phrase has been used in various literary sources which call the reader to live each day fully as if it were our last. The future is unforeseen and that you should not leave the future to chance, but rather you should do all you can today to make your future better. It is important to note that the carpe diem phrase is often misinterpreted and misused in contemporary popular culture, to justify reckless behaviour (“you only live once” “I’m on holiday!”). However, the meaning of carpe diem is not to ignore the future, but rather take action for the future today and not blindly trust that everything will fall into place.
Getting back to *Armando’s proposition- the risk here is that we want to be spontaneous, passionate and full of life, therefore we say yes to him and compromise our values. The Carpe Diem dude will try to make you feel boring and prude, to contradict this you might engage in behavior unlike you just to show them that you aren’t boring. That is manipulation not romance.
The Carpe Diem call is actually to live each day authentically and to be the best version of yourself, not to have sex with random people and get a tattoo. So by all means, live life fully and spontaneously….have a spontaneous dance under the moonlight, on a spur of the moment rent bikes and have an adventure around the city, flirt with the cute guy in line next to you. ..Take risks, live with passion -just keep your pants on.
*Armando is a fictional character, any resemblance to a man you made out with on spring break 2002 is purely a coincidence.