Besides just giving up meat on Fridays (or pretending to when your parents ask), Lent is a great time to break bad habits. Just like the hose down Bourbon Street gets at midnight at the end of each Fat Tuesday, you too can use this as an opportunity to purge yourself of poor choices. Sure, it’s not quite the act of self-sacrifice the Pope would want from you, but it’s a change for good. And what religious figurehead wouldn’t want that?
1. Drinking too much. A couple of cocktails takes a date from awkward to easy. With a little less edge you can open up and worry less about how strange your conversations might sound to the other couple sitting next to you. But too many cocktails sends you spiraling into Regret Parish (this is a Louisiana-themed article), or worse, into a loose-lipped place you might not even realize is bad. Find your cap of nightcaps and keep it.
2. Being too available. Good: showing interest. Bad: attempting to book someone every day of the week and connecting immediately via all forms of social media. Chill out until things progress naturally, lest you have a constant blinking Gchat reminder of a relationship gone sour.
3. Being not available enough. The other side of the coin is just as punishable of an offense. We know you’re busy, and we’re glad. (It’s a great sign that you have friends and interests. Everyone wants someone that does.) But if scheduling a date with you is harder than organizing a parade route, potential mates are going to lose interest fast. Remember that you have to give a little to get a relationship back.
4. Showing too much skin. Take it from the myriad girls who find themselves starring in the April edition of “Girls Gone Wild” after a few too many hurricanes. Less is always more. Men, less is more for you, too. Less hair gel. Or less cologne. Try doing less of something.
5. Being too rigid. It’s great to have non-negotiables and to know what you won’t compromise on. But if you want to find the right person you’ve got to open yourself up to new ideas and the possibility of change — whether you think the Catholic Church embodies that whole new ideas/change thing or not.
This piece originally appeared on How About We’s blog The Date Report. More from The Date Report: