Top 10 relationship breakers

By Erica Wood-Bedi

10. Opposite-sex friendships: A lot of people think it’s OK to have a close friend of a different sex. The problem is the uncertainty it creates in your partner’s mind. If you care for that person, then he or she should be your first concern. Why would you want to upset them or make them question the relationship?

9. Moving too fast: Rushing into a commitment is no better than refusing to commit. It may work for a while, but eventually the lack of a foundation catches up with you. You realize you have different views on life and relationships—things you would have figured out early on had you taken the time to get to know each other.

8. Assuming things: Communicate, communicate, communicate about any and everything, whether you think it’s important or not.

7. Silence: Some people run toward conflict and others run away from it. Refusing to acknowledge conflict by changing the subject or leaving can be as detrimental as an all-out screaming match. You can’t ignore your problems away. If you have to leave, come back and talk it out.

6. Different religious beliefs: Religion affects every other aspect of your life, from whether you believe in sex before marriage to how you intend to raise your children. I think relationships work best when both people are on the same religious page.

5. Other people’s opinions: The more you involve other people, the more they will involve themselves in your relationship. Their opinions can make you doubt the one you’re with and needlessly question his or her intentions. Work out your problems together—privately.

4. Children: These precious gifts from God change everything, and not always for the better. The extra stress and responsibility can have a devastating effect on a weak relationship. Children are wonderful, but they should come only after you’ve established a strong bond that can survive a lot of have-to-dos (feed the baby at 3 a.m., work a job I hate, stop hanging out so much) and not many want-to-dos.

3. Differing ideas about relationship roles: So, you’re the traditional type who believes there can only be one head in a relationship. Don’t assume the other person feels the same just because you’re from similar backgrounds. Talk about it now or you’ll fight about it later.

2. Lack of a plan: Living in the moment has its place, but at some point you’ve got to decide on a specific direction for your relationship. Is he marriage material? Are we just hanging out until something better comes along? If you don’t talk about it, you risk wasting time with someone who is just along for the ride.

1. Love of other things: Money is great and all, but it comes down to what’s really important to you: working long hours to buy that big house and fancy car or spending time with the people you love? Some people are blessed enough to have both. Most people have to make a choice.