3 Relationship mistakes you don't want to make

Oct 24, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Keeping a relationship going can be tricky. We all make mistakes, but there are a few slip-ups that can have a more devastating effect than others. We've rounded up three of the biggest offenders when it comes to things that can trip up even the closest couples. Read on for the top relationship don'ts.

Unhappy man whose girlfriend has gotten a dog

1Assuming you're on the same page

Making assumptions about the big relationship issues can lead to disaster. When you fall in love with someone, it can be very easy to assume that they want to do everything you want to do – get a dog, have two kids, buy a house in the country – but these are dangerous assumptions. Anything with enough weight and significance to affect both of your lives needs to be discussed early and often. If you move in together and immediately start looking up dog breeds – and he hates dogs – that's going to come as a shock. Whereas, discussing pet ownership early on can save you both a lot of frustration. The same goes for having children. You absolutely need to know how he feels about this before you settle down. And while we're on the topic of settling down, remember that where you will settle down is also an important conversation to have. If you're looking at high rise condos in the city and he's dreaming of raising pigs, you're going to have a problem. Discuss, discuss, discuss.

2Never fighting

This may seem like a strange addition to our list of mistakes, but arguing is natural and a normal part of any relationship. If you and your guy never fight, it could mean that you're holding things in and not being honest with each other. We're not suggesting you pick random fights about petty things, but if a disagreement comes up, you need to address it rather than ignore the tension and hope it goes away. Arguments with your partner don't have to be epic battles (they probably shouldn't be), but debates about whatever the two of you don't agree on can be healthy and ideally lead to a compromise.

3Not showing support

You might not care about what your guy does outside of your shared interests, but a good relationship relies on support to keep it moving. If he plays baseball on weekends, go to at least one game per month. If he's a fan of building model airplanes, tell him how nice they look (even if you don't understand why anyone would want to spend days on end painting stripes on tiny wings). If he's running a race, be at the finish line to cheer him on. The same goes for your guy. If you could use some support, let him know. He may not know you want him at your work Christmas party or that you would love to go out and celebrate your promotion – so tell him. We would be willing to bet he would love to be there for you. Offering support to each other can strengthen your bond and make you feel good about being together.

More relationship advice

Stop taking each other for granted
Important lessons to learn before settling down
Love Happy: Building better communication