Dating is not always about fun and games with an attractive partner. It is also about getting through those hard times that might result in a break up. While situations between couples vary, preventing a break up has a few key steps that are common among most relationships between a dating couple. Determine the Underlying Problem: Breaking up usually results from a consistent problem that is dragging down the relationship. Depending on the situation, the underlying problem might end up unstated or even missed until after the relationship breaks off. Communication is critical in determining what the problem or issue is. Before it is possible to prevent the break up from happening, it is vital to determine the cause of the situation. For example, one individual might feel that the other is neglecting them due to work or other responsibilities or a relationship might go south due to paranoia about faithfulness as a couple. Figuring out the underlying cause of the problems will often make it easier to prevent the break up. In some situations, more than one cause might contribute to the stress. Talk About the Problem: A relationship is built on two individuals who work together to create something wonderful. Without discussion, it is not possible to prevent the break up. Ask the other party to talk and lay out the problem. When laying out the problem, never blame the other individual. Stick to the facts and explain the situation. The goal of discussing the major issues with the relationship is working out a solution and getting back on track as a couple. For example, the feeling of neglect might start with pointing out that time as a couple has been limited in the last few weeks due to scheduling difficulties. The less communication there is the more difficult it will be to prevent the break up. Suggest Solutions: Relationships need more than just identifying problems and talking about them, it requires taking action to prevent the problem from building up more. After discussing the major problems that the couple is facing, it is time to try working out a compromise. Make suggestions that will help solve different problems. For example, ask if it is possible to cut back on the hours at work or suggest handling other responsibilities together as a couple rather than separately. Compromise is about solutions that will help the situation without making either party feel that they are sacrificing everything. Stopping a break up is not as hard at it might seem. A couple should always identify, discuss and work to solve problems as they arise. If there is anger or other strong emotions present it may be wise to have a cooling off period before attempting communication. But again, good communication is critical to have and maintain a loving relationship. Are you trying to prevent a break up? Share your story.