At the beginning of a relationship, it's easy to get carried away by the excitement that comes with fostering a new romantic connection. But all too often, without even realizing it, it's easy to overlook red flags that could mean a new relationship doesn't have what it takes to blossom into something long-term. That's why understanding the early signs your relationship might not work out can bring into focus problem areas that should be confronted sooner rather than later. This way, if you're on different pages, there's still time to go your separate ways without investing time, energy, and resources into a relationship that's already on shaky ground.
To better understand what it looks like when a new relationship could get rocky, I spoke to NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter. According to Winter, the best way to evaluate long-term sustainability is to understand the difference between "potential" and "actualization." "Relationship potential is different than relationship actualization," Winter tells Elite Daily. "Establishing a viable connection is step one in the process. Focusing on one partner is the second part, which reveals whether they have the needed skill set for partnership." Once you're exclusive, it will become clear if the potential can be actualized into a serious relationship. If it probably can't, here are some things you might start to notice.