NRE, New Relationship Energy. That overwhelming rush of emotion when a new interest enters your life. Everytime they message you, call you or you see their face it washes over you making you forget all the rational things that you have been taught about relationships. Its confusing and can be scary at times. Feeling like you aren’t yourself…. Well thats because you aren’t.
Studies show that NRE causes chemical reactions in our brain dumping the feel good chemical “Dopamine” and Oxytocin. (there are many many studies on dopamine, oxytocin and love) Here is a good break down and explanation of one of those studies. This accesses the reward stimuli of the brain and makes us feel good about the situation. Who doesn’t like to feel good? So, many times we are blind by the good feeling. We are just going with the flow and we dont see the possible damages we are doing to those around us.
So lets talk about some of those negative things associated with NRE.
- Eagerness to do everything suggested.
Many times when we are in NRE, the new person takes priority in our mind. This is not intentional in most cases. We tend to be more willing to explore what is new and exciting our brain (remember dopamine?) . Many times we commit to things that we normally would not just to get to see that person, spend time with the and enjoy the high of infatuation . Face it you have not yet spent enough time with them to call it love. You may think it is but logically you cant make that decision yet. So this limits the time you have for yourself and others, if you are nonmonogamous or spend a lot of time with your family.
- Losing track of time
I thought that was next weekend? WHAT your Birthday is SUNDAY??!! I had plans with (new person) . As we all know there ae only so many days in a week and hours in a day. and when we allow our new relationships to consume our time not only can we forget important dates and activities, but it can also be exhausting to our own psyche. Remember to make time for you. that will help to clear all the fuzzy happy feeling for a few and let you come back to reality world and remember everything else. Even if you have calendar reminders et and all that… You can forget.. I do. Example… I had met a new person and we got along well . explored a little of each other and then we went home. They live about 4 hours away from me and I knew that getting to see them would prove difficult.Over the next couple weeks we flirted and chatted online. We felt that we would like to share each others company again. I also had been invited by the local community to come and teach a class on Polyamory . Well I thought “hey I can do the class AND see this person. WIN” I looked at my calender and picked a saturday. I scheduled a class in the area to teach and they said I could stay with them. Well that was all good… Until I told my girlfriend of over a year the plan. See her birthday was the SUNDAY of that weekend. I had promised her something amazing. I fail at calenders…. i looked only at the Saturday because I was blinded by the excitement of maybe getting to see this new person. We talked I rescheduled and everything is good now. Lesson learned… LOOK at the WHOLE calender. Talk to partner BEFORE making commitments.
- The “L” Word
Many people say this early on and while still in the throws of NRE. And thats fine.. As long as you and the other person(s) knw exactly wheat you mean. The L word doesnt mean the same thing to everyone. Do you love being around them? Do you love the sex? Do you love the wayyou feel around them? Do you just love everyone openly and say it freely to mean a platonic love? These kinds of things all matter and if you aren’t specific they could give the wrong impression. I suggest being direct and specific about the type of love you are experiencing. ANd to look deeply at it before you say it. Do you know this person well enough to say it. Are you jsut infatuated at htis time and your NRE Brain is thinking its love? Be aware and if ther eis any doubt dont say it .
Thats 3 things I find can be big issues in NRE based times and a few ways to try to make it easier. Now on to the good stuff. What is good about NRE? it confuses us, makes us feel at odds with our brains, and at times we act really silly and in ways we arent accustomed to. Well NRE is a healthy emotional response and feeling it and embracing it can be freeing and mentally gratifying.
- NRE for Mental growth.
When we can slow down and recognize we are in NRE, it gives us the rare ability to attempt to be objective about our emotional response to certain situations. This gives us a chance to grow , mentally. Open our minds to different ways of thinking. Our new person has a way of thinking that is different than ours and we can learn that and maybe even try it to see how it works. Learning new ways to think and act on those thought is so healthy .
- NRE for personal Growth
When we try new things with new people. This gives us an opportunity to do things, maybe our previous or current partners arent interested in. SO we have opportunity. We get a shared experience. As well as, it becomes a bonding event. Something that you have together. Maybe it pushed your limits and you would not have tried it unless you were in a state of mind that let you lose some inhibitions . This due to being excited about the new person. *Example, * When i met Lindsey, we staggered through NRE for several months. Ups and Downs. I introduced her to Geocaching, she really like is now but it ws something she would not have done on her own (or so she tells me) if she didn’t have an activity partner to do it with.
- NRE for existing relationship growth
If you have a current relationship, this can be a good thing. Especially if you feel or your partners are open to feeling compersion. Sharing your happy with your existing partner can be such a wonderful feeling. Of course you don’t want to go over the top and constantly gush about the new person in your life . I suggest, use the happy to infuse the existing relationship with energy and awareness that it deserves. Make it special and important just like the new one. and you can use NRE to boost ERE! This can vary in the manner you do it based on your relationship structure and style.
Well there are 3 ups and 3 downs of NRE. It is in no way a complete list or solution guide. but its something to start with.
Id love to hear how you deal with NRE and what tactics you use to cope, manage and use NRE. Comment or message me your thoughts.
Until I write again!