New relationship energy (or NRE for those of us too lazy to type more than absolutely necessary) is, in my opinion, the most common occurrence in the entire world that most people don’t realize has a name. It’s that feeling you get when you start a new physical or emotional relationship. It’s the thing responsible for the butterflies in your stomach, the fuzzy feeling in your head and your heart skipping a beat. It is fleeting though, only lasting a few months, maybe a year if you’re lucky.
So, besides the obvious euphoria, what good does NRE serve? Well, lots actually which I find wonderfully surprising. It helps us to look past minor flaws which in turn allows us to get to know our partners on a deeper level. NRE can be the push we need to finally get with someone, it enhances sexual activities – another classic example of our bodies rewarding us for doing the “right” thing (strictly genetically speaking of course) and with all this hormone induced happiness what could possibly go wrong? Nothing! That is why we are all in relationships that are just as happy and mutually satisfying as the day we first laid hands on our very first crush. I don’t need to tell you what happens next. We all know what happens when the newness wears off. The “end of the honey moon”, as I have often heard it called is always a good time right? Logic starts coming back, those small annoying habits suddenly don’t seem so small, you don’t stay up all night every night just to talk and the sex isn’t quite what it used to be. If you are lucky those things don’t disappear for good and you can still enjoy them when the mood strikes (which it will). If you are one of the very privileged few, something else sets in, something deeper and longer lasting than NRE; I don’t know if that replacement feeling even has a name. I am inclined to say comfort but for some reason that has a negative connotation for me. There is safety there, real love, a feeling of a lasting and long term unshakeable bond. Just because your relationship isn’t burning as brightly as a bonfire in July doesn’t mean it’s out, there is something to be said about the heat of red coals.
To be fair, I am a bit of an NRE addict. Okay, I live for it. It has been a very large factor in a lot of my decisions over the years…which is not always a good thing. It actually seldom is. There is nothing wrong with NRE – as long as you recognize it for what it is. Enjoy it while it lasts. Take advantage of the increase in energy, the seemingly endless sexual desire and the awesome excuse for you poor decision making capabilities. Do not make life changing decisions about your relationships while under the influence of NRE. This is not the time to propose, it is not the time to leave your wife for your sexy masseuse and it isn’t the time to be reevaluating your “old” relationship. For, if we are lucky our NRE will someday itself turn old – nothing lasts forever, so never throw out something good for a shot in the dark.
…or do. What do I know?
Oh! You can always have your cake and eat it too by becoming polyamorous but then you would have to presumably allow your partner some NRE of his or her own. That’s a lot of cake.