NRE (New Relationship Energy) is a way to describe the intoxicating feeling of connecting with someone new and how we can struggle with the deluge of having ‘all the feels’.
These overwhelming feelings have a monogamous equivalent that is commonly called the ‘honeymoon period’. These give way to the narrative trajectory of wanting to enter the ‘nesting phase’, in CNM (Consensual Non-Monogamy) this can be absent or even unpractical depending on relationship structure. This lustful, hormonal attachment-forming section of any relationship lasts on average 6 months, but is dependent on circumstance and person.
NRE has no rights or wrongs, there’s no rule to say you can’t say “I love you” after a week. Just openly discuss what you think ‘love’ actually is. True connection and intimacy is more than physical, just like sex is more than penetration, deffo have fun with that if it’s your bag though.
Jealousy can be strong in this phase, use the opportunity to learn/unlearn what your jealousy red flags are.
If you are a serial NRE’er it could be an advantageous time to evaluate why you only chase those initial feelings. When we are fearful, we return to our safe space. A coping mechanism is just that, whether it damages or enriches us as humans.
Brains don’t like inconsistency, that feeling of imbalance where you can feel consumed by the newness of NRE will pass and settle. Utilise the feeling of NRE to open up your thought processes and consider your present relationships energies which are sometimes called ORE (Old Relationship Energy) or ERE (Existing Relationship Energy).
Right now you may feel out of kilter, in the end regardless of how that new relationship may go, we finish with much more than we started. Seek out emotional literacy for greater self-awareness and recognition of our own feelings, helping to create strategies on managing them, such as the ability to reassure oneself when in doubt.
Owning your emotions can be assisted by the junto institute one wheel of emotions, its pretty comprehensive and the one I commonly use with clients. To connect with a partner on an emotionally intimate level we need to check in on our emotions and it can be useful for some to name them.
Don’t forget to work on the ‘me’ before you attempt to work on the ‘we’.
You can’t make NRE last but by continuing to do things that create that initial dopamine response will foster and deepen that connection. The temptation might there to spend 24/7 together but you don’t need to, just by the thought of them causing you to spontaneously smile is enough to connect with them on different levels. Communicate, begin to investigate and live the four A’s part of your relationship: appreciate, admire, adore, and accept.
Enjoy the present while building forward momentum, talk about the pace and your vulnerabilities. If you are unable to talk about yourself, wants, wishes and desires, then maybe this is more a surface level interaction and isn’t meant to be any deeper. A deeper level of comfort and intimacy, where you feel relaxed, and can be your authentic self is indicative of behaviour within meaningful, long-term relationships.
The real relationship work begins where NRE ends and we settle into patterns, comfortingly familiar emotions, congruent ease of presence and a deeper connection.
Do not confuse this with an early move into nesting phase, if you mean it to last, there is no rush.
Be mindful of the unmitigated joy of NRE and its reality distorting emotional furniture, foster the understanding that emotions are visitors and just as they come they will go, can help.
Don’t fight it, enjoy the dance of NRE, a temporary state within which you can learn so much is good for you.