Can we go deep? Let’s Talk New Relationship Energy, or as now more popularly known as NRE. Some people may call this the honeymoon stage. This are those butterfly feelings, those tingles that come from being around or thinking of a new love interest all the time. I know what you’re thinking, aren’t I too old to be feelings these feelings, I should be able to keep my feelings in check right? Wrong!!! NRE is natural and can occur at any age. That desire to always want to talk to that new love interest or feeling some kinda way when they are busy can happen to anyone in a new situation. Does this sound familiar? Your brain has been introduced to something new, and you like how it feels. Your brain says hey I want more of this and begins to figure out ways to interact with that love interest. Your brain gives you those “sad” feelings when you can’t have your way (queue mental tantrum), your partner is finally able to reach out to you (because hey, they can’t always be available to you 24/7) then you get a high again. If this sounds like something you have been feelings since meeting someone new, guess what? You’re vibing with NRE. Don’t fret let’s talk about why this is happening. How long it will last, and what to do when the NRE dies down. Soon you’ll realize that this is normal feeling, you in fact are normal and it is possible to survive with and without NRE.
Why Me, Why NRE?
NRE is your body’s natural response to keep you interested in getting to know someone while those superficial attractions (physical appearance, lifestyle situation) fades away, or you become used to them. NRE is a chemical reaction which pumps extra Serotonin into your brain, causing you to be high off love. Think about it like this. When someone enters your life, it is safe to say that you had a routine before them. Now you must figure out a way to work them into the life you already have, and to ultimately have them mesh into your world, should it work out. NRE acts as a safety net to remind you to shoot a quick text or call to that person, when just two or three days ago that time would’ve been your standard coffee break at 9am, or water cooler banter at work for lunch. NRE triggers you to remember that phone call you had that lasted 2 hours past your bed time last night, when you’re dragging to get to work on time the next day. NRE is there so that when you are not having a good day, that you have someone who can make your day a little bit brighter by either reaching out to them or recalling something they did to make you smile. NRE is in place to make you want to make that extra effort to get to know someone, especially when you have been out of the dating field for a while. NRE reminds you that it is ok to admire someone and to want to be admired. Don’t be afraid of the NRE as this is a clear indication that you are on the right path to making a clear and genuine connection with someone. However please be cautious that sometimes NRE can make you feel “TOO Good”. We’ll talk more on that down below.
How Long Will I Be Glue to the Phone, Waiting For a Text?
Studies show that NRE can last on average from 6-12 months. People who are in long distance relationships (LDRs) can experience NRE a lot longer with their partners because of the distance, by not seeing them on a regular basis. While this can be a good thing, it is important to learn what to do with the energy when you are not in communication with your partner. The most important thing to do in NRE overload is to KEEP BUSY. You had a life before this new situation, this is the perfect time to keep it going. Another great thing to do when you are not spending time with the new boo is to exercise! Did you know that exercise also pumps the brain with serotonin (for most people)? This is a great way to “feed that high” by other means. Keep in contact with other friends and loved ones. Keep your day as routine as it was before this new interest to keep NRE overload at bay! Please be advised that during this time, you might have the urge to things you wouldn’t normally do such as stalking their social media page, repeatedly texting or calling them, or over sharing your experiences with you friends. Stay calm, enjoy the NRE and use it to your advantage. Be mindful because NRE does not last forever, it is important to consider not making any major decisions such as moving across country, name tattoos, or getting a pet together, while you are still experiencing NRE.
After the NRE has gone.
Let’s say you and this new boo have made it official by having titles, and y’all are going through the motions of being a couple. Eventually that NRE will wear off as you settle into this new routine of “us”. Don’t Fret! This is an exciting time, because guess what? It’s time for the real fun to begin. During this time, you have learned who that person really is, and their representative has gone away. Now you can see things for what they really are to have a clear head about how to maneuver in the relationship. After the NRE you have to want to make this relationship work, and that requires the true effort. NRE can only get you so far, what you do after that will determine if y’all were truly combatable with each other from the get go. Don’t be afraid to lose the NRE. Now it’s time to figure out ways to keep the zest in your relationship and learn how to withstand the hard times together.
I say all this to say that love is beautiful, and truly can withstand the test of time, but it does not come without a sacrifice. NRE helps to get that new relationship started but you have to work at it to keep it going, as no relationship is easy. If you are the type of person to constantly get into new situations for the NRE, you may find that you are not being realistic with yourself and your emotional needs. If you feel like you might be on the path of “chasing the dragon” of NRE consider going to a therapist to help you figure out why.
T The Sex Therapist