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17 July 2003 @ 10:30 am
NRE as a phenomena  
NRE - Upsides? Downsides? Function? How long does it last? How long should it last? Why / how does it go? What happens when it's gone? How does it affect other relationships?

Discuss!

-the redhead-
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Wanderingangelwanderingangel on July 17th, 2003 10:31 am (UTC)
Funny. I was just now telling someone about NRE.
It may be helpful to be aware that it takes about two months for our bodies to acclimate to the hormonal rush that is a big part of the new relationship energy (NRE). Once we are used to it we often resume habits of a less charged mode. Keeping the fire alive often is more about addressing these habits rather than cranking up the charge. (There are many folk who are poly just so they can keep getting another dose of hormonal NRE.)
Musings from the CZ unitcz_unit on July 17th, 2003 02:58 pm (UTC)
Mmmm... One of my favorite topics. NRE...

Let's see...

In my opinion, NRE is basically that "Oh my god, this person is neat, I must spend all my time and energy with them". You want to be with the person 7*24, everything else pales in comparison. Everything is new, everything is an adventure, everything is just plain *neat*!!!

It can be very strong. It can be very fun. It can be very neat.

In poly relationships (IMHO) it can be a disaster.

The problem seems to be this: You meet someone new, and suddenly they are the bright and shiny thing in your life. Which can be a bit upsetting for the other partner, who is no longer the bright and shiny thing in one's life.

NRE is very heavily based on the "hopes and dreams" sort of thing. The new relationship can be anything, there are no shackles or boundaries that are in place. Anything's possible, everything's new.

Unfortunately it's pretty easy to expect things from the other person that they just can't give. Or just aren't. But that's ok, this isn't "known" yet, so anything is still possible.... (cue ominous music)

How long does it last? Depends. Typically it seems to last a few months, after which the realities of a relationship start to settle in, and the possibilities begin to sort themselves out into realities. As my wife says, you start to see the flaws in the other person, the set ways, as well as the neat stuff. At which time the relationship either:

1) Falls apart in a blast of glory (You're not the person I thought you were)

This is a pretty spectacular sort of failure. And it's not really because of anything the two people did; more to the point where they simply had expectations built up that were not going to be met. Once the bubble pops, there is nothing left to hold it all together and everything vanishes.

2) Drifts apart because one finds another "new and shiny" thing that is less trouble and work

In this case, after a few weeks or months you simply find another person and repeat. I know of people who do this; I think it can be tough if one person is looking for the NRE high and the other is looking for a real realtionship. However if both are simply looking for that hot passion, things work out. You just come on stage, perform, then leave before the hook is brought out (see 1 above)

3) Moves into a relationship where you grow to accept the person behind the sparkles. And they grow to accept you.

My main problem with NRE is that it's usually based on an illusion, not the reality behind the illusion. My second problem (as I said above) is that you tend to neglect other things while chasing the new and shiny thing. This can be real hell on your partner, kids, house, finances, friends, etc.

That should do it for a start :-)

CZ



Spammadbodger on July 18th, 2003 01:20 pm (UTC)
Upsides:
  • Happiness
  • Energy
  • Stress reducer
  • Cope enhancer
  • And so much more! Operators are standing by!

Downsides:

  • Distracting
  • Confusing
  • Time suck

How long does it last? For humans, 2 to about 100 days. For me, indefinitely (this scares some people).

How long should it last? Indefinitely!

Why / how does it go? There are actually scientific, biological reasons for this. The book The 50 Mile Rule, details a lot of this (though I can't recommend the book in general, as it contains a lot of bad attitudes, assumptions, thinking, and general sliminess).

What happens when it's gone? Depends on the people, and the relationship they've built during the infatuation period. Some people (me, for example) are addicted to the NRE experience, and want to do it again every so often. This can lead to joy, heartache, or both. I'm much better at this than I used to be.

How does it affect other relationships? Again, it depends on the relationships. As always, communication is key. Anyone I start dating gets the standard lecture about who I am and what I do, so they can decide for themselves whether they care to try to deal with me. This works surprisingly well. Knowledge is good.

Try me.