He’s Amazing. It’s Intense. It’s all You can Think About. But, Is It Love?

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This month we’re going to explore an emotional experience that has caused more confusion than any other. I call it New Relationship Energy (or NRE), a term I first heard when reading articles on polyamory. Its powerful, and beautiful, but we must understand what it is.

NRE is that rush we experience when we first meet someone.That powerful chemistry starts a cascade of repossess in our brains, euphoria, deep desire, and love. It is a delightful free fall into an ideal world that we call falling in love. It may be the most powerful drug that exists.

Many people claim that the feelings that come with it aren’t real. It’s just infatuation, a crush. I disagree. Denying it protects us from overwhelming feelings, but also robs us of a powerful bonding experience. If a more serious relationship develops later, memories of the early days can be crucial to its long-term survival.

NRE is one of the most beautiful experiences human beings can have. As mature adults we want to unpack the experience so that we can enjoy it and not get carried away. Is NRE love? It most certainly is. Is it the deep abiding love of a long term relationship? No, it isn’t. But, it is a gateway to that deeper and more profound kind of love.

Once the dust settles, we start to see our beloved more realistically. The out of control feelings start to mellow. We begin to explore one another more openly. Then we see new things in the person we’re attracted to. We notice their flaws, but also deeper parts of them that we may find powerfully attractive. If the relationship continues NRE becomes fuel for the “honeymoon period”. We must remember, in the midst of the rush, that we’re not seeing the whole person. We’re experiencing an ideal version of him, that tugs at our heart strings as well as our loins.
What do you do with all that? First, for goodness sake, embrace the experience. Relish every moment. See him as a beautiful, luminous, being who brings you pure joy. Second, recognize that no man alive could be as perfect as you think he is now. He may be wonderful, even a perfect fit for a long-term partner, but you don’t know that yet.

I’m in the throws of NRE now with a wonderful man. We formed a fast, passionate, and powerful connection when we first met. It’s been less than two months, and it’s long distance, so the energy hasn’t even peaked yet. Every text message form him lights me up. I count the days before I get to see him again. I feel deeply connected to him, protective of him, and yes, in love with him.

The best way to deal with the energy is to see the real man as best you can. Instead of fantasizing about him engage your memories of your times together. Look at actual pictures of him rather than the idealized version of him in your head. These things won’t only keep the NRE in balance, they’ll also make it more likely that you’ll still have strong feelings for him when the energy starts to ease.

NRE is one of the most amazing things you’ll ever experience. The interesting thing for me this time is that pushing myself to see the real man through my rose colored glasses is starting to build genuine affection for him while we both get to enjoy the rarefied energy of our new connection.