June 1, 2009
NRE is the common abbreviation in the poly community for a poly term: new relationship energy. That’s not to say, by the way, that non-poly people don’t experience this phenomena, they just don’t really have a name for it.
NRE is the giddy-in-love feeling that people in a new relationship experience. New things are thrilling and exciting, and can often consume a person’s thoughts and energy, and for those new to poly, it can quickly lead to disaster. When Michael, for example, was dating Becky, he experienced a lot of NRE and would become so excited about being with her that even when I was in the same room, I might as well have been on a different planet. I was tolerant and understanding, but a lot of people who do not understand the chemical reactions might be induced to feel insecure, less loved, or less important. It can trigger some severe jealousy, fear, and pain. I experienced all of those things, and coped better than most.
So is NRE bad? No, not at all. In fact, it can be a wonderful feeling, but the person experiencing the NRE has to understand how to deal wit hit, and how to process with any partners who are not a part of the NRE bliss. They are, for all intents and purposes, high, and it is the new partner who is the drug. That’s some pretty potent stuff, and older relationships have to be assured that they are secure, even if they are not currently the cause of this set of fireworks. In all probability, they once were!
It is up to the person experiencing NRE to be sensitive to the feelings of other partners. They may need some of your time, they may need not to hear about why your new partner is so great, they may need to be assured that they are as loved and cherished as always, and they may need to be reassured that they are not being replaced in your life or in your heart.
NRE is bliss when you are experiencing it, but it CAN BE hell for your partners if you deal with it badly.