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What Established Relationship Energy Feels Like

·336 words·2 mins

There’s this way that you pull me to you when we’re both half-asleep that tells me you’re something different with me in your life. That I manage to balance you and yet unsettle you in a way that makes us both better.

After spending years together, through thousands of hours of careful observation, I’ve become an expert on you, perhaps the world’s foremost. And you have also become an expert on me. It was terrifying at first to feel so seen, so known, but now I can’t imagine it any other way.

When you touch me, it’s like you’re playing an instrument you’ve studied for years to master. I’m a composition you know by heart but always play seriously, never taking your own skills or your audience for granted.

When I touch you, I definitely still know where you end and I begin, but the difference is no longer particularly meaningful. Because we’re inextricably linked. Even when we’re apart, you’re with me, kicking through my stray thoughts. A whisper in my chest.

Each well acquainted with how the other looks by moonlight. What each tiny body tension and sigh means.

Gone are the frenetic anxiety, the constant doubt, the uncertainty.

And now I’m left with a calm. A sense that you are solid.

Before I knew the difference between limerence and companionate love, I would have mistaken this for a slump. Walked right into lies that I’d been told since I was a kid. That real love must feel fiery, terrifying. That real love is always the center of attention, like an unruly child.

But I know the truth now.

It’s happier than “…and they lived happily ever after.” The kind of love story we don’t really even have words for.


Established Relationship Energy, also known as Old Relationship Energy: (noun) The dynamic of a long-standing established romantic or sexual relationship. Related to the Greek concept of _pragma _or mature love. Also known as companionate love.  Its opposite is New Relationship Energy (or NRE).



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