“You know,” she says. “I get a rush off meeting new people. It doesn’t even have to someone I’m dating. A capital R Relationship. I can make a new friend, even a new acquaintance, and it’ll make my week. Do you know what I mean?”
I nod. “I do. If I meet someone cool, and they have good energy, it’s something that you can feel.”
“You definitely can.”
“Plus, they haven’t heard your standard jokes a million times. Or the stories you tell over and over again. To them, they’re new. And so you get a chance to be new again, which feels really good… if that makes sense.”
“It does,” she says.
“What would you call that?” she asks. “It’s not New Relationship Energy, because there’s not necessarily a relationship involved. At least not a romantic one and at least not yet. Because you never know.”
I think for a moment. “I’d probably call it New Person Energy,” I reply.
New Relationship Energy Can Be a Mixed Bag
In polyamorous circles, there’s a lot of discussion surrounding New Relationship Energy (NRE for short) which is a mental and emotional state experienced at the beginning of romantic and/or sexual relationships, sometimes also known as limerence. NRE is marked by passionate feelings, obsessive thoughts, and a shift of attentional focus to the new relationship (sometimes — though not always — at the expense of older, more established dynamics).
Some people love NRE and pursue it wherever they can find it. Others find NRE to be an uncomfortable state of being as they feel vulnerable becoming that preoccupied with a person they don’t know that well and/or they worry that in their passion they will neglect other important responsibilities (jobs, childcare, housework, and/or older, established relationships).
Having experienced my fair share of NRE (and at one time was dating enough to have NRE for multiple different new partners at once), I think I have a bit of both schools of thought in me.
Once upon a time, I was that person who took the Nestea plunge into every new relationship without giving it a second thought. But over the years I’ve changed. NRE can be fun and delightful and exciting, but I’ve come to learn how to not let myself be carried away by it entirely and to default to trying to keep my wits about me, even if I’m falling in love.
New Person Energy
That said, now that I’ve stopped bingeing so hard on NRE, I’ve discovered that I’ve become more sensitive to other positive emotional shifts that are similar but more subtle. And I find that making a cool new friend or meeting an awesome metamour can give me a burst of energy, a happy feeling that’s not unlike NRE.
It’s New Person Energy. It rocks.
And when I really think about it, I think NRE might also be a form of New Person Energy, just administered at a higher dose.
My new book is out!
Dealing with Difficult Metamours, the first book devoted solely to metamour relationships, full of strategies to help you get along better with your partners’ other partner(s).