You may have heard the term New Relationship Energy or NRE. This is a term used to describe the unique circumstances which happen when someone in an open relationship finds themselves excited about a new connection. In the poly world, it might be called falling in love. In the swinger world, we tend to avoid the “L” word, and substitute something a bit more vague. Regardless of your semantics, you’ve likely experienced NRE.
It’s the energy that happens when you’ve met someone who elicits that deep, chemical response that makes you think about them at random times. You are excited again and find yourself anticipating texts, browsing their facebook wall, and making plans. Even the most open-minded sexual being can get a little nervous when they sense New Relationship Energy happening for themselves or their partner(s).
My husband recently met a woman that he had admired for a while from afar (online). They connected at a party and had great sex; followed by some awesome texts in the days following. I could see that he was excited about this new person and his energy changed. For some people, this creates a nervous space.
I’ve tried to come up with a term to describe what is the opposite of New Relationship Energy. New/Old. Old relationship energy sounds a bit ….. tired. New/Used. Used relationship energy sounds too close to “used up.” New/Established. I like that! Here’s my understanding of how Established Relationship Energy (ERE) can happily co-exist with New Relationship Energy (NRE).
One thing that I’ve come to realize and understand is that NRE does not mean that my Established Relationship Energy (ERE) is somehow obsolete. When I was younger, I used to think that my husband and I had nothing in common. One of us likes dancing, the other doesn’t. One of us thinks leaving a party at midnight is late, the other thinks that’s early. One’s a saver and one’s a spender. (In case you’re wondering; I’m the dancer, the night owl, and the saver.) Lucky for me, a very close friend reminded me that we had more important things in common: we loved our children, we had similar values regarding how to treat people, we enjoyed each other’s company, we were both kind, etc, etc. This had a profound impact on my relationship, when I realized that our relationship had some very deep, solid foundations.
When you understand the foundation of your established relationship, then you can begin to feel secure and excited about the ERE that exists at that deep level. NRE is fun, exciting, and carefree. You don’t have to worry about who is going to walk the dog, whether someone called the plumber, how to get those kids to do their homework, finding enough money to pay the bills, or any of the myriad other things that are a part of everyday life. Smart swingers enjoy (and let their partners enjoy) New Relationship Energy. They know it’s a fun, temporary escape from reality.
Life can be a crazy, fucked up ride. A lot of shit happens, and frankly, a lot of the time it sucks. Any established relationship will eventually need to deal with the mundane crap of daily life. For me, I came to realize that there is no one I’d rather do that with than the partner I’ve been married to for the last 20 years.
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