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Defining and Managing New Relationship Energy (NRE)

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Defining and Managing New Relationship Energy (NRE)

Butterflies in your stomach and your head in the clouds – two ways that brand new relationships make us feel. We’re feeling great about ourselves, falling for someone amazing, and then BAM.

We realize that we’re in a position we could’ve avoided, and we don’t like what any of the possible outcomes are. What should you do when stuck between a rock and a hard place?

What is NRE, and why does it exist?

New Relationship Energy (NRE) is used in non-monogamous and open relationship communities to describe the high of new love. This phase is similar to the honeymoon phase of monogamous relationships and can be exhilarating. People say that NRE can last anywhere from 6-24 months or even the whole lifetime of a relationship.

Like the honeymoon phase in monogamous marriages, people often find themselves in precarious situations they usually wouldn’t let fly because of new relationship energy. NRE can cause people to become infatuated with their partners and ignore the red flags that may be present. It’s essential to manage NRE so it doesn’t damage other long-term relationships.

How can you manage your NRE to benefit both you and your partner(s)?

Here are some tips for managing NRE so that all of you can enjoy it:

  • Don’t neglect your other relationships. Having multiple partners requires using your time efficiently and effectively. Make sure to spend time with your other partners, even if you’re not as excited about them as your new partner. Building rituals of connection and re-connection to keep everyone feeling loved and supported. 
  • Be honest with all your partners about how you’re feeling. Let them know what’s going on in your head and what you’re hoping for from the relationship. Reevaluate how this new relationship is effecting Love Maps.
  • Don’t make any big decisions during this phase. Don’t move in with your new partner or get married just because you feel overwhelmed by NRE. Wait until the dust has settled and you’ve had a chance to evaluate the relationship after an extended period objectively.
  • Take time for yourself. Get plenty of rest and exercise, and make time for activities you enjoy outside your relationships. Time spent on authentic self-care will help keep you grounded and prevent NRE from consuming your life.

What are some common mistakes people make with NRE?

One of the most common mistakes people make is neglecting their other relationships. It’s important to remember that you didn’t just stop caring about your other partners or your friends and family when you met your new one. Neglecting your other relationships will hurt multiple people and may cause those relationships to end. Some warning signs to look for can be found here.

Another common mistake is making decisions during this phase that aren’t well thought out. NRE can cause people to act impulsively, leading to regret later on. Wait until you’ve had a chance to calm down and think about things before you make any big decisions.

Finally, some try to bottle up their NRE and keep it all to themselves. It’s important to share how you’re feeling with your partners so that they can understand what’s going on and support you. Trying to keep NRE a secret will only make it harder to manage.

NRE can be a fantastic experience, but it’s essential to be aware of the potential dangers and manage it to benefit everyone involved. With a little effort, you can enjoy the high and share it with everyone else.

How can you ensure that your new relationships don’t consume your time and energy?

Setting boundaries with your new partner is vital in ensuring you’re still making time for your other relationships. Making and keeping up with intentional time set aside for each partner is necessary for keeping each relationship healthy. Decide how often you’d ideally like to spend time and date with each person, and start your conversations from there. Schedule a state of the union date so that you can keep up with the moving pieces of the relationships.

You should also be honest about how you’re feeling and what you’re hoping for from the relationship. Let your partners know if you’re genuinely falling in love with someone! Not keeping your partners in the loop about what’s going on can make them feel blindsided and lied to if things have been progressing for some time and can make them feel like they’ve been having secrets kept from them. 

Finally, don’t make any big decisions during this phase – wait until you’ve had a chance to calm down and think about things more objectively. Leaving a long-term partner or moving in with someone you don’t know well can lead to financial problems you’ll have to sort out sooner than you imagined and cause untold amounts of stress.

What should you do if you feel overwhelmed by your new relationships?

If you start feeling overwhelmed by your new relationships, taking a step back is essential and assessing the situation. Make sure you’re still making time for your other partners and being honest about your feelings.

Open and honest communication is key to managing NRE to benefit everyone involved. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to your partners and see if there’s anything they can do to help you feel more comfortable. You may also want to take some time for yourself to recharge and get grounded. Finding support through polyamorous communities or communities for your style of non-monogamy will be an excellent way to crowd source ideas.

Not everyone can manage NRE easily from the get-go, especially if you’re new to non-monogamy and polyamory. Figuring out what boundaries to set, which ones are healthy, and navigating a lifestyle change can be overwhelming even for the best of us. Sometimes, reaching out to a neutral third party, such as a counselor or therapist, to help you and your partner(s) can provide the space we need to communicate effectively.

I serve individuals who live in Houston, Texas and throughout the state, with a specialized focus on those who are polyamorous, non-monogamous, members of the LGBT+ community, or otherwise alternatively inclined. My mission is to help those who struggle to accept themselves or live authentically. Together, we will work to rewrite your future to let your true self out.

Have you ever struggled with NRE in your relationships? How did you manage it and what issues were you able to overcome? Let us know in the comments!


Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to us here.