NRE is an acronym the poly community created for the all too common stage in the beginning of a relationship–the honeymoon phase. Most of us have been there: the heightened enthusiasm, long conversations bleeding into the night, getting aroused by brushing hands. In western culture, we like to call this phenomenon: falling in love. While beautiful and certainly delicious, I am here tell you that this isn’t really love at all. Instead, I want you label this sensation NRE: new relationship energy. Could this remarkable person be the long awaited solution to my loneliness, past woundedness, and future dreams? Albert Camus writes:
We fall in love with people because, from the outside, they look so whole, physically whole and emotionally ‘together’ – when subjectively we feel dispersed and confused. We would not love if there were no lack within us.
So then, what is true love?
However matched, love is a skill. Alain de Botton further comments, “Loving is inner work.” As a relationship therapist, couples contact me when the new relationship energy has worn off and doubt has taken its place–am I with the wrong person? The answer to that question may definitively be yes! Concrete reasons to leave a relationship exist. But most often, I get clients plagued with bored, sexually frustrated, smothered, and wondering if they have fallen out of love. The opposite is true. You are now ready to love.