How To Deal With New Relationship Energy (NRE)
NRE, or New Relationship Energy, is the strongest positive emotion a human being can feel. Here’s the definition from the glossary:
NRE – New Relationship Energy. The temporary, short-lasting, overwhelming feeling of joy one experiences when first dating a new person, usually not lasting longer than several months (though it can be artificially extended out to a year or so if people get married or have a baby together). Often referred to as the “honeymoon period,” NRE is likely to be the most powerful positive emotion a human being can feel, stronger even than love, but it is extremely temporary. NRE often leads to poor decision-making and oneitis, and is the cause of many divorces, breakups, and drama.
Ah yes, that wonderful, intoxicating, addicting feeling we all feel when we first start dating that woman who is Not Like The Rest™. There’s nothing else in life quite like it. I’ve experienced it many times, and I’m sure you have too. I will experience several more times before my day is done, and statistically speaking you will too (yes, even if you’re now married or monogamous with someone).
NRE is a stronger emotion than even love. That’s why it doesn’t last very long. My parents have been married for 44 years. Unquestionably, they’re in love. But do they have NRE? Ha! No. That died in their marriage many decades ago. If you’ve been in a consistent relationship longer than about two years, you have also said bye-bye to NRE with that person.
Why? Because, the letter N in NRE is New. You can only have NRE with someone NEW. That’s way so many women (and a few men) are addicted to serial monogamy. Just like a drug addict, they’re addicted to that high that can only be satisfied by someone NEW.
NRE is wonderful. Feel it and enjoy it. I certainly do when it happens.
NRE is also extremely dangerous. During NRE, your IQ will drop in half, and you’ll make the stupidest decisions of your life. This can include, but aren’t limited to:
1. Promising sexual monogamy when you shouldn’t.
2. Moving in with a woman when you shouldn’t.
3. Getting married when you shouldn’t.
4. Not getting an enforceable prenup when you should.
5. Giving money to a woman when you shouldn’t.
6. Getting a woman pregnant “by accident.”
7. Lending woman money when you shouldn’t.
8. Buying a house with a woman when you shouldn’t.
9. Co-signing a loan with a woman or combining finances with a woman.
And on and on. NRE is the culprit behind most of these life-damaging decisions. You’re an intelligent, experienced guy. You’d never make these stupid decisions when in possession of your full faculties. But when that super hot, super smart, super fun, perfect girl who’s Not Like The Rest™ drops into your life and you fall into an NRE tailspin, you’ll happily hand her the knife and bare your throat to her (and scream your head off at anyone who tells you it’s probably not a good idea).
This is when NRE metastasizes into oneitis. It’s when NRE goes from a good thing to a bad thing.
Feeling the feelings of NRE are good. Being with a woman you have NRE for is also good. Making poor decisions because of the NRE is bad. In fact, very bad.
This means the goal of your relationship life is to get to the point where you can fully experience NRE without getting oneitis. Where you can be fully immersed in NRE but you still say no to her batting eyelashes when she asks or demands something of you that will cause trouble for you down the road.
This is hard. This is a skill that takes a strong will, an organized brain, a lot of self-love, and practice.
I remember when I was first able to do this. It was about two years after my divorce, and I had NRE hard for a woman I later actually fell in love with. She was over 30 and wanted monogamy. Guess what I said?
I said no. I said it nicely, but I still said no, while still in the middle of hardcore NRE. She later left me via a LSFNTE me and later came back as 94% of them do, but that’s not the point. The point was the feeling of inner strength and power I experienced that I had never felt before. The point was the lack of all the usual problems every other man has when they fall prey to this.
I knew then and there that I had entered into a new life of freedom and happiness. That I could be in the middle of hardcore NRE, even hardcore love, and still not compromise the big things in my life I knew would later make me unhappy.
Since then it’s been smooth sailing for me, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why unlike most men, I can have NRE or love for a woman and still not make stupid decisions, beta myself, or make compromises that will later cause problems. It’s like having a super power.
Before you learn to deal with NRE, you must first be aware of its flavors. The standard NRE is the one you’re probably already familiar with. It’s after a few dates and/or a few new sexual encounters with a smart, hot, funny, fun girl who is Not Like The Rest™. (Women call this I Think I’ve Found The One™.) You feel wonderful 24/7 to the point of stupidity.
After a while, usually around 3-5 months, this feeling dissipates and you’re back to your old normal, rational self. This is when you snap out of it, look back over the decisions you’ve made recently, and say “Oh shit! Why the hell did I do that?”
The extra danger is that NRE can actually reappear with the same person under certain circumstances. These events cause a temporary, artificial resurgence or increase in how long the NRE lasts. There are three kinds.
Moving In Together NRE: Sometimes a couple experiences a brief resurgence of NRE when they move in together, particularly if the move was something unhurried, fun, and not caused by some kind of emergency. Like all other types of NRE, Moving In Together NRE is extraordinarily dangerous, since it will prevent you from taking all the necessary precautions you need to take when you move in with a woman. “I don’t need to do all that stuff,” you’ll say, “She’s Not Like That™.” Oh yes she is, you dumbass. That’s your NRE talking, not your brain.
Getting Married NRE. Obviously, getting married, having all your friends and family kiss your ass, having a kickass bachelor party, and having a big fairytale wedding can recharge your waning NRE for a few more months, perhaps even a year or two, before the all the drama and reduced sex starts to occur. That’s unless you experience…
New Baby NRE. As many men have discovered, having a baby with your Sweet Little Angel™ who is Not Like The Rest™ can cause an especially euphoric type of NRE that can last up to a year or two per baby. This doesn’t always happen with couples who have babies, but sometimes simply the act of having a baby together can create another temporary surge of NRE, at least for a while until the guy snaps out of it, gets tired of his baby momma’s flabby belly and stretch marks, cheats, gets caught, has drama, etc.
You need to be aware that these kinds of events A) re-introduce NRE into your brain, B) are just as dangerous as normal NRE if not more so, and C) create a feeling that is very temporary even though it feels like it will last 20 years or the “rest of your life.”
Here’s how to keep a cool head while in the throes of NRE:
1. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Go read my post on how to avoid oneitis, since many of those things directly apply to NRE.
2. Make very sure you have a very strong future vision for yourself. Have strong goals. Have a Mission. The more important your future is to you, the less likely you are to make stupid decisions during NRE. This is the single greatest reason why I don’t ever screw up with NRE; my future happiness is critically important to me.
3. As I just said in a recent post, whenever you get the urge to make a major life change or compromise for a woman, COME TO A COMPLETE STOP. Stop, pause and THINK for a minute. Take three or four deep breaths. Go away from everyone, especially her, lock yourself in a room alone, and think as rationally and as critically as your NRE-addled mind is able.
Remind yourself that you’re in NRE, and because of this, your decision-making faculties aren’t at 100% even if they feel like they are. Really analyze and focus. Is this really a good idea for your long-term future?
4. Ask yourself these questions:
a. Even if this will make me happy now, will it STILL make me happy a year from now? Two years from now? Five years from now?
b. If the answer is “yes,” what are the odds of this? Are the odds for future problems high or low if you proceed? Be honest with your answers.
c. Would you be doing this if you had never met her? No? Then why are you doing it now? Really be critical about your own answer, and challenge the answer. Make your answer “pay its own rent.”
d. What happened the last time you did this? If you’ve never done this, ask yourself what happened the last time a close friend or family member with a similar personality to you tried it.
e. Does what you’re about to do require you or her to be 100% responsible and/or emotionally consistent for years and years on end? Is this a wise thing to expect of yourself or her?
Like I said, you probably won’t be able to get NRE nailed down on your first attempt. That’s okay. Keep pushing towards the goal of being able to experience the joy and euphoria of NRE without any of the stupid decisions. You’ll be glad you did.