First, let me say that I don’t really get NRE in the way many people in nonmonogamy or poly do. I’m monoromantic, and I really only have twitterpation for one person at any time.
I wondered for years what was wrong with me.
Turns out that’s just the way I’m wired.
I do love others, and create deep affectionate bonds. I just don’t get infatuated with others.
Which, in some ways, provides it’s own challenges. Because I don’t REALLY understand others who do. I mean, intellectually, sure. But I’ve never experienced NRE when already deeply in love with someone else.
My partner, though, does. He’s a hard-and-fast-passionate-and-loving guy, and when he hits, he hits hard. Happened with me. It’s happened with others.
And, of course, my friends in non monogamous relationships often deal with this. Their partner is suddenly doing ALL THE THINGS with someone else that they used to do together. Or worse, it’s taking their partner away even from the things they have been doing together, to now go do all the fun, shiny, sparkly things with someone else, and not even maintaining the smoothed out, well-loved traditions that they’ve built together.
It’s a double-whammy.
And it’s hard. Because humans are gonna human.
So, what can be done about it, if anything?
Nothing, if the NRE partner doesn’t care to. That’s the fact. And frankly, that says a lot if that’s the response.
BUT, let’s say they do care, and you care, and now it’s just figuring things out.
Communication is the first thing. Yeah, I know. Same-old, same-old. But it’s true. You gotta be able to communicate with each other and talk about it.
Second, and this is where the rubber meets the road: Recognize that resources are limited. We all have a limit on:
- Personal energy
Some limits may be higher than others, sure. But these are facts.
Third, make a plan. Better to make one BEFORE all this happens, so you can watch it coming, and put it in place, but a late plan is better than no plan at all if you truly care about each other and want to make sure that your existing relationship(s) grow and thrive as you get the new one(s) going.
Because the best way to experience compersion together is to SHARE the enthusiasm and love.
And what that looks like will look different to every relationship, but the idea is simple:
If you start courting a new partner, start re-courting your existing partner(s).
- If you buy New Partner (NP) flowers, consider buying Existing Partner(s) (EP) flowers or a potted plant, or a small trinket or a new game they’d love.
- If you’re taking NP on a date night, consider making time for a lunch picnic together with EP.
- If you set aside to talk and grow your relationship with NP, make together time for EP—maybe make it about your relationship, or just set aside however many hours, and ask them what they’d like to do.
- If you get a sitter so you can do X with NP, get a sitter so you can do Y with EP.
I’ve seen people takes these steps and really make them work.
But it’s not easy.
It makes every new parter (NRE-potential partner, anyway) cost an exponential amount of energy.
BUT, I think it’s worth it. The way I see it is you have three options:
- Do it. Work WITH your EP to make this work for everyone and share the growing love.
- Don’t do it, and let your EPs languish.
- Don’t do it, and spend the same amount of time and energy (sometimes more) in the fights that will inevitably crop up.
There’s actually a VERY RARE fourth: The EP who shrugs off your NRE with someone else, and sails through just fine. This is a rare exception, and should not be counted on.
And don’t think this is all about jealousy. That’s another beast entirely.
It’s about what it takes to keep a relationship going, and to give it what it needs to grow and thrive, even when there are other relationships developing.
Oh, and for those monogamous people out there: It’s NOT just for NRE for relationships. It’s ANYTHING in your life that can really take up a lot of your time, energy and money.
The new car rebuilding hobby, or golf, or a new job with longer hours.
BALANCE is key.
What are your thoughts?
Have you ever been caught up in the NRE whirlwind either as the person with NRE or the EP?
How did it feel? How did it go? What did YOU do to get through it? Share for others to learn. smiles