I’m A Sucker For Deceptive N.R.E. (New Relationship Energy)

While an instant connection with someone new might mean that I could be on the path to happily-ever-after, I’m well aware of the fact that I could also be experiencing new relationship energy—and I’m a sucker for the sometimes deceptive romantic vibe.

What is N.R.E.? When I experience a connection with someone new, it’s electrifying—and I’m certainly not the only one who feels a romantic rush when I meet someone I find attractive and who’s just as into me. New relationship energy can feel wonderful, there’s no doubt about that, but I need to beware because it can also be deceiving.

New love or temporary lust? I can’t tell the difference. While I have no doubt that love-at-first-sight can and does happen (swoon!), I know for a fact that I’m much more likely to fall for lust-at-first-sight. While a lasting attachment can simmer and sizzle for years, lust can be an explosive but quick burn that cools off after a brief fling.

The adrenaline of attraction keeps me coming back. There’s a reason people ride on roller coasters and go skydiving: adrenaline feels awesome, and so do all of the other chemicals that are released when you’re attracted to someone. That rush of being captivated by a certain person is a key factor in N.R.E. Not to be overly dramatic, but it’s like a drug and you have to be aware of the fact that you might be getting high off N.R.E. as opposed to being drunk in love.

I can’t stop thinking about them. When I’m in the throes of N.R.E., I can’t get the object of my affection out of my mind. Not only do I think about them and daydream about our next potential rendezvous, but I also find myself bringing them up in conversations with my friends whenever possible. It’s a clear sign to my pals that I’m crushing hard on someone new.

I end up ignoring red flags. New relationship energy can not only lead me to mistake lust for love, but it can also distort my perception of someone and make me miss (or ignore?) red flags that would normally warn me about potential problems.

Sometimes N.R.E. is difficult to spot. Spotting new relationship energy may seem easy. If you’re in a new relationship and are feeling super excited about it, that’s obviously N.R.E., right? Well, yes. But the fact is that when you’re dazed by N.R.E., it can fool you into believing that what you’re experiencing is a deeper connection, which might lead you to make rash decisions that you could come to regret. Trust me, I’ve been there and done that many times over.

I can never decide whether to run away or give in. When I’ve acknowledged the fact that what I’m dealing with is N.R.E., it’s time to make a choice. Do I run away from the potentially deceiving vibe or do I give in? There are pros and cons to each scenario that I can weigh, but the bottom line is that first I need to be aware of what I’ve gotten myself into.

Sometimes I’m smart enough to get out early. As soon as I realize that new relationship energy is masking the fact that this situation isn’t ideal for one reason or another, it may be time to slow down, back away, and break things off. Sometimes, if things are seriously not right, then the best thing to do might be to run away as fast as I possibly can.

Other times, I feel like it’s safe to give in. If I’m aware of the fact that what I’m experiencing is new relationship energy and can keep my feelings in check, then there’s nothing wrong with indulging in it a bit—just like there’s nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying the electric excitement, the all-night conversations, and the romantic firsts of a new connection.

Occasionally, it leads to a long-lasting relationship. I’m also aware of the fact that just because I’m experiencing new relationship energy with someone doesn’t mean that the connection is doomed. When N.R.E. wears off, a lasting and loving relationship can be what’s left over and that sounds pretty darn perfect to me. When that happens, I count myself lucky.

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