“IRE,” an alternative to “NRE”

Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels

Ah, NRE. That glowing period in a new relationship that can last anywhere from a day to six months (or even longer!). Say, six to nine months. About how long it takes to make a baby. The honeymoon of the relationship. Everything is shiny and wonderful.

Except I have to admit I’m not sure I can relate to NRE.

I’ve tried, but it neither appeals to me, nor fills me with its power. It’s something I can observe, but it isn’t me. You should really let someone else tell you about NRE. But it’s also not that I don’t feel it all I, I think. It just…manifests as something a little different for me.

Perhaps for you, too?

NRE isn’t just about “new” energy for me. It’s practically “IRE,” Instantaneous Relationship Energy.

As in before we’re actually in anything that a reasonable human would call a relationship. Before we’ve exchanged so much as every form of contact information (Facebook as WELL as Fetlife).

When I meet a cute girl, I’ll light up with a look that causes M to respond, “Planning the wedding, huh?” “Uh huh.” Yeah, I’m a freak when it comes to NRE. Everything is amazing and perfect. We’re the soulmates of soulmates.

Then about a day later– if that– the balloon deflates. I experience NRE like the rush of fire from a Japanese teppan chef. Burns high, hot, and impressive– dies in a second.

If the person doesn’t find a way to capture my attention and build something with me, I sometimes don’t even think about them after a couple of days.

Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I can’t do NRE anymore than I can do anger. It just doesn’t last that long.

Once it burns away, I start building up my emotions for this person. If they match my initial energy, perhaps stronger than mine but not TOO strong or I will get scared off.

While many people are deep in NRE, I’m in a slow buildup towards trusting them to share a partnership. I don’t love this part. I feel nervous and out of control. Or I feel a little meh. The latter is when I like the person, but if they left I wouldn’t care that much. Because the connection isn’t there yet.

Which is also why I prefer Old Relationship Energy.

I’m grateful when I do reach that part of the relationship that I can confidently call “ORE.” (Also known as ERE, or Established Relationship Energy).  NRE is exhausting for me.  ORE/ERE is…comforting.

I’m a bit strange.  By the time I call someone my romantic other, the relationship is already there. The foundation is built.  I’ll be with them for a decade, if not a lifetime.  I was essentially engaged by the time I told people about my master.  And we were raising three children together.  I may have called him my boyfriend, but it didn’t look anything like what you think of when you say “boyfriend.”  We were three quarters to being an old, married couple.

We even forgot our first “anniversary” happened, because the official one happened years after our first actual year together. We finally celebrated our “first” when the fifth one came round. 

Would you like to know a little more about ORE?

My lovely girlfriend wrote a love ode to this, which I shall dub “The OREO,” or the Old Relationship Energy Ode. It sums up so many of my feelings about this gorgeous emotion. I hope you give it a quick peek!

Share your thoughts?

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