“IRE,” an alternative to “NRE”

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’m more IRE.

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.

IRE isn’t any more real than NRE. It burns a lot faster, though.

Perhaps for you, too?

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.

I can’t do NRE anymore than I can do anger. I can’t maintain. My “honeymoon” phase doesn’t even last long enough for it to be “new.”

If they don’t grab my attention, I forgot about it entirely. Sure, that’s probably a fault. I am sure I pass up on plenty of great relationships that way.

Which is also why I prefer Old Relationship Energy.

While many people are deep in NRE, I’m in a slow buildup towards trusting them to share a partnership. I don’t even try to get initial energy, because I know my tendency to burn fast and hard. So I sometimes come off as disinterested, because my initial approach makes them feel like just anyeone.

Because they are just anyone to me.

But over time? I let myself build up. To the point I get confused when someone says how they are “still” strong after five years, ten, thirty. Still? Isn’t it just more intense? Like aging whiskey. The $125,000 whiskey is literally touted as being the oldest. Nobody wants to pay a quarter of a million for five year old whiskey.

The longer the relationship goes on, the better I feel. The more secure. If I could, I’d skip ahead- but there’s no shortcut for a great relationship

ORE is my absolute favorite.

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!

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