Ask Krys: New Relationship Energy (NRE)

Krys Ghislaine
4 min readNov 28, 2023

The Polyamory Edition

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E-mail Bag: Question 8 Is it NRE or True Feelings?

Dear Krys,

At what point in a poly connection (in this case, one outside the nesting/anchor live-in partner) do you feel it’s safe to say NRE has evolved past that into true feelings? I’m fairly new to poly while my wife has been for a long time, and I’m 4 and a half months into a newer relationship and we are both absolutely enamoured with each other. I definitely have strong feelings for this woman but worry it’s still maybe NRE at play. Maybe you previously wrote about this and I’ve failed to look back, but given your move back towards monogamy, maybe you have some updates thoughts?

Sincerely,

NRE

Dear NRE,

You have asked the age old question, do we have New Relationship Energy (NRE) or are these true feelings, and you are not the first nor the last to do so. Feelings are such pesky little beasts. How can a person ever know if they are real or not, especially with the added bonus of being in a polyamorous relationship?

First things first, New Relationship Energy, for those who don’t know is a way of describing those butterfly feelings that a person gets when they are dating someone new, which is notably used when they are in a non-monogamous situation. As per Wikipedia: NRE “refers to a state of mind experienced at the beginning of sexual and romantic relationships, typically involving heightened emotional and sexual feelings and excitement. NRE begins with the earliest attractions, may grow into full force when mutuality is established, and can fade over months or years. The term indicates contrast to those feelings aroused in an “old” or ongoing relationship.

Because of the nature of a polyamorous relationship, the balance between being lustful for someone new, and maintaining an acceptable level of interaction, love, support, etc with your primary partner is something that requires a lot of work. Especially when your lustful urges are ramping up, and all you want is this new and shiny person. With the monogamous, this feeling is usually a green light scenario to go forth, and fall in love, but in non-monogamy, questions must be asked. Is this…

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