How to Attract and Navigate New Relationship Energy (NRE) in Polyamory by Kamala Devi
ttracting and Navigating New Relationship Energy (NRE) was the theme of San Diego’s Monthly Polyamory Potluck held on the Spring Equinox and pictured above. Kamala Devi started the group discussion with a sweet opening circle and meditation. After a few deep breaths Kamala Devi guided everyone through the following visualization:
Close your eyes and imagine a big beautiful water fountain with a deep wide basin where sunlight dances on the water’s surface. There is a powerful pump that draws the water upward (like air up your spine) all the way to a dazzling spout at the top where it flows down and hyptnotizes everyone who sees it. Perhaps there are birds that like to bathe in it, children that dance there toes in it, and lovers admiring it as they stroll by hand in hand. This beautiful fountain is unconditional, it keeps flowing, all day and night, whether or not anyone is there to appreciate it.
NRE stands for New Relationship Energy AKA puppy love, falling in love, the honeymoon period, or a crush. The term originated in the writings of Zhahai Stewart in the 1980s and was popularized with Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy in the Ethical Slut by Greenery Press 1997. The term NRE is commonly used in the polyamorous community because poly people don’t have to break up with one relationship in order to start another and often find themselves falling in love over and over again. In this phase it is important not to compare and contrast your intense romantic feelings to how you feel about your older more established relationships.
After a brief mix and mingle, the discussion group began with an important distinction about the light and the shadow aspects of NRE. Falling in love is often accompanied by an intoxicating and obsessive high, which could severely impair ones judgement to make important life decisions. The brain chemicals in this state are much like heroine or cocain and may be affected on the average between 3 months to 2 years. When the chemistry begins to stableize and people have enough time to get to actually see their lovers, they may realize that what they thought they loved was actually a projection of who they thought they were. Deeper love is a function of knowing someone and relationships built on shared values stand a better chance of sustaining than a relationship built on chemistry.
Also important to note, some people who are new to polyamory experience a side effect of love known as “kid in the candy store.” When someone first realizes that they don’t have to limit the experience of falling in love to one person, they may have the experience of falling in love with everyone at the same time. Unfortunately some become reckless about starting new relationships without having the band with to deeply communicate, process and sustain deep long term relationships. The opposite is equally painful, when a partner falls so deeply into obsessive love with one person, they may forsakes all their previously existing relationships.
Michael, Kamala Devi’s husband talks about how ideally new relationship energy enhances your previously existing (or older) relationships. When Kamala Devi takes on a new lover she is conscious to bring the juice, excitement, fantasy and romance back to the marriage. And she is conscious to spend extra time nurturing and reassuring the existing relationships so that they do not become insecure.
Michael admits that though he fell in love at Kamala Devi at first sight, it was a deeper knowing that they shared the same values that made their 11 year marriage possible. The biggest advice that Kamala Devi and Michael offer for new lovers is to be as inclusive and sensitive as possible to all your previously existing relationships and take it slow– don’t rush into any major life decisions.
The best advice Kamala Devi has for single poly or solo poly lovers who want to attract a new relationship is to practice radical self love. Since we are only able to love others to the degree that we love ourselves, we can cultivate passionate self love and attract people in the same frequency. Kamala Devi uses of the fountain metaphor and points out that everyone has a beautiful fountain of love within them, but many people remain unplugged, just sitting around dry, waiting for someone else to plug them in. We must learn to plug ourselves in to the source of love–self love.
I savor the feeling of crushing on you…at times it feels I’m going insane, but sanity never suited me anyway. –Kamala Devi
EXTRA RELATIONSHIP ENERGY by Janet Kira Lessin
Earlier this month while Rose, my female lover, furiously rode my husband during a love-in, my body felt that old familiar pain in my gut and my heart once again. I silently collapsed in defeat. Jealousy! When will I ever be done with that ‘ol green-eyed monster?
“I can’t ever possibly compete with that,” I thought as I watched them, peeking between my fingers. “They’re so involved; so wild in their passion, they don’t even notice me and how miserable I feel!”
What chemistry do they experience when they feel that wildness, connection, joy? It looks like, but no, it couldn’t be could it? Could it be … NRE–new relationship energy?
Wait a minute here. My husband had been involved with Coyote and Rose for about 15 years! This was not a new relationship by any means. I met Sash, moved in with and married him. A month later, he introduced me to his lovers, Coyote and Rose. So, if anything, Sasha and I are the ones who possibly still have NRE, not Sasha and Rose!
But here it is, obviously, an energy that is still there for them after all these years.
I had been in two long-term monogamous relationships, 12 years each, spanning 24 years of MY adult life. I know how sexual excitement fades, how lovemaking becomes routine, stale, perhaps even boring. In those monogamous days of my life, I contemplated that “swingers” probably maintained the excitement in their love life by bringing that new, novel energy back home to their beds.
And what of my observations of Sasha and Rose, long, long time lovers? Their energy “felt” to me like NRE. I was jealous. Does he have something different with Rose and not with me-his wife, his buddy, his companion, his lover, his confidant? Perhaps there is a “key” here. What do they have together that Sasha and I don’t have?
Could they be so passionate because they don’t live together? Could it have something to do with the frequency of their encounters? And if there is a different energy for those who are infrequent lovers, perhaps we need to coin yet another phrase?
How about ERE? External Relationship Energy? Extraneous Relationship Energy? Extramarital Relationship Energy? Perhaps OPE: Outside Primary Energy?
Familiarity breeds contempt, doesn’t it? My husband and I counsel couples, triads and moresomes, so I’ve heard all the stories. I’ve also read hundreds of emails and had hundreds of emails, chats and instant messages from people bored with sex with their mates. Many complain “My wife (or husband) won’t make love with me anymore.” The neglected mate often goes out and cheats and feels justified for their actions. “We started out so passionate, so in love. What happened?”
What I think happens is we pent up resentments. Pent-up resentments create distance in our relationships. We always create resentments; we can’t help it. When we’re primary lovers with someone, we inevitably resent them.
We resent our lovers because we’re in the thrall of negative bonding patterns–repeated sour interactions fueled by our childhood conditioning. We react to our lovers as though they were our mothers, fathers or siblings.
We and our partners are imago mates, deeply imprinted, desired soul mates who complete each other, who give touch, sensitivity, intimacy and respect we still need but didn’t get (the way we wanted) from parents. The catch to lovers who could heal our hurts with parents is that our lovers could disappoint us again if they don’t do better than Mom and Dad. Our imago mates resemble our caretakers–not necessarily physically–but emotionally, psychologically and energetically.
Our imago mates mirror us, reflect our disowned subpersonalities, our inner voices. They show us disowned aspects of ourselves we need to use to center ourselves. They mirror underdeveloped parts of our humanity; they do this by what they do or how they are that we envy or hate.
Here’s how this operates for me and Sasha. He snaps at me because he’s scared ex-wife Joan will get our house. He’s upset by that but snaps at me. He morphs into an irritable father. I become withdrawn daughter, then angry mother. He reacts as rebel adolescent. We stick in a parent/adult/parent/adult vicious cycle till we center ourselves, apologize, reconnect and make love wholeheartedly again.
Sometimes partners find that though they forgave each other verbally, resentment lurks within and eventually kills sexual desire. They create internal scoring systems. She hits the “One Too Many Resentments” button and they separate.
We overcome our difficulties and survive in our relationships, react less to our lovers’ predicaments, and learn new ways to enrich ourselves by learning from our lovers. We learn, grow and appreciate our mates more. How do we prevent resenting the heck out of one another over time? How do we keep that passion of NRE or infrequent relationship alive in our primary pair bond?
I suffered jealousy for days; I ranted at Sasha. I penned a 7-page “hate” letter to Rose! (how dare she, that Bitch!). I analyzed my reactions with Sash and Rose when they came over. We’d focused on pleasing them and showing them a good time. But we lost feeling of being connected to each other. I resolved to return to Sasha during water and bathroom breaks. We’d bring each other the passion we’d just shared with our Rose and Coyote. We’d keep returning to each other. Sash enthusiastically agreed.
I keep communication lines wide open with Sash as loving, tactful and honest as I can. We stay orgasmic, follow our tantric practices twice daily, we can also enjoy sexual diversity and simultaneously keep linked to each other. Then we bring the electricity of other loves to each other.
Janet shares her innermost thoughts, feelings, spiritual epiphanies and erotic experiences as she learns the ways of many-lover loving with increasing skill and grace. Her trials and triumphs teach all who would tread the path of polyamory.
Janet’s amorous experiments lead her to blend All-Chakra Tantra––her variety of sacred loving–with polyamory––relating to contemporaneous multiple lovers. The synthesis Janet creates is the PolyTantric Lovestyle.
The polytantric lovestyle heals emotional pain and social separation for individuals, pairs, and groups and will, Janet believes, be therapeutic for the world as well.
Explore Loving More
Women Get Most from Tantra and Polyamory
Equality, Respect and Reverence
Fear of Sex; Living Tantra and Polyamory
Truth, Trauma and Transition
External Relationship Energy
Poly for the Vulnerable Inner Child
Tantra Touches Releases Imprints
Are We Really Mono_poly?
Perils and Pearls of Polyamory
Goddess Gifts Goddess
Two Women and a Man
Two Men and a Woman
Bisexuality is a Touchy Subject
Couple Dating: Couples
Two Couples; Living and Loving Together
Four Men and Two Ladies
Connecting at a Poly-Tantra Ritual
Poly Pilgrims Progress
Ride the Rhythms of Relationships
Pitfalls of Polyamory
Still Tantric After All These Years
Still Poly After All These Years
Poly Love Pods
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