I’m in the midst of NRE (new relationship energy!) We’re 3 months into it and at that point where we’ve established mutuality; we’re really enjoying each others’ company and mutual exploration. I’m also happy that I’m seeing that I’ve actually matured a bit and have learned a thing or two that’s helping with all this NRE!
NRE is like a drug – actually some research shows that it actually is a drug. It’s drug that’s indispensable in forming deep emotional bonds, but NRE can also distort perceptions and judgements. And, boy am I aware of the challenges of distorted perceptions!
Like most people, I’ve been conditioned by culture and Hollywood that love is the thing we all need and what makes the world go round. I’ve found myself on many occasions wanting to tell him that I love him; yet, every time I’ve held back. I’m really happy that I’m holding back because love is such a confusing word. It means so many different things. You can love your family, your dog, your car, your partner, your fuck buddy, or the color of your walls. One word means so many different things. It’s really confusing.
So, I’m holding back on saying the L word because I don’t want to cause unneeded confusion; yet, those strong feelings are really present. What do I do? Rather than using confusing terminology, how about if I simply share my feelings? I tell him that I find him incredibly sexy and hot. I’m letting him know that I love his company and I’m developing strong feelings for him. I let him know that I’m honored and humbled to hold the vulnerability of his heart. Perhaps most importantly, I’m telling him that I’m consciously avoiding the L word because it’s so confusing and I don’t want to fuck things up. Remember NRE distorts perceptions and reality – during this time in our relationship I’ve valuing clarity.
I’m hearing similar feelings from him which helps us both develop a foundation of trust. Just because we’re avoiding the L word doesn’t mean that there aren’t any feelings. Actually, there are a lot of feelings and emotions involved – big ones! We’re learning to be vulnerable with those feelings and emotions while also developing a sense of safety and clarity.
I’m finding that there’s an unexpected benefit of this clarity. Remember, NRE changes perceptions; it can fuck with your head. We’ve all had those experiences in NRE where we think that he doesn’t love me anymore. Usually these feelings start from some kind of misperception or misunderstanding fueled by our own insecurities – he didn’t text me back, he’s not answering, he’s busy and can’t be with me, and so on. I’ve found that having clarity and trust in the relationship helps with this craziness. When my head goes into that crazy zone, all I have to do is ask myself ‘Is that feeling really true?’ The answer has always been ‘no, it’s not true.’ Then I can focus on what’s real as opposed to what’s going on in the dark side of my head.
It’s nice having some clarity when you’re under the influence of the really fun but also crazy drug of NRE!