NRE vs. old relationship comfortableness

Mya

Member
I'm having a small problem with dealing with the differences in my two relationships. The other one is 8 years old and the other one less than 4 months old. As you can guess, the newer relationship is still quite full of NRE and our time together is intense and full of emotions. So, the thing is that when I spend time with JJ (the one I've been with for 8 years) after spending time with rory, it always takes me a while to get used to the fact that our relationship is in a different place. There's love of course, but it's less intense and the NRE has worn off a long time ago. I'm finding it hard to remember not to expect same things from these relationships and sometimes I find myself being a little disappointed with the time spent with JJ.

I think there might be something in our living arrangements that have to do with this. I used to live together with JJ, but for the last 9 months or so I've been living apart from him, exept for one 1 month period during that time. This is because of my job. So because at the moment I'm not living with either one of my partners, I only spend "quality time" with them. I mean that I mainly see my partners during the weekends and because there's two of them, I see JJ about twice a month. Because we don't share our everyday life together at the moment, I feel like we should make the most of it when we're together. And that's when I notice that I'm expecting fireworks with him too, even though after 8 years there really isn't much of that anymore. Time with him is comfortable, nice, loving and all that. How come it's so hard to accept that this quality time with him just can't be the same as it is with my other partner? How do I start appreciating more this different kind of time spent with him?
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
How come it's so hard to accept that this quality time with him just can't be the same as it is with my other partner? How do I start appreciating more this different kind of time spent with him?

You get a pencil and paper and you write 5000 times:

"I will appreciate the quality time spent with him even though it can't be the same as it is with my other partner."

Seriously. You smack yourself with a clue-by-four, pull up the big-girl diapers, and just do it. It doesn't have to happen over night. But you basically answered your own question.

Or as Yoda would say: "Just DO. There is no 'try'."
 

nycindie

Active member
. . . when I spend time with JJ (the one I've been with for 8 years) after spending time with rory, it always takes me a while to get used to the fact that our relationship is in a different place.

I have seen several people here talk about needing some transition time after being with one person and in their environment, before jumping back into day-to-day life or relating to another partner. They give themselves an hour (or more) to process before reconnecting with their SO. Redpepper has talked about it. I recall some discussion about it in a thread on a similar topic that I started a while back: How do you avoid distraction? But it has been mentioned in other threads, maybe you can find them in a search.

HTH!
 
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Mohegan

New member
Shift your focus from the ways the two relationships dont match up and instead look at and be thankful for these people as individuals. Do you not have friends you spend time with for different reasons? I have the ones I club with, the ones I'v known forever, the ones I share hobbies with. To me the people we are in relationships are the same. I don't compare my friends, I love them for who they are and who I am when I am with them. Same for partners. Love them for who they are, not for the relationship, they are not the relationship, they are people. Love them for what they bring to the relationship.

I believe in the power of thought. If you only look for the negative, that's all you'll be able to see. Look for the positive and celebrate that. Take it upon yourself to celebrate who they are and what they bring to your life as individuals.
 

Mya

Member
You get a pencil and paper and you write 5000 times:

"I will appreciate the quality time spent with him even though it can't be the same as it is with my other partner."

Seriously. You smack yourself with a clue-by-four, pull up the big-girl diapers, and just do it. It doesn't have to happen over night. But you basically answered your own question.

Or as Yoda would say: "Just DO. There is no 'try'."

Okay, so I guess it was a stupid question then. I'll just start doing it. :rolleyes:

I have seen several people here talk about needing some transition time after being with one person and in their environment, before jumping back into day-to-day life or relating to another partner. They give themselves an hour (or more) to process before reconnecting with their SO. Redpepper has talked about it. I recall some discussion about it in a thread on a similar topic that I started a while back: How do you avoid distraction? But it has been mentioned in other threads, maybe you can find them in a search.

HTH!

Thanks for the link, that was an excellent thread! I have also done searches, including tags such as NRE, but I guess it all depends how different threads are tagged. I guess I just needed the transition period as well, but for me it was way more than a few hours. I'm actually feeling better already about my time with JJ. I got time to get used to it and also just writing about it has helped me with this.

Shift your focus from the ways the two relationships dont match up and instead look at and be thankful for these people as individuals. Do you not have friends you spend time with for different reasons? I have the ones I club with, the ones I'v known forever, the ones I share hobbies with. To me the people we are in relationships are the same. I don't compare my friends, I love them for who they are and who I am when I am with them. Same for partners. Love them for who they are, not for the relationship, they are not the relationship, they are people. Love them for what they bring to the relationship.

I believe in the power of thought. If you only look for the negative, that's all you'll be able to see. Look for the positive and celebrate that. Take it upon yourself to celebrate who they are and what they bring to your life as individuals.

Thank you Mohegan, this actually helped me a lot! I really try not to compare them, I know that doesn't help anyone. But the thought of thinking more aboout the people than the relationships, that's really good. I try to keep that in mind. :)
 

lovinhimloviner

New member
I find I am having a bit of the same issue. The difference is both of my SO live with me. One is a decade long relationship and the other has only been romantic for a few months. With my hubby it is all dealing with the day and all the new problems that have come up that day. Or small talk or we will kinda talk about M his OSO. She is very private so we don't talk much but she is a MAJOR part of our lives so it is bound to happen. With the problem talking to each other like we are going through now I find my self really needing to be with J. It is a new relationship but I met both of them a day a part. (or something like that maybe a few days longer) I have gotten to know both of them over the last 10 or so years. Since j and I are in a new relationship it is nice to go from a hurtful conversation that doesn't get B and I anywhere to going to J and just instantly connecting. The compassion is there as well as the love and communication. It is hard not to compare the two but I don't because they really aren't comparable. B has been married to me for 9 years and has been through everything with me. J has been there for most everything. I love them both so very much but at this time j and I connect on a deeper level than B and I can just because we can talk to each other. I know to B that isn't fair because he feels like he has put in more time and should be the one I can connect to more but right now it just isn't the case. It seems to me like he is going through the same thing. His OSO and him are perfect for each other. They just click and work like clock work. now I don't know if it is just the NRE for both of the relationships or if these other people are better for us than we are for each other, but I know I love my hubby and will do anything in my power to make it work the right way with him.

That might have been off subject there towards the end lol It has been a long week.
 

nouryia

New member
Mya: You're definitely not alone. My relationship of 5 years does not feel as urgent and full of passion and 'gaze into your soul' moments as the 6 month old relationship does. That new partner and I have quite some sparks going on...lol

Now I've worried about that a bit, only to be reminded that the NRE eventually does fade and gives way to a more settled and comfortable state, like the one I feel with my initial partner.

In the meantime, I'm convinced that Yoda has it right...just DO, lol. Make the efforts, create special times and try to maintain/refresh the connection you share with your long time love. I've been putting more thoughts and efforts in my interactions with my husband and it seems to help me feel closer to him.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
As opposed to NRE, I like to say long term relationships have Established Relationship Energy, ERI. Now, it sounds like your longer term lover and you have been taking each other a bit for granted. Tell him since you aren't living together now, you need to make every moment count. Go on interesting dates, have good talks about important subjects, not just day to day "take out the garbage, feed the cats" sort of convos. If you feel you 2 are in a rut, get out of it!

ERI can be wonderful, since you know each other so well... but people do change. Don't fall into a trap of boredom. He is NOT the guy you first met. People change and grow daily. You've changed too. Treat each other to the people you are now, not just the old template.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Oops. Established Relationship Intimacy. Got the abbreviation right, the actual words wrong. hehe!

Intimacy is bigger (and can, or should be, more fulfilling) than mere newbie energy.
 

Minxxa

New member
Oops. Established Relationship Intimacy. Got the abbreviation right, the actual words wrong. hehe!

Intimacy is bigger (and can, or should be, more fulfilling) than mere newbie energy.

I agree wholeheartedly! I think that whole rush of feelings is nice, but really, it's just chemicals, LOL. Maybe my education is ruining me, but the fact is that our bodies dish out a rush of chemicals that's similar to many drugs (and effects the same part of the brain). Eventually the chemicals even out, which is good because otherwise none of us would get anything done!

Now the new part of discovering somebody new is great, and having tons of stuff to talk about...

But for me, knowing I can talk about anything with my hubs, that I can be open and vulnerable with him, that he knows my weaknesses and flaws and still loves me, and that he knows my strengths sometimes better than I do-- that is love. And to me, that is HOME.

One thing I'm learning lately is that it can be easy to fall into ruts with the person we have been in a relationship with. All kinds of ruts, not venturing out to do new stuff together, taking for granted all of the things they do and are for us. The biggest, though, I think is in assuming we completely know them. I know *I* have changed a lot in the past 11 years, why would I assume he hasn't? I'm learning that there can be a lot to discover about that person we have been with for so long... and those discoveries can give that relationship a little bit of new, mixed in with the comfort of old.
 

Mya

Member
Thank you so much everyone for your input!

Since j and I are in a new relationship it is nice to go from a hurtful conversation that doesn't get B and I anywhere to going to J and just instantly connecting. The compassion is there as well as the love and communication. It is hard not to compare the two but I don't because they really aren't comparable.

I have the same thing. Actually just a couple days ago all four of us (me, JJ, rory and her husband) were hanging out together and having a great time. At the end of the night me and JJ started arguing. I felt this huge urge to just go to rory, talk with her and totally ignore JJ. I didn't do this though, because it would've been ignoring the problem instead of dealing with it. Eventually we did work it out and it's all fine now, but those kind of situations scare me a bit. I feel like it would be a bit too easy to just get caught up in the seemingly easier new relationship. We haven't really argued with rory, not once. I'm pretty sure that some day we will though. :rolleyes: I know, it's just the NRE messing with my head and saying everything is easier with rory even though I'm sure we will have our own difficulties later as well.

Mya: You're definitely not alone. My relationship of 5 years does not feel as urgent and full of passion and 'gaze into your soul' moments as the 6 month old relationship does. That new partner and I have quite some sparks going on...lol

Now I've worried about that a bit, only to be reminded that the NRE eventually does fade and gives way to a more settled and comfortable state, like the one I feel with my initial partner.

In the meantime, I'm convinced that Yoda has it right...just DO, lol. Make the efforts, create special times and try to maintain/refresh the connection you share with your long time love. I've been putting more thoughts and efforts in my interactions with my husband and it seems to help me feel closer to him.

Yes, I really try to keep in mind that NRE is basically just hormones and it will fade away at some point. You have a good point about refreshing the connection with the long time lover. I think I should do that more. He's been here at my place a little over a week now (leaving tomorrow) and things have gone quite well after all. At the beginning, when I first posted, I felt a little disappointed but then I got more and more satisfied with just being with him. But I think we should do more special things together. What we have done is we've talked a lot while he's been here. We've talked about poly stuff but other things as well. That has made a huge difference.

As opposed to NRE, I like to say long term relationships have Established Relationship Energy, ERI. Now, it sounds like your longer term lover and you have been taking each other a bit for granted. Tell him since you aren't living together now, you need to make every moment count. Go on interesting dates, have good talks about important subjects, not just day to day "take out the garbage, feed the cats" sort of convos. If you feel you 2 are in a rut, get out of it!

ERI can be wonderful, since you know each other so well... but people do change. Don't fall into a trap of boredom. He is NOT the guy you first met. People change and grow daily. You've changed too. Treat each other to the people you are now, not just the old template.

Oops. Established Relationship Intimacy. Got the abbreviation right, the actual words wrong. hehe!

Intimacy is bigger (and can, or should be, more fulfilling) than mere newbie energy.

I like what you wrote here. :) I do think we may have taken each other for granted and that should change. I need to start enjoying ERI more and getting to know him all over again.

One thing I'm learning lately is that it can be easy to fall into ruts with the person we have been in a relationship with. All kinds of ruts, not venturing out to do new stuff together, taking for granted all of the things they do and are for us. The biggest, though, I think is in assuming we completely know them. I know *I* have changed a lot in the past 11 years, why would I assume he hasn't? I'm learning that there can be a lot to discover about that person we have been with for so long... and those discoveries can give that relationship a little bit of new, mixed in with the comfort of old.

This is true! I realised the other day that we should talk about the same things quite often because our views on it might have changed. This had actually happened to JJ in less than a week and I'm glad we talked about that specific thing twice, otherwise I would have wrong impression on his feelings about it.
 

Satisfiction

New member
Both NRE and ERE are beautiful things. They need to be appreciated for their different qualities.

NRE is like a waterfall, a rush of emotions, a weightless fall, a spectacle of wonder. It's loud and fills the senses to the point where you forget there is anything else.

ERE is the river after the waterfall... a settled flow, a deeper energy, more solid and dependable, usually predictable (though boulders of interest tend to pop up some times). It is a constant babble of sound filling the background - sometimes you don't notice it, but when it disappears, you realise it's missing.

Each are part of the same journey, but at different stages. Enjoy and thrive in there unique differences.
 

nicothoe

New member
Last night I spent the evening with the wife of nine years, discussing a chemistry home-school curriculum for our two girls, and whether we could purchase the books needed.

Tonight I spend the evening with the girlfriend of two and half years, probably cuddled on a sofa watching a movie or show. We may head out for Thai, something we try to do around the 2nd of every month since we have been together. It's possible I'll find myself washing some dirty dishes.

With any luck, I will also get to see min älskare, my lover, who lives with the girlfriend. I have known her for as long as I have known the girlfriend, and in that time we have become pretty close. We just started dating. Hopefully we can steal some cuddle time (squeeeee!)....unless she has a date of her own. *sigh*

Tomorrow I have a date with someone I have been chatting with for a few weeks. This will be out first date. We'll be meeting at location halfway between out two homes, at a coffee bar. The serve chocolate fondue! Yummy. It's exciting!

Four relationships, from the old and established, to sparkly and spanking new! Each one is different, and all affecting me in different ways. Eventually new relationships fall into the pattern of the old. The Eros (passion) diminishes, and is replaced with Agape (love), Storge (affection) and Philia (friendship)


[update: The girlfriend is sick with a cold. So...perhaps not too much cuddling after all. But still I go see her!]
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Four relationships, from the old and established, to sparkly and spanking new! Each one is different, and all affecting me in different ways. Eventually new relationships fall into the pattern of the old. The Eros (passion) diminishes, and is replaced with Agape (love), Storge (affection) and Philia (friendship)

Please don't forget that the eros in an established relationship is well capable of re-igniting, even after decades together. Sometimes changes you both go through make you over into different people, and this can make you see them thru new eyes and make them super exciting all over again. And vice versa.

ERI doesn't have to be a slow deep river. Rapids and charming waterfalls can crop up at any time, if you don't allow yourselves to stagnate into a swampy backwater marsh.
 
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