Is it lust or is it love?
To me, NRE is lust. Its hormones and obsession mixed with craving. Its intense and lots of sex. Can't get enough of each other. You overlook faults and see only the good.
To me, Love is more. Its the person knowing you. At your core.
There is a fabulous TED Talk about it. https://youtu.be/Siru3n3zIbM
That's pretty much what I came to realize. What it boils down too is what do you want? What is meaningful to you?
This causes me problems. My ex is the only longterm relationship I've ever had. Because basically, when the NRE wears off, I am no longer sexually passionate. I still enjoy it...I just don't feel driven by sexual urges. I honestly feel that it would be more natural for me to transition sexual relationships into warm familial friendships where sex is not an expectation, than the other way around. But whenever I lose the sparky, crazy desire to get it on with someone (NRE fading out, if it was there to begin with on my end) I never feel like initiating sex anymore. I don't care that much if it happens or not. I enjoy it usually when it does, but it's not a big priority for me. And then my partners feel neglected and unloved. And I either try to initiate once in a while out of a sense of obligation, or the relationship ends...
I don't know how to sustain a satisfying sexual relationship past the NRE stage, unless I've got a partner who is able to do all or most of the initiating with no issues, or one where we meet for "sex dates" and we know that's kind of the whole point. Zen and I do that. And it works for us. We have a script, so we don't have to worry about who is initiating. For some, a routine like that would seem boring and lacking in spontaneity but I'm happy with it.
But I swear with my quad, I sometimes feel like they are all just waiting for me to turn a gathering of friends into sexytime, and if I just want to be comfortable and "in the moment" and enjoy a snuggle pile or a conversation, I'm somehow failing them. And it's turning into this thing where I'm constantly wondering if I'm taking good enough care of each of them. It's confusing, but the sex aspect is the only one where I feel any lack or discomfort at all, and it's more about whether I'm failing in my obligations than anything. Because the time we spend together doing things, snuggling, talking, etc...it's fantastic! I just feel like it's not enough for the men. And Analyst in particular wants his needs met by Fire and I, he is not interested in looking to any others to get sex.
I don't know...