I’ve run into an awkward situation. Recently, I found myself struggling with the disease of being permanently single.
And I confess, it’s all my fault.
I realized this late the other night when I woke up feeling an existential crisis. I was thinking about the age-old question, “Why am I still single?” After an exhaustive search on Google, I found the answer around 3:15 am.
Frankly, my NRE addiction seems to be the reason I’m single.
What exactly is NRE? It stands for “New Relational Energy”. It’s that intense desire and passion when a relationship starts, and honestly, it’s bee knees!
NRE addiction may make it seem like I’m single, writes Yana
It’s the excitement when he starts texting you for the first time. That’s the rush you get when you share a fist kiss. It’s the first few magical dates. It’s the glowing aura after finally having sex. It’s butterflies and all that jazz.
It’s exciting, new, and mysterious.
Unfortunately, what goes up always comes down. And if I’m going to be completely honest, my interest that I wronged him fades as soon as things start to get comfortable and my boyfriend falls off the pedestal. Yes, the NRE is a cruel beast.
Through my own personal research, I’ve found that this usually happens around 3 months. Believe it or not, it’s incredibly common among women in their 30s. Seriously, the science backs me up, but more on that later.
See, in between dating guys who are completely mentally incapable (which I found to be perfect for NRE addicts), I met a guy who really ticked all the boxes. He was a thoughtful, interesting, and ambitious manager, and I was drawn to him. We had some great dates and he also met my friends (which is a big deal for me). But one morning I woke up to his big, beautiful smile and wanted him to break up with me immediately.
If I’m being totally honest, my interest that I wronged him fades as soon as things start to get comfortable and my boyfriend falls off the pedestal, she says.
He suggested breakfast, a very sweet gesture that any girl who has ever dated fboys knows. But I longed to get back into bed. I wanted a quiet morning with my dog and a cup of coffee.
Here was a man who offered me the companionship I’d always wanted, but I couldn’t get him out of the apartment quickly. He was literally saying, “Yes, I’m crazy about you. I’m ready to invest in this.” So why was I keeping him away? Even when I was writing the “That’s not you, that’s me” text, at the bottom of my heart I was thinking, “You’re going to regret this Jana.”
That’s because I ran out of NRE energy. And it turned out to be incredibly addictive. It makes me depressed to think that I will never be able to experience my first kiss again. In fact, our bodies are scientifically designed to make the most of it.
It turns out that when we experience an NRE, our bodies are flooded with feel-good chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin. All three make for a powerful cocktail of pure pleasure.
However, like all fun things, NRE also has a side effect, in this case called anxiety. That’s right, NRE fills your body with both anxiety and joy. This is why you feel a very intense sensation when an NRE occurs.
It turns out that when we experience an NRE, our bodies are flooded with feel-good chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin. All three make for a powerful cocktail of pure pleasure
This is why many of us jump from one relationship to the next. We’re all just looking for the next great dopamine hit and just can’t get enough of it.
But for someone like me who has been on the dating roller coaster for too long, eventually you have to stop the ride and get off.
At 38, the time has finally come. I’m ready to settle down, and I really like the idea of finding my “forever one” (I know I’m going to vomit, but that’s the only expression that really nails the summary). So how can you stop jumping when you have an NRE? Start wearing out?
Luckily, as many in long-term relationships assure me, once it happens, it’s not all doom or gloom.
So maybe we are not all commitment phobic. Maybe we’re all just getting carried away with the ‘new relationship energy’? Something to ponder and hopefully overcome. Stop Dopamine Dating! (no matter how fun)
A little scary but very nice French therapist gives you great tips and tricks.
1. When you notice that your relationship has lost its honeymoon-like luster and your dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins are dropping, you should go a little more slowly instead of calling it all off.
2. When you want to run, you should practice centering techniques such as grounding and deep breathing in nature. You don’t have to believe every “stop it” idea. I just have time and I have to feel it and let it pass.
3. If you’re worried you’re in a boring relationship, plan a date that will release endorphins. Instead of a quiet night at the movies and pizza, go rock climbing. Constantly finding new and exciting things to do with your partner can bring back the rush of your near-death experience. Mix it up a little.
4. Give yourself time to get lonely. So, instead of trying to reach out several times a week, write just one date in your journal and actively look forward to it.
So maybe we are not all commitment phobic. Maybe we’re all just getting carried away with the ‘new relationship energy’? Something to ponder and hopefully overcome. Stop Dopamine Dating! (no matter how fun).