NRE for the non-existent love: ourselves
Ever have a crush on someone so bad that you keep imagining the details of a relationship with them? Going through the way you’ll meet and discover the mutuality of your attraction with little electric bursts of twitterpation? And how the first kiss will just lock your souls together? But then reality intrudes and reminds you that either they don’t even know you exist or there is just no possible way to be together?
Yeah, I’ve got it bad. Not just one person either. I’ve got crushes on several unattainable people. People that I know well and others who I have barely met or spoken to. But despite the lack of mutuality, I still hold out a tiny sliver of hope, careful not to let it grow to expectation.
As that emotion smolders, it feels almost almost like NRE, new relationship energy. Not quite the same but still that excitement of newness, the infatuation stage where you see all possibility and no downside. You feel all the passionate kisses instead of the awkwardness of first touch. You want to act on all the primal desires instead of the slow building of trust.
I had always been hyper vigilant about NRE, even from my first poly relationships. When I feel the first twinges of it, I’d shut it down, always acting like the grown-up, dousing what energy we were creating together in an effort to tame and control it. The only time I ever truly got carried away was when I first knew Warrior; that relationship completely swept me away (and 8 years later it still does). But getting carried away in that relationship caused me to neglect the partners I already had, creating a lot of hurt and distrust among us. And while I know it wasn’t all NRE, i do blame myself for getting so wrapped up in it without stopping to find balance or to check in with my partners.
And in true Janet fashion, I shut down everything. Baby out with the bath water mentality. I stopped dating, stopped even showing interest in others. I stopped flirting. I stopped even imagining being with others. I couldn’t even bring myself to fantasize.
The past 2-3 months changed that. Like an awakening. And someday I will write much more about that awakening, but it started essentially the same way that poly did for us. I finally got bold enough to start flirting back. And as I kept doing it, I kept finding my voice. Kept thinking that these people might not all be blind or crazy when they call me gorgeous. Even allowing the still dubious and inaccurate “milf” or “cougar” title helped me accept that maybe I didn’t have to limit myself so much.
Oh the attention was so welcome, so needed. I started flirting with some people online and even started a fun experience taking the dominant in me out for a test drive. Embracing the simple matter that:
a) it doesn’t matter what people think of me; but
b) if someone takes the effort to call me beautiful or intelligent, I need to honor that there is truth, even a sliver of honesty, in their words
With that and a LOT of meditation, I have started growing into myself again, regaining my confidence and my voice. I have adopted the new archetypes and roles that are fulfilling to me: Queen, writer, teacher, friend, healer, mother. And as I grow into myself I start to gain more insight into my life and the direction I want to be in. As I adopt these new titles and roles in life I become better aligned with the patterns and energies around me, which is just an increase in my empathy.
And the more I see of people without my protections and projections, the more I want to know them and for them to know me. The more I look into the world with my heart, the more I trust my intuition. The more I proclaim my space in this world, the more possibilities I see being poured into my life. The more people I meet and understand, the more I see the worthy qualities in myself.
So even though I have these strong feelings for people I never have a chance with, I think that maybe perhaps NRE is more about seeing the best, happiest, more joyful qualities reflected back to us in the moments of passionate possibility. We start falling back in love with ourselves just a little bit more than we could before.
The most unattainable relationship we’ve ever known is the love we can and should have for ourselves. NRE brings out the joyful light, the lovable, sexy, imaginative and witty parts of ourselves that we need to see and embrace fully. And NRE allows us to feel desirable, wanted and lovable.
And if these “unattainable” crushes (hey! A girl can still hope) can bring me that growing acceptance of myself and my desires then maybe NRE is healthy after all.