The Fireworks of New Love: Five Things to Know About New Relationship Energy


Hello Cornerssuers!

I wanted to talk today about New Relationship Energy (NRE). I know many of you have gotten into new relationships recently (see: It’s Okay to Break Up) and you may be experiencing this very common phenomenon. I wanted to make sure you understand exactly what is happening and what to watch out for.

And NRE is…what exactly?

What indeed? (

New Relationship Energy (NRE) is the strong emotional, physical, and sexual response you have towards someone when you are in a new relationship with them. It starts from initial attraction and can last anywhere from three months to a year. During this time, you want to spend all of your energy on the other person, and you can start to neglect other parts of your life.

Who experiences NRE?

All of us, really. (

Most people starting off a new relationship experience NRE. If you find yourself constantly thinking about the person, texting them, calling them, and wanting to know everything about them, you might be stuck in the throes of NRE.

Isn’t that just infatuation, or puppy love?


Yup. That’s about it. (

Some people may call it that, but NRE is much more than that. While infatuation and puppy love may make the relationship seem trivial or superficial, NRE is just a phase that most couples go through and can be explored without exposing the negative side.

Why is it important to know about NRE?

It happens to all of us, Finn. (

Well, one of the things that can happen in relationships is that when the NRE starts to fade, people think that that means they are no longer in love with their partner. In fact, this is normal cooling off that happens in every relationship, and it’s not necessarily a reason to break up, but rather to have a conversation with your partner about how the relationship is changing and maturing. Also, just like knowing about what messages the media is trying to tell you about sex(Just Do It), just knowing something is present can help you to be aware when it is there.

What can I do when my NRE fades?

“So, our relationship has changed, but it’s still good, right?”
“Of course it’s good. We’re in an IKEA catalog.” (

Like any stage in a relationship, this is a very important time to communicate with your partner about how you are feeling and how your feelings may be changing. Your partner may feel neglected or hurt, but as long as you feel like that person is worth a longer-term relationship, you should re-affirm your commitment to them. Remember that a relationship with a person shouldn’t just be about how they make you feel, but also who they are as a person. Because when the NRE fades, you can either have a great relationship where you share interests and have great conversation, or you can have one where you two have nothing in common and can’t even stand to be in the same room together. And with communication, you can easily figure this out.

And then celebrate with Pokemon! (

Have Fun. Be Safe.


About Catie Martin

Catie Martin, LMSW is the Corner Health Center's in-house improv master and therapist extraordinaire. Little known fact: therapists with a sense of humor are better than therapists without a sense of humor.

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