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-   -   Is NRE "a girl thing"? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45685)

leelee22 04-26-2013 10:41 AM

Is NRE "a girl thing"?
I've been reading (sympathetically!!) some of AnnabelMore's posts about her lover Clay and how much she misses him and had to look up the term NRE -- what a smart term, and what a good way to acknowledge the relative value of the kinds of feelings we have in new AND established relationships-- but it led me to wonder, do men really feel the more challenging side of NRE, or is it a "girl thing"?

Thinking about all my relationships all the way back to high school, I can't remember a lover of mine ever admitting to me that he felt that kind of painful obsession/distraction/desperation at the beginning of a relationship.

I DO remember, of course, some boyfriends whining about having to wait to get together, but it was always from a perspective of "I'm so horny, I might actually DIE". Whereas what annabel describes (and what I know I've experienced, too) is not strictly a sexual thing... more like... "If I could just have ONE hug, and smell his smell, I think I could get through my day".

And I've had boyfriends suddenly get sort of obsessed at a point months or years into the relationship... as though the powerful attachment feelings that seem to come to us women right away (when we find the right guy) take, instead, months or years to develop in a man.

What do you think, guys? Is NRE a girl thing?

Emm 04-26-2013 01:16 PM


Originally Posted by leelee22 (Post 199926)
... that kind of painful obsession/distraction/desperation at the beginning of a relationship.

That sounds more like Limerance than NRE. Does contain a lot of uncertainty of the "does he like me or does he like like me?" variety? Does it go away somewhat after "I love you"s have been exchanged?

Here's a table with some points of comparison.

NutBusterX 04-26-2013 02:30 PM

Hi Leelee,
I can't say in absolute terms that all guys get feelings of NRE, but I can very much attest to the fact that at least some or maybe even many do.

I will however admit that I ( a guy ) am quite prone to be affected by the ever wonderful and tricky NRE bug. :)

BoringGuy 04-26-2013 02:39 PM

I think everyone GETS NRE to some extent, but different people express/handle it differently. I don't think it's a man vs. woman issue.

Octopus 04-26-2013 04:33 PM

I don't really think anything is a biological man vs. woman issue.

CherryBlossomGirl 04-26-2013 05:08 PM

Definitely Not Gender Related.
I have watched men fall catastrophically in love with me, with other women, and with other men. Same goes for the ladies. In some ways I feel like it has to do with the strength of both psychological and biochemistry, and others wil how prime/ripe people are for having a romantic experience. Also, having NRE for the first time in years/decades can totally catch a human being by surprise.

Vinccenzo 04-26-2013 09:57 PM

I don't think its a gender thing. Its a chemical thing. My husband doesn't feel the giddy intense feelings for anyone ever, only the long term attachment stuff. He can get emotional about sappy stuff; he is sentimental, but not overwhelmed in thought at the beginning of a relationship. It took some getting use to because most guys I've been involved with do feel the giddy newness can't think straight situation.

Malfunktions 04-26-2013 11:56 PM

I agree with the above, my SO is just not the get excited kinda guy. He knows that when I'm gone he thinks he misses me, he feels better when I'm home, but he's never gotten the giddy, butterflies feeling. He described it to me once.


When we were first getting together I was excited to see you cause when you put out it was the best sex I ever had so my penis got the butterflies but my head said, this is doable, we can stand her, this is good, lets do it.
Now, knowing this man the way I do, if you we're offended by anything there, you shouldn't be. Literal thinker that he is has developed more of an attachment over the 6 years we've been together the more time went on. The normal ness of our attachment being comfortable and beneficial to us both. We actually cuddle more, talk seriously, plan, and even share ourselves MUCH more than we did at first.

leelee22 04-27-2013 12:10 AM

I dunno, I DO think there are some things that are gender-specific. But maybe it's not exactly a gender thing,because come to think of it, some of the GAY men I've known have been more likely to report feeling the sort of miserable/tormented side of NRE than the straight men have.

And actually, my last BF was bisexual, and he sometimes talked about a former male lover of his in those sort of longing terms. But I never heard him describe feeling that way about any female lovers. With women, he said all his relationships were those friends-first kind of slow burn relationships that morph from a friendship into something more.

Maybe (some, not all) men are just better at compartmentalizing things... (lol, penis butterflies? That's funny that someone actually said that! But i like it) men seem better than women at putting aside strong feelings instead of wallowing in them.

I am single at the moment, and so I'm taking some time to think about what kind of man would actually make me happy. Men who are really chilly and detached don't appeal to me. I prefer a little emotional recklessness... people who wear their hearts on their sleeve. Emotional courage, maybe.

SchrodingersCat 04-27-2013 12:13 AM

I'm female. I don't get deep into NRE. My gf's husband and his boyfriend both got majorly NRE when they started dating. So no, it's not a chick thing.


Originally Posted by Octopus (Post 199986)
I don't really think anything is a biological man vs. woman issue.

She didn't say anything about "biological;" that was your own interpretation.

Acting like a "guy" is a "guy thing" whether you're a cis guy or a trans guy. Acting like a "chick" is a "chick thing" whether you're a cis chick or a trans chick.

Obviously some things are "biological woman" issues, e.g. menstruation is a big one. Awkward erections in the middle of gym class are "biological man" issues. Sure, both of those can be manipulated with chemical and/or hormonal treatments, but those treatments are still part of "the issue."

Anyone who thinks men and women are "the same" and that there aren't "guy issues" and "girl issues" is putting their head in the sandbox. Men and women are different, not just biologically. Sure, much of it is culturally and socially conditioned. But pinpointing the source doesn't fail to make them exist.

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