I am very wary of NRE. I use to only identify it as this element that made affairs so damaging. I attributed it as being something that fogs up one person's head and draws faulty conclusions that a previously established partner cannot compete with. Two people build a history made up of both positive and negative associations with each other. With no one else in the picture, both can be objective and see the good as well as the bad.
Then along comes a new person and with them they bring: a belly of enjoyable butterflies, new stories and a newness to your own stories, an unmapped body, and initially, no clue what flaws you have. You get to be this uber person compared to the flawed person your established partner knows. And they get to be this seemingly care free perfect person to you.
I keep these things in mind and I attribute it to this not being my first or second time to the rodeo. I've had a 9 year relationship to a train wreck and now a 6 year relationship that has largely been a blessing. So as I am now getting to know a new person, I am quite aware how people are usually not what they seem. I worry less about myself and any impending NRE I might go through. I worry more about my husband because, while I have benefit of this quality in him, he has a tendency to get all "white knight" for people he cares about (romantic or platonic) if he perceives them to be troubled in anyway. Even before we decided to go ploy, Ive watched this come out of him for his friends and had to point out that he was running on assumptions.
So I identify NRE with a clouding of judgment that creates an unfair bias. Never again can I give my husband the high of successfully telling an amusing story from his college days. He knows my best anecdotal stories too. While I know unrest will find me through out my life, I am centered enough in my day to day to not be able to be a damsel in distress to him. I know the vast majority of his weaknesses just as he knows mine. And we've driven all over each others body. And all the pesky stresses of marriage, parenting, and finances keep things from being carefree. In this way, neither of us can compete in the realm of NRE rush. I worry NRE will be, by far, our biggest hurdle.