Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-10-2016, 10:16 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 468
Default Coping with the lows caused by N.R.E.

N.R.E is not always puppies and rainbows, especially for those of us who tend to love "too much." The come down from those love chemicals can make one feel insecure, over-sensitive to imagined slights from our lover, distracted at work, etc..

Right now, N.R.E. for my boyfriend of 5+ months is kicking my ass. I don't currently have any other partners to contend with, but when he and I get in an argument, I lose my appetite until I hear from him again, I start checking my phone every two seconds if I haven't heard from him in a day, shit like that. What's worse is I think he already went through his N.R.E for me (he fell hard for me a year ago, before we were officially dating,) and I only recently became truly emotionally invested, so I feel like there's been a massive shift from where I was calm and cool while he pursued, he is now confident, and I am pursuing.

I'm seeking some tips and tricks for getting a grip when my body is screaming at me that I just need to get under him and nothing else matters. I try to make sure I schedule time with my friends, stay active on dating sites, get my work done, etc., but I feel half-insane. Does anyone else find N.R.E. overwhelming? How do you get through it?
__________________
Female, bi-amorous, mid 40's
on the spectrum between poly-amorous and monogam-ish

--Melinda, lesbian, early 30's, dating 1 1/2 years
--Hal, mid 40's, heteroflexible, we dated 8 months, broke up for 1 1/2 years, recently started dating again
--Arlo, ex-husband. I was with him 17 years, still good friends
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-11-2016, 02:31 AM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
Official Greeter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
Posts: 13,705
Default

My experience has been that NRE can start out great, then turn into a stress machine. Unfortunately I don't have any special tricks for dealing with it, other than riding it out. Perhaps it helps just knowing what's causing the stress?
__________________
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-11-2016, 07:35 AM
Leetah Leetah is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Western US
Posts: 528
Default

I read that the happy brain chemicals that are released in NRE do interfere with other brain chemicals like serotonin. For me, that, combined with losing sleep to get more time together, resulted in months of depression and my first panic attack ever. That led me to get on zoloft which mitigated the worst of the lows pretty quickly. If your brain gets too little or too much of important chemicals sloshing around it can be disabling. That is nothing to be set aside waiting to "get over it".

Leetah
__________________
" I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant"
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-11-2016, 12:36 PM
FallenAngelina's Avatar
FallenAngelina FallenAngelina is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,938
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBunny View Post
The come down from those love chemicals can make one feel insecure, over-sensitive to imagined slights from our lover, distracted at work, etc..
Insecurity, insecurity, insecurity - I know it well. Blame it on chemicals, NRE, behavior, time, whatever you choose, but insecurity is insecurity. The NRE stage only shines a spotlight on the insecurity that is within you, it doesn't create insecurity and the only thing that truly changes this is a focus on building security within yourself. Looking to him to assuage your insecurity (checking texts for affirmation of his interest, etc.) only kicks the can down the road until the next time his attention drifts (as it must) to something other than you or if he says something that you perceive to be a slight. Building your own bedrock of security is the only way to make this better and you'll see every other aspect of your life benefit as well.

Inner-security building practices are an essential part of my daily life and without these practices, I'd be experiencing what you describe (and believe me, I have experienced that plenty.) Coming from a place of inner security, you're free to enjoy romantic relationships rather than stress and ride the (NRE or otherwise) roller coaster. This page helps me in a nuts and bolts, specific thought kind of way. This passage especially helps me and I re-read it about once a week, as I remind myself that insecurity is often a need to control what simply cannot be tamed.

"Having to know whether your partner really loves you, having to know this or having to know that puts a lot of unnecessary strain and tension into the relationship. The fact is, we all have to live with uncertainty. Insecure people can still feel insecure even when they are told they are loved. Wanting what is not possible (complete and utter certainty in all and everything forever) is not possible because imagination can still make up doubts. So stop looking for certainty where it doesn't apply. Self-assurance comes from starting to relax with uncertainty. Wanting to know for certain that someone will be with you forever prevents you enjoying the here and now. Nothing in life is certain."
__________________
~ Karen

Last edited by FallenAngelina; 01-11-2016 at 12:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-11-2016, 07:40 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 468
Default

Quote:
This page helps me in a nuts and bolts, specific thought kind of way.
Thanks, that's good stuff.

On thing I'm trying--just telling him what's going on! "Hey, my feelings for you have grown lately, and I'm feeling vulnerable towards you, and nervous because of past experiences. A little extra sensitivity is appreciated, and I will try very hard not to be obnoxious as I adjust to these new emotions."
__________________
Female, bi-amorous, mid 40's
on the spectrum between poly-amorous and monogam-ish

--Melinda, lesbian, early 30's, dating 1 1/2 years
--Hal, mid 40's, heteroflexible, we dated 8 months, broke up for 1 1/2 years, recently started dating again
--Arlo, ex-husband. I was with him 17 years, still good friends
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-12-2016, 12:57 AM
Polysnow Polysnow is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 131
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBunny View Post
Thanks, that's good stuff.

On thing I'm trying--just telling him what's going on! "Hey, my feelings for you have grown lately, and I'm feeling vulnerable towards you, and nervous because of past experiences. A little extra sensitivity is appreciated, and I will try very hard not to be obnoxious as I adjust to these new emotions."

If it's any consolation. I struggle a LOT with what you originally posted. Doesn't your heart just flutter when you hear his specific text tone? It's awesome and....scary at the same time. How ONE text can just make an entire day or break it. Yeesh.

@FallenAngelina
Dude I'm printing that post out and putting it on my door. That was just...gold. Thanks.

I wish I had words of wisdom here. All I can offer is that you're not insane, and definitely not alone. I feel your pain/frustration.
__________________
Out of the Ashes
My blog.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-12-2016, 01:01 PM
FallenAngelina's Avatar
FallenAngelina FallenAngelina is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,938
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polysnow View Post

@FallenAngelina
Dude I'm printing that post out and putting it on my door. That was just...gold. Thanks.
Yeah, a lot of those relationship coaches are cheese upon the obvious, but that one page has some golden nuggets that really help steer thoughts into a more self-sustaining orientation. Glad to pass this along because it crystalized and turned a lot of insecure thoughts around for me.
__________________
~ Karen
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-13-2016, 01:55 PM
Cleo Cleo is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 485
Default

Hi LoveBunny, I an relate to a lot of what you wrote in your first post.

For me, this is what works:
If I start feeling really insecure about the relationship it is usually accompanied by feelings of worthlessness (2 factors: I'm not good enough anyway, he'll tire of me - and: I'm so stupid for being so insecure, he will soon get enough of being with someone so insecure). One thing that helps is doing something that I know I am really good at, something completely not relationship-related. So I try to help a friend with something, I put more effort into work etc. It not ony distracts, but it helps in building confidence.

If mindfullness - buddhism etc is your thing, google Tara Brach's youtube videos. They are all great, but the ones about anxiety / fear / addiction (because I consider my constant need for affirmation and reassurance an addicton) especially.

This may not be helpful right now, but: time does help. It took me about a year to lose some of my anxiety with my current BF. His spoken affirmations never helped much (only VERY temporarily) but what did help was noticing that he stayed with me month after month, and showed no sign of wanting to leave. Of course he could still want to leave tomorrow or next mnth, but I no longer live in constant dread of that moment.
__________________
Cleo - forties straight female
Ren - husband of 20 + years
Bo - BF of 3 years
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:04 AM
KC43 KC43 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,764
Default

Insecurity... I know it well. For me, it comes from a crappy past, my entire life up until about nine years ago, of being told I wasn't wanted, wasn't worth anything, wasn't good enough, was too much trouble, etc. Even after nine years of *not* hearing those things on a daily basis, and eight years of therapy and of Hubby and others sometimes telling me that I *am* wanted, worth it, good enough, the voices from the past live in my head, and sometimes they're louder than the present. On top of the crap that was drilled into my brain, I have clinical depression and anxiety, which carry with them as symptoms a whole 'nother load of insecurity and "I'm worthless."

When I'm in the initial stages of a new relationship, I'm always braced for the other shoe to drop. My heart jumps when I hear the text tone or ring tone, but if I don't hear from the person, I immediately go to worst case scenario. After my experience with S2, who did say all the good things about me--right up until the end, when even as he was breaking up with me he said I deserved better than what he was doing--it's become even harder to believe anything good will last, or to trust the word of anyone who says the good things.

All that said, though...

I fully recognize that insecurity and fear are *my* problems. I do *not* allow myself to interact with my partner (whichever partner is the focus of the insecurity) when I'm in that state. I know that no matter what I am afraid is happening, it is only my perception, and I know that in cases like that, my perception is nearly always wrong. So I distract myself. I read. If I'm able to focus, I write, though that hasn't been happening in months for other reasons. I surf websites. I post ranty vents in my blog here; that's actually one of my coping strategies, because thinking about how to put things into words helps distract me from the emotions behind those words, and seeing the situation and my thoughts in writing tends to help clarify what's true and what's incorrect perception on my part.

I've been blessed all along with very understanding, caring guys who understand that I'll do my best to handle this kind of thing on my own, but that sometimes I need to reach out and tell them how I'm feeling and ask them to reassure me. They're more than happy to give me that reassurance when I ask, because they know that I only ask when things get so overwhelming I can't handle it on my own. And I've learned to wait to go to them until I've calmed down enough to be clear and rational, and to ask for the specific reassurance I need, like "I'm struggling with being afraid you'll get tired of me, and I know you've said before that you won't, but I need to hear it again."

Woody's been particularly amazing with me on this. I've been more insecure with him than with Hubby or my past boyfriends because he has other partners; Hubby doesn't and Guy and S2 didn't. So on top of my usual "he's going to get tired of me, he's going to get pissed off because of my anxiety, he's going to realize I'm not good enough," I've also had to contend with things like "Highlight's way more confident than I am, so he probably likes her more" or "He's going to realize he's spread too thin, and I'll be the one he cuts out because Highlight and Stella are better for him."

He's told me to always be completely honest with him when I'm feeling that way, even to call him if I need to. He's said he'll keep telling me he loves me, isn't going away, and isn't going to get tired of me until I believe it, even if that takes forever. He's also begun doing some guided imagery suggestion things with me to both kill off the crap from my past and to help me be more confident with him particularly but also in general. He's had some training in this, and I have a vivid imagination, excellent visualization skills, and can put myself in a semi-trance in about five seconds when I choose to, so in the few weeks since he started doing this with me there's been a huge difference already. So now when I start feeling insecure, instead of struggling to fight it off, I do the visualization he gave me, and it really helps.

Last edited by KC43; 01-14-2016 at 01:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-17-2016, 02:21 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 468
Default

Nice to hear I'm not the only person who struggles with feeling insecure at the start of a new relationship.

My honest conversation with Hal regarding my N.R.E. was only partially helpful. He's a lifelong bachelor, and just BAD at emotional support. But he did agree to a certain amount of quality time with me weekly. So that helped to take the edge off.

Another issue with N.R.E.--LUST!!! If I'm not actively engaged with work or reading, or out with friends, my fantasies/memories go there. Anything only half-engaging, such as watching t.v. or doing housework, quickly disintegrates leaving me flushed and flustered. If I was a man, I'd have a boner all the time.

Part of me wants the N.R.E. stage to end so I can concentrate on other areas of my life---and part of me wants it never to end.
__________________
Female, bi-amorous, mid 40's
on the spectrum between poly-amorous and monogam-ish

--Melinda, lesbian, early 30's, dating 1 1/2 years
--Hal, mid 40's, heteroflexible, we dated 8 months, broke up for 1 1/2 years, recently started dating again
--Arlo, ex-husband. I was with him 17 years, still good friends
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
n.r.e.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:44 AM.