Early on in a relationship, there is a vibrant, infectious energy that completely takes hold of you.
It’s an incredible feeling but one which can be difficult to make last. After all, the polish wears off of anything with enough time.
The term “new relationship energy” (or NRE) was coined in recent years to describe the feeling you get when you’re in the early stages of a relationship: excitement at every turn, discovering something new and incredible about your flame every day.
In fact, there’s a real physiological response from the body during this period that hits us with several neurotransmitters– such as dopamine or the “happy chemical”– that are responsible for this feeling of delirious joy.
But regardless of where this feeling comes from, as good as it is, it’s destined to widdle away, never to be seen again.
Just like that new car smell, your relationship is bound to start smelling like old gym socks and chili cheese fries eventually.
However, there are ways to cultivate more of that new relationship energy and make that energy last longer– even to rekindle it when the fire goes out.
Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.
– Rabindranath Tagore
Here’s how to make that new relationship energy last.
1. Maintain the flow of dopamine responses in connection with your partner
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is connected with several important functions in the body.
However, for the purposes of making new relationship energy last, it’s important for one reason: it’s an addictive chemical that, when released into the brain, makes us feel a great sense of joy.
RELATED:5 Natural Ways to Boost Dopamine
At the beginning of a relationship, all kinds of things are triggering that dopamine response. But as time goes on it becomes harder to get it.
However, you can create situations that will trigger this same dopamine response in connection with your partner to start generating that new relationship energy. This is done with both of you having a shared experience of some sort.
It doesn’t have to be an exhilarating experience but it does have to be fun and memorable, the kind of experience that makes you both feel good about each other or simply about being with one another while you do it.
2. Don’t force standards
As a relationship progresses, each partner tends to impose more and more standards on the other person based on their particular set of expectations.
Some of these expectations are okay. However, many of these standards create a kind of prison that keeps each person from feeling free and relaxed.
This makes it much more difficult to create and maintain new relationship energy. In fact, it’s pretty much the polar opposite of it.
No matter what speed the relationship moves at, strive to be understanding toward your partner and not impose your beliefs and preferences on them. Allow them to be themselves and enjoy one another’s company without feeling like either person has to meet some unrealistic expectation.
3. Keep things positive
You need to keep things positive to maintain that energy! That might sound stupidly simplistic or cheesy but, well…it’s not.
By keeping morale high the energy between you is going to remain light and free, like it was when you first got together.
It’s all about maintaining the right kind of environment where those dopamine-inducing activities can spur new relationship energy between you and your muse. Without the right environment, they won’t be as effective and it will be hard to maintain the passion.
Here are some ideas of some things you can do to keep positivity high:
- Comedies for movie night
- Game nights
- Celebrate victories together
4. Communicate as if you’ve just gotten together
When you’ve just gotten together, you don’t know the person well enough to pick up on their more subtle cues.
Instead, you’re regularly checking in with them to see how they’re feeling, especially when you notice the slightest dip in energy or excitement when you’re together. You’re communicating more effectively almost in an effort to overcompensate. But over time, that energy dies down and the communication falters.
Keep communication going as if you’ve just gotten together so that you’re both on the same page and fully open with one another, helping maintain good vibes and weeding out conflicts more painlessly.
5. Never stop dating
By never stop dating, I’m not referring to a simple movie night every Thursday but the idea of never ceasing to explore new things with each other.
You two might have grown accustomed to one another but by trying new things regularly you’ll be having entirely different and unique experiences with them that sparks new energy, passion, and interest in one another.
So, even if the relationship has started to slow down a bit those new experiences will be fresh and unpredictable, keeping the energy alive and well.