Let's talk about N.R.E.TM - New Relationship Energy. I'm for it.
NRE is that indefinable and marvelous combination of thoughts, feelings, experiences, sensations, hopes, that unexpectedly and spontaneously surge into your life, following the cusp of two people finding each other. It doesn't happen automatically, and for older hermits such as myself, it doesn't happen often at all, let alone often enough.
A favorite quote from Dilbert illustrates this: "Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion." In my opinion and experience, NRE is that unlikely, and ever so worth it, payoff to dating.
In the past I've never found NRE by searching for it, despite the fact that the pursuit of it is what fuels pop literature, pop culture, and ninety-nine out of one hundred people reaching hormonal onset. I've generally stumbled onto it in search of a fuck buddy, a random dating thing more interested in a Good Time than a Long Time.
That's more or less what has recently occurred for me. Nia and I got together initially for a "Hi, how are ya" dinner, and after a couple of such dinners we slowly started to explore play. She was relatively new to kinky play, although very much incented to explore, and I was willing to help teach her while having a bit of fun along the way myself.
Being a self-defined "career secondary partner", as I term myself, I've constructed the constellation of my life around building strong bonds of trust with not only my partners, but with the primary partners of my partners. My Prime Directive Of PolyTM, as I live it, is that whatever I do with my play partners should be an enhancement to - or at least, no harm to - the primary partners of my play partners. Examples are all around in my particular constellation of chosen family - what I do with Kevin is supportive of his relationship with his wife Blondie; what I do with Panther is supportive of her relationship with her husband Viktor; what I do with Omaha is supportive to her relationship with her husband Elf, and so forth. Throughout my negotiations and activities with Nia I've emphasized the same intentions relating to her Hubby.
In Nia's case it's been a bit more difficult as I'm dealing through her entirely, instead of building my own friendship with Hubby. By his wish, he and she find their understanding of what she does with me, and she and I then have had no problems observing those limits. He and I have chatted once or twice on the phone, and it has been quite cordial and my intent - which I'm sure will happen as a natural course of time - is that he and I will end up cordial friends. So far everything has worked out well, and I continue to work daily to maintain the parameters, as they evolve.
What has made this a bit more interesting is that initially our understanding was that Hubby was more comfortable with Nia having a fuck buddy than he was with her having a [Capital 'L'] lover. Nia and I each started out with a firm grasp on and respect for that simple fact, and each started only expecting the kink equivalent of a fuck buddy. No one planned anything more, no one worked to create anything more, but Cupid apparently had a stealth arrow and the fucker nailed us. Both. Equally.
It's been years since my last time encountering this odd bird I call NRE. I've had an active - some would call it overactive - social life, have several people close to me who will be lifelong lovers and partners of whatever closeness. Kevin and I are bonded as closely as I've ever been with a man and I don't think it's going to change. Panther, we're quite close, and although the past month or so we haven't had a chance to spend as much time with each other we chat daily online, both have full intentions of making up for lost time, and when we're together we're quite close. Omaha and I have had a regular relationship for many years that has weathered her pregnancy, her year as a leather titleholder, and more, and we have a comfortable familiarity to our times together. In each of those cases I take what I term "the long view". Others such as Beverly in Canada, da Blonde - who is scheduling play time with Kevin shortly, Arli - coming down from Canada in a couple weeks to bleed at the Wet Spot, Rapunzel and Boop, and several others, are all people with whom I enjoy a healthy relationship of varying frequency. They're all good people, and they're all good relationships. In my experience, NRE is an additional octave added to the dynamic.
NRE manifests itself in strange and wonderful ways. The other day Nia returned from a trip out of town on family business, and heard that I'd had a particularly hard day at my Other Job. She stopped by to say hi and give me the first hug I'd had since she left town. She ended up sitting me down in my recliner, getting out a bottle of Eros, and giving me an hour foot massage. Ah - nirvana! After that, of course, we snuggled for a bit … well, it started as a snuggle at least. Once again, good intentions...
How does NRE come out in me? It's the most curious thing. I don't find myself sending chocolate and uttering the "L" word at every opportunity - although those are good things, given insulin. Instead I find myself channelling Jack Nicholson as Melvin Udall in "As Good As It Gets" - "You make me want to be a better man." Just as Carol Connelly thought in that movie - that's a high compliment.
I have no idea where this journey is going. My hope and prayer is that it will continue, and continue to be a Good Thing for Nia, Hubby, and I all three for years to come. Right now I am simply grateful.