By Kendra Holliday | January 31, 2018
Do you know the term “New Relationship Energy“? It’s popular in polyamory circles, and describes that giddy infatuation feeling when you’re dating someone new. It’s like a drug!
My daughter is experiencing it now as she’s dating a new boy. They are so crazy about each other! It’s so nice to find someone who is your champion, someone who makes you feel emotionally supported and loved – someone who gets you, despite all your idiosyncrasies.
I’m about to head out for my 10th cabin getaway with my partner Matthew. As I sit and reflect on how crazy we still are about each other after all these years (a record for me!), I appreciate how our connection has evolved into Old Relationship Energy. (Read this great list of ways to keep the spark in your relationship. And if you’re more monogamous-minded, do check out Esther Perel’s work on how to sustain a happy and healthy marriage.)
I remember the first year or two we were together, we had to have sex at least twice a day. If we were lying in bed together, he would be hard. We would have threesomes and foursomes all the time. It’s not like that anymore, but we still feel passion, deep connection, and mad respect for each other. We don’t have sex as often as we used to, but it’s still realllllly good.
Here is how we have maintained a decade of great emotional and physical fulfillment, despite all the challenges we’ve faced:
We chose not to live together or combine our families. We have our own space and don’t have to go to family therapy!
- We didn’t get married. Been there, done that!
- We keep our finances separate.
- We maintain independence and autonomy.
- We share many core values, but are two very different people with different interests, so while we do some things together, we have no problem traveling solo or supporting each other’s endeavors.
- The time we spend together is quality time. We carve out date nights and little adventures. Novelty is exciting!
- We realize that a healthy relationship is give and give. I’ll never forget how he took care of me during my times of need, and I’m always thinking of ways to reciprocate.
- We do relationship check-ins as needed.
- We allow each other freedom to be romantic and sexual with other people. Every time we experience another person’s energy, it gives us a libido boost.
So, basically, we’ve rejected all the typical trappings of a long term relationship that can cause stress and resentment to build. People used to ask us, “When are you getting serious?”
Maybe I should have replied, “When are you getting playful?”
It’s much more fun to think – and play – outside the cage!