The past couple weeks have been eventful for me. While I was apprehensive to take a step back from LTASEX (I’m writing this only nine days into my “vacation”), it’s allowed me to live life and have some awesome new experiences.
As a 26-year-old who has never had a significant other, diving head first into a lake of new-relationship energy has been one of the most exciting.
For most people, NRE, which is the rush of happy chemicals we get when we start a relationship, is nothing new. For me, it’s a completely new and – at times – scary experience.
I’m a guy who likes to be grounded and in control. Even when I’m fucked up, giggling like an idiot or distracted by a furry critter, I’m always present. In this situation, however, I am present and accounted for, but just barely. Most often, I’m wistfully daydreaming or just steeping in the happy chemicals – and it feels great.
It’s really, really difficult to put into words the state in which I’ve been. I know that poets like to wrap it up in flowery language about passion and bliss but, really, it’s more like a drug high. It’s like the first time I smoked weed or the best part of a LSD trip. It’s like being on laughing gas that makes you hungry, horny, listless, excited, absent-minded and sleepy. If they could bottle this shit, I’d gladly be addicted.
Although I’m happier than a pig in mud, it took a little coaxing to let myself enjoy it. When I first noticed NRE creeping up my spine, I wanted to clamp down on it. I thought I shouldn’t be feeling like a 6-year-old at the Scholastic Book Fair after one date. Then I realized that there isn’t any should or shouldn’t. I am feeling what I’m feeling and it’s best to just feel it. So, I’m feeling it.
Even though I’ve allowed myself to enjoy this NRE, wearing Hermes’ winged shoes is still as awkward as Eren Yeager training to use the 3-D maneuvering device. I love that I’ve been randomly smiling like an idiot and floating on clouds, but it’s just uncomfortable. It’s wavy, wobbly, timey-whimey and unpredictable. It’s scary, wild and new, but if I’m being honest, it’s also a really good thing for me.
Learning to control (read: suppress) my emotions was what helped me survive the turbulence of my childhood. It’s also been a barrier to intimacy and desire. It’s what made me think I was an introvert and ignore my need for sex and companionship. With a few kisses and cuddles, all of that seems to have washed away.
NRE has made me brave. NRE has put some fight back into this old dog. I feel alive, sane and remarkably well put-together despite how intergalactic my mind feels at times. Sure, I haven’t quite settled into these new feelings, and I definitely need to make sure I don’t confuse infatuation and dopamine for love, but for now things are good.
Experiencing NRE for the first time as 26-year-old control freak has been an enlightening, frightening and satisfying experience. I know it’s not forever and it may be a while before I can feel it again, but for now I’m going to enjoy it. Hopefully it leads me somewhere great, but even if it doesn’t, I’m glad to have experienced it – no matter how cliché that sounds.