A few days ago, I happened upon a person asking a question that gets asked very often in non-monogamous or polyamorous groups: What is the one thing you need to make a poly relationship work? But, let me first address the idea that self-worth is necessary for good relationships. Particularly, if you do not fit the criteria of what this society considers beautiful and worthy, you're likely to doubt yourself and feel shitty. If that were true, serial monogamists wouldn't be serial monogamists. Does my partner want a "real" person with a "real" gender? Or shit, does my partner want one of those awesome self-assured Stepford poly wives who are never upset at anything and who can even join in with no effects of sexual abuse to work through?
And, truthfully, it's probably because the question itself is flawed. Point blank, I refuse to believe that those who struggle to value themselves, those who struggle to communicate, those who struggle to believe in themselves cannot "do" relationships "well." To annihilate the second point, I refuse to believe that dating more than one person is somehow going to make you better at dating.
Dating more than one person does not mean you have a higher chance of doing it right. Because relationships are not skills you can build. Because then it means that everyone who struggles with emotions or just doesn't feel overjoyed necessarily that their partner is with someone else -- it means they've somehow failed. Just because you have emotions doesn't mean you've failed. And having emotions, even shitty ones you don't like, is not a failure. it doesn't mean that I've lost experience or a level.
They are partnerships between people, not games you can win. The question: What do you need to make a relationship "work"? Because relationships don't "work" because you have stellar self-confidence. Poly people need to stop treating relationships like a Kolinahr. If I had to decide whether my relationship with myself "worked"... If someone doesn't want to "deal" with my emotions, they don't want to "deal" with me. Not a consequence of me being unwilling to pretend I'm fine when I'm not. And you can have two perfectly self-confident people who a relationship doesn't "work" between them for any plethora of reasons.
If you are not white, if you are not skinny, if you are not rich, if you are not able-bodied, if you are not everything this society deems desirable, at some point, you will doubt yourself. And it is true that some of us, despite not fitting into society's jigsaw, do have self-worth. While at the same time, those exact same people believe "There is no one right way to do poly" hypocritically. My autism makes communication and recognizing my own emotions difficult. That feeling of fear and bile sometimes rises within me when I think about my partner being with someone else. It's not just about my partner "dealing" with my emotions.
Even those of us with the most societal power in the world, the cis heterosexual white men who dominate all of the institutions of power -- even they doubt themselves. There are many wrong and unhealthy ways to do poly just as there are many wrong and unhealthy ways to do monogamy. It's about the fact that me and anyone else who I will date in the future, has made decision to accept me and want me in their lives -- ALL of me. And if my relationship right now should "fail," if it doesn't work out...
philosophical anthropology and philosophy of religion, as well as theological ones.There are poly websites and poly dating sites, and a wealth of advice on how to "do" poly properly. Also medication, currency, cars and fashion eyewear.Sex columnist Dan Savage, for example, regularly preaches the benefits of "open" and "monogamish" relationships on his hugely popular podcast. And yet none of the people in open relationships seem to have a problem with those. What seemed "natural" 200 years ago – chastity belts, for example, or slavery – isn't acceptable now. Now, there are so many things wrong with this answer, it's hard to even know where to begin. Oh, and that polyamory forces people to come to terms with their lack of self-worth in a way that monogamy doesn't.