I’m usually good at poly but keep hitting a block. Almost every person I’ve dated has, after meeting a friend of mine, wanted to date her too. Which should be fine. I get insecure about her. I feel like she is similar to me but without a lot of the stuff in my head that challenges me in relationships. She is warm, friendly, easy to know. I feel like once people meet her why will they bother having patience for me. I don’t bring it up with partners because it’s my own problem. But help?

I also have a friend who is basically guaranteed to be attractive to anyone who finds me attractive. Twice we’ve dated the same partner. I really love this situation, partly because I love the intimacy of our poly network, and if someone I’m dating is dating my friend, it makes things much more cozy and convenient. Also, it makes me grateful to have such an awesome friend. And it confirms some patterns I see in my relationships - they don’t want to date her instead of me, they want to date her as well as me. We all have a “type,” and what makes her such a great friend to me is that we have so much in common, so it makes total sense that folks into me would also be into her.

So it might be possible for a framing shift. If people are leaving you for her, that’s a different issue - but you said people meet her and want to date her too, which means they’re not losing patience with you, they’re just experiencing the “Pandora for people” effect that poly networks often have. Everyone has baggage, and everyone has something to offer - remember that you see your own behind-the-scenes but everyone else’s highlights-reel.

But you’re not obligated to make that framing shift. It would also be in your rights to talk to your partners about your insecurities about this and ask that, at least for now, they hold off on pursuing your close friends. Nothing in poly is “your own problem” - you have to be willing to communicate openly about what’s going on with you. And no matter what, do your best to keep working on the “stuff in your head” that challenges you in relationships - and trust that your partners are with you because you’re worth it, not because they just haven’t found anyone better.