Not too long ago, I grew tired of feeling constantly neglected by my primary partner (A) and found myself a new one (B). This led A to change their behaviour completely and beg me for a second chance. I love B, and I truly believe that they are a good match for me, but I still feel bad for rejecting A. Neither A nor B currently have any other partners besides me. Any advice on how to handle this situation?
I’m confused by this scenario. You say that A “begged you for a second chance” and that you feel bad for “rejecting” them - but then you say they both currently have you as a partner. If you are still dating A, then they shouldn’t need to beg for a second chance, and you didn’t reject them.
In healthy polyamory, finding a new partner should not be an action you take to get back at a current partner, or emotionally bludgeon them into changing their behavior. New partners are purely additive - bringing B into your life shouldn’t have required you to “reject” A. If you don’t like dating A, if they make you feel neglected, then you need to either end that relationship or work with them to resolve the issue.
Remember that other people are not need-meeting machines. B cannot replace the attention you are missing from A, nor is that their job. That relationship should be allowed to develop and stand on its own terms, and shouldn’t be impacted by how invested you are in A at any given moment. Polyamory is founded on a belief that affection is not zero-sum; that any time and energy you invest in B is not ‘removed’ from the resources you have for A.
It sounds like maybe you need to take a step back and think about:
What does polyamory mean to you? Is it a way to get your needs met, or is it a temporary stopgap to keep from addressing issues with A, or is it something else?
How do you define a relationship? What does primary mean to you? Why are those distinctions important? What are the terms of your relationship with A? With B?
Is what you are doing fair and responsible to all parties? Does B know you sought them out in part to solve your problems with A? Do you think you’re capable of dating multiple people in an arrangement where no one feels rejected?
Once you think through these, talk this out with both A and B. Maybe the best thing for you is to keep dating both of them and work on your issues individually with each partner. Maybe you have discovered that you really just want to be dating B because your relationship with A no longer makes you happy. But make sure your decision comes from a place of clarity and understanding, not implicit assumptions about what relationships are or need.