In the past couple of weeks, my non-domestic partner, D, and I have been unsuccessful in connecting several times for various reasons. I've been missing him quite a bit! This has brought up the idea that some people seem to hang onto when observing poly relationships: If my partner was "enough" for me, there wouldn't be any desire or need for other connections. Really, I'm probably just monogamous, but haven't found the right partner yet, and obviously, I must not really be into S if I still have D in my life, or vice versa, right?
Pshaw! Each person I have found value sufficient value in as an individual to form a significant relationship with is enough, in and of themselves, to be worth including in my life. That I'm missing D doesn't mean that S isn't meeting my needs in our relationship, nor does it make me a greedy woman who is never satisfied. It simply means that I see each of these connections as valuable in their own right, and feel that absence when I haven't been able to touch-in the way I'd like for a while.
One of the ways this seems to impact other poly folks is the sense of inadequacy that can flare up, particularly when one's partner is starting a new relationship. "If I were younger/prettier/thinner/more buff/better endowed/smarter/funnier etc, then Partner X would be happy with just me/us." With the rush of NRE, sometimes things fall through the cracks, and people forget to overtly value their existing partner(s) when they would benefit most from the reinforcement.
What's worked best for me has been when partners reiterate the things they enjoy about our connection, or me as a person in a "this reminds me of how much I love this about you" sort of way. To ramp up the considerate gestures, thoughtful embraces, and spend time together when there are other factors pulling attention takes some effort, but is well worth the energy.
S, you are enough. You are a wonderful partner, and I cherish sharing my life with you. D, you fill a unique spot in my heart, and I value who you are, and the relationship we enjoy together.