You're right that I should see myself in a better light. While I definitely do have low self-esteem right now (due to my issues with abandonment and poly), it hasn't always been that way...and I don't consider myself a people pleaser. In fact, one of my big problems is that I'm selfish, stubborn and I'm often oblivious to the feelings of others...until I mess up and conflict happens, then I just feel bad about myself.
I'm a terrible mish-mash of attitudes, because although I'm emotionally dependent on other people, I'm ideologically VERY independent, and I have a dominant streak. I would never compromise my own ideals for anyone else. I also have a childish attitude of how-I-want-it-when-I-want-it, which I'm trying to work on. It's terrible, because in my last relationship, at one point he was more like my father than an actual lover, and that just fostered more dependence. It was difficult breaking away from him because I felt like I needed him.
I tend to be domineering in my relationships, but I do also want to be whatever the other person wants me to be. For example, I enjoy catering to their fetishes even if it's something I'm neutral about. I do this because I want to see them happy. I want to be the person they want while still being true to my own desires. I do not like doing things just because I'm expected to, much less if it's something I personally don't want to do. (This is where the issue of child-rearing comes in.) I'm extremely honest about what I want and do not want, which can be off-putting to a lot of people who would think I'm being blunt and rude.
And while I'm aware that there are people out there who would be happy in a childfree poly relationship, I'm not sure if that's the type of person I'd be attracted to. I feel like that type of person would be a sort of free-spirit, sexually permissive type of person with lots of partners and I'm just not interested in that. I'm more into the shy, intellectual guy with a goofy sense of humor. But I suppose everything exists in this world, so perhaps I should embark on this search for "the one" who would have all those qualities I desire? (I'm a bit bitter about this whole affair.)
I guess, maybe, it's not all bad...my "friend" has expressed fear and uncertainty about a possible poly relationship, but he told me that he's not going to give up until he tries, and if he can't do the poly thing himself, that he'd stick with me until I find someone who can be that for me. He really is an amazing person. And though sometimes I feel like I'm just a giant pain in the ass, there must be something good about me if he's decided to stick around.