I'm a 30-year-old lesbian in a monogamous eight-month relationship with a queer woman (she dates both men and women). Early in our relationship, she told me that she had hooked up with her AirBnB host when she was in a large southern town for a festival. This was a couple of months before we met, so I was not jealous of the fact that they had sex, just surprised at her description of the "amazing connection" she felt with this man. I was also, frankly, a bit skeptical of his sketchy AirBnB hosting arrangement, but that's another question altogether. (Does this happen a lot with AirBnB hosts and hot house guests?)
My girlfriend told me that despite the strong connection that she felt with him, the fact that they lived far apart prevented her from pursuing anything further. They are Facebook friends, but they don't really talk (as far as I know). She also has a couple of photo-booth pictures with him (and some other folks) hanging on her fridge, which I find a bit odd, but, again, no major red flags.
It came up recently in conversation that she might be going back to his town to do the festival again this year. I had asked her not to stay with him again, to which she agreed. When I asked whether she was planning on seeing him, she told me she probably would, which surprised me. When I told her that it was bothering me, she responded by (justifiably) saying that she was never going to let somebody else come between and her friendships and/or tell her whom she can and cannot see. I totally get that disposition, and I agree. But I find it odd that she wants to see this "friend" (whom, again, she only met that one weekend and seems to not be in regular contact with), and that she doesn't understand why it would bother me that she would state her desire to see him so matter-of-factly.
Am I being an insecure selfish asshole? I trust that she wouldn't cheat on me (and even if she did, well, then it would be a good indicator that we shouldn't be together), so it's not about sex. What bothers me is the principle. While I would likewise never want my partner to tell me whom I can and cannot see, I'd like to think that I would be considerate enough to not make it a point to see a former crush with whom I had an "amazing connection" and only didn't pursue things with because of the distance. Tell me how to feel about this, Dan. Thanks!
Am I Right2 Be Noticeably Bothered?
Two quick things before we dive in...
1. What's "sketchy" about an Air B&B host sleeping with a guest? Hosts and guests are consenting adults, there's no power imbalance of any significance (they could trash each other in the reviews, I suppose; mutual assured disstruction). We queers have argued—quite successfully—that consenting adults should be able to sleep with other consenting adults without being judged, persecuted, trashed in reviews, sent to prison, burned at the stake, etc. If this guy makes a habit of creeping on his guests—if he hits on all his hot guests and your then-future-girlfriend was the rare guest who took him up on it—I can see how that would be a problem. That would, indeed, be extremely sketchy. But it sounds like your then-future-girlfriend and Mr. AirBnB hit it off and decided to fuck. We can't convict Mr. AirBnB of being a boundary-violating sex creep with the evidence at hand, is all I'm saying.
2. It's always about the sex. Moving on...
This is a red flag, AIRBNB. Your girlfriend has a strong connection with this guy, keeps we-met-cute photo-booth pics on her fridge, and presumably only distance kept them from dating and continuing to explore that amazing connection. Given all of that, AIRBNB, your insecurity is understandable.
And because I'm a naturally suspicious person, AIRBNB, I worry your girlfriend isn't being entirely straight with you. Because which is the likelier scenario: Your girlfriend wants to meet up with Mr. AirBnB and
fuck his brains out continue to explore their amazing connection (but fully clothed this time) or she wants to meet up with Mr. AirBnB because she thinks fighting the urge to fuck his brains out the whole time will be an intense and erotic character-building exercise and fuck-his-brains-out isn't something she'd decide to do in the moment. My money's on the former: she wants to re-connect for the obvious, Occam's razor-y reason (brains, fucking, out), but she's not being upfront with you about her intentions—because, hey, what if nothing happens? She may figure, "Why have a knock-dog, drag-out argument with my new girlfriend about sex I might not wind up having?"
Other possibilities: Maybe because she doesn't realize what she's doing—sometimes we're the last to know what we're up to—or maybe she's only interested in a one-off with this guy and figures you two aren't seriously committed at eight months or maybe she has a very different idea about monogamy than you do. (You think "monogamy" means you're the only person she fucks, she could think it means you're the only woman she fucks.)
It doesn't sound like you've asked your girlfriend if she wants to fuck this guy again, plans to fuck this guy again, or what she thinks the odds are she'll actually fuck this guy again even if she isn't planning to fuck him again because, you know, beer happens. If you haven't asked those questions because you're worried you might not like her answers, AIRBNB, that's a pretty good indication these are the questions you need to ask.
Finally, AIRBNB: You're insecure, you're selfish, and you're an asshole—to some extent, on all three scores. But so is everyone else; everyone is insecure, selfish, and assholey to some degree. If we were required to be free of insecurities, jealousy, and assholery to be in a relationship, no one would ever be in a relationship. It's about reasonable and what isn't—and insecurities, jealousies, and assholery can be reasonable and something we can work with and around, or they can be unreasonable and grounds for DTMFA'ing. And while it may be unreasonable for you to expect your girlfriend not to see someone she considers a friend, even if their relationship once included sex, it's perfectly reasonable for you to ask for reassurance from your girlfriend and, perhaps, an accommodation that sets you at ease, i.e. not seeing the guy alone, meeting for lunch, not dinner, etc.
Regardless, AIRBNB, if your partner won't be upfront with you, if she won't negotiate with you in good faith, if she won't take your reasonable insecurities, selfishness, and assholery into consideration (or if she regards them as unreasonable or toxic), then you should spend some time reconsidering whether you two are a match.