I am so grateful that the relationships I have today are honest and open enough that we can share how we feel even though it might not always been fairy tale BS. If my SO was friends with an ex and spent some time together with them, I would not only expect them to have the reaction Olivia’s bf had, but I would be upset if he lied about it just to make me feel more secure. People don’t just suddenly stop desiring other people when they are in a relationship and avoiding those people or lying to ourselves and others about that desire are not the best way to deal with those things, in my opinion. Honest and open communication is.
If Olivia is having an emotional response to the situation, she should talk to her boyfriend about it, explain what she is feeling and try to figure out why she feels that way. Then they can talk together about how to best deal with each other’s feelings and if anything should change going forward.
That’s my 2 cents.
I agree with you that being honest about your feelings isn’t in itself wrong, but there are two things I can see being inappropriate here
1) him spending a lot of alone time with the ex. it’s unclear whether this was necessary for work or not, and whether she expressed her feelings before the trip
2) the way he expressed his feelings to her. there’s a big difference between going ‘I actually kinda wish she’d made a move on me, might have been fun’ and ‘I know it sounds bad, and I even feel a bit guilty, but part of me does wish that my ex had made a move’. again unclear
So Olivia, could you clarify on the above? did he spend time with his ex that he didn’t need to for work reasons, and had you told him beforehand that you were uncomfortable with him doing that? when he told you that he was disappointed nothing happened, how did he do it – like a jerk who doesn’t care about your feelings or like someone who’s guilty for even feeling it but felt compelled to be totally honest?