LovingRadiance, thank you so much for taking the time to respond in such detail and for giving this side of things such consideration! I went to respond to the initial response then saw the second response with quotes so I'll try and address each issue at a time.
A) I do know a bit about emotional flooding but will look into it some more. I've made a pact with myself for about a year that if I know i'm not in a great place then I shouldn't drink because it seems to be the inevitability that emotional flooding will occur. Unfortunately, Friday I broke that pact with myself.
B) I think you're spot on, I really don't. In a lot of experiences in my life surprise news has always been bad news. I think I do need to communicate that to my partners - now that I'm aware of it.
I also really like what you said about making sure I process it first. I can be a very impulsive person and react and in the heat of the moment and then end up full of regrets.
C) With regards to being on the same page, we have had a serious discussion about how we need to work on our communication skills to make sure we're both on it. I think I felt really hurt and angry because I felt like this was a discussion we'd had and I felt really like I hadn't been listened to (this feeling has been a reoccurring one that I think has been a major obstacle to our communication skills).
D) Yes I agree 100%!! With the case of E I was thanking her all night for her honesty, my respect for her is through the roof. With J it was a little different because I had instigated the conversation and I thought all of us who were involved were on the same page that it wasn't going to happen so I felt angry that it had come up again - and a little betrayed that this all happened the one time i wasn't at the meet up because I'm at the other end of the country.
E) My issue with them dating is kind of in two areas; the initial fear and the lack of trust now.
The initial fear I think came down to feeling threatened by her because, as I said in the original post, at a time I was being swept up in all this NRE that gave me tunnel vision he was looking elsewhere and that sense of inequality is a really hard thing to look past. If it had been a month down the line when we were starting to settle I don't think I'd have felt so jealous. There's also my issue with dating people within a mutual social circle. I can't figure out if that's a justified issue or reason, but it is how I feel. So that felt like another boundary ignored.
The lack of trust now comes from the fact that, from my perspective, we're now on the third time that this has been an issue. I felt that I'd said I had an issue with it but he was constantly trying to push that when I wasn't ready for that to develop between them. Then I turn my back for five seconds and this has happened. My trust in his ability to respect my boundaries and for us to communicate properly, at least for the near future, is shot to pieces. I know that this is something that we can work on generally speaking, but with this particular person I doubt it will ever be ok now.
r.e being approached first.
I think I want to know basically as soon as is reasonably possible and in a means that we can have a proper discussion about it. Which sounds contradictory, but I mean I wouldn't want to receive a text there and then. It's horrible maybe, but I'd expect at that time for self restraint to be shown between the him and the other person.
As soon as we have that chance to have a proper discussion over the phone, face to face or on skype etc, I'd like to be told that they have an interest in someone and are interested in taking it to dating level.
Compared to this time, it shouldn't be someone I've said I'm not ok with him dating and he shouldn't say to her that he's going to ask me if he can take it further, until he's actually asked me.
r.e finding out from him not her
In the situation with M there was plenty of time. In the situation with A, in hindsight there wasn't. I'm trying to let that one pass me now but it certainly contributed to the way I was feeling at the time.
I would say as soon as there's a discussion that needs to be had, even if there's no time for a discussion at that point, I'd rather know sooner rather than later that we need to talk so that when we both have a chance we can. At least then if I do hear it from somewhere else I know he was going to tell me and not keep it from me.
r.e not being happy with it.
I genuinely thought we were both on the same page that it was a no. But then I guess it's part of our communication issues. I really don't know how it could have been communicated differently though. I would have thought the amount of time talking and amount of tears spent had been enough, but then I suppose politicians spend hours talking without really saying anything...
r.e seperating partners from my life / different social circles.
I think it would be naive to say that jealousy isn't a factor, I am afraid that i'll get jealous if we end up out at the same thing. However, I think a bigger thing for me is that I need a sense of order in my head of how things are and I just kind of categorise things like that to make myself feel at ease. So, when I'm with someone at a certain place, that's our space and time. When a partner and their partner are at a certain place that's their space and time.
I really hope this is making sense... I think it's kind of like people who are OCD about their food touching. There's the sausgage and that's all great, and the potato and that's all great and then there's the peas that are nothing to do with me. I don't want to be the sausage and then be like oh there's peas here, is this the sausage part of the plate or the pea part of the plate? (my sincerest apologies if that's the worlds worst analogy ever)
I think this is something myself and my partners need to talk about. I also kind of think it's hard to talk about it because we've neither of us been on this side of it so it's hard to know exactly the best way to handle the situation for us. i think that's part of where my fear comes from, because it's so unknown and i'm the sort of person who likes to go issues>solution>execution>sorted. and i'm tripping up on the issue /solution bit because i have no intel.
I think a lot of it really does boil down to things that need discussing and hopefully we'll make a lot more head way now, especially if i'm able to pick apart what it is i'm feeling to be able to communicate it in the first place
(the image made me smile lot's and has made me feel alot more confident, thank you)