I know your story. *hugs*
I do not judge at all -- but this is common enough a situation.
It is hard. Then it becomes a struggle not just of feeling unloved and lonely, but then struggling on ethics too because deep needs are not being met.
In my case, old BF did not want to Open to my thoughts and feelings (and that is all I asked for -- I did not ask for right to date others or for us to Open to Another. I just asked for his willingness to hear and talk to me about my inner life and try to love all of me, uncensored.) He refused. He also did NOT want to break up to set me free.
So... what the hell? I am left stuck in a relationship that does not feed me then? I try to give my 100% and actually, it is not wanted? I want to receive his 100% an actually, that won't be ever be given? I'm not a masochist. And I cannot offer support and love and nurture where I get none in return. I broke it off. What a mess.
It was actually that break up that got me to draw up my relationship boundary points crystal clear. I was so hard ass on those in subsequent dating -- and thank goodness. Because I was strict about my limits, and very honest about my wants, needs and expectations? I never had a thing like that again because the players were CLEAR on the gamebook
going in from the get go. They could add their own wants, needs, limits too of course. I wanted to know theirs too. I expected to make agreements for how to best be together, if we were going to be together.
But me? And my wants, needs, and limits? And how to best be in right relationship with me? All out there in the front window. Take it and start negotiations to crank it up a notch to a romance or leave it and let's just be friends then.
I had enough Muppet Show. Play like honorable Star Wars Jedi here or don't play with me at all.