what I am having a hard time with is wondering whether or not he really liked me and might reach out once he’s divorced and ready.
OH NO. Oh honey. No. No. No.
The two of you are both emotionally dishonest people. I don’t mean this unkindly, and I think you’re on your way to fixing your issue, but by that I mean you lie to yourself and others about the emotions you feel. And while I think he’s a complete jerk, when I read back on what happened it doesn’t sound like he promised you anything than a few dates. You had this very intense several dates and had plans for 2 more dates before the pandemic.
You didn’t have a relationship. I can’t overstate that enough. He can treat you poorly, but he can’t have left you because he wasn’t ever really in a relationship with you. I bet he implied all kinds of things, but you’re lying yourself when you think feeling all the passion and maye some hints, has anything to do with what you can reasonably expect in the future. Reading between the lines I bet he said things like “oh you’re so special and amazing and nothing like my wife, I wish we met when i was young?” or something else like that, implied you were unique and mindblowing, without saying he actually planned to value you. And thats why you’re so hurt right now.
Its clear you built up an entire expectation that him having marital difficulties, you and him having a connection and him planning out an additional 2 dates equaled both that he would leave his wife AND that once that happened he’d pick you. You got so far ahead of yourself that it feels like your boyfriend dumped you, when he was never even your boyfriend. It doesn’t even say you were exclusive. Replay the tape and go over what he promised.
He’s a complete jerk for dragging someone much younger into the middle of a disintegrating relationship, especially when it could impact your career. It’s incredibly selfish of him. It’s selfish of him to keep provoking you with all these weak texts. He loves all the attention you’re giving him. People do very selfish things when they divorce. Lots of people can’t move on from a failing relationship without the push of some kind of new relationship, but lots of those relationships don’t last. He’s a jerk for not breaking it off with you cleanly.
Do not wait around for this mess to resolve itself. Be VERY BLUNT and honest with yourself that you built a stranger up into a prince charming despite many many warning signs admit you didn’t really know him that well. Note that your brain and your heart can gang up on you and lie to you, and learn from that. Note when someone gives you a compliment it doesn’t mean that anything comes out of it. If someone is like “I have been wanting to kiss you FOREVER, oh my god you’re amazing, I’m so happy with you” that might be true but doens’t necessarily mean “and I’m going to leave my wife”. The person has to say that last bit out loud and even then…could be bullshit.
You deserve so much better. You did nothing wrong (you made some unwise choices, but you didn’t do anything really WRONG), and there’s nothing wrong with you that a semi-married guy didn’t completely leave his wife for you. I think being able to fall head over heels is great too- it can be so nice to know that depth of passion exists inside you even if this relationship isn’t the one that you should be in. Go find someone who is worth giving all your passion to.
There’s an article out there online somewhere titled “Dick Is Abundant and Low Value”. I always think of it when some lovely woman is like, “what did I do wrong that this hot piece of trash didn’t love me?” There are plenty of men out there, and many of them are perfectly decent. Do not get tricked into thinking like, “I have to be perfect because good men are SUPER SCARCE and I’m RUNNING OUT OF TIME” and then desperately try to find love with some damaged old dude who has only ever been with one person for 30 years. Dudes are dudes. Its a terrible mistake to think that older guys are like…wiser or mature and won’t play dumb games. Older guys might have nicer clothing and manners and seem like they have life experience but they also grew up in a less progressive time. A 50 year old guy’s childhood was in the 1970s, that was not a particularly mature era. Younger dudes might at least be like “oh yeah i’ve always known about the second shift, third wave feminism, and emotional labor and enthusiastic consent” . The level of childish game playing in people you date is set by each person. Seriousness in romance has nothing to do with age.