I found this analysis of a failing relationship (that is what it was for you, yes?) both difficult to read and somewhat emotionally disturbing. I’ve had relationships in my life with a man who simply was not “in love” with me. It’s been a long time since I’ve been through that agony…well, it was agony because I was in love with the man in question. It simply was not reciprocated, to my dismay and disappointment.
Because I had difficulty reading your commentary, I read all the other comments here, and found that the comment by “Reverie” made the most sense to me. My initial reaction to your personal account and your suffering was that I surmised you had made a mistake that people make when they engage in a challenging relationship that doesn’t follow the “norm” in human relations. The “norm” is, of course, a one-on-one between a man and a woman… or between two people of the same gender in some cases. It is not an experiment that 3 people engage in at the same time. There’s a good reason for that… human being are, by nature, competitive beings. As such, any time a group of 3 or more interact, people “align” — they connect with someone who can form a dyad of 2 with them. In that way, there is no need to compete for attention or affection, and no need to “size up the competition” and compete to be the Number One in another’s eyes.
The whole issue of being sized up as “The One” … rather than simply “One of a Group…is endemic in the concept of a “option”. If you are interacting with one other, then both of you are “The One” for the “Other”. There is no need to resort to taking a vote, counting up positives vs. negatives, eliminating one from the group so that the final outcome becomes a “Couple” that is balanced and devoted in affections and attention.
You probably have learned through this experience that you don’t want to repeat it with anyone else in the future. That would be a wise choice. Rare is the couple who has learned through life experience the value of a One-on-One relationship, as opposed to the tragedy that is a One-versus-a-Group social option. Where there is a Third, there is Grief. That is why marriage was invented.