You're very welcome.
Yes, many times the heart does not match what reason shows. On one hand I do always support people being open and willing to learn from their intuition and deep insight, even when there is not enough evidence; but this could only work if such intuition is not too underdeveloped or distorted by fear, intellect or issues. This is hard for most people since we are not raised nor receive any education on how to identify, understand and benefit from our intuitive mind/heart.
On the other hand, reality, through concrete actions shows all the time what people are actually really doing or trying to project in their lives. This is why common sense and mature and assertive reason should always be present whenever we evaluate our lives, and any circumstance in it. In this specific case, she did not show gratefulness like she used to in the past, what is always sad and alarming, since showing not much caring regardless of your efforts to please her.
You are right, and I confirm it, if there is no reciprocity, expecting happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship would be unrealistic. Right now even healthy friendship does not appear to exist since she is not showing necessary gratitude and reciprocity real friends show to each other. It is painful to face it, but it is real and not a subjective perception.
It is good that she replied your email, but she is also telling you how busy she is, so no chances for any further sharing any time soon. Also, as you noted, she said she is working on making relationship with boyfriend work, and also is interested in this other male, then it seems clear that any expectation about romance between you in the present would not be supported by any concrete opportunity.
My suggestion remains the same. If you feel this is something worthy and you are willing to wait to see if in the future she happens to change her heart and give you a chance, good, but if you feel that by doing so you undermine your ability to take good care of yourself, enjoy your life and work on building healthy friendships with females and meeting females from where you could find one that could be a really good match for you at core levels, and willing to work with you on it, then please make necessary adjustments to your plans. Some people could keep hope without neglecting their lives but fully living them, while others would get like emotionally frozen while waiting for too long. Please reflect in what you want and ca afford or not, and take consistent action from there.
Take gentle care and thank you for your trust.
I've known her for a long time, she is a very nice and polite girl. When she is not reciprocating gratitude, it's not because she doesn't mean it. Which is what is perplexing in this situation. She has never been blatantly derogatory towards me, when she has turned me down. Also, I cannot believe that she didn't have a nice time with me when we went out, and how she can act so differently to when we went out just a few weeks ago seems very strange to me.
That said - I have really liked her for a long time and I know that sometimes you have to be strong in your pursuit. She likes the fact that I don't give up on her - but, I want to make sure she doesn't take advantage of it either.
Right now - I have been a bit emotionally frozen for the last few weeks - which is why I decided to pursue this therapy
I have tried so hard to move on from her - I even tried to date another girl last summer, but nothing has seemed to work.
My fear is that if this time again, she does not choose me (which right now seems like a long shot)...I will be broken.
So, is it best for me to completely cut off contact and put her behind me?
I would like to talk to her about it - but, I have very strong moral values. I don't want to pursue a girl who is in a relationship.
I can see it has been this shard for you, specially when this has been something you have been working on for this long.
And also, I do not want to be someone's second choice
or third in this matter
The only consistency in her behaviour has been that every guy she has chosen over me has been Italian (and she is from Italy). Despite our common values - she doesn't seem to feel that a lack of common cultural background is enough
Based on your story I do not see any significant behavior that shows there is any high chance for her to considers you as a boyfriend.
Well there are behaviours - such as a month and a half ago she went to Istanbul to run a marathon. Her boyfriend was supposed to go. But, he didn't go. On the plane back she called me instead.
This was before I knew about any problems between them or that there was another guy in the mix
Then if that is the way you believe, think and feel, I do think it would be consistent and healthy for you to set better boundaries and focus on building new friendships and relationships, since there is nothing apparent in this friendship that shows it would evolve into anything more in the near future.
Plus, a few weeks after that I spoke at a conference - which was a big step in my career
and she called me the night before to wish me good luck
That sounds good, but do you truly beleieve that those behaviors are enough for you to trust you would date and that it would happen any time soon?
No I do not
Then please take consistent actions to take good care of yourself in this area too.
And by that you mean, cut her off completely?
I mean - I am a fairly intelligent guy. I can't believe that I have let myself into a situation which is so one-sided (from your analysis).
That means for you to do what works for you, allowing you to build a healthy and fulfilling social and romantic life, keeping contact and sharing with her only as much as you could handle without undermining such process.
Only you know how you feel, and what you want, are able and willing to afford about this situation. Just be very clear about that in order for you not to feel more frustrated and hurt in case things do not evolve the way you expect.