Why does he want me now that I walked away

OK long story short, friends with ex of mine...he reached out to me earlier last year after we had bad breakup a few months before that. wanted to patch things up and be friends. I wanted to as well. both of us were dating someone else, so it was platonic. he and his girlfriend are kind of broken up now...mostly because of her wanting to be single. My most recent boyfriend and I broke up as well...was mutual. anyways, we have gotten really close and ended up sleeping together. said it would be a one-time thing that we were just friends...everything fine. well, I started realizing I was getting feelings for him again. and knew that was a bad thing. I told him hey, I think you're great, but I need to take a step back from our friendship for a while. we were talking every day morning noon or night...to me, we both were crossing platonic lines. and I might be OK with that if I didn't think he still wanted his ex. anyway, I asked him to respect I needed space for a while and would rather not chat at the moment. a week later, he texts me saying he can't stop thinking about me and he misses me a lot. does that sound legit or does he just miss having someone to lean against because of being hurt by his ex? I'm so confused. Why couldn't he admit feelings when we were talking every day? We are both in our 30s, divorced, with kids. we are kinda too old for this lol.
Why does he want me now that I walked away
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