How do you make sense of being led on after thinking you’re getting better?

You don't make sense of it. You move on.

This person has clearly stated (from the beginning) that they don't want a relationship with you. You stuck around hoping that what they said wasn't true. But it was. It doesn't matter that you hooked up a couple times or spent lots of time together. At no point did they ever say they wanted a relationship from you and you're making them feel bad about that. Honestly they did nothing wrong.

If it hurts you to be around this person, stop being around them. Certainly don't keep hanging out with them hoping they'll change their mind about being with you. They won't.

If someone doesn't enthusiastically choose you back, they're not your person. It's time to accept that.

Be prepared for the fact that we don't get closure or explanations or understanding to most hard things in life. We just learn from it and move on.

/r/attachment_theory Thread