Captain, advice please.
"You would run through his fingers like water" - it is all about freedom for you. Once you got to know this guy better and see that he was not actually what you wanted, you would leave. You are seeking freedom in someone else, outside of yourself. But the freedom you seek is within you. The only limitations are in your mind. You need to dig deep inside yourself to get rid of any beliefs or attitudes that are holding you back from being happy. This means you have to look at your life and change what needs to be changed in order for you to feel liberated. Get rid of the people and things that are no longer useful to you. Develop more self-awareness by discarding the things you have been told about yourself by others. Discover what your real passion is. Your true nature has been concealed beneath other people's assessment of your character. No one can know you as well as you know yourself so don't build a character based on fantasy or tradition.
Your friend was drawn to you at first but then he realised you didn't really know yourself or what you have inside you and he lost interest. You were attracted to the sense of freedom inside him, not the actual person. You want that freedom yourself but first you have to set your mind free of all preconceptions about what you think you want and get in touch with what you really want. This will involve a lot of peace and quiet to contemplate and understand yourself and your needs and to hear what your intuition is telling you. Learn to meditate if you can.