Just a thought, but have you considered counseling on this whole topic? Might be good to get a 3rd party opinion on this.
I guess the only way to find out whether he truly wants to be with you is if he makes the effort to be with you. For example, flying out to see you, talking on the phone, courting you, etc. You have a child together so regardless you'll always be connected. He's already burned you and you are afraid of getting burned again, and to be honest, the likelihood of him doing it again is high.
I would tell him, "if you truly want to be with me, you need to show it to me and prove it." Be honest with him, tell me what your fears are. If his heart is in it he will make plans, and do whatever it takes to be with you. It's really as simple as that.
Personally if doesn't put his money where his money is, then you should consider things were over when your chose your child over him. I think a lot of your connection to him as to do with your child together, and will probably always be there. But let him make the effort, and not you. Once he has or hasn't proven things to you, then you'll have your answer once and for all. Don't waste any additional time or effort on him, if he's not willing to make the effort, and move on with your life.
You know what my guess is? Joe is probably lonely and needs someone to lavish him with love. He needs someone to make him feel better I bet. He's thinking, who better than 'alrightywhatever.' I personally would not go after this guy and let him be. It is not supposed to be that hard. I am going to guess that your feelings for him are/were not the same as he is feelings for you. It doesn't sound like it was equal.
You tried really hard to see why you loved him to death but then you gave up and said whatever. I think that article on first loves sums is up.
The whole soulmate/made for each other -t is' not true. The best book out there to debunk love myths and learn how to find the right person for you is:
"Are You the One for Me?" by Barbara DeAngelis