Great story, thank you for sharing. For me the message that you should not feel obliged to stay friends with anyone is key. You sussed out your compatibility, worked out it wasn’t for you and made a clear choice. As for AJ’s suggestion that you treated him like an object too, do not agree with AJ at all — you set clear boundaries. That you chose to assess certain aspects of this person as a way to manage what your expectations might be is what we all do.
Wishing you the alignment you seek