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I am really lost and could use some help. I am 25, my "ex" boyfriend is 31. We were together for a year. We fell quickly and got very close, spending 3-4 days a week together from the start, and sometimes even more. From the beginning, he had some hesitation due to a very, very difficult childhood that lacked love and good examples of relationships. He would often pull away and say that we had to be "just friends," but his actions didn't change and a week or so later everything was back to normal.

Recently, he ended the relationship because he said he wants to give me all of him, but because of his past and his own issues with relationships, he is scared to do so. He always talks about how he is so used to good things in his life falling apart, that he is just waiting for us to crumble. His thinking is to end it on good terms because he thinks it will hurt me less in the long run. After about 2 weeks apart, (we were both out of town for the holidays), we started spending time together again. Right now, we are "just friends" (this is his choice, not mine), but we see eachother at least 2 times a week, exchange at least a couple texts per day, and often spend nights together (cuddling and sleeping together, but no sex).

I have been putting up with this "just friends" arrangement for a couple reasons. 1) I am so in love with him, he is my best friend, and any time I can spend with him is better than losing him. 2) he has a history of this "pulling away" "just friends" routine in the past, (although this time seems a little more serious) so I am hoping if I wait it out he will come around again.

The other night when we were hanging out, he mentioned that he met a girl at a bar when his group of friends starting talking to her group of friends. He told me that she has been contacting him via facebook and asking to meet up for a drink or dinner. He told me that he considered it, but decided that he felt like it was sneaking around behind my back, and told me he would only go if I was okay with it. I said that I'm not really comfortable with him doing that right now since we have been spending time together still. He said ok that's fine, I am not looking for a new relationship anyway, so I'll tell her no. But what broke my heart is that he said, "even though I'm not going on this date, if you meet a good guy and he asks you out, you should go."

During that same talk, he went on and on about how I am his best friend and how much he cares for me. He says how much he loves me, how I am his anchor, and how amazing of a wife and mother I would be. He talked about how he wishes he could "man up" and settle down and marry and have kids with me, but he is scared because he knows that he left girls in the past because of freaking out at the last minute. He talked about how when he has a bad day all he wants to do is come over and lay with me and talk to forget all about it.

This is so difficult because the way he describes his feelings for me are exactly how I feel for him. It is killing me that he is throwing away a relationship that we both know could be forever because of his past relationships and his childhood. I am willing to ride it out and work through these issues with him, but he says that its not fair to me.

I am hopeful that he just needs some space and time, but I am also scared he is just going to give up. That he simply can't do a relationship, that he is damaged from his childhood and past relationships so much that he thinks at any moment everything will explode or that he will "fail."

I know it is naive to think that love conquers all, but part of me thinks if you love someone you work on it, you try. Except for his episodes of pulling away, we have no real issues or problems.

I guess I am posting because this in-between unknowing time is really hard. I am trying to just give it space and time, but I am scared and a wreck waiting to figure out how things will go. I love him so much and I want this to work. I am willing to do anything to work it through and I accept him as he is. I am just really afraid he is going to give up and I will lose him.

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