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Hi, I hope I can offer some help with your question.
This sounds like a difficult situation for you to navigate.
I wonder what is motivating you to want to continue your relationship with him, now that he has requested to take a break, and/or remain friends, and has stated that he doesn't have strong feelings of affection towards you, and still has feelings for his ex? You said that you are afraid that you are not strong enough to take any more pain? Perhaps you hope that by hanging onto this relationship it would be less painful than letting it go.
However, hanging onto someone who is not fully committed to you can have a detrimental affect on your confidence, feelings of self-worth and self-esteem, and can prevent youfro finding more healthy and dedicated relationships that would be positive for you.
While it is understandable that staying with him in the hope that things may work out might seem on the short term the easiest and less painful option, on the whole selling yourself short, or settling for something that is less than you are worthy to receive, is rarely the least painful option in the long run.
You have managed to get through the last 2 years of healing, and if this relationship is not for you, then this will help you to manifest the relationship that might still be waiting out there that is for you. The more you divert your energy into a relationship that is just settling, the longer it will take for you to find someone that is completely devoted to you.
The approach you are taking seems balanced and sensible under the circumstances. We don't know how this will turn out, however, as you have recognised, he may need some time to sort his feelings out and anything else that may need to be resolved in his life before he can fully commit in a relationship. In the meantime, you both seem keen to remain on amicable terms, and this can provide you hopefully enough closure in the short term, to focus on your own life, wellbeing and priorities.
Hi, sorry for the delay. There is no easy answer to this, however achieving the balance that is right for you as well as him is important. It you feel you want to get in touch, you have every right to do so as long as you do it in a measured way that respects his wishes also.