Hello! I (26/F) am a former textbook BP. Thankfully I had a reality check and realized I wasn't making anything better for anyone. I took a break from dating and fixed a lot of my issues. We are all of us a work in progress, but I do believe I am capable now of being an asset in a relationship. It was interesting to find RPW, because I had no idea beforehand that the changes I was making in my life aligned to an already existing theory!

So, I am here for some tough love. I have been lurking here for a few months and I respect the opinions I see here and I hope to gain some insight into my particular situation. I have never been in a relationship that I wanted to take seriously, so I am unclear how much of my fretting is completely in my head and how much of it is actually a true red flag.

Martin (26/M) and I met a year and a half ago through an online dating site. We hit it off immediately! We talk every day, and spend a lot of time together. My friends and family love him, as his do me. It's a really wonderful fit personality wise, yet I find myself having serious doubts about the romantic fit and I'm not sure how to address them.

A month after we met, he explained to me that he had just exited a long term relationship only 4 months prior. It left him with a bad taste and some trouble with trust. He said he liked me a lot and wanted me to be aware of why he was moving slowly and to confirm that would be okay for us. He wanted to avoid the bad decisions he made in his past relationships. I respect that quite a bit and I don't mind moving slow and focusing on a friendship first, since I had always dealt with fast moving men and became quickly overwhelmed by them.

Another few months later, I was getting that horrible itch of insecurity. I asked him where we were at since our last talk (above). He shared a few more details of his personal history, said he had hopes for what we could be in the future, but still wanted to go slow as we had been. His answer did make me feel better and calmed my fretting for the time being.

Then... I let it go too long. It's been a year since that discussion and we are in the same place in our relationship. He has had a lot of personal set backs over the past year that have discouraged him considerably and taken away a lot of his motivation. I continue to do my best to remain a constant and positive rock for him and encourage him. Every time I start fretting to myself and try to rev up to ask him about "us" I immediately doubt myself ("if he didn't like and value me, he wouldn't spend so much time with me"), tell myself he's dealing with a lot and doesn't need me adding another log to the pile, and let it go.

This seems to be doing both of us a disservice! It's something that I am at fault for not addressing sooner. I am bad at serious communicating (I've gotten better, continually working on it, but I'm still below average), but if he is also not a good communicator (we are both of us very non-confrontational) and I am self aware and want things to change, I should be the one to start the ball rolling.

What do I have on my hands here, ladies? How do I proceed with poise and respect and avoid turning this into a mountain if it doesn't need to be one? I am way past the point of my previous experience with men. I never maintained a relationship past 1-3 months (my own fault entirely, I was too immature and didn't want to invest in them). I honestly don't even know how to phrase any of this to him without turning it into a huge wall of text (much like this has turned into) that will overwhelm him, and stressing him out is the last thing I want to do.

Thank you for your time! I'm sorry this ended up so long. Please let me know if there are any other details that would be helpful. I tried to keep it as to the point as possible.

P.S. For reference and clarity, I am not physically intimate with Martin, so this is not an issue of "I plated myself and now he won't commit". I suppose it's more like... I emotionally plated myself and don't know how to handle it.