I've dated this this man for 3 years, but before hand we were best friends and he waited on me while I explored, and that damaged him pretty badly. We broke up because of me, yet again and (let's just say I learned the hard way) I want to commit to him. He says that he has aspirations and goals to marry me, have children with me, and settle down with me, but right now he needs space.
One second he invites me over, and we're together for weeks, and then one day he flips out and decides to run away for space. I don't know what's going here, and I don't know what could be going on inside of his head, because he can only tell me "I want to be with you, but I'm not ready for this relationship yet. When I'm ready, I'll ask. And yes baby I want to start a clean slate with you."
What is going on? What am I supposed to do and think?
-Want to Commit
It sounds to me like you nailed it when you say that you hurt him. He gets together with you for a while, and then he gets scared and retreats. He's afraid of getting hurt again.
I don't know what you can say or do to make him trust the relationship. I do know that actions always speak louder than words, so it's probably best to give him what he asks for: Space. And tell him how you feel, something along the lines of, "I'll miss you, but I know you need this."
(Question: When he takes his space, is he free to date other people? Are you? If you don't know, please ask him. If he's dating, he can't expect you not to date. If he's not dating, don't date. The goal is to build trust.)
He says he'll come around when he's ready, but there's no guarantee he'll ever be ready, so you have to face that possibility. (I really wish I had more to offer you here.)
Ask yourself if you're truly willing to take a chance on this guy by being patient, or if you'll get itchy and start looking around again.
I'm thinking good thoughts for you. Good luck.