my boyfriend says he wants us to take a step backwards, but he doesn't want us to break up. I'm not too sure what that means exactly. we haven't seen each other in about two weeks and we rarely talks on the phone anymore, we had plans to talk in person and then he calls and canceled at the last minute. I'm basically thinking he doesn't want to hurt me but he really wants to end it. we have been together for a year and three months, maybe he's just tired of us but not know how to tell me.
Well, it's clear that he's unsure about something - but this could be anything: could be you (=bad gossip?), could be the two of you ('growing tired'); could be just him being insecure about himself and/or his future (with or without you). Whatever it is, he's having thoughts he's not willing to share with you right now. However, seeing the length of your relationship already, he should come clean with you on his thoughts/feelings, and if he doesn't the only way is to confront him and plain ask - but yea, you may be prepared to get hurt when he does start opening up(which is the reason why he doesn't wanna talk about it in the first place). Some guys feel suffocated when they spent too much time with their girlfriends - that's even for old ages (midlife crisis). Just saying, it could be better than it looks, but tell him how important it is for you to let you in on whatever he's thinking - and whatever it may be.
Girl I think you are so right as bad and hard as that is it seems to me that he just doesn't want to be the bad guy and hurt your heart. You all have been together a while so therefore you know he cares about you lots it just that he is just not that into you , that's a great book by the way , and Its called a breakup because its broken is another and they are fantastic.Well good luck and just be straight with him and tell him what you think and see how he responds!