What to do if he thinks we need space, but he also wants to be part of my life?

Anonymous
In a bit of a messy situation with a guy I almost dated - we like each other a lot with strong chemistry, have kissed several times, but no sex (almost though), but because of our individual circumstances it stops us from even casually dating. We decided to try and be friends, but every time we say we try, either one of us tries to kiss the other. I think being friends can be tricky because of the strong chemistry we have and we both agreed we don’t want a friends with benefits situation as we care about each other and have strong feelings.

He thinks we need space - but at the same time he says he still cares about me and hopes he can still be in my life somehow. I don’t want to lose him entirely but it’s difficult to try and work it out as just friends when romantic feelings are involved and dating isn’t going to happen for us no matter what. I agree, some space is good because it has distracted us from other aspects of our lives.

How can we make this work as friends? How long should I give it space? Should I just not contact him and wait for him to get in contact as he is the one saying we need space from this situation?
What to do if he thinks we need space, but he also wants to be part of my life?
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