Thank you Redpepper! I think you may have hit the head on the nail. My boyfriend does indeed love me... I can see it in his eyes when he looks at me and in his face when he is struggling to understand our relationship. He has said that his "special someone" is someone exactly like me. But I dont know that he will find someone exactly like me... someone that has lived the life experiences that I have had, that has loved the way I have, that has sacrificed the way I have. I am willing to give him the space he needs... but I fear its in vain. I believe that I am his forever. He just needs to believe it, and come to terms with what may or may not happen within his circle of family/friends when our relationship comes to light.
Thank you again.. I very much appreciate the knowledge of those who have been there done that.