Ending a relationship

Hello – I have been dating a guy for a year and a half on and off + long distance. I think I have become attached to the highs and lows and I feel like I want to end it but I am terribly afraid of the empty space that will be there when he is gone, The memories, The daily routines, talking, laughter, support, and all the stuff that comes with someone being the major part of your life for so long.

He brings many wonderful things to the table that I love but overall I feel that we want different things. I want commitment and he is not there yet. I want to communicate in hard times and he shuts down and does not communicate. I want to be deep in conversation sometimes and he wants to stay playful and silly, etc…

I have tried to stay and be patient and it has also allowed me to work on a lot within myself, but I am unhappy a lot of the time now and I don’t know what else to do. I feel trapped because I want him and don’t want the pain of leaving him, but I’m not happy or satisfied a lot of the time when with him. Plus it seems that most my friends say in their own way that they think I deserve better.

How do I get strong enough to make a decision, stick with it, and get through whatever comes? The thought of not having him in my life is paralyzing to me at the moment.