John, I just wanted to talk about our friendship. Got a minute? Well, since we've both had relationships that have ended badly, what I'm looking for right now is for us to be friends. I'm okay with us going slow and just doing the dating thing. Does this sound like what you're looking for? [if he says no, ask him for clarification].
It's not hard. Just sit down and talk this through. Share what you're feeling and encourage him to do the same.