Hi Bizbee. His jealousy, controlling nature won't change much even with counseling. When you say mental health issues, do you know exactly what they are? If you are naturally flirtatious and this causes issues, are you willing to cease this behaviour? Jealousy and possessiveness quite often do cause serious issues but if the problem is being made worse either through insecurity or flirting on behalf of one of the couples, this can cause even more insecurity as the jealous partner becomes even more possessive. I realize you probably do love him, but if you are the flirtatious type, his behaviour won't really improve. It sounds as though he gets extremely hurt if he sees you being 'overly' friendly. I was married several years ago to an extremely possessive man. I too could be quite flirtatious, it was innocent, and I would never have acted out, but he was so insecure and jealous, it caused problems. I am no longer like that, but because I was, he got hurt. He eventually returned to his previous wife. We had counseling, where we were encouraged to 'role reversal'. It left both of us completely exhausted but made no difference. If you are in a relationship where trust is total and you are 'rock solid' mild, harmless flirting doesn't make any difference to your relationship. However, as I said, if one partner is jealous and insecure this problem will keep being repeated. I am close friends with a couple, where the hubby and I frequently give each other a hug and kiss, the wife is so secure, she completely trusts and ignores us. If I had a hubby/bf who was insecure and I loved him enough to recognize this, I would not do anything to cause more hurt.
I feel you are being sensible by giving yourself time before becoming intimate. Your friend is willing to go and seek out some support with issues he has taken ownership for, which is a fantastic thing for him as well as yourself.
Maybe you could get on board and speak to someone as there are benefits in learning things about yourself to build better relationships with others.
There are places out there that offer specific relationship support where you could both learn skills that could help develop a stronger bond between both of you.
I feel that you have an open line of communication and this type of skill could be a great starting point to start a healthy relationship. Great relationships are formed by working through issues that are uncomfortable and finding solutions that make both of you feel comfortable.
Giving yourself time to make important decisions is a good thing to do. Holding onto hope things will move in a positive direction for both of you.