Hi. Being in a small town you sure will bump into him at one point or the other. Perhaps you can invite him to different activities that do not take much time (to be sure he can integrate them around his routine). A dog that was hit with a stick once will always fear seeing a human with a stick in the future, the man was hurt and it will take time for him to feel at peace in a relationship. Give him time but if you love him, don't let the space too open for another women to slide in. Yes you can reach out, many man fall prey to depression in situation like that and total isolation is not a good thing.