The short term answer is no. Naively i believed that this could be achieved- how wrong i was. After a break up the individual who has ended the relationship looks for friendship, whilst this is the last thing on the other persons mind.
Personally i broke up with my ex due to the mistakes he made, therefore my opinion is that i did nothing wrong and was simply acting how i thought was appropriate. Whereas my ex on the other hand believed i was overreacting and should give him a second chance (to ruin things again). We did not see eye to eye on the break up and the reasoning behind it- causing extreme conflict between the pair of us. Idealistically i believed we could still speak and see each other- whilst living our own lives and seeing other people. But this is catch 22, your ex doesn’t want you- but doesn’t want anyone else to have you. So whilst he is happy having a casual friendship with you- and let’s be honest a casual sexual friendship- he doesn’t like the idea of you befriending new people and getting on with your life.
There is another issue with a relaxed “friendship” with your ex- it doesn’t give you the time to get over them. You slip back into old routines and to be honest it feels as though you haven’t even separated. What is the point of going through the heartache of ending the relationship if you are going to act as if you’re still together?
When i suggested we stop talking as much and spending time together, the idea went down like a lead balloon. This was when my ex realised i was moving on- and he wasn’t included in the plan. As much as i tried to keep conversation light hearted and friendly, the reality was that the feelings we both had for each other were too strong and pretending to be “just friends” wasn’t working. We had too much history together.
I believe that trying to become “just friends” after a break up is impossible. One half of the partnership is still licking their wounds from the heartache, whilst the other is trying to ease their guilt by remaining friends. In the short term it doesn’t work. In the future perhaps, but i haven’t got there yet. 5 months on and the relationship is just as bitter as the day it ended. As sad as it is to have a poor relationship with someone that was such an influential part of my life, it is also a blessing in disguise because i have seen his true character. It was better for me to witness this side to him 4 years down the line rather than 10 when we were married with children. This is when i truly understood the phrase “everything happens for a reason”. I swear by that saying. As awful as a situation seems, learn and grow from it and better things will come your way.
Remember the glass is always half full...