Why do men stay in touch with an ex who they dumped?

Anonymous
I dated this guy long-distance for almost a year. It was a really healthy relationship and we both put forth a lot of effort to make it work. He broke it off about 6 months ago due to distance and work stress, which I understood. It was a really mature break up. We each went our separate ways and cut communication... for a month at least. He then got back in touch. We chatted casually for a few weeks and then I finally broke down and asked what his intentions were. He said he just thought we were friends. I very politely asked him to give me some space because I obviously hadn't moved on yet and his texts, emails, calls, etc. were hindering the process. We didn't speak for another month and now he's back in touch. He sends me songs to listen to, asks about work, brings up inside jokes from the past, lets me know when he's coming into town. I know men are simple creatures and when he said he didn't want to get back together, that's probably what he meant. But why feel the need to stay in touch when we live across the country? We weren't friends before we dated and he's older so we don't have the same social circles. I've tried not responding, short responses, being friendly... I would date him again in a heartbeat, but he's really messing with my head. I know only he knows what his motives are but I'd love any insight from someone who's experienced this. Is this guy confused or just simply keeping me on the back-burner?
Why do men stay in touch with an ex who they dumped?
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