My ex is over me but wants to stay friends but fights it if I want to say bye?

I need advice from a male. The one person in my life who it hurts me soo badly to walk away from is my ex boyfriend. We were bestfriends and he lost feeling for me and believes we are not meant to be. I on the other hand still have a lot of feelings for him and he knows that I feel differently than how he does. The problem is, that we go to the same events and I feel like I cannot go to them anymore because it is too hard on me to hangout with him as just a friend. He hopes that I will be able to heal fully and be friends but I know how much I want to be with him that I feel like my only option is to say bye... Yet anytime I bring that up, he fights it and says he does not want to lose eachother in each others lives... There have been tears as a lot of care is there on both end for the other person but he has no feelings for me and doesn't see us getting back. The only reason I would stay friends is if he was open to life happening and perhaps getting back together down the road. As you can see, my heart is so torn. I don't want to have to say bye, it hurts me soooo much but I also know I can't just stay friends with him forever. My question is, why is he fighting so hard that we don't lose each other all together and what do I do! I feel I know the right answer, and to disappear and truly go no contact at all but then apart of me feels if I stay friends with him in groups that he might see our connection again etc. Male advice please and female advice would be great aswell. My heart is so torn. Life is just so unreal... The one person I never wanted to say bye to, I feel like I have no choice to... Someone help :( please
My ex is over me but wants to stay friends but fights it if I want to say bye?
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