How can ex’s be friends?

So me and my ex broke up about a month ago. He ended it because he’s away at school, under a lot of stress, long distance was hard and he said he didn’t really feel it anymore. He kept telling me he wanted to be friends and that friendship was a priority but unless I text him first, he won’t contact me. I still have feelings for him and I really want to be friends but I don’t know how to go about that. Many people tell me we can’t be friends it just won’t work but I also don’t want to lose him in my life because he became my best friend and I’m torn. Please help
How can ex’s be friends?
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