Is it dumb or smart to stay friends with your ex?

Long story short: There had been a very emotional roller coaster in our relationship towards the end and I think after I had to go home and not see him for a month that this time made him feel like he became “himself” again.

Since we hadn’t seen each other for a month we just talked and talked about what we had been up to, we laughed together and even ended up laying on his bed talking and laughing more.

He wants to keep me in his life as a good friend. I’m not very keen on being friends only. And I was very clear with him that I respected that he wanted to breakup but that I wanted to have him in my life as my boyfriend and not just friend.

When I eventually had to leave he looked very sad and asked if he’d ever see me again. I said I couldn’t promise anything but that he knew what I wanted. We hugged twice for very long and then I left.

While I’m glad that it ended on good terms I’m now also saddened to lose him from my life. I still love him and believe it’s worth it to get him back in the future. I want to work on myself and become a happier person.

I feel like if I would accept the friend label then I’m letting him eat the cookie (getting to communicate with me and keep me around) but then he can also keep the cookie (date around).

But then again: having him actively in my life could help him see the changes I do to myself.

On the other hand: He might never change his mind, meet someone new and I just became officially friend zoned forever.

I don’t know if it’s better to never reach out again. Try to move on, work on myself and see whether he’ll one day reach out or not.

I don’t want to lose him from my life, but I don’t want to be “the friend”.

I want him back one day. Am I smart or dumb if I don’t take the friend offer?
Is it dumb or smart to stay friends with your ex?
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