So my question is, when the part of our friendship in which we became the closest was based on our hidden feelings for each other for years, does he truly just want to be friends? Can he really have no ulterior motive for the day he is single or lonely?
He still reaches out to me. I don't initiate contact with him. At first I ignored him hoping it would stop. Then it didn't so I responded to him so he'd see I was fine and available to him hoping it would make him lose interest and it still hasn't stopped. Whether it's a text, phone call, email, or something on Facebook (and even the times we've seen each other) he's reaching out to me. The contact from him is about once a week. I am trying the not responding thing again.
I am just very confused if he broke up with me because he "didn't want a relationship and felt trapped" (code for I don't want a relationship with YOU) and had that girl he met working out of town over at our old apartment the next week, then why does he worry about contacting me? Also, guys (no offense), are you really silly enough to think that being friends with your ex even though you were friends before would work and that be something your new girl would be OK with?
It's hard to believe that he literally just wants a friendship but I'm curious if you think he may.
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Speaking from experience, where my current legal wife (divorce filed for by both us) and I had been best friends for 11 years and have an 8 year-old daughter together, it's terribly difficult to let go of such an important relationship. My ex wanted to remain friends, and I initially wanted us to remain married (she betrayed me). However, after she stopped responding to me and stopped treating me like a friend for months, I decided to no longer be friends with her.
You probably started as best friends, and he used to rely on you for so much regarding anything from advice to assurance in his decisions. He can't simply drop that connection. Yes, you are doing the right thing in limiting your conversations with him, but just do what you're comfortable with, varying from nothing to sacrificing your time for him.
If you don't want to talk with him, don't feel that you have to based on your history. Sometimes the honest and calm feelings of friendly separation are needed, but, not to be wishy-washy, you'll know when to give him more time.