Why do men want to stay friends after a break-up?

My ex and I broke up about a year and a half ago. For a while I still had feelings for him as it was a long term relationship. I decided to keep my distance after we broke up as he started dating someone else almost immediately. About 3 month after our break up he contacted me and said we should try to be friends, I agreed but unfortunately it didn't work out very well as I still had feelings for him and he claimed he didn't feel the same. Again I backed off and we didn't speak again for about 5 months. Once again she started texting me and once again we tried to be friends. Again it didn't work out due to us constantly arguing with each other. About a month ago we started speaking again and I've noticed that he refers to me by the pet name he used while we were together.

He is currently dating someone and I'm trying to avoid him but what I can't understand is why he can't just leave me alone? After our last argument I asked him not to contact me so why does he keep telling me how good it is we're getting along and asking constantly whether I missed him?

Is this normal or is there something else going on?
Why do men want to stay friends after a break-up?
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