When you meet someone and then you embark on a relationship there can only ever really be two possible outcomes either you get married and live happily ever after you part ways and carry on with your lives as if they were never really part of your lives.
You will talk, maybe try and work things out but it just isn’t happening so you decide that perhaps you can be friends so you think ‘hey, we’ll keep in touch and we can be friends.’ You hang out, maybe try being friends with benefits but there feelings remain. This situation is easier when you were friends before but say you met online or were set up and then embarked on a relationship then the chances are that the friendship will fizzle out.
Or that maybe you will realise that you can’t bear to be apart and start on a happy relationship again. In these situations I have found the relationship becomes stronger because you have seen life without each other and appreciate each other more.
But if the latter doesn’t occur and you do decide to be friends then just remember one thing, you might be okay with being friends but your new partner isn’t going to be so happy, no matter how secure they are in themselves they will always wonder why you keep in touch. If you are friends with your ex but don’t tell your new partner then there is definitely something wrong in your relationship.
You both could go through life and not meet anyone but then the question arises of perhaps you both were destined to be in each other’s lives as more than friends.
My view, and the view of many other people I spoke to is that only stay friends with someone if you would be okay if you saw them with another person or moving on with their lives otherwise you’ll end up living in the past.