Personally speaking, becoming friends after a breakup is rare especially when your relation was a serious one and you people shared a very special bond. Here’s my story:
My first relation was more of an accident (funny story). I don’t think either of us really had serious feelings. We just got into a relation and unsurprisingly, I had to convey to her within two weeks that it won’t work out. I felt awful hearing her cry, but years later she would realize that it was a good decision.
Out of guilt, I kept going back to her to apologize to make sure she has forgiven me for breaking up. And she did when she realized I had no ill-intentions. And so the process of being friends and talking again never felt all that difficult.
Two years later, when I got into my first serious relation, it was with my best friend. The only time I had met my first girl-friend, I had made sure she met my best friend too, so that they could be friends. But my best friend didn’t seem happy about it. I knew years later that she had feelings even then, which is why she wasn’t okay with me being in a relation with someone else.
After years of being in a relation with her, long distance finally had its say. The last line I remember from her after trying for months to get her back was “I’m tired of long-distance, tired of waiting and crying and I don’t think I love you anymore”. And it was over, just like that.
I had tried being friends with her, but that idea always sounded stupid even to me. I guess I had said that hoping I’ll get her back. We both were wrong at some time, we both blamed each other. It was hard to accept that people can get over you, that years of love can be over. But I’m sure she must have tried from her side, and in the end, she chose her happiness, or I should say she chose not to hurt herself over my happiness. Even though that hurt a lot, I shouldn’t blame her for that.
Now I feel that it wasn’t just us, the situation was to be blamed too, which we didn’t handle well enough. Being friends at that time wouldn’t have helped because none of us were mature enough to handle it. When there is love, even the idea of being friends sounds stupid, frustrating and at times fills the other person with anger. Because you expect yourself to mean more to them than just a friend.
Both the people being nice doesn’t mean everything will go well. Becoming friends after a breakup is an option but not a solution. So if you think you can’t handle being friends, don’t force yourself. You will only end up hurting yourself and prolonging the inevitable.