Staying friends with an ex can be difficult to maintain when you still have strong feelings for them. Whether or not it’s a mistake keeping in close contact with your ex or if being friends with an ex lead back into a relationship depends on what you do with those feelings.
With time, and as you come to accept that what you had as a couple is over but you still value the friendship you had and want your ex in your life, the butterfly feelings change to a lasting friendship based on deep respect and appreciation. You may even find that your lives move in different directions but the good memories remain.
The feelings get brought to the surface more and more and it ruins the “friends” part of the arrangement. I’ve seen some people try to do the friends with benefits thing as away to deal with the left over strong feelings of sexual attraction, but almost always someone ends up getting hurt when the other person moves on.
The realization that what you have is so much stronger than what drew you apart in the first place leads back into a relationship. But this is where you have to be really honest with yourself. Do you want him back? What has changed in regard to your differences? What makes you think that it’ll work this time? But more importantly, does he want you back?
Talk to your ex about what’s really going on. Only good can come out of an open discussion about your true feelings for each other. A good talk will help both of you decide on the right and necessarily thing to do in the best interest of the other.
If you decide being friends is what both of you want, then make sure you agree on exactly how much contact is healthy at this time or in the future. You have experience working together and it shouldn’t be too hard given the strength of your friendship.
If you decide that some distance between the two of you is the best thing to do, then agree on how long you need away from each other and how you will reconnect later on.
In other words, no one size fits all situations, you have to do what is right for the two of you.