Can a couple go from a romantic, passionate relationship to a nonsexual friendship after the breakup? Some can, and some can’t. It usually depends on the level of emotional involvement and how much time has elapsed after the breakup.
Although most couples will tell you that their love and emotional involvement were very deep, that may not be completely accurate. It may be that their emotions were more attached to their sex life, than to the relationship itself. When sex is involved, it’s very difficult to look at the relationship objectively.
In any relationship, even the ones that barely skim the surface, you’re dealing with different communication styles, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, anger, disappointment, and the frustration of unmet emotional needs. So, can you go from this heightened state of emotional turmoil, where many of your memories are connected to your past sex life, to having a platonic friendship with your ex-lover or ex-spouse?
It depends on a number of things. How much time has elapsed since the breakup and are you both in different relationships? Is one of you in a deep relationship and the other one is not, or is neither one in another relationship? Again, the intensity of the love, not lust, may be the determining factor in whether you can be platonic friends after the breakup.
I have watched couples who thought they were in love, move into other romantic relationships very quickly after the breakup and I have also seen couples who barely knew each other, agonize over the split to the extent that they couldn’t get on with their lives until they met someone else.
One of the most significant factors is whether this couple had a deep friendship before they had a sexual relationship. If, at one time, they did have a meaningful friendship where they could share their deepest, darkest secrets without fear of being judged, then the odds are in their favor that someday, after enough time has passed and old issues have been set aside so they no longer hurt so much, the possibility does exist that they could settle into a platonic friendship.