yourname2000 saidJust did, it was (and still is at times) hard, but T and I came to a similar conclusion ("just" a 13mo relationship for us, though).
Hope he doesn't mind me speaking for both of us here, lol. We still have a lot of love for each other and are great friends --I call us twin bros, for how close we line up, lol. As BFs though, we were starting to bring out each other's insecurities, and neither of us wanted that. After a couple of stumbles, we could see that we were only getting 95% of where we each wanted to be in a relationship and felt each deserved 100%. And both of us had seen relationships implode where the parties took it too far past the actual "end" of the relationship, and in the end not even a friendship could be salvaged. We really didn't want that.
So, it's been a month or so, and we're still best friends. He tells me about his exploits (and I'm both titillated and happy for him, lol) and we still do weekly (at least) dinners together, shoot the shit, and then cuddle up on the couch and watch some tv/movies.
There can be a path "out" that allows you to retain the height of your closeness, imo. And wise of you both to see that that "height" has passed and that trying to force that height again will only lead to resentment and the further eroding of whatever future relationship (lovers, ex's, bff's, friends, acquaintances) you're destined to have long term.
D speaks truth, and does it well here. And for what he says above, even though it was my shortest LTR, it is perhaps my most important and meaningful.
I've had a marriage (7.5 years, 5+ of which were married), and one other LTR (6 years). It is never easy to part. And in both of these cases, all contact was cut (except with the "mothers in law", hahahah!).
After that sort of break-up, it takes a while to regroup. You have to re-learn what it means to be single again, and find your own path. It takes a while. It doesn't mean that you have to reject everything that you shared in a relationship... I still love the fact that I learned a new language via my ex husband, some of the food and music etc. But you find a new context for it to fit in.