The simple answer is “no.” You can’t stay friends with this guy and make a meaningful relationship with someone else. One of my teachers used to say that two relationships is fewer than one. By this he meant that as long as we keep another option open, we are not wholeheartedly committed to making a relationship work.
I don’t have enough information to venture a guess, but you do. Something has happened in your life that makes you afraid to commit. You therefore keep the embers of this old love alive to keep a part of yourself out of your relationship. It works in a sad way. You haven’t been able to make a solid partnership since.
At 23, you are very young to be hanging onto a “love” from “many years ago.” That relationship was between two teens. Chances are if you really got to know him now, you wouldn’t have much in common. The people we choose when we are teenagers are often not the people we would choose as a mature adult.
The way I see it, you have at least two choices. You could go back to the dream man and settle once and for all if he is the guy for you. Of course, that means giving up the guy you have now. It won’t work if you simply switch these guys’ roles in your life.
Or you could do some hard personal work and figure out why you are so afraid of loving the man who loves you. You might be able to do that by yourself if you can make yourself be honest. You may need a therapist to help you cut through your fear to what is really going on.
I wish you well.