When people are in love, it is easy to fall into the rose-colored viewpoint of eternal bliss without any outside interruptions, especially from other suitors. However, more often than not, especially when we are young, as we grow and change and learn more about what it is we truly want out of life, we come to find that some people are better suited to be our mates than others. While some elements in a relationship may cause it to sour before needing to break it off, there are times when everything seems to be smooth sailing while in your mind, you have already found someone who is a truer love. While this may be a hard subject to deal with, the fact of the matter is that when it comes down to it, you need to look after your own happiness first. You should never stay with someone simply for the sake of staying with them, for convenience, or because you want to avoid heartbreak. If you find someone new that you truly think that you can love, then it simply needs to be the time to let go of your old mate and begin your life with a new one.
There is no easy way to do this, so most likely the best approach would be the simplest and most direct one. Don’t beat around the bush, and don’t lie to make them feel better. If this was someone you spent a significant amount of time with and still care about to some extent, you need to still respect them as a person. This means treating them with care and dignity even though the news you are giving them means that their relationship with you is ending. Make sure you are precise in how you say what you say. You don’t want to give the false impression that you may come back if you are certain that you won’t, as you will have an ex-mate who will linger and hope and follow through when you have already moved on. This makes for an extremely uncomfortable position for both parties, and therefore should be avoided.
Since it goes without saying that being in this position for your ex-mate will be hurtful to them, the important thing to keep in mind is emotional damage control: Don’t throw things in their face with malice, even if things are ending on a bad note. Don’t compare your old mate to your new one unfavorably. Don’t, if they ask for an explanation, point out all the things that they did wrong by using “you” statements (i.e. “You never shared my love of literature” or “You never got along with my parents”) Put the same ideas across using “I” statements such as “I am looking for someone to share my love of Nabokov.” or “I want someone who gets along well with my father.” At a time when emotions are already running high, wording your statements more carefully can keep them from being more hurtful than they have to be.
Perhaps the most difficult part of dealing with this issue is dealing with the feelings of guilt that will no doubt come up during and after the break. It is difficult to see someone you care for suffer while you are enjoying the happiness of a new relationship, and it is perfectly natural to feel some guilt or remorse because of this. Simply remember however, that the reason you made this move is to better fulfill your needs and your happiness, not to intentionally hurt your old partner. While your old mate may not have intentionally held back from being able to care for you, simply by being themselves they may not have been the right person for you to spend your life with. What you need to keep in mind is that there is nothing wrong with them for being that way, and nothing wrong with you for wanting to move on to something which fits better.
So be honest, be forthright, be sensitive, and don’t let the guilt get you too far down, because if you have gotten to this point then it is clear that you are making this move to further better yourself, and when choosing a partner to spend your life with, what you need in another person should be your number one priority.