Be honest, tell them to their face, not by phone or text. Resist giving chapter and verse on any faults or habits they have which grated on you. Absolutely do not go to bed with them before you go as a "one for the road" exit strategy. Don't immediately fill Facebook with details of amazing new DP and don't trash talk about ex to mutual friends.
I would argue that email or text is a perfectly legitimate way to end a relationship in some circumstances. Personally I wouldn't want to make the effort to meet up with someone if they are dumping me.
What, get dressed up, go on a date and get the old heave-ho? I'd rather we just didn't make another date and I got a text to say 'it's been fun, but I don't see it going anywhere' or whatever.
Apart from that, agree there's no need for explanations of their horrible flaws, one for the road, flaunting new parners or bad-mouthing.
I always try and tell the person all the things I really liked about them and all the ways the made me happy although I am clear and honest about the reason I've made the decision to end it. I also tend to make it clear that it's not because he is not good enough, but rather that he's just not the right person for me. For me, if a man is a genuine, kind and decent human being (and I only choose to go out with people who are) then I admire and respect that and see them as being up to my standards. Personality traits that I find difficult that do not fall under the category of being unkind or thoughtless are to me not really major flaws, just differences I can't necessarily live with while I know that other women could. I also make it clear that I will be available to talk things over in the immediate future should he want to or need to and I do try to leave things on a positive note by telling him I'm glad I met him and that I'll look back on our time together in a positive light and I'll always retain a degree of affection for him.
And, (me going on a bit) lots of people conduct much of their social lives online these days, starting relationships & friendships with internet sprites , so I don't think it's impolite or unkind to end them there as well.
Doesn't it rather depend on the duration of the relationship? A quick text might be OK if you're only on the second or third date but, if you've been seeing someone for a few months, a 'Dear John' e-mail is pretty heartless. I don't think getting dressed up has to be in the picture. All you have to do is call round or pick up the phone and talk.
Well I'd lay the ground by asking to talk seriously if they're totally clueless about how you feel. Say you're not happy and why. If you are looking to jolt them into a response or acknowledgment, that should be enough.
If you think both of you are unhappy and things have just drifted along, but you see a way through, suggest counselling.
If you feel the relationship is dead in the water, give them notice - I'd prepare alternative place to stay for myself if alone, or if staying with dependent DCs, give adequate time for OH to leave.
Never use DCs as emotional weapons. Ensure you both recognise the need to keep things on a good footing for the family.
If you have teens home or away, if you are paying uni fees you still need to stay on reasonable terms so try and keep business like and not vengeful.
Secure finance for yourself but don't fleece your STBX.
It sounds ideal paying nice compliments to your partner to soften the blow of farewell and promise friendship and civilised contact. But if they are at all unwilling to let go they can twist what you say and argue you are giving mixed messages. Sometimes where you are not bound by children it is kinder to detach rather than give false hope.
It's almost easier when they're horrible. I am sure you have not reached this decision lightly. If he is attuned to you he may already have an inkling. Where there are children there'll always be a bond. Good luck.
It's a horrible situation, I sat down with my ex and explained the situation and my point of view. It was heartbreaking and he was upset, but we've remained friends. The ridiculous part was splitting our belongings, we were both trying to force the other to take stuff "no, you have it". We didn't have children, which adds an extra element. My DH is still angry that because his ex had an affair and made him leave he doesn't get the opportunity to be with his kids every day. I hope you manage to make the split as easy as possible for both of you.