Should I have cut off my ex?

Let me preface by saying that we agreed to try doing this friend with an ex thing after we’ve been together for five years. Stuff happened that lead us to taking a break, but afterward, it just wasn’t the same…I just felt like I grew out of it and started learning more about myself and what I wanted.

The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with her. She supported me in pursuing my career, pretty and smart, does whatever she puts her mind to. But I feel like I wasted her time. It took me being single to realize what I wanted in life and what my preferences were because before I had always been in a long-term relationship. We did this friend thing where we would talk every other day and go on trips together(something we never did before bc of circumstances) for three years.

I’ve always felt that I’ve led her on bc even though I enjoyed her company, I knew, in the long run, I didn’t want to be with her and I knew that she secretly wanted to get back together. But my dumbass delayed the inevitable.

I feel like there’s an internal struggle and Idk how to interpret it. I didn’t tell her I’ve been talking to someone else and I don’t think I’m brave enough to break her heart like that as I have before. I care about her and want her to find happiness but that’s not something I can give.

Even though I’ve been straightforward with her about not being together she insists we still stay friends. What do I do?

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