Jason Merritt/FilmMagic
February 05, 2009 10:30 AM

Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba and her boyfriend of 2½ years, dancer Artem Chigvintsev, have called it quits, Inaba tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“I’m single. Artem and I broke up in the beginning of November,” says Inaba, adding, “As much as our relationship was really good,” the two realized that neither “was ‘the one’ for the other. It was very sad to let go of something that was so good on so many levels.”

Inaba, 41, first met Chigvintsev, 26, several years ago, while he was competing on the FOX reality show So You Think You Can Dance. The two began dating in 2006.

Calling the breakup amicable, Inaba praises her ex for being “a fine gentleman. I have never gone out with somebody that grounded, always ready to talk it out. I’m very happy for him and the success he’s having.”

Chigvintsev is currently on tour with the live show Dancing with the Stars, which wraps in Philadelphia Feb. 8. In the meantime, Inaba is prepping for Dancing‘s eighth TV season, which kicks off March 9 on ABC.

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