He arrived into her arms and they locked lips for the world to see."The sheer carnality of the kiss -- the can't-wait-to-get-back-to-the-hotel-room urgency, the sexual electricity flowing south -- was riveting," Time magazine's Lance Morrow wrote at the time.Now, after 40 years of a seemingly happy marriage, the couple, who once flaunted their adoration for each other on national TV, shocked the country with an unexpected announcement this week: They are splitting up.The e-mail to family friends stated, "We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate." The Gores' announcement Break-ups among long-term married couples -- who have invested 30, 40 or more years into a relationship -- is an uncommon phenomenon compared to the skyrocketing divorce rates among naive newlyweds or parents overwhelmed with children, marriage experts say.For a successful relationship, it’s the way your partner makes you feel that matters – not whether he or she is able and willing to produce offspring as soon as possible.You might well have to adapt to the fact that your circumstances, or your partner’s, are more complicated than when you were last single. Some readjustment might well be necessary, particularly since many people still feel that the yardstick for domestic arrangements is the standard, nuclear family.Nevertheless, it is important – particularly in the early stages of dating – not to regard children as part of a ‘package deal’.
Paula Hall offers some practical advice to men and women seeking a new long-term relationship.The break-up of a relationship can be very damaging to our self-esteem, particularly when it comes to feeling attractive and sexy.What’s more, in the security and intimacy of a long-term relationship, looking after our appearance can become a low priority; we may get out of the habit of looking for clothes that really suit us, or of spending time on grooming, because we associate these habits with our younger and (maybe) vainer selves.The media sometimes overplay the difficulties of getting pregnant later on in life, with the result that some people let the fear of infertility guide their decisions about relationships.But nobody likes to think of themselves as just the means to produce a baby.