You might have fallen out of love but, as celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin prove, that's no reason to fall out, says Victoria Lambert.
Celebrities caught on candid camera are usually doing something embarrassing - wearing trackie bottoms or kissing the wrong partner.
But pictures have emerged this week of two A-list stars behaving, well, rather well.
Cosying up like newly-weds, heads pressed together as they smile at something on her iPhone, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin - the most famously consciously uncoupled couple on the planet - looked like they were being plain nice to each other.
So much so, the question was posed: "Are they consciously re-coupling?"
Gwyneth's agent soon scotched that idea: "You will many times see them together as they are raising two children," Stephen Huvane told US news-site RumorFix, adding, "I don't know why that is surprising since they were very clear when they announced their break up that they were still very much a family, just not a couple."
We're all glad that's cleared up.
But Huvane was wrong when he went on to insist there was no story here because clearly there is: just how are they managing a divorce so well when that divorce involves all the classic risk factors for prolonged acrimony - children (two), different nationalities (US and Brit), rumours of infidelity (variously with a billionaire, a TV assistant, assorted actors and stylists - all denied) and millions of dollars?
Perhaps it is that showbiz need to keep "On with the show" (as sung by five-times-wed Judy Garland) or to "Put on a happy face" (Dick Van Dyke and Janet Leigh, seven marriages between them - though none to each other). Or maybe many A-listers are such narcissists that mislaying a spouse is as nothing to losing an audience?
Rhiannon Ford, a divorce consultant, thinks we shouldn't be surprised at how well adjusted they appear to what is a major life event for anyone - civilian or celebrity.
"Yes, they seem on an even keel," she says, "but remember that this is a couple who have been notoriously private in the past. Suddenly, they are being very public.
"This suggests to me that their separation has been planned and prepared for well in advance of the news being published on Gwyneth's website as a fait accompli.
"I'm not suggesting she is behaving like this to protect her career, though clearly some PR has taken place. But I would say, she thinks it is the right thing to do as a mother. And she knows that she is setting an example to other families that, for example, holidays can be spent together normally. We can't know how much of this is real or staged, but personally I think they are doing 'separation' very well, and are setting a positive example."
Martin and Paltrow are not the only celebrities to have pulled off a "sunny separation" for their family recently. Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr and actor Orlando Bloom announced they were divorcing six months ago - after three years of marriage and one son, Flynn - with Miranda reportedly interested in "exploring her sexuality" while Orlando was still claiming "a deep love" for his soon-to-be ex-wife.
He explained the lack of animosity thus: "I've said to her, 'We're going to be in each other's lives for the rest of our lives and we have a child, so it's important to me that we respect each other as we always have and that Flynn feels that and understands that'."
Kaleel Anwar, a London-based solicitor with Slater & Gordon, thinks that all divorcing couples - on the whole - are better behaved when children are involved.
"My clients tend to grow up; they don't want conflict around the house. And I remind them there's good research to suggest children perform better and are healthier or happier when Mum and Dad aren't at each other's throats."
Exes Demi Moore and Bruce Willis remain bonded by their three daughters, long after they divorced, holidaying together even after she married Ashton Kutcher in 2005. When Ashton cheated on Demi six years later, Bruce was so cross, he let it be known that he planned to give Ashton "a huge talking-to".
Rod Stewart is known for keeping good relations with all four exes, celebrating Christmas one year with three ex-wives - he called it the "evening of the three blondes and a turkey" - and assorted offspring. More recently, when his daughter Kimberly gave birth, Rod was at the hospital with his ex-wife (Kimberly's mum) Alana Hamilton Stewart and his current wife Penny Lancaster-Stewart.
"We had everyone at the hospital," the singer explained.
"I won't say we always agree, but we get along."
And let's not forget Andy and Fergie. The Duke and Duchess of York have, by all accounts, one of the best long-term relationships of any divorced couple and, with daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, remain the closest of family units.
But not all celeb marriages uncouple so easily. And this is where we civilians may recognise our own frailties. There is no divorce more nuclear-powered than one where others are involved.
"When your partner finds someone else that can be the trigger for instant dislike, jealousy, or feelings of betrayal - and perceived 'upgrading' can cause a real upset," says Kaleel Anwar.
Yet the notion of "finding a better model" is subjective - did Brad Pitt move up when he ditched then-TV star Jennifer Aniston for movie goddess Angelina Jolie? Compared to the rest of us, both women look pretty amazing - but many felt Jen had been callously discarded. Especially when Brad complained publicly later he had been "wasting his life" at that point. So though most people sided with Team Aniston, you can't blame Jen for avoiding her ex-and-next, apparently dreading a meeting with them at George Clooney's wedding later this year.
"The problem often isn't with the new partner but the Achilles heel of the one feeling dumped: the desire to be skinnier, prettier, richer or more famous," says Anwar.
Yet there's no doubt that divorce - when you aren't consciously uncoupling in close contentment - is more gruelling done in public. Would Mia Farrow still be throwing brickbats at Woody Allen, 22 years after the couple split up, if she hadn't felt humiliated on a galactic scale? Would Mick and Bianca ("My marriage ended on my wedding day") Jagger have divorced more companionably if he had not been a Rolling Stone?
Actually, Mick's status could have eased that particular dismissal since he had the income to behave more generously than he did.
After all, magnanimity in a divorce always helps - and sensible A-listers like Gwyneth and Chris realise that fighting over who gets the odd million isn't going to look good in the newspapers.
"They will have money to throw at this - enough not to worry about selling the family home and to afford lots of counselling, so it will be easier than for most of us," says Rhiannon Ford.
"We don't have their resources let alone the impetus and motivation for behaving so well.
"But we can still learn from them. 'Conscious uncoupling' isn't how I would describe divorce counselling - the term's too namby-pamby - though what we offer in this country is pretty much the same in practice: real support to help get through separation as decently as possible."But I do think Gwyneth and Chris are being sincere in their behaviour - and they're sending out a powerful message that you can be kind and civilised at the end of a relationship. It's hope for us all."