Yanni on commitment: "When two people make a commitment--look each other in the eye and say, 'You're the one for me'--that's all that should be required." (USA Weekend, 1994)

Yanni on breakup: Something about two people, eye-gazing, 'You're not the one for me,' yada, yada, yada. (A guess, 1998.)

Oh, the end of romances are never as poetic as the beginning of love affairs, are they? And so there is no gentle way to put this: New Age musician Yanni and ex-Dynasty diva Linda Evans are kaput. Done. Toast. Nine years of soul matedom down the drain.

Because they're both soft-spoken people with intense stares hinting at, well, inner deepness, Evans, 55, and Yanni, 43, tried to couch their split in the most careful, thoughtful terms.

"We have collaborated professionally and have shared many extraordinary personal experiences," the couple said, in a joint statement Monday.

And yet the wealth of their "wonderful" years together could not overcome this: "We feel our lives moving in different directions."

Oh, those sensitive, crunchy granola, Birkenstock types. Always searching. Always seeking answers. You can't tie them down. They gotta move...sometimes, yes, in "different directions."

Yanni has hinted at this primal restless spirit. "Relationships should be a freeing experience rather than an enslavement," he once said. "They should be an energy giver rather than an energy drainer."

Deep? You betcha.

Evans and Yanni began their joint quest for "extraordinary personal experiences" in 1989. She was a top-flight TV star and leading proponent of evening gowns with really big shoulder pads. He was a little-known Greek-born instrumentalist and leading proponent of really long guy hair. They sounded terribly in love. (Well, they both whisper a lot, so we assume that's what they were mumbling about.)

Almost a decade later, Evans is a mostly retired actress (her last major role in the USA Network cable movie The Stepsister) and a mini-health-club maven. Yanni is an international superstar rivaled only by John Tesh for the hearts and minds of yuppie music fans too tired to even think about mosh pits.

Yanni would dismiss the notion that the Star Is Born factor was a damper on their relationship. "No one is happier than Linda to see [my success] happen," Yanni said in USA Weekend. "After all, she's the one who introduced me to the American public."

Ever the unbridled lovers, Evans and Yanni never married. They had no children--unless you count Yanni's songs. ("Giving birth to music must fill that [parenting] need in me," the mustachioed one has said.)

The couple say they expect their friendship "will always endure." Deep, to the end, deep.

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