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Matthew McConaughey & Penelope Cruz Are 'Separating'

UPDATED 06/02/2006 at 04:35 PM EDT Originally published 06/02/2006 at 12:05 PM EDT

Matthew McConaughey & Penelope Cruz Are 'Separating'
Juan Rico/Big Pictures; R. Karnbad/Celebrity Photo
Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz have decided to spend time apart, PEOPLE has learned exclusively.

The couple "have decided to take time off as a couple. Due to busy work schedules and so much time apart, they mutually decided four weeks ago that separating was the best thing to do at this time," according to a joint statement from the couple to PEOPLE.

"They're very good friends, but they haven't been able to be together," a source close to Cruz tells PEOPLE. "Who knows what the future holds."

Cruz, 32, is currently in Spain filming Manolete, a drama about the legendary Spanish bullfighter, costarring Adrien Brody. Meanwhile, McConaughey, 36, is in the U.S. shooting We Are Marshall, about former Marshall University football coach Jack Lengyel.

Matthew McConaughey & Penelope Cruz Are 'Separating' | Divorced, Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz

Carlos Alvarez / Getty

(Penelope) said it has been too hard to have a relationship when you see the other person every six weeks," adds the source.

The couple last saw each other in March when McConaughey visited Cruz on location in Spain.

McConaughey, PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive, and Cruz have been dating for more than a year. They met while filming last year's Sahara.

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