While we like to think ourselves nobler than to break up with someone because of a habit such as excessive ketchup use, many a relationship's demise has begun with annoying minutiae and ended with the phrase: "I love you, but..."
Alex Holder and Ross Neil started dating three years ago and made an effort to be honest with each other about the little quirks that can quickly drive a partner mad. The couple, both creatives at a London ad agency, recently launched Loveyoubut, a website featuring possible endings to the "I love you, but..." declaration. Ross drew pictures to accompany the phrases, and the result is an amusing, often cringe-worthy tribute to the relationship dealbreaker.
The site currently features 43 hilarious—occasionally tragic—phrases. For example (punctuation is British):
"I love you but, you're a close talker."
"I love you but, you pout whenever we pass a reflective surface."
"I love you but, your family is rife with cancer."
"I love you but, you say 'pacific' instead of 'specific.'"
"I love you but, you put ketchup on everything."
Creating the site as a couple has prompted honest, therapeutic conversation between them, Holder says.
"When we first started dating we were very honest with each other about past relationships," she says. "We kept coming back to the truth that its often the small things that break up couples. When something starts to grate and make you physically wince, you realise that you don't love them unconditionally."
Holder and Neil have collected more than 500 endings to the dreaded sentence, which they are publishing continually on the site. The surprising thing they've learned from feedback, Holder says, "is that people can identify with these flaws but still love their partners." So, while "I love you but, you wear sunglasses indoors" might be a dealbreaker for some, "I love you but, you self diagnose on the internet" might be a lovable quirk to others.