We like to think of each of our romances as special snowflakes, but are they really?
Doesn't the path of love found and lost trace the same depressing journey for us all, from flying high like the wings of butterflies to drudging along like depressed seaside donkeys, until eventually, you both just keel over and die?
That would be one possible interpretation of The Hopeless Romantic, a photo project by Julien Mauve and Pauline Ballet that traces the course of a doomed relationship in 13 strikingly stylised photographs.
A couple appear in every shot alone, the colour, shade and tone of the composition exaggerated, in much the same way we tend to view our romantic lives with a heightened, sometimes melodramatic sense of importance.
Mauve, a 28-year-old photographer and web designer, says that he and Ballet, a photographer and recent graduate, wanted to write a series about the most universal theme there is.
"We realised that the idealisation of the love we think we 'deserve' makes people doomed to be perpetually disappointed," he says.
"People tend to build their love life on codes or preconceptions. We all believe the 'movie of our lives' to be unique, but is it really?"
The scenes in the photographs: coy initial glances and playful first dates, through to silent dinners and lonely moments in bed, will certainly ring true for anyone with an ex-partner anywhere.
"We took all the pictures in four months, working with friends: Grégoire Ludig and Alice Pol, who are two professional and talented actors, and Cécile Petit, a professional stylist," says Mauve.
When it was first published, The Hopeless Romantic was picked up by press and online media in the couple's native France.
"We are very happy and really proud with the result," he says.
For now though, the photographers gone a similar way to their doomed lovers, working on separate projects whilst remaining very much in each others thoughts.
"Pauline is on her way to do a 3 month project in Argentina which will be exhibited and published in 2013, and I'm working on a new series based on popular fairy tales" Mauve says.
"But we will definitely work together again."
Ah, well, yes. You never quite give up hope of a reconciliation, do you?
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