How To Survive A Trip To IKEA Without Dumping Your Partner

Hardware stores aren’t the only retail establishments that pose an existential threat to domestic partnerships. Mega-home-store IKEA can also be a treacherous place, where the issues in a relationship surface as you search for items to fill your home together, then get them home and assemble them. That’s why one therapist actually uses the store’s flat-pack furniture as an exercise for patients: they have to assemble a piece of flat-pack furniture together and report back on how they communicated during the process.

A trip to IKEA can also precede moving in together, and everything will suddenly seem very real once you can’t agree on a couch.

“Once we were in the store, the reality of combining two individual lives started to sink in,” one woman explained to the Wall Street Journal.

It’s not that IKEA wants couples to split up, even if that would result in two separate households that would need to buy more furnishings at IKEA. If you plan ahead, you can make an appointment with a “home-furnishings consultant” who can help with design and furniture selections, even if this person doesn’t come home with you and help assemble your choices.

One former consultant even drew up guidelines for couples who are redoing a room and don’t want to endanger their relationship. The first and most important step: look at a catalog before heading to the store, and settle on a furniture style before traveling to the store.

Can Your Relationship Handle a Trip to IKEA? [Wall Street Journal]