One of the great tragedies of going from single guy to married guy is that Ikea stops being an inexpensive one-stop apartment furnishing solution with a side of meatballs and becomes a relationship challenge with pitfalls deeper than the pit full of balls you abandoned your kid at when you got there. You know this instinctively; now, professionals confirm it.
The Atlantic recently spoke with a slew of experts and examined the unexpectedly large cache of research on why the store so frequently causes couples to argue. The store’s layout, which leads you from one idealized home scenario to another, conveniently offers an opportunity to cross just about every relationship fault line, from chores (the kitchen) to sex (the beds). According to clinical psychologist Ramai Durvasula, Ikea “literally becomes a map of a relationship nightmare.”
“Couples tend to extrapolate from the small conflicts that arise while shopping for and building furniture that, perhaps they aren’t so made for one another after all,” psychologist Maisie Chou Chaffin told The Atlantic. Fortunately, your relationship is built of sturdier stuff than the average Ikea bookshelf. Which is why you find yourself back at Ikea, looking for another bookshelf. Good luck.
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