12 Jan

Relationship Tips from a Weekend Trip to IKEA

Dating, Life Improvement No Response

I spent an afternoon at my local IKEA this Saturday. I left the store feeling satisfied that I had found the products that I needed, but I also left with more knowledge than I entered with. Shopping at IKEA can certainly test your relationship with whoever you are shopping with. Shopping can be stressful ( even in a glorious place like IKEA which has plenty of chairs to sit in during breaks and even has a cafe). My shopping trip also inspired some relationship tips that I think we all can use!

Don’t Do Stressful Things when Tired or Hungry

If you can avoid it, don’t shop, have intense conversations, or make stressful plans if you are not adequately hydrated, fed, and rested. Not having basic needs met can make any stressful event so much more tedious. Your fuse will be shorter and it’s hard to have empathy for others when your own needs are not met.

Plan Ahead

At IKEA, I found it super helpful to know what I needed to buy before I walked in the store. I planned ahead so that I knew exactly how much I’d be spending and where I would be looking for my items. In relationships, it is not always possible to plan ahead, but it’s a really good practice to talk with your partner about expectations, wants, needs, worries, and plans BEFORE these issues come up!


Famous relationship therapists, John and Julie Gottman, talk about how important humor can be in a relationship. They note how humor can help repair relationship ruptures , can lower tension, and can help keep a positive tone when dealing with rough situations. The same is true when shopping at IKEA 🙂 If you can laugh at yourself for going to the wrong side of the warehouse to find your closet door, you can also laugh at yourself for relationship misunderstandings.

According to your Ability

IKEA is pretty famous for sending you home to put together your own furniture. There are countless Youtube videos of people struggling to put their new furniture together. When completing projects, it’s so helpful for every person involved to work according to their ability. You’re strong? Great- you can carry the big box into to the car. You’re detailed-oriented? Perfect! You can translate the picture instructions! You’re not feeling well? That’s ok- you can warm up some left-overs for lunch. I think this is a great metaphor to figuring out who-does-what in a relationship. Having an open and honest discussion about each person’s abilities, interests, and energy levels can help partners figure out how to get everyday things completed!

I hope my Saturday afternoon IKEA relationship insights were helpful!

Trans Rights are Huma… October 25, 2018 How do you speak to y… January 31, 2019