How to Survive a Trip to Ikea with Your Boyfriend

It's the night before Earth Day and I'm currently sitting on the couch, nodding my head at what feels like the hundredth set of patio furniture my boyfriend has made me look at. Don't get me wrong, your girl loves to shop, but giving my opinion isn't very fun when it's the exact opposite of the person making the final decision.

I've been meaning to write about how to survive going on vacation with your significant other, but since I'm currently mentally preparing myself for what's about to go down tomorrow, this post took precedent.

Ikea is known as the furniture retailer that is most loved by broke twenty somethings and has won most likely to cause an argument every year in a row. Well, not really, but I'm sure it would if we all took a vote. Tomorrow I have to navigate holding my tongue, my wallet and my temper all at the same time. If you're nearing a trip to Ikea soon, or homeware shopping in general, this is how to survive with your relationship still intact.

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**update: we went, we had an argument, but we survived. Then we argued some more while we built it but it's all good, cause he bought me a Magnum ice cream, so we're even now.**

Go with a plan

Unless you're visiting Ikea just for the fun of browsing, you're better off making a list of the things you're looking for than wandering around and hoping you grab everything. Since we were visiting specifically for patio furniture, our plan was down to the item number. For smaller purchases, I recommended just making a list of the small items you don't want to forget to purchase. Our lack of a smaller list meant we left without grabbing the baking sheet we desperately need!

Know your measurements

We totally remembered to measure the patio, but never thought to think about the measurements of the furniture we were planning to pick up. This is where the trouble started. If you're looking for furniture, know the measurements of the space you want to fill and the largest size you can reasonably fit into the space. If you go online all the items have measurements clearly listed, and to make the whole thing easier, it's never a bad idea to take a measuring tape with you.

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Choose your battles

Because it was my boyfriend who was ultimately purchasing the patio furniture, the final decision was up to him, which is why I wasn't too thrilled to go in the first place. About two hours into the trip we were both tired, annoyed, and nowhere near a decision. At this point I decided to let go of my hate for dark furniture and just shop from his perspective, even though I personally wouldn't haven chosen the pieces. Not everything is worth giving the side eye over, so choose what's worth fighting over.

Don't shop while hungry

Thank god Ikea has a restaurant, otherwise one of us would have thrown a punch. My preference is to browse the floor room, eat a meal, then do the real shopping. This way you have time to look at what you might like, talk it over some good cheap food, then make your purchases.

Give yourself extra time

Living in the city means nearly no one own a car, including my boyfriend and I. For this reason we rented a ZipCar, and after a bit of convincing, my boyfriend reserved it for a total of 4 hours. In the end we extended our reservation time by an extra hour, teaching me that you can never give yourself too much time to shop at Ikea.

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Don't feel pressured to buy

Past the point of our initial argument and well into me ditching him to shop by myself, I realized my boyfriend was so over the whole experience that he was ready to leave with nothing. If you have a similar feeling, don't feel pressured to make a big purchase. Come back later, look online, and get all the second opinions you need. The good thing about Ikea is that their inventory is always the same, making taking some extra fine not a big deal.

In the end we did take home new patio furniture, built that and new deck floor the next day, and have yet to use any of it. I know, we're crazy. Hopefully the rain will stop so we can finally enjoy the stuff that made us wanna pull our hair out and possibly made me pull a muscle in my arm.

Okay spill, where's the last public place you argued with your significant other with? Also, any tips on how to not lose my mind for the next time we shop for furniture?

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  1. As I am single I have no personal experience with this but I can feel your frustration. Taking my brother shopping is one of the most infuriating things ever. He 100% does not want to be there and he lets me know it every ten seconds. Oh the joy.

    1. Why do they make it so hard? Even in my case when it was HIM who wanted to visit!!

  2. Omg going to Ikea alone or with anyone is so hard. It is so overwhelming! Even the times when I'm super prepared and have a plan, it is a lot to take in. I would love to order exclusively online from them, but their delivery fees are out of this world.

    1. Yes!!! Why is delivery so expensive!?? My boyfriend is already mentioning our next trip and I'm like, I think I have plans that day...