How To Avoid A Public Breakup At IKEA

Do you want to scream at each other in this model kitchen then have makeup sex on the counter in front of a family of four? Oh — you’re into that? Um, OK. Then I guess…just go ahead and do that.

You just moved in with your partner (congrats!) and you need a whole bunch of stuff. So you hop in the car (or, more likely, get on the bus) and travel two hours to everyone’s favorite giant Swedish furniture and other junk warehouse IKEA to purchase cheap items of questionable Nordic quality. There’s just one problem: how are you going to survive wandering through that endless maze of relationship testers without breaking up in front of a family of four in a model kitchen? Here are some tips to ensure you won’t become the most dramatic couple in the lighting section (leave that to Donna and Jason — it’s been a long time coming).

Decide what you want beforehand
Here’s a little-known fact about IKEA: that big ass store has a giant ass website. In the days before your (surely ill-fated) journey, peruse the site together and pick out exactly what you want for your new co-living space. Take notes and remember : the more specific you get, the less likely you are to scream at each other in front of another couple that’s also screaming at each other.

Dump him on the way there
This is the most important step to ensure you don’t break up in IKEA: break up on the way to IKEA. Halfway through your long drive (bus ride), tell him it’s over. Lie, say you cheated on him with his best friend, do whatever you have to do: just make sure you end the relationship before you get to IKEA.

Go your separate ways in the store
It may have seemed silly at the time, but this is why you made that list: so you can tear it in half, split up and shop separately. Make sure he has the half that involves less decision making — you don’t want a man picking out pillowcases, do you? To ensure you won’t end up crying on the same display toilet, sit in the parking lot and cry there for a while to give him a head start. Or, if you’d rather eat your feelings, sit down and try some of those (in)famous Swedish meatballs. The important thing is that you kill time to ensure you don’t encounter each other in the store — until checkout.

Get in different checkout lanes at the same time and stare at each other wistfully
While it’s important you avoid each other in the store, it’s just as essential you make it to checkout at the same time. This should be easy considering you’ll be standing in line for at least an hour while waiting for the three women in front of you to decide which paper fucking napkins to buy. Stare at each other across the giant piles of elderflower syrup and think about the good times, like the five blissful, completely conflict-free years you spent together before today, when the pressures of IKEA forced you to ruin the one sure thing in your life.

Meet in the parking lot
If you finish checking out first, linger in the parking lot until he appears. Wander over and ask if he picked up as many random kitchen utensils as you did. Once you’ve got him talking, say you were thinking about taking a car back because the bus takes forever, and you’re both going to the same place… Sure, you’re not together anymore, but you still live together, so splitting the fare just makes financial sense, right?

Split a car home
Get him the goddamn car and lock the doors.

Beg him to take you back
Spend the entire car ride telling him how much you miss him. Say your eight hours apart (it takes a long ass time to get through IKEA) were the worst of your life. Cry, beg, tell him you were lying about sleeping with his best friend (even if you weren’t), suck his dick — do whatever you have to do to get him to take you back because you cannot — I repeat you cannot — build furniture alone. Unless you can, in which case maybe you’re better off alone after all!

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