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2 min

Building breakups

Five ways to keep a relationship intact while assembling furniture

Building furniture doesn't have to be frustrating Credit: thinkstock

First and foremost, congratulations on making it out of Ikea with your relationship intact; that alone is an astounding achievement.  But now that you’ve made the life changing decision about the mahogany table and matching bookshelves, it’s time for the hard part: assembly.

As you and your partner wedge your new “Boksel” table through the doorway, you slowly realize your particular skillsets only trained you to decide what pre-assembled furniture might look good in your apartment, not how to actually build it. Nonetheless, you decide this is an excellent opportunity to get some bonding experience in with your partner . . .  at least until you actually open the box and see just how many steps are involved.

The next thing you know, a screwdriver is flying past your head as you aggressively remind your partner just how much like their mother they are — and suitcases are packed quicker than the Ikea boxes were unpacked.

So how can you avoid this disastrous flurry of emotions and keep the peace while you build your Swedish dream home together?

1)   For the love of god read the manual

This advice not only applies to men, but to anyone who thinks they can skim through directions without consequence. You may think it’s easy enough to assemble furniture on your own, despite the insistence from your partner . . . until you realize you’ve accidentally been scratching the top of your new table, rather than the unseen bottom.

2)   Take your time, sort the pieces

The only thing more frustrating than finishing your new furniture and realizing you have extra parts is not being able to finish it at all because you’ve misplaced the parts.  To prevent this, make sure you have all of the pieces listed on the instructions and organize them according to part — bolts with bolts, screws with screws. For an added precaution, put each set of parts into zip lock bags, or bowls, to prevent any lively pieces from rolling under the couch.

3)   When the going gets tough: take a break

When you start thinking up creative ways to use the Allen Key in a way detrimental to your partner’s health, it’s time to take a break. Pour a glass (read: bottle) of wine, go for a walk, have some hot angry sex, or do a combination of all three.

4)   Call the lesbians

It’s an emergency. It’s a gay 911.  You were there for her when t.a.T.u disbanded and now it’s time for her to return the favour. While it’s a common misconception and stereotype that all lesbians know their way around the workbench, it can never hurt to have an extra set of hands to help hold something steady, or an extra set of eyes to notice you about to screw your boyfriend’s hand to the floor.

5)   Get a professional

 So your lesbian friend was busy moving into her new girlfriend’s apartment and your relationship is hanging on by a thread. Who do you call? Well, not the Ghostbusters, but it is a professional.  You’re not admitting defeat, so much as accepting an assisted victory.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it certainly could have been built a little faster with some trained Ikea Assembly Service members, or independently run services of the same nature. Plus, who knows, they could turn out to be hot. Just in case, kick a vital bolt under your lowest, hard to get to, piece of furniture, prepare a jug of lemonade and pretend you’re Kathy Baker in Edward Scissorhands. “I noticed that you have not tasted any of the ambrosia salad that I made especially for you. Allow me . . . ”