I love IKEA. It gives me the ideal mix of feeling like a grown-up—because you know, you're buying stuff to go in a house—and feeling like a kid. Between the map, pencils, shopping cart, fake kitchens and acres of sample beds, IKEA stores are an unholy lovechild of scavenger hunt, interiors mag, dollhouse and Nordic picnic party. I even love setting IKEA items up at home. The drama of it all makes me feel like I'm in a rom-com: I pour a glass of wine, swear loudly every time I read an instruction, send amusing selfies to my friends at various stages of assemblage, and then proudly cover the completed item in things to make it less "mass-produced-Swedish-space-filler," and more "me".
My ex and I once went on an IKEA trip together. I was ready to go all 500 Days of Summer on that shit. You know that adorable scene where they pretend IKEA is their house and it's the most bonding love time ever? I don't remember how our trip went, which a) suggests I may have blocked it out, and b) just reminded me how much he hates that film—so probably not well. Zooey Deschanel whimsy aside, IKEA is so famous for causing relationship trauma that the Singapore branch made an IKEA Love Manual for its Facebook page, some of which you can see at Elle Decor.
I don't care whether it's a cynical PR attempt to get in on the joke, or a genuinely sincere push to make IKEA more couple-friendly. (Let's be honest, it's definitely the first.) It's the best thing I've ever seen. There are two simple IKEA instructions:
1. Love is complicated.
2. IKEA is simple.
These instructions are accompanied by helpful diagrams featuring a kind of minion-y-looking couple. In one, Step 1 shows them fighting. Step 2 shows the woman putting an IKEA lampshade onto her boyfriend's head. Another Step 1 shows a woman bending over to kiss her much shorter boyfriend. Step 2 puts him onto an IKEA stepladder. My favorite of all shows Step 1, a woman crying as her boyfriend, "Martin", walks out the door. Step 2 just shows an IKEA "Martin" chair: cheerful, steadfast, and only $45.
Love is complicated. IKEA is simple. I'm going to buy a chair.