The 9 Emotional Stages Of Assembling DIY Furniture As A Couple


Going to a department store and building DIY furniture as a couple has become a relationship rite of passage. There are so many jokes about it destroying you as a couple — so much so that comedians built a fake (or not so fake) relationship saving station in an IKEA, with adorable pictures to help calm you down. And you know what, you'll probably need it. But when you actually get the damn things home, things get so much worse.

Sure, there are some people who are DIY prodigies. They pull out a few pieces, take a quick look at the directions, and hum their way through with a little head bob and not a care in the world. I hate those people. Those people are not my people. My people are the screaming, crying, praying-to-a-god-that-I-don't-believe-in type, desperate to do anything to make it stop. I accidentally swallow the pieces. That's just me doing DIY on my own. If you are doing it as a couple, it's a whole other ball game.

Because doing it as part of a relationship means seeing your partner in a whole new light. It's basically a relationship gauntlet, because it's not just building a couch or a table — it's a series of dozens of small hurdles, every new piece its own separate challenge. If you make it through as a couple unscathed, you deserve a prize or at least to have sex for a whole week.

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So if you haven't been there before, here are the stages of doing DIY as a couple, because it's an emotional roller coaster from start to finish.


FURNITURE IS AMAZING! You're going to have the perfect house filled with colors and sleek-osity! The envy of your friends! Winning relationships forever!


Before you even get the couch in the cart, there are twinges of stress and anxiety but you ignore them. You ignore them and you look at all those reasonably prices tea candles. They only come in packs of 10,000, but that's OK. You definitely need 10,000 tea candles.


You looked at the measurements. The measurements fit in the car. Why isn't it fitting in the car? The measurements say they should fit, dammit. PIVOT! PIVOT!


You get home. There's relief. There's calm. You have a break and a cup of coffee, share a laugh about how ridiculous you were to get so stressed. "HAHAHATRALALALA," you laugh, not knowing of the horrors to come.


Laying out all the pieces, reading the directions. You feel bold, you feel confident — like a woman in a perfume ad about to run away on a stallion. You can do anything.

The First Quibble

"No, it goes there!" "Are you kidding me? It says H goes in Z!" It's a battle of wills. It's the ultimate test of your relationship. And it's just beginning.

The Disbelief

You are dating a stranger. Who are they? How could you be with someone so ridiculous. Your life is a lie. The world is a lie. This person is totally repulsive to you.

The Bargaining

"Look, why don't we just... " You still think there is a way out of this. You just need to find the right angle or take a quick break. You search for a compromise, you re-read the instruction, but then comes...

The Straight-Up Giving Up

Just order a damn pizza and go to sleep. You will finish it tomorrow... or let it rot in a half-finished pile until the end of time. Whatever works.

It could be the biggest hurdle you're going to go through in a relationship. DIY furniture seems so simple — but it's deceptive. If you can make it through without tears, vomit, and eventually calling Task Rabbit then you are a stronger person than I am.