The “Relationship Saving Station” at Ikea & Thoughts About Shopping With Your S/O

The man behind a popular social media account called Obvious Plant recently made headlines for creating a “Relationship Saving Station” at an Ikea in California. While the station was a setup, the idea behind it is 100 percent true:

Shopping with your significant other can ruin your relationship.

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Jeff Wysaski/Obvious Plant

Have you ever been in the produce section of the grocery store and caught yourself mindlessly gazing at the elderly couple snacking on samples at the bread counter?

You probably thought, “Aw, how adorable. The sweetest example of love,” and then mumbled about how your significant other won’t even run inside a Stewart’s with you. Well, while tandem grocery shopping does seem cute (only under the mindset that grocery shopping is a miserable task and it’s nice to share the pain with someone), most other forms of shopping are borderline unacceptable to do with the one you love.

As a certified shopaholic and someone who’s worked in retail stores from Aeropostale and Urban Outfitters to Macy’s corporate and a designer bridal boutique, a couple just doesn’t naturally belong in the same shop together to pursue one common goal.

A couple’s shopping trip seems to start off well-intentioned. What could possibly go wrong during an afternoon at Huck Finn’s when you just need a dining room table? Oh, well then there’s the heavily discounted love seat that would go great in the sunroom. And the barstools for your kitchen island that need to be replaced. And it’s too hot in here! Isn’t there a sales rep who can help us? Just ask for help, won’t you?

How quickly things can spiral out of control…

And yes, I’m generalizing. I’ll applaud for any person who reads this and decides they are the exception to the rule. Men at a mall personify the word hangry, just replacing the hunger part for the side effects experienced from spending too much time in a specialty store of any kind.

But just as women don’t often accompany an 18-hole day on the golf course, the shopping mall is a safe space and a guy-free zone. We don’t actually what you care about this dress or that pair of shoes, and we certainly don’t need you to know the cost of this expensive habit many of us women happen to have.

So, don’t take it personally –we’re trying to help. Heading out on a solo shopping trip saves a couple from an afternoon of bickering, emotional stress, physical fatigue and a pointless argument over leather vs. suede or a food court meal vs. 1/2 price apps at the in-house Pizzeria Uno.


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