Leading psychologist confirms what we all knew already: Ikea shopping leads to divorce
Would your relationship survive putting together the Liatorp flat pack?
Want to know if your relationship will work? Try the ‘IKEA rage’ test
A LEADING psychologist has branded an IKEA wall unit “the divorce maker” because it is such a nightmare to assemble.
By DANIEL BATES
PUBLISHED: 15:59, Fri, Apr 24, 2015 | UPDATED: 06:40, Sun, Apr 26, 2015
Assembling IKEA furniture can be the ‘ultimate test’ for relationships
The Liatorp storage unit puts relationships under such intense strain that they could cause a break up, said Ramani Durvasula, a professor of psychology at California State University in Los Angeles.
She said that the unit’s 32-page instruction manual and 169 screws required to assemble it often lead to arguments and frustration.
Professor Durvasula said that the Liatorp was the “ultimate relationship test” – and that if you passed you would be together for years.
IKEA has long been parodied for the complexity of assembling its flat-pack furniture.
But according to Professor Durvasula, the Liatorp is the most deadly item in the entire range.
The 9ft wide and 7ft high unit sells for £825 in the UK and is three separate bookcases joined together with three doors on the front.
According to the manual, there are 22 different kinds of screw or bracket and 13 different pieces of wood that go into its assembly.
In an interview on US TV Professor Durvasula called the Liatorp a “wall unit extraordinaire”.
She said: “Some pieces of furniture require two hands, two people, pieces of glass, making drawers.
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“Because it requires so much collaboration, so much cooperation, and there’s a potential that someone could get hurt if this thing comes crashing down, you better be on the same page.
“It’s the ultimate test – if you can put that piece together, you can start planning your 50th wedding anniversary party.”
Professor Durvasula said a trip to an IKEA store “literally becomes a map of a relationship nightmare”.
She that assembling flat pack furniture required “communication, cooperation, collaboration and respect”, tools which every relationship needs.
Professor Durvasula said: “Unfortunately (they) fall apart as soon as there are hammers, nails and allen wrenches involved…
“In essence, putting together this furniture is like a pressure cooker. How do they behave when the stress is on?”
IKEA meltdown have been the feature of dozens of YouTube parodies and in the US comedy 30 Rock one of the characters breaks up with her boyfriend in IKEA.
And there may be a good reason why: one study found that the layout of its stores were like a maze so that consumers make more impulse purchases.
Courtney Frappier, a New York City publicist whose recent trip to IKEA with her boyfriend Alex Mele ended in tears, told the Wall St Journal that she will never return to the store.
The rows they had over their Bjursta sideboard and the Bekant desk were so bad that her boyfriend will not give them their proper names; instead he calls them Terrible and Misery.
New York-based marriage counsellor Dr Jane Greer said that she had seen couples go to war “over an IKEA couch that neither of them even liked”.
She said: “Underneath, every discussion is really about how important am I to you? How important is my comfort and happiness to you? If I want this couch, and it’s important to me, then why isn’t it important enough to you?”
IKEA’s success is staggering and in the UK, twice as many people visit one of its stores regularly than go to church every Sunday.
Some 10 per cent of all furniture bought in the UK is from IKEA which has around £1.2 billion of sales in Britain each year.
Around 10 per cent of babies in Europe are said to have been conceived on an IKEA bed.
IKEA spokeswoman Janice Simonsen said: “While IKEA has no set philosophy on couples shopping together, we want everyone to have a good experience.”