We Put Together an IKEA Sectional Without Fighting…I Think We're Gonna Make It.
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We Put Together an IKEA Sectional Without Fighting…I Think We're Gonna Make It.

We sat on our empty living room floor surrounded by 26 IKEA boxes and we made a pact…

We Put Together an IKEA Sectional Without Fighting…I Think We're Gonna Make It.

The decision to ditch our thrice handed down leather 3 seater was not an easy one. Over the past two years we had developed a bond with it. It was our first piece of furniture in our first apartment together. We sat on that sofa watching our favorite shows, we FaceTimed our families that we hadn't seen in months, we booked flights, did homework, and lived our lives.

Then, the dog pee'd on it.

Purchasing an IKEA sofa signals a new stage of life that I am calling: "I bought this new, and not from Target". I admit, I felt pretty grown up when I made the decision to buy a new sofa. Fortunately, my decision was well received by my boyfriend who jumped on board with alacrity! Nothing motivates like the lingering smell of dog pee.

We've read, seen videos, and heard first-hand accounts about near-breakup sagas that involve Swedish meatballs and show-room toilets, so we bought online…first potential crisis averted.

On Sunday morning 26 boxes arrived at our front door. 26!! We cleared out the living room, sat cross-legged on the floor, joined hands, and looked into each other's overwhelmed eyes. In our four and a half years together we have learned a bit about communication. For example, it is inevitable that when my boyfriend cooks, he will insist he does not need help. Shortly thereafter, he will struggle with some aspect of the recipe and swear under his breath in Spanish. I will ask "do you need help?" and he will bark "What do you think?!". The situation devolves quickly and we sulk for about an hour OR until one of us gets really hungry, whichever comes first.

In light of past furniture assembly experiences, we made a pact: neither of us would raise our voice or wait until he/she became frustrated before asking for help. We would take frequent snack breaks, and hug or high-five every 30 minutes. We would read directions and discuss our plan-of-action before picking up the allen key. Most importantly, we agreed that it is never necessary to make our own holes with a power drill when our patience has frayed and the piece doesn't fit quite right.

As we unboxed, assembled, sweated, stuffed, groaned, and fended off curious cats I became profoundly grateful that I was working on this herculean task with him. It was tough, but it was going far more smoothly than anticipated and this made me feel philosophical as we toiled away. I began to see this experience as a metaphor for the progress we'd made in our relationship.

We came together like in a bunch of different sized boxes, filled with God knows what, that at first glance might not fit together or become anything at all. We unpacked each other and figured out how we fit together. Sometimes misjudging, but always willing to go back and see where we took a wrong turn and fix it - usually with humor. Humor is the life blood of our relationship, and most good ones I've seen. With cautiously optimistic smiles on our faces, we worked our way through the limited directions that left a lot up to interpretation - the fake it til you make it approach never fails.

But when the base of our sofa was complete I thought, that is like our relationship's foundation. That was the hard part, but it's really stable and strong. It took patience, attention to detail, good intentions and acceptance that we had different strengths and weaknesses. And as we added the softer cushions and pillows I thought, these are the soft parts that we sink into, that make us feel warm and safe. They are the love, the compassion, the admiration and shared experiences.

Our relationship and our new couch are both beautiful things that we built together, that we can relax into, that support us and both of which we are quite proud of creating. The parts fit together (with no extra bits left at the end - phew!) and the sum is far, far greater than any of the individual parts.

And yes, I just used a tension-free building of an IKEA sofa as a metaphor for my relationship.

So now, as we sit on our sofa I am overwhelmed with the realization that….

I have 3 pets and a boyfriend who loves to eat hot Cheetos and brownies and I bought a white sofa…

…what the f**k was I thinking?!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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