We all know the moment. You’re standing in a furniture store. Your significant other likes the wooden coffee table. You’re more into plexiglass with your contemporary living room aesthetic. And all of a sudden, what should have been a nice afternoon shopping for your new apartment devolves into a relationship-defining moment.
That, of course, makes sense: After all, how can you ever relate to your so-called loved one when his taste in couches is solely based on functionality and completely disregards appearance?
As you spiral into an existential crisis, not sure whether you’ll ever be able to adjust to a home where the chairs are actually *comfortable* instead of avant-garde, you may feel like the most alone person in the world. That makes sense as well: Your soul mate doesn’t seem to appreciate your unique and urbane sense of style, even though friends have for years told you that you’re so good at interior design that you should try it as a profession.
But it turns out you’re not alone — not even close. In fact, furniture hunting is a major catalyst for stress among many, many couples, all of whom probably believe they know better than their partners.
According to a new survey by OnePoll and furniture company Article, every year “the average couple will have around 72 disagreements about decor style, purchasing decisions, and furniture purchases.” Eight of those will occur in the store itself, while 10 happen in front of a familiar audience — a family member or friend whose two cents can be used as leverage.
Even at fun-filled sites such as movie theaters and amusement parks, people are not immune from arguing about their furniture choices. It seems that between roller coaster rides, those rug color swatches are still at the forefront of our minds.
Some astute beings have learned how to free themselves of this common fodder for arguments, either through solitude or reticence. 15% of Americans avoid furniture shopping alongside their partners “because the visit always leaves them feeling grumpy with each other.” Meanwhile, 58% don’t even weigh in on shopping because they’re not gunning for a fight.
But for those who haven’t quite mastered the art of apathy, it’s obvious why we care so much about the furniture we choose — we spend 216 hours researching and buying furniture for ourselves, and after that kind of time commitment, we’ve clearly developed strong opinions. The survey found that the most common reasons people bicker include “budget, furniture styles, and color selection,” amid other concerns.
So if you’ve gotten in a blow-out fight over your home’s decor, you’re far from the only one. And it’s okay to feel strongly about where you live. You just have to keep in mind that your partner cares, too, and it’s probably all because both of you want to make the perfect home for one another.
Keep that in mind the next time your significant other picks out that excruciatingly ugly lamp. Even though the object may look like it belongs in a garbage heap, the recommendation itself comes straight from a heart of gold that you know you’ll treasure again — once all the furniture is picked out.