Before you decide to settle down with anyone, it's a good idea to find out how they act under stressful situations. Take your pick: Go on a canoe ride or head to IKEA.
The Atlantic explains why both situations test relationships:
If you want to know if you and a partner are compatible, [psychology professor] Dan Ariely told me, take a canoe ride together. An experience packed with factors out of your control — weather, currents, sharks — offers telling insights about how people react to pressure. "I think the same thing would happen with IKEA furniture. During the process, things happen in an unexpected way. There are pieces missing. People put things together in the wrong way. The question is, how much do we tend to blame the other person?"
IKEA shopping and furniture assembly becomes much more than about inexpensive furniture. Questions of taste arise (do we really like the same things?), power struggles ensue about how to follow directions, and we start arguing about other things:
"Little things like putting a set of shelves together will bring up some ancient history with the partners," Don Ferguson, author of Reptiles in Love: Ending Destructive Fights and Evolving Toward More Loving Relationships, told me. "Do you trust me? Do you think I'm stupid? Do you think I have no skills? Do you wish your old boyfriend was here doing this?"
Clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula's research found the themed areas in IKEA that triggered arguments the most: bedding, kitchen goods, and children's gear — i.e., areas related to sex, chores, and parenting.
You can minimise IKEA stress by shopping for major purchases and extras separately, going in through the exit, or planning your trip more carefully. However, a stress test might be good if you don't know how your partner reacts to pressure. Going canoeing might be the better option.
Why IKEA Causes So Much Relationship Tension [The Atlantic]