This is Rule #1 When Shopping with a Partner Who Has Different Tastes

updated Mar 11, 2020
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(Image credit: Kzenon)

If you and your significant other have a similar style for your home, consider yourselves lucky. You’ll never be that couple arguing passionately in the aisles at IKEA over which bedside lamp you’d rather wake up to in the morning. But if that second couple does sound like you and your beloved, here’s a bit of advice: Remember rule #1…

Never say, “that’s ugly.”

Designer and lifestyle blogger Victory McGinley recently shared her experience shopping for dining chairs with her husband for their new home:

“He isn’t the type to give me carte blanche and let me run with whatever I think ‘our’ style is; he really likes to be involved and decide on furnishings together. It’s great that he wants to be a part of it, but since our styles are extremely different, it can make for a slow process (and note: we are learning to not immediately say ‘That’s ugly’ to each others preferences. Trust me, this #1 rule helps!).”

That’s sage advice right there. Rule #1 when shopping with a significant other (or a friend, or a roommate who you’d rather stay on good terms with) is to just never utter the words “that’s ugly”.

Even if you think it is. Even if you’d rather invite a family of rats into your apartment than the chandelier they picked out. While it might accurately capture your assessment of the piece at hand, insulting your partner’s taste isn’t going to win you any favors.

Instead, turn your knee-jerk outburst into an “I” statement to take ownership of your opinion. As in, “I don’t really think that appeals to both our tastes. Maybe we can keep looking?”

How do you keep the peace when shopping together?

Here’s some more advice on moving in together from Apartment Therapy:

  • How Do You Settle Decor Disputes?
  • Moving in Together: Tips for Merging Styles & Keeping the Peace
  • How to Get the Home You Want When Your Partner Isn’t Into Design