How to get your flatmate to build your Ikea bed in twenty-five simple steps

Step one: buy a wrought iron princess bed from Ikea

Step two: enlist help to build it. Step back to realise it is Ikea’s idea of a 50 Shades bed, as long as it is large, and does not come with slats

Step three: sit in a bottomless giant cot and ponder what step four should be. Consider the possibility that your black silk sheets, red velvet curtains and chandelier might look a bit much against the metal bed frame

Step four: enlist help to take adult cot apart around you, and repack it

Step five: cajole your future flatmate into driving you to Ikea to swap unused sex bed for a normal bed

Step six: smile encouragingly when future flatmate says you two look like an old couple, doing the Ikea thing together

Step seven: call a friend to give advance warning that you are going to sleep with future flatmate. Cons: bad teeth and potential alcoholism. Pros: Ikea-based unarguable sexual tension (see step six) and existence of connecting balcony between rooms. Outcome: sex. Disagree with friend who says it is not unavoidable

Step eight: text future flatmate to invite him over for “apéritif” at half past midnight

Step nine: start a pre-move into the flat, after future flatmate has poured precisely the fourth glass of wine and is returning from the kitchen with another bottle tell him about step seven. Skip pros and cons, arrive directly at logical outcome.

Step ten: note that gingers do not suit a healthy blush. Resume normal conversation

Step eleven: when asked, show your tits. Resume normal conversation

Step twelve: allow future flatmate to kiss you in spite of bad teeth

Step thirteen: agree to meet “later” and dash off because you are late

Step fourteen: arrive late and drunk at your own drinks, announcing that it is because future flatmate was busy staring at your naked breasts from across your future dinner table

Step fifteen: step outside for a cigarette, say, to no one in particular, “oh, a taxi!”, run for it

Step sixteen: text future flatmate to let him know “later” is now

Step seventeen: fall asleep without sending future flatmate the address

Step eighteen: if thigh bruise and elbow graze can be reliable witnesses, assume your race for the taxi was less than graceful. Be grateful you did not let anyone know you were leaving

Step nineteen: return to bar of shame to pick up coat from cloakroom

Step twenty: move in officially. agree to flatmate’s offer of a moving-in drink at eleven am but only to cure hangover

Step twenty-one: assume martyr position in bedless bedroom until flatmate offers his bed

Step twenty-two: generously agree to share flatmate’s bed for restorative nap only

Step twenty-three: ahead of early-morning business trip departure, find a convincing argument to wake flatmate. Tea certainly is one option

Step twenty-four: interrupt convincing morning argument to depart on business trip. Promise to resume upon return. Make your exit via communicating balcony for panache

Step twenty-five: return home to find your new Ikea bed has been built

Step twenty-six: withhold promise of resuming until curtains have been hung

Step twenty-seven: be creative about ways to get your ceiling lamp done.