Friends is arguably one of the most iconic shows ever. Its humor, crazy situations, and lovable characters make it a go-to program even now, decades after its release. Perhaps more than anything else, however, it was the relationships (both friendly and romantic) that made the series such a huge hit. If you’re a fan, you know that Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Ross and Chandler all endured their own trials and tribulations when it came to their love lives. Here are a few gems we can learn from their mistakes!

  1. Going back to an ex usually isn’t a great idea. First of all, we have Chandler and Janice who got back together so many times when clearly, it just wasn’t a match. Then we had Monica who went back to Richard, and ended up heartbroken. And of course, we had Rachel who had a brief encounter with Barry who she previously left at the altar. It’s important to remember that while there may be a residue of intense feelings when it comes to an ex, you always have to go by what history and experience with that person has already taught you. Usually, going down memory lane is sadly a shortcut to heartbreak-city.
  2. Do you want a break or to break up? If you want some time apart or “a break” from your partner, you need to firstly be honest with yourself. Is it that you actually want to break up but are struggling to know how to communicate that in the best way? Honesty is always the best policy! If not, you need to clearly define what you mean by time apart. What are your reasons, for how long do you intend the break to last? What is the purpose of the break? As we saw in Friends, the confusion of the whole Rachel and Ross “break” situation might have provided us with a few extra seasons worth of entertainment, but in real life, it really sucks to be involved in that kind of relationship dynamic. It’s also brutal to be left in the dark about what your partner wants and what the future holds in your relationship.
  3. Sometimes, love isn’t enough if you want different things. We saw this play out between Monica and Richard. Both amazing people in their own way but on different pages about what they wanted from a future together. Monica had yet to experience getting married and having children; two values that were important to her. Richard had already done these things and it just wasn’t on his agenda. Though very clearly in love, Monica had to stay true to her wants and needs and broke it off. Richard had a change of heart but it was too late as Monica was with Chandler. This was a sad situation to watch, but in the end Monica did the right thing sticking to her guns. Sometimes it’s also just a case of bad timing and relationships can’t be forced if you’re two people in love but on different playing fields.
  4. Love is about loving the person regardless of their imperfections. We love this one by Monica who, contrary to her perfectionist nature, believes that love isn’t about finding the most perfect guy in the world. It’s about finding someone who accepts you for you and that really, perfection doesn’t exist. Friends does a great job of reminding us many times that relationships all have their complications and imperfections – and that’s ok.
  5. Sometimes though, you have to go there to figure out it’s not right! Ah, Rachel and Joey. We could feel the anticipation build with this one (which lasted much longer than the actual relationship!). When it came to the reality of Rachel and Joey being a couple, it felt awkward, too complicated, slightly weird and was clear that it wasn’t really going to work out. Sometimes you have to just take that leap to figure out that it’s not the right person or relationship for you!
  6. True love isn’t about the frills. Phoebe’s wedding didn’t exactly go to plan due to the NYC blizzard but it doesn’t matter. Her and Mike get married outside of Central Perk with the bare minimum of frills and give each of her five friends a role in the ceremony. This episode really shows that it’s not about the details, it’s about celebrating love.
  7. Oh, and when you do get married, get the name of your bride right! We couldn’t resist this one!
  8. Breakups are rough and we all deal with them in our own ways. Each one of the Friends gang has their own way of coping with a breakup. Monica became obsessive, Joey moved on to the next person without taking any time out, Ross dealt with heartbreak by being stubborn and Chandler seemed to go through all kinds of stages of getting over his breakup! The process isn’t linear. There isn’t a right or wrong way of coping or a timeline. We all have different ways of feeling emotions. So do exactly what you need to do to mend your broken heart.

 

It goes without saying though, having a great bunch of friends around you at this time also helps!

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