7 Relationship Lessons That Slipped Under Our Radar While Watching “Friends”
Every Friends fan out there has learned a thing or 2 from the popular 90s sitcom. Whether it is the value of true friendship portrayed by Joey and the Chan-Chan man, Monica’s wacky organizational skills, Phoebe’s uncanny ability to always see the bright side of life, or the silver lining of the turbulent love story between Ross and Rachel. Yes, the popular sitcom is filled with a lot of epic moments, but also with a lot of valuable lessons that deserve a special mention.
We at Bright Side wanted to share all the relationship lessons we can learn from Friends that can teach us a lot about the dos and don’ts in a relationship.
1. Being friends before starting a relationship is not a bad idea after all.
If there’s one thing we can learn from the “Mondler” relationship, it’s that being friends at first might actually be a good foundation for a happy and mature relationship. Chandler and Monica were friends for a long time before “that one night in London,” and it proved to be the key to their stable and inspiring relationship.
They knew their flaws, their best qualities, and they made a well-informed choice going forward into the relationship. The lesson to be learned here is that sometimes we dismiss those who we are friends with as potential partners, just because we’ve been friends for too long. But if you take the leap forward, that friendship may turn into something you could’ve never even dreamed of.
2. Jealousy and lack of communication can be a deadly combination.
The famous “we were on a break” line from Friends may be the most popular catchphrase of the series, but there’s a lot to learn from the Ross-and-Rachel break up. Even though, technically, they were on a break, these technicalities shouldn’t justify cheating on someone. Granted, Ross did call Rachel to apologize and found out that Mark was at her apartment only hours after they had had a big fight.
But still, Ross had ongoing feelings of jealousy and didn’t openly talk about his feelings toward Mark with Rachel, and Rachel didn’t try to understand why her usually caring and loving boyfriend acted the way he did. They were both at fault in this situation, and we can see just how toxic jealousy and lack of communication can be in a relationship.
3. Before entering a relationship, make sure to evaluate if you and your partner have the same expectations for the relationship.
Monica and Richard had a cute love story, but there were certainly things that both of them failed to address at the start of the relationship. Monica decided to date a man who was 21 years older than her, who was just getting out of a divorce, and who had kids and grandkids, while Monica dreamed of starting a family of her own. And the age difference was exactly the thing that tore them apart.
Later on, Richard agreed to have kids, but Monica could see that he was only saying that so that they would stay together. Even though they loved each other, they had totally different views about their future, and they knew that it was time to break up. The lesson to be learned here is that it’s better to clear out issues at the start of the relationship than have to go through a tough break up at the end.
4. It is possible to overcome major obstacles in a relationship and make it work in the end.
Mike and Phoebe were set up on a blind date, but their relationship advanced quickly as they both fell for each other hard. But when Phoebe found out that Mike didn’t ever want to get married after getting over a tough divorce, it broke her heart. And as much as she didn’t want to admit it, she did want to get married someday, and they broke up after realizing that they were both looking for different things.
It wasn’t until Monica called Mike to tell him that if he doesn’t do something, David is going to propose Phoebe that Mike decided to let go of his issues with marriage and flew all the way to Barbados to win Phoebe back. Even though they hit a few bumps in the road, Phoebe and Mike proved that even the biggest of obstacles can be overcome in a relationship.
5. Setting ultimatums instead of talking about boundaries can end a relationship.
Ross and Emily hit it off right from the start. In fact, their relationship advanced so well that Ross proposed to her quickly and decided to get married, like right out of the blue. Sadly, one of the worst things that could happen happened at their wedding when Ross accidentally said Rachel’s name instead of Emily’s when giving his vows. Yikes...
Even though they had their problems, Ross convinced Emily to go to New York with him. She accepted, but only if he promised to never see Rachel again. Ross thought about cutting Rachel out of his life, but then he realized he couldn’t do it. Even though it’s understandable why Emily got so upset, setting harsh ultimatums instead of sensible boundaries brought their marriage to an end.
6. Ending a bad relationship, even if it means walking out of your own wedding, is sometimes a blessing in disguise.
Having the courage to start your life over is not an easy thing to do. When Rachel left Barry at the altar, it took everything she had in her to do it. Rachel was clearly unhappy in her relationship, and leaving Barry was a risk that she was willing to take. There were consequences to what she did, of course, as she had to start her life over and move in with her high-school friend, Monica.
Still, if she hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t have ever been with the love of her life, Ross. We don’t say that we approve of what she did, but sometimes taking drastic measures is the only way to turn your life around. The story of Rachel taught us that ending a bad relationship, regardless of how long you have been dating or how serious the relationship is, can sometimes be the best thing you can do for yourself.
7. Don’t lose hope on your happily ever after.
Ross and Rachel didn’t have the best relationship. During their 10-year on and off period, they were friends, they got together a couple of times, had a kid together, and in the end, they ended up together. During that time they both dated other people, grew as characters, and matured into more-evolved people, but their feelings for each other were still there, even though they weren’t always clear.
The truth is, you can’t really know what life’s going to serve you, and sometimes the strangest of things can turn your life around in the blink of an eye. It took Rachel almost going to Paris for her and Ross to realize that they care about each other so deeply, that they decided to give their relationship one more chance.
There you have it. All the relationship lessons that we can learn by watching the popular sitcom, Friends. Which of these relationship lessons made you rethink your approach to relationships in general? Do you find these lessons valuable? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.