Ross & Rachel...Who was right? Break or no break?


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I love that this is even a thread! That being said, Ross was right. The timing was wack. "We are on a break" means I'm a free agent.


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It was a very 90's show, with all our imperfect understanding of what constituted a healthy relationship at the time. I think you have a very balanced point of view. I just re-watched "The One With All The Jealousy", and it was very obvious that Ross was very insecure due to his breakup with Carol. But that had nothing to do with Rachel and it was his fault that he carried the baggage with him. No, acting possessive is not love--it's obsession, stalkerish. Love isn't about owning someone. It's about trust and Ross didn't have that. It's not Rachel's fault that she worked with a guy, or that the guy liked her.

Jason Almasan

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Actually I'd like to disagree with you on one account, I think one of the main reasons you agreeing with Rachel is because she's the same gender. Now I'm not going to pretend that I don't do that I mean I'm obviously I'm mainly siding with Ross because he's the same gender. But of course I need more than that to prove my point, I read your post, and I agree that it sounds like she was wanting a break but not quite, (your better at explaining that) and I also agree that Ross was really was really irrational to hang up on Rachel without her explaining why Mark was there, however On Season 3 Episode 16 at 14:33 Rachel says the words and I quote "We were on a break." and of course later on in the series Rachel always argues with Ross that they were "not on a break" leading to contradiction.


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I see why you take Rachel's side because u r a girl. And I must say Rachel is no saint. She said she was on a break and there is no such rule as to how long a person has to wait before he/she can find another person. However since Ross loved Rachel for 10 years before dated her for 2 years I think he should have been more sensitive about her and waited for more time. If you take a big picture and see what Rachel messed up with Ross and his relationships I don't blame Ross for moving on soon. Again though Ross is not matured , in this case I don't completely blame Ross for thinking they were on a break. Rachel did realize that she didn't want to break up with Ross immediately. She can change her views quickly but Ross can't ? In fact since the beginning it was Rachel who was screwing up with the relationships that Ross has had. With Julie, and with phoebe's friend that shaves her head and worst of all ask him to take the entire blame saying "once a cheater always a cheater"?? In my opinion for Rachel , "once a bi*** always a bi***". I know Ross is an idiot and moron but he definitely shouldn't be with Rachel. People think Ross is no good for Rachel but that's because Rachel (Jennifer) herself was too hot to find faults in her. As I said both are equally faulty- Ross with his insecurity and Rachel for being such a s*ut and bi***


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Well if you have seen friends all episodes and with unbiased mind (forget her hotness and looks) u will know that she is a horrible person than ross. Remember she slept with Barry knowing that mindy is marrying him ? Barry and mindy were engaged and about to be married definitely "not on break". She cheated on her best friend. Ross never cheated on her. So what gives rachel right to call ross a cheater ? If u don't agree then u like her looks rather than her character.


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How did you conclude that Rachel was a slut?
Kissing the interviewer in an interview, dating am assistant, cheating on Barry and mindy,trying to seduce the ob/gyn in the hospital, dating Paul the father of a girl ross, her ex bf , was dating Kissing co worker while the baby was born very recently, manipulating ross to prevent him from knowing that she gave her number on a girls night out , lying to her father about her not marrying ross , trying to humiliate in front of the judges to get her marriage annulled ,dating joey while having a baby with ross , setting him up with Emily just to make out with josh with out caring about his "friend"'s feelings , to name a few


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Other than sleeping with Barry, none of these things fall into the definition of a slut. And the Barry thing is shaky. That's one instance.


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In the sitcoms world yes things are not serious. Even deaths are seen through comic glasses. Break ups are very common. But in reality these things won't work.


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As a Friends fan in college and a re-watcher now 10 years later, my opinion has changed. At first (age 19), I thought that Ross was wrong to sleep with someone else and Rachel had all rights to be hurt and take years to move on. Now, as I re-watch the entire season for the umpteenth time this year, I feel very different.

First, as a woman who now has a demanding career, I know that it is paramount to give special time to my SO now husband. When my now husband and I started dating six years ago I was an assistant and he a grad student. Now, I we have equal success and we both have jobs that demand over 40 hours a week. It is fascinating to me how my complete opinion of the Ross/Rachel break-up and after period is different now.

Rachel was down right WRONG to avoid Ross for probably around a month (mentioning he didn't see her much or she was working late for four episodes before the break-up). She also wrote off his concerns about Mark in a simple, frustrating, "don't you trust me?" woman's lib thing that as a woman frustrates me. YES, he trusts you. He also knows men a little more than you (we can all agree she is sheltered) and he knows what Mark is trying to accomplish. She needed to trust HIM. Also, the added insecurity of the Carol/Sharon year gym partnership pre-divorce means she should have been more understanding. Adding to the fact it was made clear to her that Ross was right all along and she NEVER really apologizes to Ross about her mistake or takes that into consideration when accusing him later on.

Should he have gone to her office no, but she never offered another day to celebrate. Just "I have to work." I am on a work trip during my husband's birthday this year, so I set aside the entire Saturday before to do whatever he wants. She is not saying, "I am so sorry I am clearing my schedule so we can spend all of Saturday to celebrate." (And then keep the date) She is communicating for him to get out of her way and just deal with the fact she now has switched priorities. I say switched because she wasn't adding, she just changed focus from Ross to her boss. She needs to learn to juggle.

That all said Ross shouldn't have slept with the girl. I probably would have hung up if a female version of Mark was in my SO's apartment 3 hours after we had broken up too, but still a drunken mistake. He shouldn't have tried to cover it up either. But all said, I think Rachel was really upset because it made her think that Ross might be able to move on from her. She masked that pain by painting him a "cheater"

What REALLY bugs me as an adult though and gets to the fact I don't enjoy the Ross/Rachel part of Friends anymore is Rachel's immaturity. At 26 she made mistakes trying to balance career and relationship. Who doesn't? That said, she has no right to continue to be selfish and make it ALL about her pain in the beginning of the fourth season. That letter was a joke and Ross had all rights to be furious. Not to mention the Rachel coming to London and then not being interested in Ross again after he says her name.

Thankfully by the finale Rachel FINALLY grew up enough to get over it and herself that they could be together. Personally I find Season 5-10 Ross weak and whiny and Rachel selfish (better after having Emma), but if they love each other, that is what matters.


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I just created this account to show up a male point of view here. The problem with everyone's opinion on here is that your considering show facts of characters and not like actual feelings of people...and then saying things about relationships!!! When you have a break (breakup) with a girl that you feel was way out of left field, its sort of natural to just not have a grieving period. You sort of feel wronged and its like okay I'm down for other girls [email protected]#$ whoever was in the past. That's (from a male POV) where Ross was at, if you see something like that coming then you get 'the devastation' and sit on your couch and not talk to girls for a bit, but Ross like one episode before (yes I'm going to show facts now) said to Rachel the speech about how he loves her so much more than Susan and opened up into how bad it would be to lose that, so he wasn't really expecting this 'plot twist' and when another girl was so warm to him....well we all know that that is something nice you just say yes to.... unless you''ve put yourself through the breakup and feel like its your fault and turn away from what you think you shouldn't have... I hope that makes sense to all you girls... its like very honest. Meanwhile the least important thing here is the other guy (fashion guy), and Rachel seems to know she made a bad call by just ending the relationship ONE WEEK after Ross admitting his feelings about it. What she really does wrong is to just call in the morning and hug him and everything is okay.... I'm not saying I wouldn't do it if I was Ross though, its just sort of a thin way to be. IT SORT OF COMES DOWN TO THIS: Here's a breakup and then we'll get back together before I have to go to work, but you should be willing to accept responsibility for the entire thing later (because you did something naturally instinctive that I couldn't understand!). I'm not going to lie its cruel to have such expectations of the person your in a relationship with, even though I probably would do it if I were Ross....see. Does it? Well, Does it? I was in the middle when I started writing...but now I'm leaning to one side. PS ROSS has only been with 2 girls, so when one dumps him and a wildly hot copy girl starts it up.... do you think THAT is really his fault. This is my weakest point....but still you've got to give it to Ross....and maybe Chandler. Also I'm watching the episode where he dates the really hot chick from his work.... like super model hot... how could Rachel ever think to break up with Ross....PSYCHO


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Let me start off by saying: I really really dislike both Ross and Rachel. They're both incredibly selfish, immature, and lack any sense of self-awareness. They persistently act petty and childish. I get that that makes for great 'drama' but that's kind of code word for 'I don't know how to behave like an adult.' There's a reason Monica and Chandler made it while Ross and Rachel were always in some sort of fight or trouble. I think both are wrong (but Rachel moreso) though I start off with Ross.

The whole thing with Mark? No, not every guy out there who helps a female is out to get in her pants. Shocking, I know, but altruists DO exist and as a non-trivial part of the population. The immediate assumption that men only speak to women as a means to an end makes men into little more than animalistic manipulators. That's degrading. It's not unreasonable to fear that someone *might* have ulterior motives - and if Ross has said 'I'm worried Mark may not be as honest about his intentions as we'd like him to be, will you please keep that in mind when you spend time with him?' then things would have been peachy. But of course friends, ever the show to relegate genders into black and white roles, declares it impossible for a guy to help a girl for no reason.

So: Ross shouldn't have treated Rachel like property that other men were howling to get at. If he was concerned about Mark he could have addressed that in a mature fashion that didn't denigrate half of the human population. Rachel, even if she believed Marks intentions to be good, could respect Ross's fears and limit (though not omit) contact with Mark to what was necessary. They both could responsibly let the situation play out to better determine what his motives were - especially since Rachel needed a job that made her happy.

When Rachel got the job how Ross behaved was terrifying. The degree of possessiveness was unconscionable. He wasn't sending her nice things because he cared about her, but to make it very, very clear to Mark that she had a significant other. He didn't respect that SHE knew how to say no to advances (that at that point hadn't been made) from another man. Ross was so insecure I'm surprised he didn't lock her up in his apartment all day. And sleeping through a seminar he volunteered to go to that was important to her? That's wrong. If you can't make it through, don't go, but don't embarrass her in public like that.

When Rachel was at work and he brought in the picnic it was not romantic. He didn't respect that she was in a difficult situation that needed to be resolved before she could spend time with him. He expected her to prioritize him over her career when he did not extend her the same courtesy. There will *always* be time when work has to come first - and new jobs are at the top of the list. Building a healthy life means learning to deal with not seeing each other sometimes - occasionally to the point of loneliness. What would have been better would be for him to assert that he understood her dilemma but needed her to commit to making make-up plans for their anniversary that she could not back out of. That would allow him to be supportive of her work and career while showing that the relationship did need to be a priority in her life.

Lastly - sleeping with the xerox girl wasn't wrong. It was just a poor decision but was wholly understandable given the information he had at the time. Ill advised? Yes. Morally wrong? Not in the least. He was hurt, from what he knew the relationship was over, and he was drunk. That happens.

Now for Rachel - her expectations of Ross were ridiculous. 'I thought you would never hurt me' she says at one point. Well, that's lovely, did you want a unicorn too? That's not a fair burden to place on someone. Anyone. No matter what everyone you love will hurt you and you will hurt them. It's kind of part of being human. Rachel also should have respected Ross's fears about Mark while establishing positive boundaries - i.e. working with him was fine but going out to things after work wasn't. There were other people in the office she could be closer friends with. No, others shouldn't dictate our relationships but respecting the worries of our partners is just a kind thing to do.

If Rachel had to consistently miss dates - to the point that Ross couldn't be certain when or if they would meet any given day then she was acting irresponsibly. She was treating his time preparing, clearing his schedule, without respect. While we can't anticipate emergencies, when work persistently needs you in then either at some point you don't go in or you let the person you've left hanging know that you can't reasonably accommodate a relationship. The latter option isn't terrible either - we all also have times when career does come first, and that's often when it's just starting. If she couldn't devote the time to the relationship that Ross needed then it was on her to end the relationship to let him be with someone who would give him what he needed. Alternatively, they could have a time-span plan, where she spent X amount of time building up her resume there and making a good impression and then after that time if she were still missing too many dates she could (with her newly good-looking resume) seek a position elsewhere.

Lastly, Rachel said the morning after that they had 'broken up.' She was not ambiguous about it. If they were broken up he didn't cheat. It's not unreasonable to be hurt that he immediately slept with someone else, but it was certainly not him stepping out on her. At worst it should have made things harder (but not impossible) to fix. When you break up with someone there are consequences - namely, that the other person will be very very hurt and act irrationally. That's what Ross did. It wasn't a moral failing, it was a reaction to what she did. Her failure to accept any responsibility was mind-blowing. Her later attempts to call it cheating were wholly disgusting, and were just manipulative attempts to vindictively hurt Ross and ruin his reputation.

So final tally:
Ross wins with respect to the sleeping with Xerox girl
Rachel wins with respect to (most) of the behavior leading up to the break

But I still hate them both. They're just... mean, terrible, self-centered people.


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I'm gonna try to make this short, but there is a lot of explaining to do. Here goes: I felt Ross was a little wrong, and I felt Rachel was totally wrong, and here's why... Rachel One: SHE initiated the "break" with Ross. Not the other way around. He said, "Let's get some frozen yogurt." She sighs and says, "No, a break from us." In my opinion, male or female, "let's take a break" means you may not wanna see that person for a while, see what's out there, weigh options and so on. Two: When Ross called to make up, and heard Mark in the background, he asked, "Who's that?" She replied, "Nobody." (I noticed no one else mentioned that) Now, if Mark is her friend and she only invited him over to talk, why lie to Ross? Then when Mark spoke again, she made a face like she wanted him to be quiet. Again, I ask, WHY is she hiding that from Ross? Three: She SAID to Monica they broke up. So, with that being said, if she HAD slept with Mark, it would have been no foul. Four: She mentioned on Ross's answering machine that she didn't want to "get back together on a machine", then when she showed up, she asked, "Can I be your girlfriend again?" In my experience, when that question is asked, it's because a relationship is in a mending and rebuilding process. Five: She didn't even try to understand that Ross only did what he did because he was upset. He assumed that she could have never wanted to be with him again. So, in a combination of inebriation and sadness, he went to bed with a pretty girl who had been clinging to him all night and was OBVIOUSLY interested in the Ross-A-Tron. LOL. (I had to, I couldn't help myself.) Ross One: He showed up to Rachel's job even though she told him she was busy. She just started a new job, and she was trying to build a career, which all the other friends have, and she didn't. Two: Assumptions about Mark. It was SO annoying. I mean, granted, some guys DO "befriend" girls in relationships for more than friendship, but he should know his lady better than that. Three: The way the fight started before the break. He should have been a tad bit more understanding before he told he wanted her to apologize. That wasn't right. Four: Listening to Chandler and Joey when they told him to think of the trail and keep Rachel from finding out. It was long, but I needed to put my two cents in. I LOVE Friends and all the characters. Wonderful show.

Joey Carr

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Rossisright4 I completely agree with everything you said, But you did not expand on "Ross shouldn't have slept with that girl". From an impulsive point of view.. he should not have. From a factual point of view? He had every right to. Single, social gathering, adult. Its consensual. So legally he did nothing wrong. Emotionally.. maybe he should have gone home and gotten drunk by him self watching sappy romantic movies. However, I do like what the person said a couple of lines above me. He has only been with 2 women. Rachel was kind of a slut back in high school. Its referenced many times and she did it to become popular. AGAIN THOUGH.. that's fine. shes hot.. guys want her.. I'm sure hot football players wanted her to so no I will not blame her for having sex in high school. Dear lord I know I did ! But her views are kind of muddled compared to Ross. If i was 28 years old and only been with 2 women, and throw my all into a relationship only to have the love of my life throw it back into my face... DUMP me.. and then have the guy that caused all of this at her house 3 HOURS LATER? Yeah.. I'm bow in out. I'm get tin drunk and hooking up with the super model looking easy loose girl that I dint give a shit about. Its called a potty F***.

I would like to add.. that I LOVE this part of the writing of friends. I'm glad that we can all debate about stuff like this years after. That not only constitutes grate writing, but It goes to show that something like this will be debated forever.. Some times right is right, wrong is wrong... but in this instance... its a very thin line. I love it, and I also have been in the exact same situation and reacted the way Rachel did. I dumped a girl.. and within 3 days she drove to some dudes house and had sex with him, I made a joke and asked her if she had slept with anyone (figuring she hadn't) and she said IMHO... and I was like are you kidding me? And she said yeah I drove over to his house and we did it. I don't regret it. I wanted to. And i said. well that sucks for you, cause now we can never be together, I need you to get off my bed and leave right now. And without even arguing she just got up and left. We haven't been together since, I haven't talked to her in at least a year, and still form my understanding shes a bit of a slut. So I'm glad its over. ;)


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I'm a self proclaimed Friends freak. I've posted on here before. I watch the DVD sets ALL the time. Basically when there's nothing on, I throw on a DVD and eventually go through them all. Yeah, I'm a geek. What can I say??

I've always wondered what people thought of the Ross and Rachel "we were on a break" situation. Both had a pretty clear view of their stand of the situation and I always thought personally that Ross is the one who screwed up. It's true that Rachel told him they needed a break, but when he was at the bar with Joey and Chandler, he talked to Rachel on the phone and she started to tell him she didn't mean what she said but he learned Mark was there with her and before she could explain, he hung up on her and then that led to him having sex with the girl from the copy place, Chloe.

In his mind, they were on a break and I see his point as well since in a way, once he hung up with Rachel at the bar, it was done. Later, he kept mentioning that he wasn't the only one at fault, but to me, Rachel never truly did anything wrong. I always thought the scenes from before they broke up where Ross went to her office without her permission to do the romantic dinner were good ones and it always annoyed me that Ross did all that and then expected Rachel to do the apologizing. Sounds like plenty of real life relationships in my opinion!

What do you think? On a break or not on a break? Ross's fault totally or did Rachel have

I have watched and rewatched this series so many times and the one thing that makes me mad is how Rachel never ever takes blame for her part in her and Ross's break up.... Everyone keeps talking about how she finally got her dream job and Ross should have been more understanding... But if you ask me... Ross was more than understanding. Rachel was mean and rude.... She shut him down constantly and yelled at him in front of their friends and coworkers... I get that her career is important but she didn't having to be so mean... She took advantage of Ross... He left shit slide for way to long... That's is the only reason why he got crazy... He was desperate. He felt her slipping away... Not because she was always gone at work... But because she was treating him so much differently.... Like he didn't matter... And that is why he slept with the copy girl... She heard him.. She listened... It was exactly what he needed in that moment... And for the whole "we were on a break" deal... Of you recall the episode as clear as I do... You will remember the morning after they go on the break... Rachel is telling mimic about it... She said they
Broke Up!... While I don't agree with him sleeping with someone so soon... I can understand why... And they were not together so her constantly calling him a cheater is bs!... And just like someone else said... She always complained about how much Ross hurt her. Never taking into consideration that doing a 180 and changing the way she talked to him and treated him hurt her as well... Oh and another thing... Who the he'll invited the guy your bf (she insists They were not broken up even tho she said it multiple times) is jealous over and insecure over in the middle of the biggest fight of your relationship? Once again proving how selfish Rachel Green really is.


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I am a HUGE friends fan and I love the show. I think that when Ross and Rachel "were on a break" it was Mostly Rachel's fault.

In Season 3-16 (The one with the Morning After) in the beginning Rachel said "we decided to break up instead." So they had clearly broken up and Ross could've slept with anyone. Don't get me wrong I love Rachel she is my favorite character! Also, it wasn't completely Ross's fault that he slept with "the girl from the copy place" because she was the one who told Isaac and started "the trail" and he was drunk. I guess that wasn't really the point. It was also partly Ross's fault because he should have just trusted Rachel.

So to conclude it was both their fault and in the end they still got together.

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