Friends have left us with a lot of pop culture references and ideas that stuck since they last aired. But one of the most unforgettable things that Friends left us is the question of whether Ross and Rachel really on a break.

Ross and Rachel’s breakup is one of the heaviest episodes of Friends. Their relationship was one of the most anticipated relationships in the early parts of the series. One of the hooks for the storyline of Ross and Rachel is, if will they end up together. I mean, even I rooted for the two when I first watched the show. So obviously fans of the show during those times were happy to see when the two officially became a couple.  But as they went on with their relationship, things started to deteriorate and eventually led to their break up.

One of the longest-running gags of the show was derived from the infamous break up of the two. “We were on a break!” has been an argument not only by the characters from the show but also by the fans. Multiple Reddit threads and online debates on whether Rose was right or Rachel was. But we won’t get at it whether Ross and Rachel were on a break. We’ll be looking at what can we learn from that incident!

In my countless re-watch of the series, I’ve noticed that there are multiple lessons you can learn from the episode of their break up. I admit that some of them remind me of how I am when it comes to relationships. At least during my last relationship which was like years ago. And it reminded me of some of my friends’ relationships as well. Well, there are no perfect relationships but there are things we can do to make it work. So here are some of the lessons we can learn from Ross and Rachel’s break up for those couples out there!

Listening is a must

In any relationship, communication is a must. But communication is not only about talking, good communication is also about listening. Throughout the episode of their break up, Rachel was being clear to Ross that she was busy because of a crisis in their shipment of clothing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Ross bringing dinner for Rachel on their anniversary was sweet but she was very clear that she doesn’t have time.  But Ross was not listening or maybe he was, but he just chooses to ignore it.


Listening is an important part of any relationship. You can’t just dominate a conversation or tune out what your partner is telling you. If this is what your relationship is like, then I am telling you, that it is not a healthy relationship. A good relationship is all about giving and taking. It’s a two-way street. You get a turn to talk and you also have to listen.

Understand that you two have separate lives

I think we can all agree most of us want to spend most of our time with our beloved partner. Sometimes we feel that time is too short whenever we are with our partner. But the thing is, we can’t always spend our time with them. Because you two have separate lives. Not because you two are a couple, does not mean that you need to spend the majority of your time together.


One of the reasons given by Ross to Rachel was that she doesn’t feel that Rachel is still her girlfriend because of her work. But I think what Ross forgot during that time was the effort Rachel did to be where she at that time. She left a comfortable life, worked at a coffee shop, and was given an opportunity to work at a profession she loves. As a partner, you should support and understand your better half. You need to understand that there are things that they need to do outside of your relationship and so do you. Be understanding and learn to acknowledge that the two of you have a world outside your relationship.

Don’t leave things unsettled

This is one of the things that we usually do in our relationship. Whenever we are in a rough place, we tend to leave things unsettled. We let things settle with time, but what we don’t know is that it builds up and eventually leads to something bad. I strongly believed that if Ross stayed and tried to talk with Rachel, it will turn out differently. But what do I know? I mean I’m not one of the writers of the show so I guess that’s that.


But in real life, you should not leave things unsettled. I mean it’s fine to go out and get some air. But to leave things overnight or days before you settle it? I know for some, especially for dudes out there, it is hard for us to deal with confrontations. So we just leave. But it’s not healthy for any relationship to do that. It is something that can cost you your relationship. So maybe get some air, then work it out and try to settle things as soon as possible. Like what Chandler told Ross, it is not like swimming where after you eat you have to wait. 

Be clear when you communicate

This is something that I believe caused the whole Ross and Rachel fiasco. But hey, I am not condoning what Ross did; he had sex with another woman, period. It’s just that using the word break really means something in a relationship. Is it a pause? Is it actually ending the relationship? As it turns out, the way I see it Rachel wants to have space from their relationship at least according to my interpretation of how she felt after saying it.


I remember a friend of mine who once told me that they have broken up but the next day they are back together. At first, I was confused then as it turns out, it was a regular thing for them. So it means it’s not an actual break-up. It’s taking a PAUSE or SPACE. Some of us today use words lightly or use it without actually thinking about what it means. And it’s one of the causes of miscommunication.

Remember how communication is an important thing in any relationship, this is one aspect of it. I know sometimes in the heat of a moment, we tend to say words that we don’t mean. But as much as possible, we should try to be clear on what is coming out of our mouths. We should practice listening to it in our heads before we actually say it.

What are your thoughts about the famous break up of the two?

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