Even though the TV sitcom Friends ended a long time ago, it still holds quite a bit of sway in pop culture today. So much so, in fact, that most people are still obsessing over an event that took place during the fifteenth episode of the third season. This, of course, is when the iconic Ross and Rachel relationship hits a speed bump.
In case you are a little fuzzy on the details, let’s recap the most pivotal moments of that episode.
So, Rachel and Ross get into a heated argument and Rachel suggests that they “take a break”. Ross responds to this by walking out of the apartment. Later on, that same night, Ross hooks up with someone he met at a bar.
When Rachel finds out about this, she is enraged and essentially accuses Ross of cheating. Ross, on the other hand, defends his position by reminding her that they were supposed to be on a break. This is something that he maintains throughout the show.
For years, viewers have been divided on this front as well. Well, it appears that a consensus has finally been reached, though! A survey has shown that aside has been chosen. Let’s take a look at the results below.
What the Public Says
Drum roll, please.
It appears that 60 percent of individuals who took the survey side with Ross – they believe that since the couple was technically “on a break”, he didn’t actually cheat on Rachel.
This isn’t the whole story, though. There appear to be some differing opinions between the genders. For example, 44 percent of women felt that Ross had cheated and that Rachel was the aggrieved party. However, 64 percent of men felt that Ross hadn’t done anything wrong.
How This Applies to Real Relationships
Even with these results, one question remains. What exactly does “a break” mean? Does it mean that the relationship has temporarily (but definitely) ended? Or, are you still together but are spending some time apart? Another point of view could be that being on a break is a middle ground.
Well, it seems that real-life singles haven’t completely figured out what being on a break actually entails.
For instance, an overwhelming number – 38 percent, to be exact – said that a break was similar to an open relationship. So, while you might still be linked to your partner, you were also allowed to go on dates or hook up with other people.
Then, there was 29 percent who took a more extreme view. They said being on a break was essentially like breaking up. Due to this, you were free to do as you pleased. Overall, that meant that over 60 percent of people thought that breaks allow you to be with people other than your partner.
In fact, just one-third of the people surveyed thought that monogamy still applied while on a break. These individuals said that a break still implied that both partners were together. As such, the break was meant to help them work things out and eventually get back together.
How to Avoid the Ross-Rachel Debacle
There is no denying that most people consider a relationship break to essentially be a free-for-all on the dating scene. At the same time, this isn’t the view held by everyone. So, how can you avoid getting into the same predicament as Ross and Rachel?
Well, if you are considering going on a break with your partner, it is important to define your “break”. Does it mean that you are officially broken up or are you still together? At the same time, you need to discuss what is and isn’t acceptable during your break.
There are some couples that may feel like a break is a good time to see other people. Then, there are those that would prefer to spend some time apart, but still meet to work on their relationship. In such a situation, monogamy might be considered important. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you are both on the same page.
If you decide to see other people while still working on your relationship, you must agree not to have hurt feelings. This means that one party can’t be angry or jealous because the other is going out and having fun. In case this is something you can’t guarantee, you shouldn’t settle on these conditions.
So, there you have it, a conclusion to a debate that has been raging for almost two decades! Do you feel like your position has been vindicated? Or, do you still firmly believe that Rachel was the wronged party all along? Well, at the very least, you now know how the rest of the world feels about the subject once and for all!