Rachel and Ross: “We were on a break!”

One of the biggest form of conflict during Friends 10 years run was the “were they or weren’t they on a break?!

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Ross was in love with Rachel for so many years until she finally saw him in the same way… they started dating in season 2, but season 3 came with problems for the couple: Rachel got a new job, and a new hot colleague, she stopped having time for Ross, which made him a bit nutty and extremely jealous. So on the night of their 1st anniversary, Rachel informs Ross that she’s working late (again) and in a desperate attempt to save the night, Ross shows up at the office with a picnic basket that leads to disaster, with Rachel asking him to leave. Back at home she wants him to apologize and he feels he shouldn’t, because he’s tired of having a relationship with her answering machine and never being able to see her…

So, tired of fighting, Rachel utters the words that change everything: “Maybe we should take a break.“. Ross responds lightly, not having understood the real meaning of the phrase: “You’re right. Let’s cool off, get some frozen yoghurt.“, but Rachel insists: “No, a break from us.“.

Ross’s heartbroken and goes to meet Joey and Chandler at a bar and after talking to the guys, he decides to call Rachel because he doesn’t want to break up, only to hear Mark, one of the reasons for they break, on the background (Mark was with Rachel at home). Mad and hurt, Ross hangs up and gets drunk, and ends up dancing with Chloe (the girl from the copy place) that makes a move at him and the two end up sleeping together…

Meanwhile, Rachel has realized she doesn’t want to take a break either and call Ross to make up.

The morning after, Ross, realizing what he’s done, wants to tell Rach the truth, but his friends advise otherwise, so he goes to all the people who know to make sure they don’t tell her, only to arrive too late, because Gunther already did.

So starts the fight that makes this one of the saddest episodes of the series, and that makes the path for many other fights of the “we were on a break” theme, ending with Rachel saying that “You’re a totally different person to me now. I used to think of you as somebody that would never, ever hurt me. Ever. God, and now I can’t stop picturing you with her. I can’t. It doesn’t matter what you say or what you do, Ross. It’s just changed everything. Forever.“. This is the official end…

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So here starts the real discussions everywhere:

Were they or were they not on a break?

And my answer is: YES! I truly believe they were on a break…

I’m not saying that what he did was right, but he was sad and vulnerable and super drunk. For all he knew they had break up, he called her and she was with another man. What would anyone think about that?!

Speaking of which… what was she doing inviting another man to her place? When Mark said he was coming over, her answer had to be a categorical NO. Instead she allowed him to come over and lets face it, all the talking he did while she was on the phone with Ross, was clearly to tick him off.

Rachel spends most of the next season defending her stand of how they weren’t broken up, but the fact is, in the beginning of The One With The Morning After, she clearly tells Monica that she and Ross broke up the night before. So later when she tells him that they weren’t broken up, they were just on a break, it really isn’t true, not even for her… So both of them had the notion, although extremely wrong, that a break equals a break up.

So I’m not saying she did not have the right to get upset and hurt and all of those things… she did! He hurt her. But should the break thing be such a big deal?! NO… they had the same definition of it… And lets face it, Ross suffered a lot since she got that job… he tried to tell her that it was just a job and not her life, he complained several times that they weren’t spending any time together, and she did nothing to change things…

To resume it: I attribute about 75% of what happened to Rachel and 25% to Ross, and in my humble opinion…

THEY WERE ON A BREAK!