Why I Can't Stand Ross and Rachel's Relationship

Ross and Rachel are consistently defined as the epitome of relationship goals.

People swoon over their 10-year romance, touting the idea that, despite all their ups and downs, they were simply meant to be. However, these people just don't seem to realize that Ross and Rachel are literally the worst.

Their relationship is filled with meaningless drama, petty arguments and a stunning lack of maturity. Truthfully, I can't stand seeing them together, and I'll tell you why.

1. Ross Is Shallow

Just to be upfront from the beginning, most of the reasons why I hate Ross and Rachel's relationship stem from my many, many problems with Ross. The dude sucks, and Rachel deserved much better than him. Why, you ask, was he so terrible? Well, let's start with the fact that he's ridiculously shallow.

Time and time again through the series, Ross proves he cares more about appearances than anything else. Despite the fact that he's had a lifelong crush on Rachel, he still makes a pros and cons list when trying to decide between Rachel and Julie. Fair, but among his points against Rachel, he includes "chubby ankles" and "just a waitress."

Now, if Ross was really as in love with Rachel, he should have jumped at the chance to be with her. But he wasn't in love with her—he was in love with her looks and status, and the fact that she was completely unattainable, even for such a "nice guy" like him.

Ross Geller

(Friends via NBC)


2. Ross Is Selfish

Ross claiming the "nice guy" status as his personal title conveniently brings me to my next point—Ross isn't that nice. In fact, he's an incredibly selfish human being who consistently tries to control situations in order to create the best outcome for him. He does it in the parenting of his son, where he often allows his own biases and prejudices to get in the way of what's best for Ben. He  does it in his romantic life, where he dates and marries people at random because he desperately craves love, even though he never stops to consider whether he's actually committed to the relationship. And, most importantly, he does it with Rachel.

Time after time, Ross puts the things he wants above anything that might be good for Rachel, including her career, her friendships and her dating decisions. In fact, the entire series ends with Rachel giving up her dream job because she's fully aware that being with Ross means staying in New York. Ross lies to Rachel if it's convenient for him and has no issue demanding that she give up things that are important to her in the service of making him happy.

Ross has no concept of the idea of compromise, which is where a majority of the issues in his relationship with Rachel stem from. Instead of supporting her and lifting her up, he constantly drags her down and finds ways to make her life more difficult. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like relationship goals to me.

Ross and Rachel Breakup Scene

(Friends via NBC)


3. Ross Doesn't Know What He Wants

Even though the series hinges on the idea that Ross has been desperately, hopelessly in love with Rachel for years, it's very clear the man has no idea what he wants. His dating life over the course of the entire series features rushed relationships that advance too quickly, proving that Ross is more in love with the idea of having a partner than anything else.

Although Ross is meant to have a rational, logical personality, it's made clear that he's an impulsive and thoughtless person. He doesn't know what he wants, which is why it's so difficult for him to make a lasting commitment to Rachel. How can you expect to have a strong relationship when you're desperate enough to date anyone who show's even a slight amount of interest in you? Riddle me that, Ross.

Rachel Trying to Kiss Ross

(Friends via NBC)


4. They Can't Communicate

Now that I've expunged most of my hatred of Ross, it's time to acknowledge that Rachel was no angel, either. Most notably, the girl has no ability to communicate her needs or effectively stand up for herself—a problem that Ross also faces. 

More than anything else, Ross and Rachel are a frustrating couple because they can't and won't communicate with each other. When arguments arise, neither of them are willing to sit and talk about the issue. Instead, one party storms off, claims that they can't discuss this right now or just plain refuses to participate in the discussion. Hence the "we were on a break" misunderstanding. Neither partner knows how to communicate what they want succinctly and effectively, which only adds to the tension in their relationship, rather than diffuses it.

Friends: Rachel and Ross pointing at each other

(Friends via NBC)


5. They Fight Constantly

As a result of the fact that they can't effectively communicate, Ross and Rachel's relationship is one filled with disagreements and arguments. Supposedly they care about each other, but it's difficult to tell why, as they're always fighting. Even when they're supposedly "happy," their relationship is filled with heated misunderstandings.

What's more, they continue to have the same fights over and over again. Throughout the series, Ross' "we were on a break" mantra is repeated a plethora of times, eventually becoming a staple comedic element of the series. It's laughable, but mostly due to the fact that they never work through the issues that developed from that situation, which is why they keep having the same fights over and over again. 

In truth, the pair is just incompatible. They don't think about things the same way and they can't ever come to an agreement within their relationship. Their dramatic ups and down are presented as a symbol of their undying passion, but to me it just seems exhausting. If you can't get through more than a few hours without having a massive blow-up with your S.O., maybe you're not mean to be together. Just saying.

Ross grabbing Rachel's face in Friends

(Friends via NBC)


6. They Use and Abuse Other People

The overwhelming storyline of Friends centers around the idea that Ross and Rachel are meant to be together. Everyone else who gets tangled up in their romance serves as an unfortunate casualty or a necessary lesson on their path to love. Because their relationship is the end goal, other partners are severely mistreated on their journey to finding each other—a fact that's often overlooked.

From convincing a girl to shave her head to ruining another woman's wedding day, other people's lives and emotions are often destroyed due to Ross and Rachel's selfishness. They tumble through life, devastating the people in their path and using their deep affection for each other as an excuse. And unfortunately, we all buy it. In truth, Ross and Rachel are both inconsiderate, self-absorbed people who leave a wake of broken hearts and disastrous relationships in their wake. Perhaps their egocentric nature means they deserve each other, but it doesn't mean they have a healthy relationship.

Ross and Rachel From Friends cuddling

(Friends via NBC)


7. It's Overplayed

Last but not least, I simply can't stand Ross and Rachel's relationship because it's ridiculously overplayed. After many seasons of setting up a loving romance that never found the right timing, the writers of the show clung to the idea that Ross and Rachel were meant to be together, all the while making it impossible for them to have a functional relationship. The result is a disastrous, toxic romance that causes years of emotional pain and frustration for both parties.

Still, we're given hints again and again that they're truly meant to be together, despite the fact that there's no real reasoning behind it. When you look at their relationship, there's nothing between them that explains any of their supposedly strong feelings. They're two people with vastly different interests, incongruent values and incompatible goals, who spend all their time arguing about one thing or another. A little conflict is cute—10 years of conflict is tiring. Rachel should have stayed on that plane and moved away to Paris. Far away from Ross, she may have had a shot at real happiness.

Ross and Rachel Friends

(Friends via NBC)


Ross and Rachel aren't a good match, but some couples are actually worthy of our obsession. Click HERE for six TV couples who define healthy relationship goals.