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What would Joey do? Relationships according to Friends

Friends: the TV show that became a worldwide phenomenon over the 10 years it was on the air. With its perfect blend of hilarity and emotion, I would even go so far as to say it is one of the best shows to ever be produced. However, if for some reason you’ve completely gone off the deep end and decided that you don’t like the show that charmed multiple generations of people, there’s still no denying we can learn important things from it, especially about relationships. I mean, is there a show out there that does relationships better than Friends does? I think not. So, here it is, the five most important things Friends teaches us about relationships.  

5. How to master flirting: It has happened to everyone at one time or another. There you are sitting in class, minding your own business, when all of a sudden the boy you’ve been making eyes at for weeks decides to sit next to you. Finally, it’s time to land your man. But suddenly, your mouth goes dry, your palms get sweaty and worst of all, your mind is absolutely and completely blank! In the next five minutes, you are able to successfully destroy any and all chance you had of him ever sitting next to you again.

Whether it’s because you pulled a Chandler and responded to his offer of gum with the words “gum would be perfection” or you channeled Ross and tried to talk about the reason gas smells, you two definitely aren’t going to be Facebook official anytime soon. So, next time this opportunity arises, take a cue from Friends and keep it simple. You’ll never build a lasting relationship with someone if you’re constantly putting on an act, so don’t be nervous and just be yourself. However, if all else fails, you can always go with Joey’s tried and true “How you doin’?”

4. How to sleep together without sleeping together: You’ve finally gotten to that point in the relationship when you two feel comfortable just sleeping in the same bed. But think about it, are you really that comfortable? There you are trying to drift off into dreamland, when suddenly you realize it feels like it’s about 2 billion degrees in the room and you’re beginning to sweat profusely. To make matters worse, your arm is more asleep than it has ever been before and half your body is hanging off the bed. So, what’s the cause of this extreme discomfort?

The answer is obvious: your significant other is a cuddler. Now, there’s no need to end the relationship just so you can go back to getting a good night’s sleep. There’s actually a simple solution: Ross’s hug and roll technique. When your significant other begins to nod off, simply act like you’re giving him a hug and then slowly but surely roll him back over to his side of the bed (just please make sure you don’t accidentally roll your sweetheart off the bed entirely). You’ll soon be back to getting all the beauty sleep you need without being forced to have that awkward conversation about personal boundaries that you so dread.

3. How to handle being on a break: You’ve been in a relationship for quite some time when suddenly you and your honey start having problems. Whether it’s about one issue in particular or a whole lot of different ones, something is definitely wrong. Neither of you want out, but you both need some time to think, so you decide to take a break. But what exactly does that mean? A break is the uncharted territory of a relationship. You’re not together, but you’re also not broken up, so what exactly does that mean you can do?

Anyone that knows anything about Friends can tell you that a misstep during a break can quickly lead to you getting off on the last stop of the relationship train, the end. A break usually means that both parties are planning to revisit the relationship at a later point, which also means there are almost definitely still feelings involved. When the break begins, make sure you know what the rules are because “We were on a break!” isn’t always going to fly as a valid excuse for your actions. And if your significant other happens to be the Ross to your Rachel, then you definitely don’t want to be the one to deliver the death blow to your love.

2. How to avoid the parental death trap: Finally, the day has come; you’re ready at last to bring your boy home to meet your folks. I know what you’re thinking: how could anything go wrong? You like him and you like them, so simple math decrees that they’ll like each other, right? Sadly my friend, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the introduction of boyfriend to parents has suspiciously similar characteristics to what I imagine the apocalypse would be like. No matter what you do, no matter how much you mediate, the two most important factions of your life just refuse to interact with each other in any other way besides the one that’s making you develop that nervous eye twitch.

Maybe it’s because your boyfriend decided to follow in Phoebe’s footsteps and tell your mom the story about the time he got hepatitis when a pimp spit in his mouth. Maybe it’s because your boyfriend’s spirit animal is Ross (bless your soul), and he decided that your dad doesn’t tip enough at restaurants. The point is, what really matters isn’t what your parents think of your relationship; it’s what you think of it. As long as the person that you’re with treats you well and makes you happy, then you shouldn’t care if he isn’t your parents’ ideal boy. If you love him, then hopefully your parents will learn to love him too.

1. How to find true love with your best friend: Of course, I’ve saved the best topic for last: Mondler (that’s Monica and Chandler’s names combined for all you non-fans). I think we all knew from that first night in London, that the Gellar-Bing relationship was going to be something we all very much enjoyed. And you know why? Because it’s the relationship we all dream of having. Finding love with someone who is also one of your very best friends is something that happens to the luckiest of people.

Think about it; you know you get along with him, he’s probably one of the funniest people you know and he most likely has already seen you do really embarrassing stuff. He may have even peed on your jellyfish sting for you, but yet he still likes you. Of course, we all know that this is also the type of thing that can’t be forced; if the spark isn’t there, it’s not there. But, maybe now that you’ve read this, you’ll think about all those times he did something nice for you for no reason and realize that I actually might be onto something here. So, if it seems right, take a chance, and who knows, your best friend may just turn out to be your Prince Charming.

Friends poster (photo): moviegoods.com; http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/396590.1020.A.jpg
Ross and Chandler (photo): fanpop.com; http://www.fanpop.com/spots/friends/images/6573094/title/funny-photo
Monica and Chandler (photo): rottentomatoes.com; http://www.rottentomatoes.com/quiz/a-quiz-on-friends-chandler-monica/

Megan McCluskey is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. with Distinction in Journalism and Mass Communication, and a second major in French. She has experience as a Campus Correspondent and Contributing Writer for Her Campus, a Public Relations Consultant for The V Foundation, an Editorial Assistant for TV Guide Magazine and Carolina Woman magazine, a Researcher for MTV, and a Reporter and Webmaster for the Daily Tar Heel. She is an obsessive New England Patriots and Carolina basketball fan, and loves spending time with her friends and family (including her dogs), going to the beach, traveling, reading, online shopping and eating bad Mexican food.
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