Joey and Rachel or Ross and Rachel? This seems to be one of the biggest arguments between fans of “Friends.” Ross and Rachel seems like the obvious choice; Ross had always been in love with Rachel, they had a child together, they had a history. While that’s all true, I’m here to tell you Joey was a way better match for Rachel than Ross ever was. Now before you disregard this article, hear me out. Here’s why Joey and Rachel will forever be a better match than Ross and Rachel:
1. Joey’s feelings for Rachel blossomed from their friendship.
Ross had been in love with Rachel since high school. He always had an infatuation with her, even years after high school when she made her way into the group. While they did begin to form a friendship, his feelings for her were first and foremost romantic. Sure, Joey hit on Rachel the first time he met her, but from there they had a strictly platonic relationship for over seven years. It wasn’t until she moved in with him did he fall in love with her. Joey’s love for her blossomed from their friendship. Ross and Rachel had a friendship only because Ross was too scared to tell her how he felt but also couldn’t stand to be away from her.
2. Joey was a way better friend (and boyfriend) to Rachel than Ross was.
Joey ALWAYS cared about Rachel’s feelings and wanted her to do what made her happy, even if that meant he couldn’t have her. When Joey was in love with her he didn’t try to sabotage all potential relationships for her, unlike Ross.
Don’t forget that when Ross and Rachel weren’t together, Ross deliberately didn’t tell Rachel she got a message from a guy she met out. And when Rachel was debating moving to Paris for a job offer, even though Joey didn’t want her to go he encouraged her because he knew it was what she wanted. Ross did everything in his power to not let Rachel leave, even when she told him this would be the best decision for her.
Ross only ever cared about himself and what he wanted, all the while totally disregarding what Rachel wanted. Joey wanted Rachel to be happy no matter what, even if that meant he couldn’t have her or that she was going to move across the ocean.
3. Joey and Rachel had a healthy relationship, unlike Ross and Rachel.
If you go back and watch how Rachel behaved when she’s with Joey and how she behaved when she’s with Ross, you’ll see an obvious difference. When Joey and Rachel were together things appeared so carefree and relaxed. Rachel was much calmer and could enjoy her time with Joey. The Rachel who was with Ross was always uptight and stressed. It felt like every other episode they were fighting about one thing or another.
4. Joey accepted Rachel for who she was.
Joey saw Rachel the same way no matter where she was in her life. It didn’t matter if she was a waitress or working at Ralph Lauren, he saw her for who she was and not for how successful she was. Ross, on the other hand, always judged Rachel and tried to belittle her (saying she was “just a waitress.”) Joey’s feelings for Rachel didn't even change when she had Emma.
He wanted to live with her and be around her so badly even when she had a baby, even though he knew it would disrupt his life drastically. He liked Rachel for who she was as a person, while Ross judged her constantly depending on where she was in her life.
5. Joey actually cared about Rachel’s career.
Joey wanted the best for Rachel, even if it wasn’t the best for him. Joey knew that Rachel moving to Paris would be the best thing for her, even though he didn’t want her to go. Ross on the other hand never cared about Rachel’s career.
He did everything he could to prevent her from moving to Paris even though she flat out told him she had gone as far as she could professionally in New York. He knew moving to Paris would be best for her, but he didn’t care because he only wanted what was best for him. Even when she got her first job in fashion, instead of being supportive complained that he was sick of “having a relationship with her answering machine.”
6. Joey never let his feelings for Rachel get in the way of their friendship.
When Joey decided to tell Rachel how he felt about her and she didn’t return the feelings, they didn’t let that ruin their friendship. Sure it was awkward at first but they still remained friends and didn’t put their other friends in any uncomfortable positions. When Ross and Rachel broke up the first time, they wouldn’t speak to each other or be seen in the same room together. The breakup almost forced one of them to leave the friend group.
7. Ross was straight up selfish.
Ross only cared about himself. He always tried to blame Rachel for whatever went wrong in their relationship. When he slept with another woman instead of owning up and admitting he did something wrong he incessantly insisted that they were “on a break.”
Even until the end of the series he never once owned up to what he did. He complained that Rachel spent too much time at her job, got jealous when another guy so much as looked at her, and wouldn’t let anyone else have her.
There will never be a doubt in my mind that Joey and Rachel should have ended up together. I don’t care how much history Ross and Rachel had, Ross was a selfish person and they were not good together. Joey brought out the best in Rachel and liked her for who she was, while Ross only cared about himself and brought out the worst in Rachel. #JoeyAndRachelForever