Ross and Rachel. Rachel and Ross. The couple was on-again-off-again throughout the whole series of Friends.
There was Ross: a smart, intelligent guy with some not-so-great luck in the relationship department. Then there was Rachel: a spoiled, impulsive girl who has never found real love in her life. They shouldn’t be the perfect match, but they are.
First, let’s go back to the beginning. Ross has been in love with Rachel for years and has never worked up the courage to tell her. When he finally does, the relationship starts rocky because of Ross being in a relationship with someone else and finally breaking it off after he realizes he needs to be with Rachel. They date for a few episodes and everything seems to be going great except for Ross getting extremely jealous when Rachel has a new guy friend named Mark, who helped her find her dream job. After a huge fight between Ross and Rachel, Rachel asks for a break and Ross storms out to head to the bar with his friends. He finds a girl he knows there and, out of spite, goes and sleeps with her because he thinks Rachel is doing the same with Mark.
After reviewing all the facts, Ross was the one who made the mistake. Rachel never slept with anyone or did anything remotely wrong. This problem of whether they were on a break or not is repeated throughout the show and will always be debated. Ross was already ready to get back together immediately after Rachel realized what he did. Rachel needed time. She couldn’t just move on and look past what he did. She had to take time for herself to process it and so Ross understood what he did was completely wrong.
The bottom line is: They were on a break. Rachel said, “A break from us.” That means that they were on a break from their relationship. Ross did sleep with someone else. It was a huge misunderstanding and, even if Rachel did sleep with Mark, Ross had no right to do the same thing back to her. They were on a break and Rachel even said it herself. Ross did not cheat on Rachel, but if there was a line between cheating and doing the worst thing you could ever do to betray a person, Ross would be right smack in the middle of it.
In the end, it wasn’t just Rachel’s decision if they should get back together, but also Ross’s. Ross needed to know that Rachel was completely past him sleeping with someone else in order to get back to where they were. They had to end up together, because they are each other’s lobsters. If Rachel could move past it and see her love for Ross was real. then so can the fans.