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Augustus

"We Were on a Break!" (Friends sitcom debate)

Did Ross cheat on Rachel?  

  1. 1. Did Ross cheat?

    • Yes
      13
    • No
      24


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Augustus

This might seem like a fairly trivial thing to bring up here, but I feel that there is an underlying, philosophical aspect to this debate.

Anyway, those who like the famous sitcom Friends will be aware of the ongoing conflict between the characters of Ross and Rachel, centered around an event that occurred on the fifteenth episode of the third season. Let's look at the backstory for both Ross and Rachel, for those who haven't watched the show or need reminding of the complete context.

What they share:

  • They grew up in the same town
  • They knew each other through Monica (Rachel's friend in high school and Ross's sister)
  • They both moved to Manhattan in their 20s, for separate reasons
  • They met again in the first episode of the show, when both were at tumultuous times in their lives (Ross was just left by his first wife and Rachel called off a wedding)

Ross's story:

Though Ross is a few years older than Rachel and was in college while Rachel was still in high school, he noticed her (even before her nose job improved her appearance) and always had a thing for her. One time, while at home between semesters, Monica and Rachel were readying for their high school prom. It seemed that Rachel's date wasn't going to show up, and she was falling into panic that she would be the only girl without a date. Knowing of Ross's interest in Rachel, his parents talk him into getting dressed up quickly to be her new date. When he comes out dressed and with a bouquet of flowers, he finds that Rachel's date arrived while he was changing and sees them walk out the door. Everyone later sees a tape oh these events transpiring, which finally does bring Ross and Rachel together many years later.

After high school, Ross did not see Rachel for years. He eventually meets a woman named Carol, who was his only sexual partner at that point and possibly his only girlfriend by that point in is life, as he was unpopular and sometimes bullied in high school. He and Carol are together four years and eventually marry, and Ross starts a successful, well-paying career as a paleontologist. Carol meets a woman at her gym named Susan and begins spending a lot of time with her. Ross is initially happy for Carol because he think she's made a good friend, but then Carol reveals that she is a lesbian and is leaving Ross for Susan. This has only just happened at the start of the show, and Ross is in a state of emotional turmoil, only enhanced when he learns that his wife is pregnant and that her new lover Susan wants to assert equal claim as a parent, which makes Ross feel like he's being pushed away from his wife and now his only son as well. Already growing up as an unpopular, nerdy type, these events make Ross increasingly insecure and paranoid in his relationships for arguably the rest of his life, but he still nurtures a hope that Rachel will love him back during the first couple seasons of the show.

Rachel's story:

Rachel grew up in a very old-fashioned type of family, in which her father was the main provider, and her mother was essentially married off to him because of his financial security and ability to take care of her. Rachel was consequently raised in a similar manner, spoiled by her parents her whole life and kept largely babyish and incompetent. Their plan was to marry her off to another man of means, Barry. Rachel almost goes through with it, but she realizes that she does not love him and does what her own mother failed to do: she calls off the wedding. This, of course, means that she is no longer financially secure and comes to Monica as her only friend that she knows in Manhattan, thereby meeting Ross and the other friends in the process.

In the following years, they grudgingly help Rachel break her spoiled, undisciplined habits and become more independent and self-sufficient. Although her spoiled, prissy nature never fully goes away, she does make a great deal of progress into becoming a responsible adult.

Believing that he would never have a shot at Rachel, Ross starts dating a woman named Julie. Rachel is now the one with unrequited love, and she handles it much less maturely than Ross, frequently making passive-aggressive digs at Julie in her jealousy, while Ross generally tolerated Rachel being with other men before. Eventually, Ross leaves Julie for Rachel, and it seems all is well.

The build-up:

As Rachel becomes more independent, she gets a new job at Bloomingdale's, a big step for her in her career. She loves her position and begins devoting a lot of time to it and the man who gave her the job, Mark (who seems to display a romantic interest in her). Ross suddenly is not seeing Rachel much at all for a few weeks, and remembering how he lost Carol to Susan, becomes very suspicious of Mark and frequently tells Rachel of this. When Rachel is forced to work on their one-year anniversary, Ross shows up to her work with a picnic basket as a gesture, but Rachel by now has had it with his insecurity and throws him out.

The event:

That evening, they have a fight in which the following exchange occurs:

  • Rachel: ...Maybe we should just take a break!
  • Ross: Ok, fine. Fine. Let's take a break. Let's cool off. Let's get some frozen yogurt or something.
  • Rachel: No! ...a break from us.

Ross says nothing to this and leaves, going to a bar. He think this means that the relationship is over, and he decides to drink his sorrows away. Meanwhile, Rachel is talking to Mark on the phone, as the rest of the friends are out and busy. Mark invites himself over to Rachel's, despite Rachel's protests, as a means of comforting her. This confirms Mark's romantic interest in her. Ross meanwhile starts chatting up a friendly girl at the bar. Chloe. Ross eventually tries to call Rachel on his cell phone and attempts to make up with her, but he hears Mark, who has by now arrived, in the background. This confirms his suspicions about Mark, in his mind anyway, and he hangs up. Feeling sorry for Ross, Chloe goes back with him and has sex with him.

Rachel later discusses the issue with Monica and then decides to make up with Ross, leaving him a message, which Ross does not hear until the next morning. He agrees to reconcile and keeps his night with Chloe a secret from her figuring that it will only anger Rachel. His estimation proves true when Rachel learns of the night with Chloe through a chain of mutual friends and acquaintances that connect Chloe and Rachel, and Rachel is infuriated and believes that Ross technically cheated on her, leading them to break up once and for all.

While Ross and Rachel eventually put the matter behind them, the issue was never really settled and was brought up repeatedly throughout the remaining six and a half seasons of the show, even in the finale episode. Ross always insisted that being on a break meant that they were broken up and thus no longer exclusive to each other, whereas Rachel asserts that he cheated either because the break (up) was not really a break up by the way it was worded or because the break up was largely influenced by misunderstandings (like Ross hearing Mark in the background).

So I leave it to you, folks. Did Ross cheat on Rachel, or did he not?

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whitesphere

After reading the post, no I do not think Ross cheated on Rachel. She specifically said it was a break from us. If she had said "Let's cool off things a bit," or "Let's take things slow." I'd say yes they're still together but having problems.

Granted, Ross did try to call her back to reconcile, but at that point, as far as he knows, insecurities aside, they were indeed broken up. If I were dating a woman and she said that to me, I would assume that's a pretty clear statement that "We're through, but may get back together at some point, perhaps."

I think "take a break" in relationship terms means they broke up, or at least put the relationship back to the "casual non-exclusive dating" level. If they were married, they would probably be separated for some amount of time. And would it be cheating if a separated married man (or woman) dated someone else during the separation? I think not. Now, if anything continued after they decided to reconcile, it would be cheating.

Basically, if an exclusive romantic couple "takes a break," that at least means the relationship is no longer exclusive, if not ended completely. So you can't be cheating on someone during that, well, "probation" period since the relationship has been put on 'pause'

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Kisa the Kit Kat

I agree with Hugh Laurie in that one episode. They were on a break, it wasn't cheating.

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Rising Sun

I'd say it depends on circumstances, but in this case, I still see that as cheating and here is why :

- first, a break isn't quite the same thing as a breakup (the first includes hope to restart the relationship in the future, the second clearly says that the relationship is over, that there is no hope to restart something, at least not any time soon, if not forever) ;

- second, I've noticed that a lot of couples don't use the "break" correctly. Some couples even do it just as a pretext to have the right to go experimenting with another person. If only "breaks" were something well thought (which means to take enough time to think about it), if they weren't used as a pretext for "it's a break so you have no other choice than allowing me to see someone else as it's what I want, I don't give you any choice", and if the couple seriously tried to fix the relationship with all means available, yes, it would be wrong to say "Ross cheated on Rachel". But given what I said in my previous sentence about the use of breaks, I can consider that Ross cheated on Rachel even though it's technically not really the case. Rachel didn't really think seriously about what she said. That said, the fact that Ross was very sad and drunk, so not fully aware of the consequences of his act that night, was mitigating circumstances IMO.

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Serran

Yes, Rachel SUGGESTED a break in the heat of an argument but, there was no discussion or affirmation that a break was actually on. And in not even 24 hours, once they had both cooled off and were no longer angry, neither of them even wanted a "break" for real. So... I don't think that it really counts as a "break". My partner gets angry and says things like "I don't want to be married to you anymore" and leaves the house to cool off. Does that mean I get to go out and have sex with someone else and expect him to NOT consider it cheating? Of course not. He's angry, he doesn't mean it and there is no actual DISCUSSION on said topic. And Ross only cheated because he (wrongly) assumed Rachel was cheating, out of his insecurity and jealousy.

So... yeah I would view that as cheating.And given Ross does not honestly communicate that during their "break" of less than 12 hours he slept with another woman, he obviously feels like he has something to hide too. He knows she would view it as cheating and it would cost him the relationship. So, he lies instead of being honest. His own insecurity lead him to do what he feared she was doing.

If it's an actual break, where the couple discusses it or declares it (not in the middle of a big fight, where things get said that no one means) and actually wants a break, then yeah I don't think monogamy really counts. You can't go "I don't want to be with you right now, I have no idea if I will EVER want to be with you again, or how long it'll take me to figure it out, but you can't be with anyone else either!" Like, a married couple that separates to see how things are apart. Or, a serious dating couple that decides "Maybe we should cool it off and take a break from each other for a few weeks, to get some perspective". There, I think seeing other people is fine, but you should also be HONEST about it. Not pretend you were faithful just to trick the other person into being with you again, because you know they wouldn't want to be with you if you said you saw someone else...

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FictoVore.

I've seen that episode a few times, and always looked at Ross as a dirty cheat even when I as young (that episode is really old lol) .. I always felt that if he had hopes of getting back with Rachel, why have sex with someone else?

If I was "on a break" with my partner, I'd NEVER have sex (ahem, if I wasn't ace anyway lol) or kiss and snuggle another person or whatever. To me a break is "might still be a relationship" not "the relationship is over" and if it turned out my partner had done anything like that while we were 'on a 'break' I wouldnt want to continue/return to the relationship with him: He could have the person he was screwing around with thanks lol.

That's just how I am, I know other people feel differently about the whole 'break' thing.

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FictoVore.

Yes, Rachel SUGGESTED a break in the heat of an argument but, there was no discussion or affirmation that a break was actually on. And in not even 24 hours, once they had both cooled off and were no longer angry, neither of them even wanted a "break" for real. So... I don't think that it really counts as a "break". My partner gets angry and says things like "I don't want to be married to you anymore" and leaves the house to cool off. Does that mean I get to go out and have sex with someone else and expect him to NOT consider it cheating? Of course not. He's angry, he doesn't mean it and there is no actual DISCUSSION on said topic. And Ross only cheated because he (wrongly) assumed Rachel was cheating, out of his insecurity and jealousy.

So... yeah I would view that as cheating.And given Ross does not honestly communicate that during their "break" of less than 12 hours he slept with another woman, he obviously feels like he has something to hide too. He knows she would view it as cheating and it would cost him the relationship. So, he lies instead of being honest. His own insecurity lead him to do what he feared she was doing.

If it's an actual break, where the couple discusses it or declares it (not in the middle of a big fight, where things get said that no one means) and actually wants a break, then yeah I don't think monogamy really counts. You can't go "I don't want to be with you right now, I have no idea if I will EVER want to be with you again, or how long it'll take me to figure it out, but you can't be with anyone else either!" Like, a married couple that separates to see how things are apart. Or, a serious dating couple that decides "Maybe we should cool it off and take a break from each other for a few weeks, to get some perspective". There, I think seeing other people is fine, but you should also be HONEST about it. Not pretend you were faithful just to trick the other person into being with you again, because you know they wouldn't want to be with you if you said you saw someone else...

I do know people have monogamous breaks too. Just to spend some time apart, get some head-space, not communicate for a few days (or however long they agree) Just so they can take some 'only me' time.. the couple can agree before-hand if they are still committed to each other during said break. Just depends on what the couple wants I think. My partner and I have already discussed that if we ever need a break for head-space or to reflect on the relationship or whatever, it'll be a completely monogamous break (and we are both more than happy with that) though I understand why others would be fine to agree to non-monogamy during the break. As always, communication is the key!

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Serran

Yes, Rachel SUGGESTED a break in the heat of an argument but, there was no discussion or affirmation that a break was actually on. And in not even 24 hours, once they had both cooled off and were no longer angry, neither of them even wanted a "break" for real. So... I don't think that it really counts as a "break". My partner gets angry and says things like "I don't want to be married to you anymore" and leaves the house to cool off. Does that mean I get to go out and have sex with someone else and expect him to NOT consider it cheating? Of course not. He's angry, he doesn't mean it and there is no actual DISCUSSION on said topic. And Ross only cheated because he (wrongly) assumed Rachel was cheating, out of his insecurity and jealousy.

So... yeah I would view that as cheating.And given Ross does not honestly communicate that during their "break" of less than 12 hours he slept with another woman, he obviously feels like he has something to hide too. He knows she would view it as cheating and it would cost him the relationship. So, he lies instead of being honest. His own insecurity lead him to do what he feared she was doing.

If it's an actual break, where the couple discusses it or declares it (not in the middle of a big fight, where things get said that no one means) and actually wants a break, then yeah I don't think monogamy really counts. You can't go "I don't want to be with you right now, I have no idea if I will EVER want to be with you again, or how long it'll take me to figure it out, but you can't be with anyone else either!" Like, a married couple that separates to see how things are apart. Or, a serious dating couple that decides "Maybe we should cool it off and take a break from each other for a few weeks, to get some perspective". There, I think seeing other people is fine, but you should also be HONEST about it. Not pretend you were faithful just to trick the other person into being with you again, because you know they wouldn't want to be with you if you said you saw someone else...

I do know people have monogamous breaks too. Just to spend some time apart, get some head-space, not communicate for a few days (or however long they agree) Just so they can take some 'only me' time.. the couple can agree before-hand if they are still committed to each other during said break. Just depends on what the couple wants I think. My partner and I have already discussed that if we ever need a break for head-space or to reflect on the relationship or whatever, it'll be a completely monogamous break (and we are both more than happy with that) though I understand why others would be fine to agree to non-monogamy during the break. As always, communication is the key!

True. If BOTH people want to remain monogamous during the break, it's fine. But, for example, my friend took a "break" with her boyfriend for like 6 months. And ended up kissing a guy during that. Her boyfriend was mad at her for it. But, SIX months apart, not dating, not talking really and otherwise being "broken up" and he expected her to be monogamous for that long... seems pretty unrealistic to me, especially if both people are not agreeing to it.

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WhenSummersGone

I believe he cheated because he called Rachel on the phone later and they talked about how they didn't want a break. At least that's how I remember the episode.

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Chemic

You know, I kinda wish you had added a poll option to show how one's mindset is (more male or female or neutral oriented).

For myself, I remember seeing this episode (several times) and each time I think it's him cheating. Rachel said it out of frustration (got caught up in the overwhelming argument). They didn't discuss it to the point of "when I say break, I mean break-up." If Ross took that to mean "breakup" that's his own fault, and doesn't free him from fault. Also, in less than 24 hours Ross goes off and has sex with another woman. Now, if I said "let's go on a break" to a hypothetical bf and we end up doing nothing for a month (not even discussing where our relationship is) then at that point, I'd say it's ok to say the relationship has officially ended. But to hook up with someone else in less than a day?!

You also skimmed over a lot of other details to give a more accurate picture. For instance, Ross showing up to the office with the picnic box sounded nice, but in reality he showed up, tried to set up LIT candles on the overflowing desk, right on top of Rachel's work and then accidentally set fire to other things, resulting in her throwing him out of the office. You also forgot to mention how extremely jealous and insecure Ross can get. If I remember correctly, on Rachel's first day of work there, her corner of the office was covered in roses, teddy bears, hearts, and even had hired a barbershop quartet that make it quite clear in their song that Rachel has a boyfriend. In short, it wasn't out of love/congratulations on the job, it was his way of "marking his territory" so to speak.

(In all honesty, as I re-watch the episodes more and more, I realize I really begin to hate Ross. Out of all the characters, he never truly changes. He remains insecure and jealous throughout the series).

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Augustus

You know, I kinda wish you had added a poll option to show how one's mindset is (more male or female or neutral oriented).

I've learned that you need to be careful with how you address gender on AVEN, or else your thread could get hijacked by people getting butthurt, so I decided not to expand the poll to account for gender.

For myself, I remember seeing this episode (several times) and each time I think it's him cheating. Rachel said it out of frustration (got caught up in the overwhelming argument). They didn't discuss it to the point of "when I say break, I mean break-up." If Ross took that to mean "breakup" that's his own fault, and doesn't free him from fault.

Why is it his fault because she wasn't clear?

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Skullery Maid

Not a cheater.

In other news, this thread is the thing that made me happiest today. Can we just sit and talk about Friends all night? Aw, you guys are the best...

My partner and I have already discussed that if we ever need a break for head-space or to reflect on the relationship or whatever, it'll be a completely monogamous break (and we are both more than happy with that)

I do not understand how that constitutes a break, if you still have think about the other person's feelings and needs. That 's exactly what I want a break FROM, so to carry it with me really doesn't feel helpful. :/

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Chemic

You know, I kinda wish you had added a poll option to show how one's mindset is (more male or female or neutral oriented).

I've learned that you need to be careful with how you address gender on AVEN, or else your thread could get hijacked by people getting butthurt, so I decided not to expand the poll to account for gender.

Yeah, I suppose it can be hard to word things in a poll to cover everyone.

For myself, I remember seeing this episode (several times) and each time I think it's him cheating. Rachel said it out of frustration (got caught up in the overwhelming argument). They didn't discuss it to the point of "when I say break, I mean break-up." If Ross took that to mean "breakup" that's his own fault, and doesn't free him from fault.

Why is it his fault because she wasn't clear?

Instead of just leaving the room after Rachel said the famous line "No! A break from us." Ross could have asked for Rachel to clarify. But instead he just leaves and thinks the relationship has ended. Then, when the other guys convince him to try to work things out, he jumps to the conclusion that Rachel is hooking up with Mark and acts out by sleeping with the copy shop girl. He could have asked Rachel before he left if they were breaking up or when he called her from the bar, but instead he angrily hangs ups after assuming the worst, and in turn, made the situation irreparable. They say the key to a good relationship is communication, and I have to say, it's true when dealing with anyone, like customers, friends, family, etc. If something is unclear, ask for them to explain further. If you thought one thing, try to find out if that's true or not. As they say, assume makes an ass out of "u" and me. Ross could have acted more like a grownup (I forgot actually how old they were at this point) but instead, he chose to be immature and hooked up with someone because he incorrectly assumed Rachel was hooking up with Mark (the ever classic "well, if you're going to do that, then I am too!" mentality).

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Serran

Instead of just leaving the room after Rachel said the famous line "No! A break from us." Ross could have asked for Rachel to clarify. But instead he just leaves and thinks the relationship has ended. Then, when the other guys convince him to try to work things out, he jumps to the conclusion that Rachel is hooking up with Mark and acts out by sleeping with the copy shop girl. He could have asked Rachel before he left if they were breaking up or when he called her from the bar, but instead he angrily hangs ups after assuming the worst, and in turn, made the situation irreparable. They say the key to a good relationship is communication, and I have to say, it's true when dealing with anyone, like customers, friends, family, etc. If something is unclear, ask for them to explain further. If you thought one thing, try to find out if that's true or not. As they say, assume makes an ass out of "u" and me. Ross could have acted more like a grownup (I forgot actually how old they were at this point) but instead, he chose to be immature and hooked up with someone because he incorrectly assumed Rachel was hooking up with Mark (the ever classic "well, if you're going to do that, then I am too!" mentality).

Yeah. If the situation wasn't a huge fight after he did something that risks her JOB and got her very angry, or they talked beyond just yelling a bit at each other, or they didn't both regret the whole thing only a few hours later, or he didn't only decide to do it AFTER he assumed she was cheating on him with the guy from work... then I would be less inclined to think of it as cheating and an actual "break". It seems like a petty jealous reaction to hearing the guy in her apartment, rather than actually thinking the fight was THE END to the relationship with no hope of making up the next day. And his not being honest about it afterwards is not cool either...

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CBC

Of course he didn't cheat. Are Rachel's emotions normal and understandable? Yeah. But did Ross cheat? No. I'm not sure how this is even debatable, really.

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drjohnhwatson

I don't watch Friends, but I've heard of this and maybe I might have been in the room when my parents watched an episode of it and heard about it. Regardless, I don't think that he cheated. She said they were on a break. I would have taken that to mean like "at this point in time, we're not dating. I need time to think about things but that doesn't mean in the future we can't be together.". Plus if I had been Ross and called and heard the fella in the background that I had had suspicions about, I too would have assumed they were definitely broken up and she had already quickly moved on (or at least found a rebound guy).

What do I know, though. I've never been in a relationship, haha.....

:huh:.

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Augustus

I don't watch Friends, but I've heard of this and maybe I might have been in the room when my parents watched an episode of it and heard about it. Regardless, I don't think that he cheated. She said they were on a break. I would have taken that to mean like "at this point in time, we're not dating. I need time to think about things but that doesn't mean in the future we can't be together.". Plus if I had been Ross and called and heard the fella in the background that I had had suspicions about, I too would have assumed they were definitely broken up and she had already quickly moved on (or at least found a rebound guy).

What do I know, though. I've never been in a relationship, haha.....

:huh:.

Same here for me.

Even the never dating part...

Though, I have seen Friends!

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FictoVore.

Not a cheater.

In other news, this thread is the thing that made me happiest today. Can we just sit and talk about Friends all night? Aw, you guys are the best...

My partner and I have already discussed that if we ever need a break for head-space or to reflect on the relationship or whatever, it'll be a completely monogamous break (and we are both more than happy with that)

I do not understand how that constitutes a break, if you still have think about the other person's feelings and needs. That 's exactly what I want a break FROM, so to carry it with me really doesn't feel helpful. :/

Hmm.. for us, we'd be having a break from each other so we could have space to ourselves, each other's feelings would still matter though.. I know how emotionally devastated I would be if he touched someone else while we were on a 'head-space' break, so I'd never do anything that could make him feel the way I know I'd feel.

I couldn't bring myself to touch another person or anything anyway (edit: I realize this sounds weird now that I read it.. I meant touch or kiss or anything, with another person.. not like "I couldn't bring myself to touch another person or a dog or anything" ...awkward lol) because I just personally couldn't need or want that. I am weird though, lol. I can go for years on end without being touched or hugged or anything and be perfectly happy (he is the same) so we just aren't the sort of people personally who'd go there anyway. We only desire the touch of the person we love, and couldn't enjoy anyone else's touch, at all.

A break for us is just a break from each other for a while, to take some personal space..like a little vacation .. it'd be more like a nightmare if I had to be exposed to other people during that time.. if I don't want to be around the person I am in love with I certainly don't want to be around anyone else 'in that way' ..the thought actually makes me cringe just thinking about it :p ..but yeah like I said, I'm a weirdo, I totally understand that other people feel very differently about the whole break thing.

I just think it comes down to the couple's personal reasons for the break, if that makes sense.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5046899

Hopefully that worked lol, I'm on my phone and have no idea what the hell I'm doing. I have read lots of articles like this one, which is where I got my "break" ideas from. I didn't actually realize initially that other people (not tv people lol) saw a break as a temporary mini-breakup-like thing.. I always just assumed it meant taking some time on your own, to get back to your own head space when things get too heavy if that makes sense.

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Augustus

I feel like people who say he cheated usually mean that he did in spirit but not technically. That is the vibe I get from this thread and a quick google search to look into other forums' opinions.

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FictoVore.

I feel like people who say he cheated usually mean that he did in spirit but not technically. That is the vibe I get from this thread and a quick google search to look into other forums' opinions.

I believe personally that he technically cheated. He didn't just "almost" have sex with someone else after less than 24 hours, he *did* have sex with someone else after less than 24 hours. To me that's technically cheating as they weren't oficially on a break as far as Ross knew. He didn't even try to discuss their break status with Rachel before jumping into the sack with another woman. Just my opinion though.

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Augustus

I feel like people who say he cheated usually mean that he did in spirit but not technically. That is the vibe I get from this thread and a quick google search to look into other forums' opinions.

I believe personally that he technically cheated. He didn't just "almost" have sex with someone else after less than 24 hours, he *did* have sex with someone else after less than 24 hours. To me that's technically cheating as they weren't oficially on a break as far as Ross knew. He didn't even try to discuss their break status with Rachel before jumping into the sack with another woman. Just my opinion though.

While at the bar with Joey and Chandler, he said to them that he thought they were broken up. They convinced him to call her and try to patch things up. He did, and he heard Mark. This led Ross to believe that the breakup was definitely final and that Rachel was already moving on.

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WhenSummersGone

Good point but in the next episode Ross was so worried Rachel was going to find out he slept with someone. Why would Ross feel sorry or guilty if it was a break or break up?

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Serran

I feel like people who say he cheated usually mean that he did in spirit but not technically. That is the vibe I get from this thread and a quick google search to look into other forums' opinions.

I believe personally that he technically cheated. He didn't just "almost" have sex with someone else after less than 24 hours, he *did* have sex with someone else after less than 24 hours. To me that's technically cheating as they weren't oficially on a break as far as Ross knew. He didn't even try to discuss their break status with Rachel before jumping into the sack with another woman. Just my opinion though.

While at the bar with Joey and Chandler, he said to them that he thought they were broken up. They convinced him to call her and try to patch things up. He did, and he heard Mark. This led Ross to believe that the breakup was definitely final and that Rachel was already moving on.

Did he ask though when he called, or just assume? It sounds like he didn't even TRY to figure out if they had actually broken up and just got all huffy / hurt / jealous over the guy he was already irrationally jealous about.

If shouting at each other and saying something that could mean maybe break up counts as a breakup, then I have a lot more breakups under my belt than I thought. My first boyfriend and I broke up at least 3 times. My second broke up with me at least 5 times. My third at least 3 times. My current at least 30 times. My friend has broken up with her bf at least 20 times. And my ex-boss with her bf at least once a week (he would start a fight that made her leave him alone every week for WoW raid night cause she wouldn't let him play...).

So, to me, if there was no communication beyond her angrily shouting that in the heat of the moment ... then yes, it was a technical cheating. No grey area. "Maybe we should..." isn't even a firm "we are". If I say "Maybe we should go to Chinese tonight" does that mean I just said "We are going to Chinese tonight!" Or is it just a suggestion?

If they communicated once they were no longer shouting and Rachel still wanted the break, then they were on break and it wasn't cheating.

Lack of asking for clarification when he didn't know what she meant doesn't excuse him going off and sleeping with someone else.

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Serran

Good point but in the next episode Ross was so worried Rachel was going to find out he slept with someone. Why would Ross feel sorry or guilty if it was a break or break up?

Indeed. And why decide to hide it, if he didn't think it was cheating/didn't know it was outside relationship boundaries and would upset her?

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Chemic

Good point but in the next episode Ross was so worried Rachel was going to find out he slept with someone. Why would Ross feel sorry or guilty if it was a break or break up?

Indeed. And why decide to hide it, if he didn't think it was cheating/didn't know it was outside relationship boundaries and would upset her?

Also, remember in a few episodes later, the ski trip one? He went to his ex and told the story in his favor, and neglected to mention he had sex with another woman, so Carol was sympathetic to him until one of the other girls told her what happened. Or when Ross tried to get that radio station to play a certain song to say he was sorry and Rachel called them up, told them what happened, and they stopped playing it xD

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daveb

This is all very interesting, but does it?

(if anyone gets that reference) :D

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Augustus

Did he ask though when he called, or just assume? It sounds like he didn't even TRY to figure out if they had actually broken up and just got all huffy / hurt / jealous over the guy he was already irrationally jealous about.

If shouting at each other and saying something that could mean maybe break up counts as a breakup, then I have a lot more breakups under my belt than I thought. My first boyfriend and I broke up at least 3 times. My second broke up with me at least 5 times. My third at least 3 times. My current at least 30 times. My friend has broken up with her bf at least 20 times. And my ex-boss with her bf at least once a week (he would start a fight that made her leave him alone every week for WoW raid night cause she wouldn't let him play...).

So, to me, if there was no communication beyond her angrily shouting that in the heat of the moment ... then yes, it was a technical cheating. No grey area. "Maybe we should..." isn't even a firm "we are". If I say "Maybe we should go to Chinese tonight" does that mean I just said "We are going to Chinese tonight!" Or is it just a suggestion?

If they communicated once they were no longer shouting and Rachel still wanted the break, then they were on break and it wasn't cheating.

Lack of asking for clarification when he didn't know what she meant doesn't excuse him going off and sleeping with someone else.

He plainly told Chandler and Joey that he thought they were broken up. Why would he try to find out more, if he feels he already knows the deal?

Plus, the "maybe" could just be a way of her softening the blow. It's less abrasive than, "We are breaking up." I'm not saying that she did that, but it could have been taken that way.

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Augustus

Good point but in the next episode Ross was so worried Rachel was going to find out he slept with someone. Why would Ross feel sorry or guilty if it was a break or break up?

Whether he cheated or not, it would take a real dummy not to realize that Rachel might be jealous over such news.

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Serran

Did he ask though when he called, or just assume? It sounds like he didn't even TRY to figure out if they had actually broken up and just got all huffy / hurt / jealous over the guy he was already irrationally jealous about.

If shouting at each other and saying something that could mean maybe break up counts as a breakup, then I have a lot more breakups under my belt than I thought. My first boyfriend and I broke up at least 3 times. My second broke up with me at least 5 times. My third at least 3 times. My current at least 30 times. My friend has broken up with her bf at least 20 times. And my ex-boss with her bf at least once a week (he would start a fight that made her leave him alone every week for WoW raid night cause she wouldn't let him play...).

So, to me, if there was no communication beyond her angrily shouting that in the heat of the moment ... then yes, it was a technical cheating. No grey area. "Maybe we should..." isn't even a firm "we are". If I say "Maybe we should go to Chinese tonight" does that mean I just said "We are going to Chinese tonight!" Or is it just a suggestion?

If they communicated once they were no longer shouting and Rachel still wanted the break, then they were on break and it wasn't cheating.

Lack of asking for clarification when he didn't know what she meant doesn't excuse him going off and sleeping with someone else.

He plainly told Chandler and Joey that he thought they were broken up. Why would he try to find out more, if he feels he already knows the deal?

Plus, the "maybe" could just be a way of her softening the blow. It's less abrasive than, "We are breaking up." I'm not saying that she did that, but it could have been taken that way.

Because people fight and to take what is said in the heat of the moment as a break up is rather... taking everything someone says as literal. As I said, if that counts as a break up, my partner and I have broken up roughly 30 times. Though, if he truly thought they were broken up and no hope of making up from this fight, why did he call her? Why did Mark being there stop him from even talking about it? Why didn't he ASK why Mark was there? Why didn't he ask to talk to her, instead of just giving up cause heard some guys voice in the background? Why not at least say, while he was on the phone with her, "So, are we over?" Why lie and cover up that he slept with another woman? Why try to make up the fight the very next day? Why lie about it to his ex and the radio station to make himself seem not guilty? Sounds like he knew very well that what he did was outside the boundaries of acceptable and did it anyway. If he truly felt he did nothing wrong, then lies and betrayal of trust about it wouldn't really be a good strategy.

Real life example:

My partner and I got into a big fight a few years after being together. He said "I don't think I want to be with you anymore..." and walked out of the house. He was gone for 8 hours. Once he came home, it was to make up over the stupid argument. If I in those 8 hours went out and had sex with someone else, that would be OK and not cheating? He shouldn't be furious with me for that? How about the ones where it took 4 hours? Or 1 hour? How quickly do you have to make up for an argument where you said something stupid, to not have it be open season on sleeping with whoever you like within a monogamous relationship?

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Xavy

Clearly, Ross and Rachel had differnt ideas of what "on a break" means. But Ross thought that Rachel was hooking up with the guy from her job, right ? So, at the time, he thought Rachel had the same idea of what "on a break" as he did, only to realise later that he was wrong.

Ultimately, they are both to blame for what happened, because when Rachel suggested they should take a break she should have been more clear on what that meant exactly, and Ross should have asked for clarification.

Although I don't like what he did and I would never do something like that, I can't say he cheated in good conscience.

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