Alright “Friends” fans, it’s time for a debate: Rachel and Ross or Rachel and Joey?
Even though, throughout 10 seasons Rachel and Ross dated on and off, had a child together and eventually wound up together, I am here to make the case for why Rachel and Joey were a better fit than Rachel and Ross.
Sure, we all know that they tried it and found out that they were better as friends and Joey wanted to respect Ross because he is his friend, but honestly it could have worked. In no particular order, here are the top 5 reasons why it should have been Joey and Rachel.
Joey and Rachel were friends first
“Friends” fans know that Monica and Rachel became best friends and Ross, Monica’s brother, was always there and fell in love with Rachel before ever really getting to know her. He knew she was pretty, a cheerleader, rich, and way out of his league.
Joey and Rachel were friends for about 8 years before they had any feelings towards each other. Yes, they lived together at one point and got to know each other that way, but Ross never really paid attention. Being friends before getting romantically involved typically works out better.
Rachel turned down his playerness and Joey made her less uptight
Everyone knows Joey was never really in a stable relationship and if he was it didn’t last long because he was a player. When it came to Rachel, he never pressured her to do anything she didn’t want to and practically doted on her. In the episode, “The One Where Joey Dates Rachel..,” he thinks in his mind, ‘It’s your girlfriend, Rachel’ and even “I love you’ at one point. Two things he never really said to any previous lover.
Rachel was always known to be a little uptight because of her background. She came from a rich family and never really did anything for herself. Flash forward to her moving in with Joey and she was happier despite being pregnant, tried new things, and joked around more.
Joey was willing to be in a relationship with Rachel while she was pregnant
Maybe he fell in love with her because she was pregnant, maybe it was because they lived together after Chandler and Monica got married, whatever the reason Joey was in love with Rachel and didn’t give up on their friendship even after it didn’t work out. Once Emma was born, Rachel moved back in with Joey even though a baby in the apartment would cramp his playboy lifestyle. He loved both Rachel and Emma and proved he would be an amazing dad, if the chance ever came up.
Joey was supportive and protective of his female friends
Despite Joey being a player, he really does respect women. You can see it when he goes to visit family and is protective of all his sisters and you can see it when he cares for his female friends in the show and protects them at all costs.
When Rachel gets yelled at by the apartment’s custodian and comes back to her apartment crying, Joey goes to tell the guy off because ‘he made Rachel cry.’ Monica replies with ‘Rachel always cries,’ proving that Joey didn’t see her that way and just wanted her to be happy.
He also proves his protectiveness and friendship to Monica and Phoebe throughout the series as well.
While Ross was selfish, Joey supported Rachel’s career and vice versa
Joey was the one to give Rachel her first big break in the fashion business. As a struggling actor, Joey understands how hard it is to follow your dreams and make it in your career.
Ross would always complain that he was tired of having a relationship with her voicemail, was weirdly jealous of her co-worker Mark, fell asleep when she brought him to work functions, and begs her to stay home from Paris so she can sacrifice her career to be with him. Joey supported her decision to go.
Imagine how different the series would have been if Jochel wound up together. He could have moved to Paris with Rachel and Emma and she could still have her career. Ross, however, may have ended up alone.