Friends may have started as a show all about the relationship between Ross and Rachel but later in its run, a new couple emerged: Chandler and Monica. Ross and Rachel may have had that epic love story, with Ross having loved Rachel since high school and the whole ‘we were on a break’ debate, but Chandler and Monica had their own exciting love story that taught us many lessons about what it takes to make a successful relationship work. Hint: it does not involve being on a break.
Chandler and Monica were decidedly less dramatic than Ross and Rachel, but they still found ways to keep their relationship fresh and exciting, which is what all relationships need so as to not fizzle out. Being that we saw their relationship through many different stages – courtship, engagement, marriage, buying a house, trying to get pregnant – we saw how they were able to evolve and cope with their ever-changing relationship.
So, sure, Joey and Phoebe may have been hilarious in their own right. Ross and Rachel may have had an epic love that culminated with Rachel getting off a plane to tell Ross she loves him. Chandler and Monica, though, had a love we can learn from because it was ground down in reality and the day-to-day issues. So, here are 15 relationship lesson that Chandler and Monica, the golden couple of Friends, taught us.
15Accept Each Other’s Flaws
Chandler and Monica each have their own individual flaws. Monica is a neat freak perfectionist, who is a little bit obsessed with marriage and children. Which you can obviously relate to because most of us are in all honesty. Whether you’re the neat freak or obsessed with marriage and children, heck maybe you’re all of the above! But you can definitely see yourself in Monica. Chandler is messy, lazy and immature. No offense to either of them, because we obviously still love them despite these flaws. They also still love each other despite these flaws and that is the beauty of them.
In truth, many of their qualities go against one another. Monica is a driven chef, passionate about her job while Chandler does something that requires he wears a suit and seems to not care all that much about it. Monica has a breakdown if someone doesn’t use a coaster and Chandler, well, he was able to live with Joey. They are very different people but they accept each other’s shortcomings without too much complaint.
14Don’t Expect Drastic Change
Speaking of accepting each other’s flaws, they also did not expect much change from the other. Dating each other did not magically make them into better people. Chandler did not magically become a neat freak who cared passionately about the work he did. Though he did leave his office job to pursue a career he was passionate about later in the series, but that was due to his own decision, not Monica’s nagging. Chandler also never complains about Monica’s obsessive need for everything to be clean. He would joke about it but it was never in a very mean way. In fact, when they move in together, he even tries to clean the apartment for her. Of course, that backfires because everything has to be put back together perfectly but it is the thought that counts. They do not needle the other person to change and that is great for their relationship.
13Your Wedding Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect
Chandler and Monica for sure had a lovely wedding, but it was far from perfect. Joey was the minister and he showed up late and in a costume. Chandler almost bailed on the entire thing because he heard people call them ‘The Bings’ and he thought Monica was pregnant. In reality, though, Rachel was the one who was pregnant so that was going on during the wedding too.
All in all, the wedding was a beautiful mess and to be honest, most weddings are beautiful messes. Even if you hardcore plan or hire a wedding planner, something will go wrong. It is simply what happens when you’re hosting 200 people on the most important part of your day.
Of course, the wedding is just the wedding. What matters is the marriage and Chandler and Monica knew that. Chandler was also pretty laid-back with Monica’s bridezilla-ness so bonus points to him.
12Your Husband Is More Important Than Your Wedding Dress
Oh, the fated wedding dress Monica loved. In this episode, Monica finds her perfect dress but cannot afford it at the retailer. There is apparently a place in Brooklyn that sells wedding dresses for a discounted price but had a very limited supply. Monica finds her dress there but gets in a tiff with another woman who wants the dress. Monica wins because she’s feisty as hell.
Then, the lady then retaliates by booking The Swing Kings on the day Monica and Chandler are to be married. She will only let Monica have them if she hands over the dress. Booking The Swing Kings is basically the only part of the wedding that Chandler cares about because while they were dancing to The Swing Kings, he realized he wanted to marry Monica – swoon.
In the end, Monica hands over the dress in order to book The Swing Kings and make Chandler happy. The wedding isn’t all about the dress, guys. It’s a celebration of your love, and Monica understood that.
11Accept Each Other’s Weird Families
Monica and Chandler both had weird families and so does everyone. Chandler’s mother is a hot, famous author and his father is a cross dresser. Chandler had a goofy childhood during which he started smoking at a young age, told jokes to cope with the divorce of his parents and began to hate celebrating the holidays. Monica’s family isn’t much better, considering that her brother is Ross, who has a slew of issues on his own. Her relationship with her mother and father is strained, as they have always preferred Ross.
Of course, since this is a comedy, Chandler and Monica’s deep issues with their families were handled with a comical tone. However, it’s nice that their family issues never became a problem for the couple. Instead of complaining about what they married into, Chandler and Monica simply accepted each other’s families as simply something that came with dating the other.
10Compromise Is Key
We’ll be the first to admit that maybe Monica was not the best at compromising. She was a bit of a control freak, especially when it came to the apartment and the wedding. Girlfriend knew what she wanted and you can’t really blame Monica for that. I mean, she had been dreaming of her wedding day for, like, ever. In these cases, she didn’t necessarily compromise everywhere but she also did most of the work so in a way, that was part of the compromise.
When it came down to it, though, she did let Chandler win from time to time. He got to bring that weird white dog thing to their apartment when he moved in with her. She also gave up her wedding dress to book The Swing Kings. You don’t have to always concede but knowing what is really important to the other person and compromising in those situations is key.
9Privacy Can Be Nice
Who didn’t love the early days of Chandler and Monica? After London, they kept their relationship a secret because they did not want everything to change. This is something that no one really does these days. Between Instagram photos and the major step of changing your Facebook relationship status, it seems that whenever we get into a relationship, no matter how serious or casual, the whole world knows about it immediately.
There are no longer those quiet beginnings during which you are able to find out what the relationship is going to be. It is all out in the open as soon as we share that first kiss. Damn you, social media! We should all take a page from Chandler and Monica’s book and keep quiet for a bit about out budding relationships, so we can figure out what the relationship is all about before others begin weighing in on it.
8It’s Okay To Be Nervous Or Scared
Being nervous or freaked out about taking a step in a relationship is totally normal. Of course, we’re taught that having anxiety is a sign that we may be leaping into a relationship that we are having second thoughts about. While that could always be the case, it’s also perfectly normally to simply be freaked out because it’s a big step. Even if you’re moving in with your soul mate… you’re still moving in with someone! It’s exciting but also scary, especially if you haven’t lived with a boyfriend ever before.
Monica and Chandler were pretty vocal about expressing anxiety to each other before moving into together, before the wedding, and about having children. You should be able to talk to your partner about these anxieties because hey, they may be feeling them too. Also, you should know that if your partner comes to you with their anxieties, it isn’t always a bad thing.
7Don’t Judge The Other For The Past
Monica and Chandler knew each other for a while. Like, a long, long time before they started dating. They were also both kind of train wrecks before they got together. Monica was neurotic and crazy about marriage and babies. Chandler was immature and afraid of commitment. You would think that these two would not necessarily go together well but they did. It worked mostly because they did not judge one another for the past.
Monica did not worry about Chandler’s seeming inability to commit and Chandler didn’t worry about Monica’ neuroses. Even if you’ve heard some stories from the past about your new potential partner, you shouldn’t judge them for said past. We all grow up, right? If you reject a guy because of thing you’ve heard about him, you could be throwing away a potential Chandler in the rough and don’t we all really want to find our Chandler?
6Don’t Be Insecure About Exes
Having known each other for a while before dating, Chandler and Monica both knew each other’s exes. Chandler dating Janice of all people… Janice. She became a running joke in the show, like the crazy ex-girlfriend who wouldn’t go away. Monica dated Richard, who was old enough to be her father and was, in fact, besties with her father.
Chandler was a little insecure about Richard when he started dating Monica because who wouldn’t be? Richard was a man’s man, who smoked cigars and grew mustaches most men can only dream of. This insecurity lead to a big fight on their first anniversary, which could have easily been avoided had Chandler not been so insecure.
We get that it’s hard to not feel insecure about people you boyfriend or girlfriend dated in the past but not being insecure can help you avoid a pointless fight or two. I mean, they’re dating you now and their ex is their ex for a reason. Try to remember that.
5Things Will Not Always Be Easy
Things were not always 100% easy for Chandler and Monica but they made it work. When Chandler had to work in Tulsa, they even made the long-distance relationship work because they had to. Long-distance relationships are, for sure, tough but if you have the will to travel for the other person, it is doable even if it is not the most desirable situation in the world. Also when you know this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you make it work regardless of the situation.
Another, even harder, situation was when Monica and Chandler couldn’t conceive a child. When Chandler gave the speech about Monica being a mother without a child, it was just a river of tears for anyone who watched. Oh, be still our hearts. Chandler Bing, you are the man of our dreams. Even when things were difficult, they stuck together, which is what you have to do to get through it. Turning on each other will break the relationship.
4Don’t Judge The Other For How They Used To Look
The miracle of bumping into someone from grade school or high school who looks completely different is amazing and a bit disorienting. That dude who had braces and bad acne now looks like Chris Pratt. You’re confused and a little bit into it. You’re about to swoon but you also cannot get the imagine of them in high school out of your mind. Well, girlfriend, forget about the past.
Have you seen Chandler’s hair in the flashbacks? Oh, and the clothes Chandler used to wear! The way he dressed was literally insane. Monica, obvi, was a wee bit heavier in her youth. The fact that teeny tiny Monica used to be heavy was an ongoing joke in the series. Chandler even actually called Monica fat during a flashback. However, he never let the fact that she had been heavy stop him from dating her now, even if he wasn’t so down with the plus-sized version of Monica.
3Date Your BFF
Ah, what we can all only hope for. When Monica proposed to Chandler and said that she never thought she’d be so lucky as to marry her best friend, all the tears flowed so much. Everyone wants that best friend soul mate, right? Well, it’s not necessarily so hard to achieve. You just need to date someone you genuinely like, which doesn’t sound too complicated but you’d be surprised.
Just try to be sure to date someone you’d actually be friends with if you weren’t dating and you should be good. I mean, why would you want to date someone you wouldn’t be friends with otherwise? Sure, if he has a body like Channing Tatum, we kind of get it but you know what trumps a Channing Tatum bod? A sense of humor and kind personality. Okay, we know. Channing Tatum’s bod is, like, unreal but we swear that a guy who can make you laugh is everything.
2Sometimes Fairy Tales Start In The Weirdest Way
Chandler and Monica can give us all hope that even a one-night stand at a wedding can end in marriage, right? No, for real, they did not start in the most perfect way. While consoling Monica at her brother’s wedding, Chandler ends up sleeping with her. The next morning, Monica has to hide under the covers from Ross. While comical and cute, it’s not how one would expect a relationship to begin. If a girlfriend of mine told me about drunkenly hooking up with a friend of hers at a wedding, I wouldn’t necessarily think that this person would end up being her soul mate.
Instead of waiting for the type of cute-meet romantic comedies make us believe in, we should accept that sometimes a true love starts as a one-night stand. So, don’t write off that dude at the bar who gave you his number or the guy you matched with on Tinder. We’re not saying that you’ll definitely fall in love but it totally could happen.
1It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect
Waiting for the perfect fairy tale romance in your life will leave you waiting forever. When true love shows up, it is very rarely wrapped up in a pretty bow the way you would expect.
Chandler and Monica’s situation started in the oddest way and it wasn’t the most desirable situation. The fact that Chandler was besties with Ross and Monica was Ross’ younger sister was a big thing, as it would be in real life too. Oh, and the fact that they were two members of a close-knit group of six friends complicated things further. There was also the fact that they were more or less complete opposites.
Regardless of how imperfect the person or situation may seem, you should just embrace it. Had Chandler and Monica waited for the perfect person or situation instead of accepting the wacky romance right in front of them, they wouldn’t have ended up together.