What I learned about adulting from binge-watching “Friends”

It’s been a year since Netflix made all the seasons of NBC’s beloved sitcom Friends available, and I’ve watched all of it. I mean, all of it. And let me say that watching Friends in my mid-twenties is way different than it was watching it as an adolescent.

The characters seemed so glamorous with jobs working for Ralph Lauren, on Days of Our Lives and at five star restaurants. They had complicated and fascinating love lives. Here’s what I learned about life from watching too much Friends in one sitting.

You will always be figuring it out

I used to think the lack of direction and craziest of the different friends’ lives was just over-exaggerated comedy but now as an adult I see that no matter what age you are you probably don’t know what you’re doing.

You’re going to switch jobs, you might even switch careers, and you probably won’t mention your degree much because you probably won’t be using it. During the course of Friends’ 10 seasons you see every one of the main characters experience the transition of not knowing what they are going to do with their lives. Both Joey and Rachel worked in the Central Perk during the series.

Chandler left the job that no one could tell you about, and experimented with different ideas of what to do with his life. Life has a way of messing up your carefully made plans, no matter what you do.

Losing people hurts no matter what age you are

When I lost my grandmother last year it was a huge blow. I remember going to my grandmother’s house with my mom and thinking about the episode where Ross and Monica are trying to find clothes to bury their grandmother in, it was bitter sweet. Her scent was everywhere and little things made me smile and cry.

I’d seen my friends lose grandparents growing up but assumed it wouldn’t be as difficult since my grandmother lived a long full life. I was wrong.

Mr. or Ms. Wrong might seem like Mr. or Ms. Right

I remember being totally heartbroken watching Monica attempt to get over the break up with Richard. To be honest, until she started seriously dating Chandler, I always hoped Richard would change his mind about kids and they would end up together.

I wish that I’d remembered that lesson as a twenty-something dating. Someone can feel so right but still not be right. As heartbreaking as it was ending things with Richard, it was ultimately the right thing to do.

Someone can seem perfect for you, and it can still not work out. Some things will be deal breakers, no matter how much you love them.

There will probably be several Mr. or Ms. Wrongs

I have always wanted to take a tally of how many partners each “Friend” had during the shows time on air. I honestly think it would make me feel better about my luck in the dating world.

For example Rachel started the series leaving Barry at the altar! Barry who we learn later is a serial cheater. Then there is Pablo who hits on Phoebe. Jump to her assistant Tag.

Monica even dated a teenager! You are probably going to date a lot of people before you find “the one” and more than likely “the one” will be the last person you expect or come when you least expect it.

Adult friends fight, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world

Some of the best episodes of friends revolve around fights. When Racheal and Monica are trying to pack up to move Rachael out of the apartment so Chandler can move it, when Chandler kisses Joey’s girlfriend, when Ross and Chandler fight over who came up with the dirty joke in Playboy. But the best thing about these episodes is ultimately they work it out.

Of course, in real life, your fights may not be totally resolved over the course of half an hour. Hurting a friend’s feelings or making an honest mistake doesn’t mean the end of the world. All relationships have rough patches, the best relationships are the ones that can handle it.

You will always be your parent’s child

My favorite parents on Friends had to be Jack and Trudy! They are so awesome and so horrible at the same time. As the Monica of my friend group I’ve always felt bad for how they obviously favored Ross over her.

I wish I’d taken a moment when watching each of the friend’s interact with their parents that you are always your parent’s child.No matter how old I get, no matter what I’ve been through your parent’s will always have this undeniable power to make you feel like a five year old for better or worse.

Whether your 20s we’re in the 90’s or in 2016, I think we can all agree Friends got a lot right.

(Image via NBC)

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