Opinion: Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer aren't dating after all, but Ross was an awful boyfriend to Rachel anyway

OPINION: So it turns out Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer definitely aren't dating in real life, according to their representatives, who poured cold water on rumours of a relationship after the pair were reportedly spotted together at a vineyard. 

The denial is not much of a shock, considering the inside information came from a tabloid mainstay: The 'unnamed source'. But what is surprising - at least to me - is why everyone is so keen for the Ross and Rachel romance to be real in the first place.

Ross was a sucky, awful, annoying boyfriend to Rachel and I don't understand why the world wants to believe that dysfunctional, on-again-off-again dynamic is the stuff of true love. 

I accept that it was exciting for fans when, during the Friends reunion special that aired this year, Aniston and Schwimmer revealed they had been "crushing hard" on each other during the first few seasons. Life imitating art and all that.

But of all the failed romances to ship, surely this isn't the one. 

Also, let's consider that Aniston has been cursed with the misfortune to be romantically linked to every man she so much as breathes near for almost 20 years. The 'Poor Jen' narrative hasn't quit since Angelina Jolie's appearance on the scene, despite Aniston repeatedly demonstrating she's doing just fine. 

Let me make several disclaimers at this point: My opinions about the fictional characters of Ross and Rachel have no bearing on the actors who played them, who I believe to be perfectly nice humans, particularly by Hollywood standards. 

I'm also a big fan of Friends and think Ross has all the elements of a fantastic character - he brought us "pivot!", "unagi" and "I'm FINE!". For that, we must thank him. He was just the absolute worst as a partner.  

Rachel was no angel, either. Remember when she got that hairless cat, Mr Whiskerson, and then sold it to Gunther, never to visit it again? But she was a pretty good girlfriend, pretending to be interested in Ross' paleontology lectures and eventually giving up her dream job in Paris to be with him. 

With all that being said, let me remind you why Ross was an utterly draining boyfriend, not worthy of being Rachel's lobster. Here are some of his most egregious moments:

  • He had an absolute mare when he caught his son Ben playing with a Barbie, and set about forcing him to like more manly toys, like GI Joe. Toxic masculinity, much? 
  • Similarly, Ross couldn't handle it when Rachel hired a male nanny, played by Freddie Prinze Jr in his absolute prime. Ross was so threatened by Sandy the nanny's sensitive side, he accused him of being gay. 
  • He kept count of exactly how many times he and Rachel had sex, and had no problem relaying this information to a couch salesman in front of Rachel, who was oblivious to the fact her ex had been keeping a running tally. 
  • He didn't delete an accidental sex tape showing a secret hookup between him and Rachel. Yes, he didn't realise the camera was rolling, but he kept the video afterwards and didn't tell anyone for ages, revealing he had it only to prove Rachel made a move on him, not the other way around. Gross. 
  • He lied about having his and Rachel's Las Vegas wedding annulled in order to - embarrassingly - stay quietly married to her because he couldn't face a third divorce. 
  • He forced Rachel, a grown woman, to hide the fact she had gotten a tiny tattoo because of his disapproval. 
  • He made a list of pros and cons about Rachel to help him decide if he should leave his current girlfriend Julie for her. Among the cons? Rachel's being "just a waitress". 
  • He literally faked his own death, holding a wake to see if any of his college friends still care about him. FAKED HIS OWN DEATH. 

See? The pits. Let me be clear, this is a truncated list of indiscretions. I could have easily written 18 pages, front and back, but I won't subject you or myself to that. 

The show ends with Rachel abandoning her plans to work for Louis Vuitton in Paris to be with Ross - a move which I reserve comment about for fear of retribution from the hardcore Friends fandom. Instead, I'll simply offer a raised eyebrow. 

Back in reality, Schwimmer and Aniston seem to just be genuinely good mates who enjoy a deep and meaningful chat over a few Pinots, and nothing more, which suits me just fine. 

Now, can we all go back to fawning over that time Aniston and Brad Pitt ran into each other at the SAG Awards last year? Good. 

Monika Barton is Newshub's online Entertainment Editor.