Part of why fans watched Friends was to see different characters find each other’s soulmates. It was fulfilling to see Monica and Chandler start a family, for instance. And we had to wait for the very end to see if Rachel and Ross finally ended up together.
The real romantic drama, though, was happening behind the scenes. And you might just be amazed at who the Friends actors ended up with in real life!
David Schwimmer had a thing for musicians
When it comes to his onscreen character Ross, fans spent most of the show rooting for him to find love. But it seems like in real life, David Schwimmer is still searching.
Back in the day, Schwimmer seemed to have a taste for musicians. He dated music sensation Natalie Imbruglia back in 1996 to 1997 in what she described as a “happy relationship” (per The Sun). And in 2004, rumors swirled that Schwimmer was dating Tina Barrett, a member of an English pop group named S Club 7.
Things got more serious when he met photographer and artist Zoë Buckman in 2007. She soon moved to Los Angeles and the two got engaged and married in 2010. They had a daughter named Cleo the next year, but after seven years of marriage, the two of them amicably separated, putting Schwimmer back on the market once more.
Jennifer Aniston’s whirlwind romances
Jennifer Aniston was arguably the most famous Friends star at the height of the show’s popularity. And this helped shine a spotlight on her whirlwind of love across the years.
She dated actor Tate Donovan from 1995 to 1998. In a turn of irony, he would eventually play Rachel’s boyfriend Joshua on the show, and had to act really affectionate towards Aniston even while they were breaking up (something she told Us Weekly was “painful and rough”).
1998 turned out to be a hell of a year for Aniston: this is also when she began dating Brad Pitt, and the two of them got married in 2000.
Five years later, they separated after Brad Pitt met Angelina Jolie, but this didn’t slow down Aniston’s love life. In the years after separation, Aniston dated both Vince Vaughn and John Mayer. She met actor Justin Theroux in 2010 and they married in 2015.
Unfortunately, this was not meant to be. After getting married in 2015, the two amicably separated back in 2017.
Courtney Cox tries to find her own Chandler
Courtney Cox has actually been dating famous figures since well before the premiere of Friends. She dated Michael Keaton from 1989 to 1995. And in 1996, she met David Arquette when they filmed Scream together. The two fell in love, married in 1999 and welcomed a daughter, Coco, in 2004.
It looked like Cox and Arquette would go the distance, but they separated in 2010 and filed for divorce in 2012, though Cox told Ellen DeGeneres (per Us Weekly) that Arquette was still her “best friend.”
In 2013, Cox began dating Johnny McDaid, a rockstar from the band Snow Patrol. Their love life has had ups and downs: she tweeted about being engaged to him in 2014, but they later called off the engagement without breaking up. He is still her boyfriend, but thanks to COVID-19, the two haven’t seen each other for most of 2020 (according to Hello Magazine).
Matt LeBlanc stays busy
Despite being such a public ladies’ man on TV, Matt LeBlanc has kept much of his romantic life under his hat. For example, rumors swirled that he once dated Kate Hudson, but we never got a confirmation. But what we do know about his romantic life is a real eye-opener!
He met Melissa Knight back in 1997. The two married in 2003 and welcomed a daughter in 2004. This looked like “happily ever after” for LeBlanc, but they actually divorced in 2006 amid rumors that he had cheated on his wife. He then dated a co-star of his Joey spinoff, Andrea Anders, for eight years before they split.
Most recently, LeBlanc has been dating Top Gear actor Aurora Mulligan since 2016. Here’s hoping the third time is the charm for LeBlanc!
Matthew Perry’s fascinating love life
You might expect these Friends stars to only date famous faces. When it comes to Matthew Perry, he has dated both major stars and people you’ve never heard of. And as Chandler himself might ask, “could his love life be any more complicated?”
Perry actually dated Julia Roberts from 1995 to 1996 after she guest-starred on Friends. After that, he ended up dating Scrubs actor Heather Graham and Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham. Just when it looked like he had a “type,” Perry surprised us.
In the mid-2000s, Perry raised eyebrows when he dated a fashion student, Rachel Dunn. He then dated Lizzie Caplan (of Mean Girls and Masters of Sex fame) from 2006 to 2012. Most recently, he dated talent manager Molly Hurtwitz from 2018 to April 2020, but allegedly Perry’s struggles with sobriety led to their split.
Lisa Kudrow finds her happily ever after
There is not a lot of drama when it comes to Lisa Kudrow’s love life. While she once dated Conan O’Brien in the ’80s, she would soon meet the true love of her life. She met and fell in love with French advertising mogul Michel Stern, and the two of them got married back in 1995.
They have a son who was born in 1998, and in 2020 the two of them celebrated their 25-year wedding anniversary. But how did Kudrow make this long-term relationship work when her fellow castmates are mostly still looking for love?
In an interview with Glamour, Kudrow makes it seem easy. She claims that once they got married they understood, “We’re not promising to love each other forever, because you can’t do that, but we are promising to work on whatever problems come up.” She continued, “[Marriage] is like being on a team. Each teammate is different, but you have the same goal.”
This is great advice. Maybe if enough fans ask, she can put it to a catchy song so we can finally get “Smelly Cat” out of our heads?