The Real Life Partners Of The Friends Cast

Friends has inspired a million laughs and a million haircuts since the Y2k era. The late-'90s, early-'00s sitcom was a smash hit due to its feel-good punchlines, relatable situations, and unforgettable characters. Thanks to reruns and streaming services, the series' cultural impact lives on today, and will continue with a HBO Max reunion special that's reportedly slated to happen at some point. Many members of the sitcom's multigenerational audience feel like they are a part of the iconic friend group. This sense of familiarity has led to many people feeling personally invested in the Friends cast, both on and off the program.

On the hit television show, the characters' love lives are sometimes stable, sometimes disastrous: "We were on a break!" is the argument heard around the world. Offscreen, the actors have their own string of highly publicized relationships, some more successful and lasting than others. The actors' jobs aren't jokes, and they probably aren't broke... but are their love lives D.O.A.?

The public eye stays trained on Jennifer Aniston's love life

Jennifer Aniston, who played the spoiled but spirited Rachel Green, has had the most publicized love life offscreen. From 1995 to 1998, Aniston dated actor Tate Donovan, who appeared as Rachel's boyfriend Joshua on six episodes of Friends while the real-life couple were breaking up. Donovan admitted to Us Weekly that filming the episodes was "really painful and tough."

That same year, Aniston started dating actor Brad Pitt and became one half of one of the most publicized couples in recent Hollywood history. They married in 2000 and separated in 2005 amid the roaring rumors that Pitt had cheated with co-star (and future ex-wife) Angelina Jolie. Fans have rooted for Aniston and Pitt to reunite ever since, but for now the exes are friends. 

Following her split from Pitt, Aniston was linked to actor Vince Vaughn and singer John Mayer. She began dating actor Justin Theroux in 2010. The pair lived together in the Hollywood Hills and got married at home in 2015, per People. Alas, it didn't last: In 2018, they told the AP that they "lovingly" separated the year prior. As of right now, Aniston appears to be single. An insider told Us Weekly in 2018 that the actor is "not trying to force" anything, but that she's "open to dating."

David Schwimmer's love life has pivoted a few times

David Schwimmer, who played the goofy and geeky Ross Geller, also seems to be single as of 2020. His most recent relationship was with British artist and photographer Zoë Buckman, whom he met in 2007 while he was directing the movie Run in London. Buckman, who is 19 years younger than Schwimmer, soon relocated to Los Angeles. In March 2010, Entertainment Weekly revealed Schwimmer and Buckman got engaged, and the two married that same year. In 2011, People reported they welcomed a baby girl named Cleo. After seven years of marriage, the couple confirmed their amicable separation to Us Weekly

From 1996 to 1997, Schwimmer dated Natalie Imbruglia. (The Australian singer told The Sun that it was a "happy relationship.") In 2004, he reportedly had a summer fling in Spain with Tina Barrett from British pop group S Club 7. In March 2020, former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville talked about dating Schwimmer back in the '90s on Danny Pellegrino's Everything Iconic podcast. "He wore concealer out during the day and it really bothered me," she said. "I wasn't used to a man wearing makeup." When asked for comment by Page Six, a member of Team Schwimmer denied Glanville's story. 

Courteney Cox snows all about long-term relationships

Monica and Chandler may be a match made in heaven, but Courteney Cox's love life has been slightly more complex. Cox, who played maternal neat-freak Monica Geller, is currently in a relationship with Johnny McDaid of indie-rock band Snow Patrol. In 2013, the Irish Mirror reported that the pair began dating, and by the following summer, Cox was tweeting from the rooftops about their engagement. About a year later, HollywoodLife reported they called off their engagement, but they've stayed together as a couple. Earlier in her career, Cox dated actor Michael Keaton for six years, from 1989 to 1995.

Cox's longest relationship was with actor David Arquette, whom she met on the set of Scream in 1996. The couple got married at the historic Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 1999. In 2004, Cox and Arquette welcomed a baby girl named Coco and named Jennifer Aniston her godmother. In 2010, after nearly a decade of marriage, Cox and Arquette announced their separation. Arquette officially filed for divorce in 2012 and the divorce was finalized the following year. It sounds like things ended on relatively okay terms: Cox told Ellen DeGeneres (via Us Weekly) that Arquette is her "best friend."

Matthew Perry has dated both A-listers and non-celebrities

When Matthew Perry was cast in Friends, the show's creators took him out to lunch to get to know him. "I remember saying two things," Perry said in a 2004 Dateline interview. "I'm not an unattractive man. But I'm just awful with women. And have really bad... relationship problems."

While it may not be surprising that Perry, who played the sarcastic Chandler Bing, is currently single, he has dated plenty of Hollywood stars over the years. He met fellow actor Julia Roberts when she guest starred on Friends in 1995, and the couple dated until the following year. He then reportedly had a string of flings with actors including Heather Graham of Scrubs and Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls. (Rumor has it Teddy Grahams of Nabisco feels left out.)

Perry's love life took a turn in the mid-2000s, when he dated fashion student Rachel Dunn and seemed to get serious. From 2006 to 2012, he was in a six-year relationship with Mean Girls and Masters of Sex actor Lizzy Caplan. After another six years of singledom, Perry dated someone from behind the camera, talent manager Molly Hurwitz, from 2018 to 2020. The pair reportedly split due to Perry's ongoing struggles with sobriety.

Matt LeBlanc seems well-cast as ladies' man Joey Tribbiani

Matt LeBlanc seems to be almost as much of a ladies' man as his character, Joey Tribbiani. While rumors have swirled linking LeBlanc to various women, such as actor Kate Hudson, few have been confirmed.

Like his Friends co-star David Schwimmer, LeBlanc reportedly had a brief 1990s rendezvous with Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville. And yes, Glanville detailed the date on Danny Pellegrino's Everything Iconic podcast. "We went back to his house, he let his dog lick his ice cream and I was out," she claimed. "I was like, 'Nope.' I was totally gonna have sex with him, then the dog licked the ice cream and he licked the ice cream and I was like, 'I can't.'"

LeBlanc's longest relationship was with his ex-wife, model Melissa McKnight. According to Peoplethe former couple met in 1997, married in 2003 and welcomed a daughter named Marina Pearl in 2004. They divorced in 2006 in the wake of LeBlanc's rumored infidelity. LeBlanc immediately moved on to a 19-year relationship with his Joey co-star Andrea Anders. He is currently dating Top Gear presenter Aurora Mulligan, whom he met in 2016.

Lisa Kudrow's love life has been anything but smelly, cat

Lisa Kudrow's character, Phoebe Buffay, is the eccentric one of the Friends bunch. But in real life, Kudrow has had the most straightforward love life among the cast members. She took improv classes with comedian Conan O'Brien in the '80s. The pair briefly dated, but according to the Daily News, Kudrow has said they eventually decided they were better as friends. She has since credited O'Brien for encouraging her to continue with her comedy career when she faced rejection.

Kudrow has been married to French advertising executive Michel Stern for 25 years as of 2020. They met when Stern was dating her French roommate. "They went out for two and a half months," she told Daily Mail in 2015, "and six years later I met him again at her birthday party and we just never stopped." The couple have one son, Julian, who was born in 1998.

In 2014, Kudrow spoke to Glamour about how she makes her longtime marriage work. "When [Michael and I] decided to get married, we 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 said. "[Marriage] is like being on a team. Each teammate is different, but you have the same goal."

James Michael Tyler's personal life has stayed personal

James Michael Tyler, who played the Central Perk barista with unrequited love for Rachel in 148 episodes of Friends, hasn't had a busy acting career beyond the sitcom. His love life has also largely stayed out of the public eye. His only known relationship was with Barbara Chadsey, whom he met in 1995 at the height of Friends' success. Tyler and Chadsey separated in 2003, before the series ended. According to TMZ, Tyler didn't officially file for divorce until 11 years later, in 2014.

Though not much is known about the former couple, Tyler cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their divorce. Let's hope it didn't end the same way Gunther's crush on Rachel did—that is, with broken cups and a sad laugh track. Instead, let's hope it ended the same way Tyler's real-life relationships with the Friends cast did: with no hard feelings. Tyler told Daily Star (via Cosmopolitan) that though he hasn't remained in contact with Jennifer Aniston, there isn't any bad blood. "It's nothing personal," he said. "Actors move on. It's been a long time."

Oh... My... God: Maggie Wheeler is happily married

Although Maggie Wheeler played Chandler's obnoxious, on-off girlfriend Janice, her own relationship is totally on. She has been married to sculptor Daniel Borden Wheeler for 30 years. In 1990, four years before Friends aired, the couple wed at Mattei's Tavern in Los Olivos, California.

According to Best Self, Daniel works to keep the romance alive. "Valentine's Day is considered a kind of lowly holiday, but I take it very seriously," he told the site. "I've made sculpture Valentines for my wife since we met, and for my two daughters all their lives, so our house is kind of filled with these objects. They're lighthearted objects, but I don't take the process of making them lightly."

The couple shares two daughters, Juno and Gemma. Juno, who is a grad student at New York University, regularly shares photos of her parents on her now-private Instagram. "My parents, who have spent almost 30 years cultivating the most honest, open, beautiful love I've ever seen," she captioned in a recent snap (via AmoMama).

Paul Rudd never ages, and his love is just as timeless

Paul Rudd found mainstream comedy success when he played Phoebe's third husband, Mike Hannigan, on Friends. In real life, Rudd has been married to the same woman, Julie Yaeger, since 2003. "I don't think I'm going to sell a lot of tabloids," he said in a 2011 interview with ELLE. "My wife and I have been together for 16 years."

Shortly after starring in Clueless, Rudd—who was in his early twenties at the time—moved to New York City. According to a 2011 story in Nylon Guys, Rudd arrived in the city and headed for his publicist's office with his luggage in tow. Yaeger, who was working at the office, offered to drop his bags off at his friend's apartment. Rudd asked her to lunch a few days later, and they've been together ever since.

The couple now live in Rhinebeck, New York. They welcomed a son named Jack in 2006 and a daughter named Darby in 2010. In 2017, the spouses teamed up for the movie Fun Mom Dinner, starring Molly Shannon and Toni Colette. Yaeger wrote the screenplay, and Rudd produced and starred in the movie.

Like her character, Jane Sibbett is a divorcée

After playing Carol, Ross' ex-wife who leaves him for Susan Bunch, Jane Sibbett went through a real-life divorce. Before Friends aired, Sibbett starred as Heddy Newman on the Fox comedy Herman's Head. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, she met the show's writer-producer Karl Fink on the sitcom set, and the couple married in 1992. Their daughter, Ruby, was born that same year. Fink and Sibbett have lived all over the Los Angeles area, including on a property called "Trust Ranch" in the Topanga area of Los Angeles County. The property included four fireplaces, a vegetable garden and a six-horse barn. The couple divorced in January 2016 after 24 years of marriage. Sibbett started dating fellow actor Eric Lutes at some point, but there's not much on the update front. 

Here's a little Friends trivia for you: In September 2020, Sibbett told news.com.au that she was originally picked to play Rachel Green. However, the part was recast after she became pregnant with her second child. The pregnancy didn't keep her from starring on the sitcom, though: When original Carol actor Anita Barone quit the pilot, the show's creators called Sibbett back at an opportune moment. "I got home from hospital after giving birth to my son and I got a phone call saying that they were replacing Carol and could I come to work the next day," she recalled.

Cole Sprouse is all grown up and dating other TV stars

Cole Sprouse has come a long way since his role as Ross' young son Ben. While starring on the show between the ages of eight and 12, Sprouse had a huge crush on one of his older co-stars. "I'm pretty sure I fell in love with Jennifer Aniston, which the whole world had at that point," Sprouse revealed to Today. "I remember there was a cameraman who was like, 'Little boy's got a crush...' I turned bright red." He soon moved into Disney stardom with hit sitcoms The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck. He also dated a slew of the Disney and Nickelodeon stars of the early 2000s, including Victoria Justice and Alyson Stoner.

Most recently, Sprouse had a highly-publicized, on-off relationship with his Riverdale co-star Lili Reinhart. After dating on and off for three years, the couple called it quits for good in March 2020. Sprouse addressed the split on his Instagram: "What an incredible experience I had," he wrote. "I'll always feel lucky and cherish that I had the chance to fall in love. I wish her nothing but the utmost love and happiness moving forward." Way to tug at the Reinhartstrings.