‘Friends’: 3 Reasons Richard Burke Was Better for Monica Geller Than Chandler Bing

When Friends premiered in 1994, Ross Geller and Rachel Green were presented as the main couple of the series. As time went on and their relationship deteriorated, Chandler Bing and Monica Geller got together. While the show’s writers didn’t initially intend for their relationship to last, fans loved seeing the best friends take it to the next level. Chandler wasn’t Monica’s only serious relationship, though. She had an on-again-off-again romance with the suave ophthalmologist, Dr. Richard Burke, too. While Chandler and Monica were the endgame couple for many fans, there are three ways Richard was probably a better partner for Monica.

Richard Burke and Monica Geller were perfect opposites

Monica and Chandler were never supposed to get serious, revealed Marta Kauffman during the Friends reunion. In a way, Monica and Chandler were a bit too alike to work as a couple. They were so much fun to watch together because they each had quirks that made their relationship a little rocky. Richard and Monica, on the other hand, were complete opposites, and it worked.

Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke and Courteney Cox as Monica Geller in "The One Where Monica and Richard are Just Friends"
Dr. Richard Burke and Monica Geller | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

Monica was quirky and a little manic. Richard was well-adjusted and laidback. He never tried to change Monica, but his relaxed nature certainly seemed to keep her a bit more grounded, and her manic energy kept things interesting. It’s probably the reason the duo never actually argued during their relationship.

Richard Burke was a way better communicator than Chandler Bing  

Monica and Chandler spent their early relationship trying to figure out exactly what they were. Their physical relationship came before anything romantic, and both denied having feelings for each other. Chandler, in particular, seemed to hold back during the earliest moments of their courtship. That wasn’t the case with Richard. Richard, simply put, was far more sensible and a much better communicator than Chandler. He knew he was interested in Monica and pursued her appropriately. 

Dr. Richard Burke comforts Monica Geller in his bedroom during an episode of 'Friends'
Dr. Richard Burke and Monica Geller | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

Chandler often ran away from difficult conversations or tried to lighten the mood with humor. Richard was far more willing to confront difficult topics head-on. After Monica made it known she wanted to have children, he approached the subject with sensibility. When it ended their relationship, he accepted it. Even when he tried to win Monica back, he bowed out when he realized it wouldn’t happen.

Richard Burke offered Monica Geller stability that Chandler wasn’t initially capable of

Eventually, Chandler came into his own and became a great husband and partner to Monica. There is no denying that. Still, it was a long road to get there. That journey involved many misunderstandings and a fair bit of coaching from Monica. Chandler might have been funny and fun to be around, but he wasn’t a stable person in Monica’s life, at least not right away.

Monica and Chandler chat with Dr. Richard Burke in "The One With the Proposal" episode of 'Friends'
Monica Geller, Chandler Bing, and Dr. Richard Burke | Paul Drinkwater NBC/Delivered by Onile USA Inc.

Richard was the epitome of stability. Maybe because of his age, his personality, or a combination of both, Richard offered Monica a solid foundation on which she could have built her life. While Chandler and Monica’s relationship ups and downs were fun to watch for fans, there is no denying that Richard was a better partner than Chandler, at least at first. 

RELATED: ‘Friends’: Tom Selleck Had to Reshoot His Entrance Scenes Because of the Show’s Fans