The Gilmore Girls Were Toxic


Breeanna Pham, Staff Writer

In the early 2000s, there was a famous, fictional mother-daughter duo that the public either loved or hated: Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Their relationship took the entertainment industry by storm because of their uncommon, transparent relationship with one another. To most, they embodied the “ideal” parent-child bond due to this nature. Although they might have been transparent with each other, they were not transparent with their romantic relationships.

Rory Gilmore got into her first relationship with a guy named Dean, whom she met on her last day of high school in Stars Hollow. However, although their relationship began innocently, it quickly spiraled into something that was mutually toxic. 

Dean, although sweet and loving for the majority of the relationship, constantly took his anger out on Rory. For example, after only three months of dating, he was the first one in the relationship to say “I love you” but got extremely mad when she didn’t say it back and promptly broke up with her. However, later in the season, they get back together. Their relationship dynamic was highly toxic because they displayed, on numerous occasions, that they weren’t committed to each other even though they did have a lot of love for each other. Rory can be held responsible for this toxic relationship because, whenever Dean expressed interest in something, she would mock the interest. For example, when Dean was deciding whether or not to go back to college, his wife, who he met in high school, Lindsey, said she would support him regardless of his decision. However when Rory found out, she constantly put Dean’s wife down for supporting her husband and repeatedly made it sound like what she thought was the only right thing to do.

Sophomore Vania Ahmadi stated, “The reason on-again and off-again relationships are so toxic is because they show that they can’t commit,” which in this case, is exactly Rory and Dean’s relationship dynamic. 

However, Rory and Dean’s  relationship, Rory wasn’t faithful either. After Luke’s (a diner owner in Stars Hollow) nephew, Jess Mariano, entered the picture, everything Rory built with Dean quickly fell apart. After Rory and Jess began a friendship, she quickly fell for him, and at Sookie’s (her and her mother’s friend’s) wedding, she kissed him. This shows that Rory is indecisive, and most likely has commitment issues.

Although her relationship with Jess was brief, she learned what she didn’t want in a relationship due to his toxic personality. However, in season 6, episode 18, when Jess becomes more successful, he invited Rory to his publishing house in Philadelphia. When she arrived, Rory gives him mixed signals throughout the night, but when he kisses her and she kisses him back, however, she abruptly stops it and reveals that she is interested in someone else.  

Throughout Rory’s relationship with Dean, she was emotionally cheating on him with Jess for months and gaslit Dean into thinking he was delusional about her and Jess’s relationship.  

Although one could argue that this all occurred when Rory was younger, it still shows that she was immature, and shouldn’t have gotten into a relationship in the first place. Throughout her relationship with Dean, she chose to cheat on him multiple times and instead of breaking things off when she realized she didn’t feel the same way about Dean as she once did, she still decided to string him along. 

While Rory was leading people on, Lorelai didn’t prove to be much better either. In her first relationship of the show with Rory’s English teacher, Max Medina, Lorelai seemed to have a healthy relationship with him. Until they didn’t. They were a happy couple until he proposed, which for Loreli, was a sign that they were moving too fast. As a result, instead of saying “no” and breaking it off, she decided to run away with Rory and deal with her problems later. This was toxic because it shows how she was leading Max on and also presents how, due to her avoidant personality, she would avoid conflict in future relationships to not see the results of her actions.

Later in the seasons, Luke, who is one of Loreli’s closest friends, eventually begins dating a lawyer named Rachel; however, Loreli wasn’t very happy with this even though she had shown no interest beforehand in having a relationship with Luke. Later, when Rachel and Luke get married, she openly showed disdain toward this new relationship instead of being happy for her friend. When Rachel and Luke begin to try to rekindle their relationship after nearly getting a divorce and trying to fix their broken relationship, Lorelai shows nothing but contempt towards the situation. This behavior exemplifies how Lorelai was very self-centered and thought the world revolved around her and her daughter. However, when someone new came into the picture, she realized that Luke would no longer be able to give her his undivided attention and got jealous of that.

During all her relationships, Lorelei had a problem with commitment and was being avoidant. For example, when Luke was finally beginning to become happy, she got jealous and created problems within the relationship between Luke and his girlfriend to break them up, and when she eventually did realize her feelings for Luke, it was already too late. However, she was willing to break-up a relationship just to get what she wanted.  x

Although Rory and Loreli couldn’t have been a better fit for each other, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they were good for other people. They were both problematic partners and cheated, as well as gaslit their partners into thinking they were loyal; they were self-centered and believed that they were the “center of attention” at all times, which eventually led to the breaking of all their relationships. Although this TV show may show the “ideal” mother-daughter relationship, that does not mean that it shows the “ideal” way to treat a partner in a relationship.


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