Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rory Gilmore's Love Life

This is just a way for me to fully address this post by Forever Young Adult. And this one by Hello Giggles. My good friend M, who writes Teenagers are Ridiculous, sent me those links and said "Let's discuss".

After (no joke) a dozen facebook comments in five minutes, I realized I needed to blog about this. First I made a t-shirt stating that fact, and then I came over here.

I wasn't kidding. 
Here's how I see Rory Gilmore's Love Life.

Dean Forrester: Season 1 - Early Season 3, then a fling in Early Season 5

- He's cute (given the time, the small town-ness, and the abs he grows into eventually).

- He seems to really love Rory, right from the beginning.
- He is sweet and Lorelai likes him.

- He respects Rory

- He makes stuff for Rory (more on this in a minute)

- Rory forgets him very, very easily. The minute Jess is in the picture, she forgets that Dean is standing right next to her. There's obviously not any real chemistry there if anything shiny and new distracts from his presence.

- He's a little on the stalker-y side. Okay, not a little. A lot. When they first start dating, Dean admits "I watch you." and then describes a very detailed account of what Rory does and what books she's been reading. (I've been married for nine years, my husband does not know what book I'm currently reading)

- He becomes possessive on their first real date. At Rory's school dance, he gets all territorial when Tristan speaks to Rory. Honestly, he might as well piss on her.

- The territorial jealousy gets worse and worse as the years go by. He punches Tristan, he punches Jess who is currently dating Rory, even though Dean is currently dating Lindsey. Seriously, he fights for his ex-girlfriend's honor in front of his current girlfriend. He gets all nostril-flaring angry whenever he see Rory talking to someone who isn't 1) Lorelai 2) Lane 3) him.

- He's a dummy. He doesn't like to read. He doesn't do well in school. He can barely get into a state school and then drops out almost immediately. He's just a big goofy meathead. Which is fine for some girls, but not for bookworm, aspires-to-be-a-political-journalist Rory.

- His life vision is totally out of whack with hers. He wants a housewife and a white picket fence. She wants none of those things. Sure, she plays dress up to please him in this department, but that's a big red flag all on its own.

- He is a relationship MESS. He marries a girl whom he doesn't love. Then, surprise! he cheats on her. And then does it again and again. Then he verbally abuses his wife and deliberately destroys his marriage. All bad signs. Hey, Rory, here's a hint: You don't want a guy like that.

- He makes her a freaking car. Most people put this in the "win" column, but I just can't. They'd been dating for three months at this point. I don't know how long it takes to build a car, but I'm betting that he was thinking "This relationship is forever" after... what?... a couple of weeks? Maybe before their first real date. YIKES.

To sum up: stalks her before they meet, plans on being with her forever from before they are a couple, becomes instantly territorial and jealous, doesn't like the same things as her,  doesn't notice and/or care that they want totally different things out of life. But, hey, he's handsome. So he has that going for him.
Jess Mariano: Technically only Season 3. But the tensions starts in Season 2 and resurfaces every time he does.
- He's cute

- He's smart

- He's well-read (something that is far more important to Rory Gilmore than it would be to a lot of people)

- He's quirky. He gets her sense of humor and music and movies without having to try.

- He's an introvert (also much more important to Rory than most)

- Rory and Jess click.

- When he does get his head on straight, he comes back to her and asks her forgiveness. When she says no, he leaves. He respects her wishes, no matter how much it hurts him.

- He's the one who convinced her to go back to Yale. Yes, Lorelai said her piece, but that didn't budge Rory. Jess is the one who called her on her BS and convinced her to go back to Yale.

- In the early years, he smokes. They don't show this later, so I assume it's a youthful "I desperately need attention" thing.

- He is an angry young man. Here's where things get dicey for Jess. He is angry. He's been abandoned by his father and ignored by his mother. The more he acts out, the worse things get, and Liz eventually kicks him out. By the time we meet him, he is hurt and confused and incapable of properly handling himself.

That doesn't excuse his behavior, of course, but I also don't think he's nearly as bad as most people think he is. We spend so much time in Lorelai's perspective, I think it colors everybody's opinion.

Jess never forces himself on Rory. He makes a move with his serious girlfriend a few days after she basically said she wanted to have sex soon. When she says no, he backs off. Yes, he's a jerk about it, but that's not really about the sex, it's about his personal problems and we all know it.

- He leaves without saying goodbye. Twice. Rory forgave him for the first one (and chased him to New York, by the way), so we all should too. That still leaves the second one, and that's bad.

To sum up, he's an angry kid who takes longer than most to get his head screwed on straight. Once he does, he's golden.

Logan Huntzberger: Mid-Season 5 - Season 7

- He's handsome (she's old enough by this time to not be looking for "cute")

- He's fun

- He's rich

- He's connected and can help Rory be connected too

- He's popular

- He's exciting. He shows Rory the LDB and helps her (literally) take a leap

(quick sidebar: some of those are the shallowest reasons ever to be with a person and I felt a little skeezy typing them out)

- He's immature. Even at 23, he still acts 16. He thinks it's hilarious and awesome that he got kicked out of prep schools, spends all night (literally) playing cards, interrupts Rory's classes, shows off his money, etc. The list of immaturity gets tiring.

- He's almost as territorial as Dean was, harassing Jess, despite the fact that he was anti-relationship when the whole thing started.

- He cheats on Rory. OR, if you buy into the whole "we were on a break" thing, then he left Rory's bed and jumped immediately into the beds of a half dozen other girls. Either way, this is a scumbag move. I agree with Rachel's handling of this situation over Rory's.

- He doesn't want to date Rory. So far as I can tell, he went along with it at first because it meant non-committal sex. He made it clear that he wanted no strings. The whole start of their relationship makes me a little nauseous because I feel like she has sex with him just to prove that she's no goody-two-shoes, which is one of the worst reasons to have sex with a guy, right behind "to settle a bet" and "he forced me to".

- He is the worst kind of influence. Under his tutelage, Rory goes from a two-beers-at-spring-break girl to a close-down-the-pub-every-night girl, drops out of Yale, commits a felony, moves into her grandparents' pool house, proudly proclaims herself "the greatest slacker of all", stops talking to her mother, and gives up on all her dreams entirely. I don't care what camp you're in: all of those are bad, bad, bad.

- He doesn't know Rory at all. He proposes in front of her grandparents and a hundred semi-strangers. He attempts to steal from her grandmother. He wants to move her to San Francisco where she will hike, and mountain bike, and grow an avocado tree. He coddles her and treats her like a trophy wife instead of the independent female she wants to be.

- He never admits to being wrong, he twists Rory's words around and gets her to agree to things that make her unhappy, he weasels out of every argument and disagreement.

To sum up, he's fun and exciting but really offers absolutely nothing else positive.

Marty: Never dates Rory but is around from the beginning of Season 4 to the end.
M actually suggested Marty as a should-have-been-a-boyfriend, and I thought I'd address that issue here. Since he isn't actually a boyfriend, there's less to go on. But it's an interesting idea.

- He's funny

- He has Rory's same sense of humor

- They click

- He is smart (he goes to Yale)

- He works for everything he has. He's a scholarship student that works three jobs to make ends meet. He understands Rory's life as the daughter of a struggling single mother in a way that most of their Yale colleagues cannot possibly comprehend.

- He's kind and treats her well

- Late in season 7, we see that he's still carrying a torch for her (more on this)


- He carries a torch for her. Some people think this is sweet, but it's only sweet if he's not dating other girls while he's still in love with Rory.

- He's background. He's not even an introvert, he's just uninteresting. Maybe this is the product of the writing, keeping him in the background, but it's true anyway.

- He lies to his girlfriend. And in a really, really weird way. He pretends to not know Rory and keeps the sham up for months. When confronted, they have to break up because of the dishonesty (of the creepiness, not sure)

- He's a doormat. He lets Logan treat him like dirt. He follows Rory around like a lapdog. He's just... blah.

To sum up, there's nothing really wrong with him, but there's just not enough to go on. Maybe had Rory not been dazzled by Logan the Magnificent (as he likes to call himself, I'm sure) this might have been different.

In  my headcanon, Rory comes back from her tour with Obama, gets a job in DC, which is not terribly far from Jess in Philadelphia. They date long distance for a very short time before Jess moves to DC to be with Rory. They never officially marry, but stay together for the rest of forever and are happy now that everybody has their head on straight.


  1. Awesome post!

    One of my biggest issues with Jess, besides all the ones you mentioned, was that in one episode after they'd just made their relationship official, Rory asked him if he'd do something with her (I think go to one of the Stars Hollow festivals), and he said no, because, "That was when I was trying to get you. I now have you. That means I don’t have to go anymore." Asshole. Jess was my least favorite out of these guys, although I did like him for his interactions with Luke.

    I liked Logan okay up until he slept with his sister's bridesmaids. I'm actually on Ross's side on Friends, but not here- they weren't on a break, they just had one fight!

    And I really liked Marty until he got kind of weird in the last season, lying to his girlfriend and everything. I wish they'd done more with his character.

  2. Sigh. I really hope that's how Rory and Jess ended up, too. Logan was okay but they never worked for me as a couple. And Dean was just boring! Jess all the way :)

  3. Rory and Jess are my fave and I love your fast forward. I hope that's true. Now, I want to go watch GG from start to finish!

    Also, your new house looks awesome!

  4. lol. I love your ending. :) And now I want to veg out and watch all my Gilmore Girls episodes in one sitting with tubs of ice cream. Maybe that snow day tomorrow will come and I can...

  5. Yes, yes. This was the ending my girlfriends and I concluded for Rory and her love life as well. Though, I like to think they do marry. And even have a kid or two. Jess was the right one. Logan was all wrong. Dean too.

  6. So, I agree with you about Jess pulling some real jerk moves. He's definitely got emotional issues, and he oscillates between hot and cold so fast it makes my head spin. And that's why I don't like him as Rory's equal until after he grows up quite a bit. But he does get his act together, and he does figure out how to be a compassionate human being.

    Logan is less irritating the first time around. The more I watch, though, the more I hate him. He forces his opinions and lifestyle on Rory, and I just can't get behind that. I think HE is actually the Bad Boy she's trying to reform, but fails (as so many girls do in these situations).

    And I had pretty much ignored Marty as anything other than a sympathy card, but my friend M brought it up, and I find the option of him intriguing and - just like you - wish they had done more with him.

  7. Dean WAS boring! And Logan is a typical college boyfriend: You know it's never going to work, but it's fun and exciting, so you stick it out until he moves to California.

  8. Thanks! We love being settled in :)

  9. I watch it whenever my kids are bad. They don't get to have kid tv or video games, so I watch "mommy tv". I know this will create a Pavlovian reflex in which they hate the sound of the Gilmore Girls theme, but I don't think they'll care ;)

  10. So, I picture them having kids, too. And then I think "Maybe Rory will get married, just so her mom can be at her wedding/grandma can plan the whole thing/etc" because she does a lot of things just so OTHER people can enjoy them. But then I think about how much Jess would hate that. And then I imagine them pulling a Pam/Jim and eloping immediately before the wedding-show so they have a ceremony that's all theirs, but everybody sees the big wedding...

    And then I remind myself that they are fictional characters and I need to calm the heck down.

  11. I remember screaming at the tv when the whole Rory/Dean affair happened. I was SO PISSED. I really like Jess, but also it annoys me that people overlook what a raging douchecanoe he was over and over again. Logan wasn't the worst, I guess. I mean, the cheating wasn't great, don't get me wrong, but sometimes he was sweet. All that said, obviously Marty would have been the way to go for Rory.

  12. I like your ending a lot. I just finished a Gilmore Girls season three rewatch, and the whole time I was just happy knowing that Jess will eventually get it together.

    And I always did like Marty (at least until that whole mess with his girlfriend whose name I can't think of.) and every time I see the episode where they go out for Chinese food with Logan and his crew, I get mad at Rory.

    Because I'm rational like that.

  13. I kind of hate the way Rory treats Marty, too. And I (rationally, of course) blame Logan. Pre-Logan-Rory would never have been so callous about another person's feelings. But she gets caught up in their Everyone-And-Everything-Is-Beneath-Us world that she starts to act that way too. I like that Marty kind of tells her off. She deserves it at that point.

  14. I think there's not enough evidence on Marty. But given the tidbits we have, I'd have to agree with you. I've overlooked him in the past, but there's merit there.

    I concede that Jess was a terrible kid. But he figures things out and gets his act together and becomes exactly who Rory needs. And I really like second chances.

  15. And, yes, I was so pissed about the Dean thing too. Especially since she saw it coming from about fourteen miles away and thought it was a bad idea to begin with. Talk about letting your genitals make your decisions for you. Sheesh.

    And I realize that my headcanon makes Lorelai the step-aunt-in-law of her daughter, but I don't care.

  16. oh wow. OH WOW. I'm so glad I read this post. hahaha made my entire night. I was always team Jess, but bad boys are MY thing I suppose, so it's a selfish wish ;)