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Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham in gilmore girls
Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham in gilmore girls
Saeed Adyani/Netflix
Culture > Entertainment

5 Relationship Red Flags as Portrayed in ‘Gilmore Girls’

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

It’s that time of year again when the leaves begin to fall, the weather gets cozy, and everyone turns to Gilmore Girls. Although Rory’s character pursues some questionable development, viewers tune in to watch Rory, and her mother, Lorelai Gilmore, experience life and love in Stars Hollow. 

Watching these two strong characters undergo hardships, such as relationship troubles and even a few infidelities, made me realize just how hard it can be to spot troublesome behaviour from the ones we love. 

So let’s talk about it. Here are five relationship red flags to look out for, told through the lives of Rory and Lorelai Gilmore.

Reg Flag #1: The clingy and controlling cliche 

Starting strong with Rory’s relationships, we have Rory’s first boyfriend, Dean Forester.

He begins as the dreamy high school boyfriend, but that does not last long.

In season two, Lorelai goes away for a spa weekend, meaning Rory has the house to herself. Rather than Dean supporting Rory’s plans of doing laundry, eating takeout – the kind her mother doesn’t like – and turning in for an early Friday night, he is confused as to why her plans do not involve him.

Even though he would be spending the entire following day with Rory, he reacts this way.

Clinginess can be manageable however being socially controlled and suffocated is where the line needs to be drawn.

Reg Flag #2: Do they or don’t they like me?

After Dean, Rory goes on to date Jess Mariano. 

Their connection is undeniable, but Jess, being the mysterious bad boy in town, makes everyone question how much mystery is too much.

They go through a rough patch in season three when he avoids calling her for an entire weekend and when he moves to another city without telling her. 

So where is the emotional security? She is ultimately left confused about his feelings toward her and the status of their relationship, and no one deserves that. 

Red Flag #3: “We were on a break”

In season six, Rory develops a relationship with Logan Huntzberger. 

Following a brief period apart, which was fixed with bouquets of flowers and promises of commitment from Logan, Rory attends Logan’s sister’s wedding. 

It is at this wedding Rory finds out Logan was casually seeing many of his sister’s friends while they were broken up. 

Rory confronts him, and he manages to defer the blame as he explains they were technically not together at the time it happened. He lightly gaslights Rory and projects that her feelings are invalid because of the situation, which should never be the case. 

Red Flag #4: Secrets, secrets and more secrets  

Branching into Lorelai’s relationships, she most knowingly dates Luke Danes. 

Their relationship takes a turn in season six as Luke finds out he has a daughter, April Nardini, and he keeps her a secret from Lorelai. 

Not communicating something of this significance with your partner can be very hurtful and can feel like a betrayal when the news finally comes out. To make matters worse, Lorelai finds out about Luke’s daughter from someone else, not Luke. 

Red Flag #5: Letting immaturity stand in the way

Lorelai’s other prominent love interest is Christopher Hayden, Rory’s father.

Even though the two are married in season seven, he still seems to behave like an immature teen. 

Even when Lorelai’s father, Richard Gilmore, is in the hospital after suffering a heart attack, Christopher fails to show up for Lorelai and support her because they fought the night before. 

Allowing jealousy and rage to come between himself and his family during this difficult time might have been the worst thing he, or anyone else, could have done.

📚 Related: How to Succeed in School – The Rory Gilmore Method
Rachel Aversa

Toronto MU '23

Rachel is a 4th-year journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University. When she isn't studying, she enjoys baking cookies, reading romantic (and cheesy) novels, and listening to Harry Styles.