It’s a question that has plagued Gilmore Girls-lovers since the beginning of time (also known as the early 2000’s): who should Rory Gilmore end up with? T
here’s the charming, reliable, but also insanely jealous Dean. Then came romantic, yet completely insufferable Jess Mariano (who is maybe kind of her cousin). And who can forget Logan, who’s wonderfully smart and witty but also completely entitled. None of these guys are perfect… and none of them are perfect for Rory.
Just to be clear, they’re not unfit for Rory because they’re imperfect. We’ve seen throughout the series why these relationships didn’t work. What I don’t understand is why fans of the series think that any of these relationships actually have to work. Rory’s had a pretty freaking spectacular life without any boys in the mix.
[SPOILERS AHEAD! But really, the original run ended in 2007, so you should probably know this already.]
She was the valedictorian of her high school class, and the class vice president (even if that title was more thrust upon her than accepted with grace). She was accepted to every Ivy-League school she applied to. She becomes the editor of the Yale Daily News. She works on the Obama campaign after graduation. I’d say that’s a pretty full life, guy or no guy.
“Rory deserves love!” The fans scream at me, and of course she does, and she has love. She has her mother, and Luke. She has Paris and Lane. She has her grandparents, Sookie and Jackson, and the entire town of Stars Hollow. Rory Gilmore will not be lacking in the love department. Rory has never expressed a need for a man to make her life complete, and it’s pretty clear that that’s intentional: she doesn’t need or necessarily even want another person to make her life full or complete.
Lorelai has expressed her desire for a husband, or a life partner. She tells Luke that she wants “the whole package” and that she sometimes wishes she was married. “I wish I had a partner, someone to pick up the slack, someone to wait for the cable guy. Someone to make me coffee in the morning.”
Rory never expresses this desire in the same way, and it’s not a fault on either of their parts– it’s just one of the ways that they differ. Lorelai and Rory are both incredibly strong, dynamic women, and they are also incredibly different women, which is part of their charm as a duo. Lorelai is looking to share her life with someone and Rory isn’t. It’s also important to remember that Lorelai’s life is starting to settle while Rory’s is just getting started. Yes, Lorelai has just opened her inn when she and Luke get together, but that’s after years of running the Independence Inn, so while The Dragonfly is an incredibly exciting venture, Lorelai is simply in a better place in her life to focus on love.
Rory, meanwhile, is following a politician as he campaigns across the country. Definitely not the ideal situation for a long term relationship, with any of the guys she’s previously dated or anyone new. Rory is following her first-first love: journalism. Her pursuit of this love doesn’t leave much room for the pursuit of a love like her mother has with Luke, and I admire her all the more for doing what she wants to do when it would have been easy to fall back on love and leave her dreams behind.
When we catch up with her in “A Year in The Life,” she is equally adrift; not attached to any place or any job. So why be attached to any person? Although her tryst with Logan and her brief moments with Jess left many fans yearning for more, I couldn’t help but feel proud of Rory. She wants more than being Logan’s side-piece and she’s not letting a hard time in her life let her fall back on her familiar love with Jess.
So as much as my heart swells when Dean builds Rory a car, when Jess “looks it up” and when Rory and Logan have their Titanic moment, I’m not Team Dean, Jess, or Logan. I am 100% Team Rory.