‘Gilmore Girls’: Did You Ever Notice How Rarely The Words “I Love You” are spoken?

Gilmore Girls key focus may have been on Rory Gilmore and Lorelai Gilmore and the unique mother-daughter relationship they developed, but over the years, both leading ladies had more than a few romantic partners. Lorelai dated several men, nearly married or married three of them, and Rory had three significant love affairs during the show’s seven-season run. There was one thing notably missing from several of those relationships, though. Lorelai and Rory rarely told their romantic partners they loved them.  Amy Sherman-Palladino once explained that she had a reason for avoiding the words.

Did Lorelai ever tell anyone she loved them?  

Lorelai had several serious relationships during Gilmore Girls, but fans note she only told a man she loved him a few times during the series. During her entire relationship with Max Medina, she never utters the words to him. In all fairness, he didn’t say it, either, although it is implied that he, at the very least, loves Lorelai.

When Lorelai got involved with Jason Stiles, it’s pretty obvious she has a deep connection with him. The pair, both quirky in their own ways, made a lot of sense, but neither managed to say “I love you” before they broke up. The duo was together for five months, and Jason even gave Lorelai his keys, but neither suggested they were in love with one another.

Luke Danes was Lorelai’s most significant relationship, but the phrase is only uttered twice during their courtship. In one instance, Luke reminded Lorelai that he loved her and was going to marry her when they vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard with Rory and Logan. Lorelai later used their love as a reason they should elope.

The phrase was used far more heavily in the show’s final season. Lorelai told Christopher Hayden she loved him in at least three separate episodes. As fans may remember, Sherman-Palladino did not pen the show’s last season, which may explain the uptick in the use of the phrase.

Rory confessed her love more often than her mother

Rory was also wary of using the word “love,” at first, but eventually, she got the hang of it. During her first relationship with Dean Forrester, Rory ran off when he told her he loved her after three months of dating. Her reaction resulted in the couple’s very first breakup. It didn’t take long for Rory to muster up the courage to say it back to Dean, and they were happy until Jess came along.

Rory never told Jess Mariano she loved him, at least not in a romantic moment. Instead, she told him that she thought she loved him when he called shortly after her high school graduation. He reciprocated when he ran into her in Stars managed to get it right.  

Rory told Logan Huntzberger she loved him, but, once again, it’s not a big romantic moment with the other person saying it back. Instead, Logan explains that he had told several women he loved them without ever meaning it, and he didn’t want to do the same to Rory. She lets it go, and Logan only managed to say it while trying to win Rory back.  

Amy Sherman-Palladino explained the absence of “I love you” in Gilmore Girls

Sherman-Palladino penned the first six seasons of the famed series, and she was especially careful to keep the number of professions of love to a minimum. Sherman-Palladino told TV Guide that she purposefully avoided using the words because it felt a bit disingenuous. She said, “…”I love you,” for me, is a tricky phrase on television because I think it’s way overused, as it is in life.”

Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore | Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA

She pointed to one of her favorite shows as proof that the words don’t need to be uttered for fans to understand that two characters love each other. She said that in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel didn’t say the words every episode, but fans simply knew that the feelings were there. She tried to capture the same feeling in her series, noting that everyone knew Luke and Lorelai loved each other, they didn’t need to verbalize it every episode for it to be known.