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Jared Padalecki might be best known for his role on Supernatural, but before taking on the part, he played Dean Forrester on Gilmore Girls. As Rory’s first boyfriend, Dean was supposed to be the embodiment of the “perfect” first love. As the years moved forward, though, Dean’s character developed into kind of a jerk, and his worst moment was likely cheating on his wife, Lindsay, with his first love, Rory Gilmore. While many people believe the affair is what undid the marriage, it’s likely that the union would have ended regardless, and this is the reason why.

Lindsay and Dean’s relationship was doomed from the start

Dean and Lindsay decide to get married right around the time they graduate from Stars Hollow High School. The young couple got engaged before they graduate, and appear to tie the knot while Rory is in her first year of college at Yale. It’s safe to say that both Lindsay and Dean are no older than 18 when they get married in the town square. That’s ridiculously young, and young marriages generally don’t do well long-term.

The success of teenage marriages is a hotly debated topic, but data has suggested these relationships are not built to last and are often considered “starter marriages.” According to The New York Times, 48% of people who marry before the age of 18 are likely to divorce within 10 years of exchanging vows. The likelihood of divorce drops to 28% for those who wait until they are at least 25 when they wed. Further complicating the situation for Dean and Lindsay is the fact that they barely know each other when they set up a home together.

Dean and Lindsay barely knew each other when they got married

Fans never get to know Lindsay. In fact, she appears in just nine episodes of Gilmore Girls, and there is a good reason for that; she and Dean barely knew each other when they got married. Let’s look at the timeline. Dean and Rory break up for the second time at the 24-hour dance marathon. The competition takes place just as Rory is beginning her senior year at Chilton. Dean would have just begun his senior year at Stars Hollow High School.

The first time we see Dean and Lindsay together is during the hockey game, in which Stars Hollow High’s team is fighting for a state championship. A traditional high school hockey season takes place between November and February. Since the team is in the championship, it can be assumed the season is nearing its end. Lane doesn’t seem to know about the partnership, either, so we can assume it was pretty fresh.

The couple’s engagement seemingly happens around May of their senior year of high school. If Dean began dating Lindsay in December or January, the couple gets engaged less than six months after they started dating. That doesn’t bode well for a successful marriage for full-fledged adults, let alone a couple of teenagers.

Dean simply took an opportunity

Dean’s behavior wasn’t great In a lot of ways. Not only did he cheat on his wife, but he later fought with her for completely inconsequential reasons. While his poor behavior shouldn’t be excused, it’s important to remember that the 18-year-old boy simply took an opportunity to get together with someone he had pined after for years. It’s safe to say he was never over Rory, and he admitted as much to Luke on the night of his bachelor party. When the opportunity arose, Dean took it.

Rory was also wrong in this situation, and while Lorelai claimed her daughter didn’t “break up a marriage” to Lindsay’s mother, we think everyone knows the truth. Rory, seeing Dean move on, became instantly jealous and took a shot at getting Dean back. She may not have been the sole reason the marriage ended, but she absolutely played a pivotal role in its unraveling. It all seemingly worked out in the end. Dean made an appearance in A Year in the Life and is apparently happily married to someone other than Lindsay.