Skip to main content

Gilmore Girls fans have spent the nearly 15 years since the series finale debating the merits of each storyline. Dean Forrester’s marriage to high school sweetheart, Lindsay Lister, is heavily discussed. Fans have largely disagreed about who to blame for Dean’s affair with Rory Gilmore, but most seem to agree that Dean and Lindsay’s marriage was doomed to fail, regardless. Is that true, though? 

‘Gilmore Girls’ fans largely agree that Dean and Lindsay were doomed to fail 

Dean Forrester and Rory Gilmore’s affair is one of the most hated storylines of the entire series. Gilmore Girls fans have spent years debating the affair and the merits of Dean’s marriage. Most fans agree that the couple was doomed from the start, regardless of Rory’s involvement. 

One Reddit user argues that the couple were simply “playing house” and didn’t truly understand what they were getting into when they married shortly after high school graduation. Fans argue that the couple’s relationship was likely to end in divorce long before Rory became an issue. After all, they barely knew each other when they tied the knot, and they were under 20. Both factors make divorce more common in the real world.

Lindsay Lister and Dean Forrester made a good pair on paper 

While there is evidence to suggest Dean and Lindsay’s marriage would have been troubled regardless of what happened, there is evidence to support the opposite. You could argue that Lindsay and Dean were a great match, at least on paper. 

Dean Forrester and Rory Gilmore remeet in Stars Hollow as adults.
Jared Padalecki and Alexis Bledel in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Neil Jacobs/Netflix

Dean and Lindsay, entering their marriage, appeared to want the same things. In season 1, Dean was vocal about his interest in having a traditional family setup. He wished to be the breadwinner who had a wife that stayed home. Lindsay, from the little Gilmore Girls fans saw of her, was interested in fulfilling the role of a traditional homemaker. The pair were also well-suited when you look at their long-term goals. Neither seemed interested in life outside of Stars Hollow. They were evenly matched when it came to education and their early family lives, too.  

Dean and Lindsay would have been fine if it weren’t for Rory Gilmore 

Dean was an active participant in his affair with Rory. In fact, Dean is the most at fault for the affair. He is the one who pursued Rory and was easily angered when he thought she might still have an interest in Jess Mariano. With all that said, Dean and Lindsay’s marriage would have likely been fine, at the moment, if Rory had never called Dean to come and rescue her from a bar in New Haven in season 4. 


‘Gilmore Girls’ Theory: Anna Nardini Was Supposed to Be Luke Danes’ Love Interest

Hear me out. Dean married Lindsay because Rory was no longer available and interested in him. When he thought Rory had no romantic interest in him, he appeared reasonably happy with Lindsay. Once he realized Rory seemed interested in rekindling things, he suddenly seemed unhappy. You could argue that Dean’s interest in Rory was the core issue in his marriage, not some incompatibility with Lindsay. So, if it weren’t for Rory, they likely wouldn’t have divorced, at least not when they did.