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'Gilmore Girls': Was Luke Danes Actually Afraid of Commitment?

Gilmore Girls fans mostly agree that Luke Danes was “one of the good ones.” Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show’s creator, designed it that way. In fact, Luke was called “one of the good ones” by Lorelai Gilmore and his sister Liz more than once. When you look at it carefully, though, Luke had some pretty bad habits. Not only was he a bit controlling and often acted superior, but if you examine his romantic relationships, it’s safe to say he was afraid of commitment. 

Luke wanted Rachel to come back, but pushed her away once she did show back up

In season 1 of the show, Luke’s long-term girlfriend, Rachel, returned to Stars Hollow from a photojournalism assignment. She was prepared to settle down with Luke. Presumably, that’s exactly what Luke had wanted all along. At the very least, that’s what everyone in the town thought, but eventually, Rachel left again. While some may argue that she left because Luke appeared to be into Lorelai, there is another explanation. 

Luke could have committed to his new relationship and doubled down on wanting to be with Rachel. The option was right in front of him. Instead, he avoided her and acted aloof until she seemed to get the hint that she wasn’t wanted. If it was really about Lorelai, he could have gone after her then. But he didn’t. Maybe the demise of his relationship with Rachel wasn’t about Lorelai after all. 

Luke’s marriage to Nicole went the same route 

After Rachel, Luke was single for awhile until he met Nicole. Nicole was a lawyer who worked for a firm that represented Taylor Doose. The relationship seemed casual at first but culminated in the pair getting married while away on a trip together. Once they got an apartment together, things really took a turn. 

Luke never actually seemed to stay in the apartment and preferred to stay in Stars Hollow. Eventually, Nicole cheated on Luke, but Luke’s treatment of Nicole didn’t indicate he wanted to be with her anyway. Once again, he acted cold and aloof until the woman in his life walked out on him. 

Luke pushed Lorelai away, too

Fans largely believe that Luke’s previous relationships didn’t work because he always had eyes for Lorelai, but if that were the case, why did he push her away, not once but twice? In season 5, Luke ended his relationship with Lorelai because of Christopher Hayden’s presence at Emily Gilmore and Richard Gilmore’s wedding. He told Lorelai he couldn’t deal with her family’s intense scrutiny.

In Season 6, after they had gotten back together and engaged, he postponed the wedding date when his daughter, April Nardini materialized. The postponement was understandable, but his behavior toward Lorelai in the months that followed was cold, harsh, and disconnected. Was Luke really worried about April, or did he just get cold feet? Luke critics would argue it was the latter. 

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