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The Enneagram is subtle and complex. It’s common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, but the more you dive into each, the more one of them stands out in particular as being closest to yourself.
I will say, people who live in Nashville particularly are a little sick of hearing about it. But there’s a reason it’s so popular. The Enneagram is so much more than a basic personality test. There are tests and quizzes to help you identify your primary Enneagram type, but that’s just the first step. It’s meant to help you over a life-long journey.
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Western Seminary professor Chuck DeGroat says: “[The Enneagram] takes sin far more seriously than any contemporary physiological tool.” It is one that affirms our brokenness, encourages self-awareness, and helps us see each other more clearly. You can look at the nine choices less as types and more as pathways to transformation.
The Enneagram is an ancient tool that has roots in several wisdom traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It was not until the late 1960s however that Oscar Ichazo began teaching the Enneagram as we know it today. From Ichazo’s school in South America, a group of Jesuits learned the system and brought it back with them to the United States.
The Enneagram gained popularity as a tool within spiritual direction. Today it is widely taught as a way of understanding personality, addiction, and relationships.
It is a “dynamic system” recognizing that humans are far too complex and nuanced to fit easily into simple categories. It supports the full human journey as it evolves and matures. It’s most helpful when used in conjunction with other practices like study, meditation, spiritual direction, and life in community with others. And while self-discovery is important, it isn’t the Enneagram’s final objective.
I could go on and on, but here are some podcasts I highly recommend that dive into all of the aspects of The Enneagram:
Ryan O’Neal (who is Sleeping At Last) is doing an “Atlas” series where he’s releasing a song for every EnneaType. (The most recent release is Atlas: Four. His podcast dives into his writing process and all of the intricate details he includes in the instrumentation and production of each song.
The Liturgists Podcast is one of my favorite podcasts out there just in general (particularly the more recent episodes with new hosts Hillary McBride and William Matthews). In this particular episode they do a good overview of each type and it features Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile.
Typology is perhaps my favorite Enneagram specific podcast. Ian Cron hosts a myriad of really interesting guests who discuss the patterns of their personality, their struggles, and their childhoods.
I love shows with acute senses of humor, intriguing direction and absorbing plots and stories. However, perhaps my favorite aspect of the shows I love most is simply the characters themselves and their respective relationship dynamics.
The Enneagram has been so helpful in understanding myself, my healthy and unhealthy tendencies, and the way I relate to others. So, I will be doing a series of applying the Enneagram to my favorite TV shows by typing some of the most important characters and looking at their most crucial and shaping relationships.
First up is a show I’ve loved for over 10 years (and have probably watched in its entirety well over ten times…)
First we’ll be looking at some of the main characters, what type they are and how that affects their role in the show, and then we’ll examine some of their most interesting and important relationships.
We’ll start with one of the most unpopular characters on the show…
Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs.
Oh, Dean. He started out so sweet, then became so annoying and possessive, then a total douche, then finally just a sad little person.
Let’s talk about Dean at his best where he really displayed the best aspects of a healthy Two: Dean was such a sweet and giving first boyfriend for Rory. He was dependable, respectful, he helped around the Gilmore house, and he literally built Rory a car. Even in later seasons you saw (some of) these great qualities. For example, in “The Incredible Sinking Lorelais” (Season 4, Ep 14) he offers a strong shoulder to lean on and kind words of sincere affirmation.
But when Dean’s character started changing in Season 2 (due to Jess’s arrival and his insecurity about himself and his relationship with Rory) we saw this:
When moving in their Direction of Disintegration (stress), needy Twos suddenly become aggressive and dominating.
When he cheats on his wife with Rory at the end of Season 4 he becomes aggressive and blaming. After he and Rory try to rekindle their relationship in the beginning of Season 5, which only seems to happen because of Lindsey (Dean’s wife) leaving him and Rory seeking comfort and the familiar, his character leaves the show as the unhealthiest level version of a Two. He becomes bitterly resentful and angry.
At a Two’s unhealthiest, they are manipulative and self-serving, able to excuse and rationalize what they do since they feel abused and victimized by others and are bitterly resentful and angry. At their best, they are empathetic, compassionate, caring and concerned about their needs. Thoughtful, warm-hearted, forgiving and sincere.
Unfortunately, Dean was an unhealthy Two for most of the show.
Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity.
Oh, Jess. He was so cute and mysterious but such an asshole most of the time.
Fours see themselves as fundamentally different from others and believe they are exempt from the ways others live their lives. Jess lives into these aspects of a Four to a fault. He lives without thought of consequence, and doesn’t allow anyone to really get to know him – because deep down he believes he’s fundamentally defective.
Fours test people’s loyalty by pulling them too close and then pushing them away. They believe they are a soul that is destined for abandonment. We see this a lot in his relationship with Rory. They feel that they are unlike other human beings, and consequently, that no one can understand them or love them adequately.
Jess believes this about everyone except Rory, which leads him to be either all in or all out with her. He puts way too much pressure on Rory to be his “savior” which leads to this constant pushing and pulling, and ultimately to that horrible #MeToo moment in “Keg! Max!” (Season 3, Ep 19).
However, we see him begin to make strides toward being a healthy Four in “Last Week Fights, This Week Tights” (Season 4, Ep 21) when he walks his mom down the aisle and thanks Luke for everything he’s done for him. We see this even more in “Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out” (Season 6, Ep 8) when he knocks some sense into Rory and encourages her to return to Yale.
At their unhealthiest, Fours become self-inhibiting and angry at self, depressed and alienated from self and others, blocked and emotionally paralyzed. Blaming others, they drive away anyone who tries to help them. At their best, they are able to express the personal and the universal, possibly in a work of art. They are self-aware, introspective, sensitive and intuitive both to self and others: gentle, tactful, compassionate.
Unfortunately we see Jess as a very unhealthy Four for most of his stint on the show. However, we do get to see his moves toward improvement which make us hopeful for how he ultimately turned out.
Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness.
So this is interesting – Logan and Christopher are the same Enneagram type and are often seen as complementary characters, especially in relation to Lorelai and Rory and their perspective romantic relationships with these two men.
It’s interesting that Chris is a Three because for most of his life, he seems to have been a bit of a slacker and screw up. I’ve always felt like Chris had a misplaced sense of ambition. He’s always been a bit of a product of wasted potential. He means well – most of the time – but to me he’s the classic f**** boy. Charming and attractive but ultimately immature, selfish and rebellious against his own potential. Whereas Logan seems to rise above the pressure instilled in him from his father, Chris seems to wallow in it for most of his life.
At their unhealthiest, Threes can be untrustworthy, betraying or sabotaging people to triumph over them, attempting to ruin others’ happiness. They can be relentless, and obsessive about destroying whatever reminds them of their own shortcomings and failures. At their best, they are adaptable, desirable, ambitious to improve themselves, and highly effective: others are motivated to be like them in some positive way.
Chris had his moments and his chemistry with Lorelai sometimes made you wish they could’ve made it work, but we see him as mostly an unhealthy Three throughout the show.
Fives are alert, insightful, and curious. They are able to concentrate and focus on developing complex ideas and skills. Independent, innovative, and inventive, they can also become preoccupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They become detached, yet high-strung and intense. They typically have problems with eccentricity, nihilism, and isolation.
I was tempted at first to type Richard as a Three (The Achiever), but I think Richard is driven more by his thoughts and ideas in work than by giving a performance and achieving recognition for it. He seems to enjoy the quiet dignity of his work rather than the spectacle of it.
He loves to postulate, whether it’s a complex business idea or a silly topic Lorelai brings up at Friday night dinner.
A Five’s basic desire is to be capable and competent, which makes so much sense when we see him retire and hate it in Season 2, and when he notices that he’s being phased out in Season 6. A Type 5 moves to a Type 8 (The Challenger) in growth, and I think we see this when he becomes passionately loyal and protective of his family.
At their unhealthiest, Fives become reclusive and isolated from reality, eccentric and nihilistic. Highly unstable and fearful of aggressions: they reject and repulse others and all social attachments. At their best, they observe everything with extraordinary perceptiveness and insight. They are the most mentally alert, curious, searching intelligence, and are highly independent, idiosyncratic, and whimsical.
Richard is definitely a mix of his healthy and unhealthy self throughout the series, but for the most part, I believe he’s a good Five. I love this man!
Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. Eights feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. Eights typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable.
There’s another important character in this series that’s an Eight – can you guess who it is? You’ll find out l8r…
The basic fear of an Eight is being harmed and controlled by others. Which is so odd because Paris is so chill and passive, right? Lol. Paris is definitely one of my favorite characters. I love to see her intense, borderline crazy scenes paralleled by the rare moments where she’s vulnerable and exposed. We love to watch her great one-liners, and have memorialized them in a many a meme, but I’d like to highlight her scene in “The Big One” (Season 3, Ep 16). She delivers that amazingly comical speech about not getting into Harvard and then breaks down to Rory about feeling like such a failure.
This is a perfect illustration of an Eight – something she’s been working toward her entire life doesn’t happen and we see all the stages an Eight goes through when they lose control: anger, defiance, but then pure vulnerability.
At their unhealthiest, Eights become highly combative and intimidating to get their way: confrontational, belligerent, creating adversarial relationships. Everything a test of wills, and they will not back down. But at their best, they are self-assertive, self-confident, and strong: have learned to stand up for what they need and want. Decisive, authoritative, and commanding: the natural leader others look up to.
What’s so great about Paris is that we can often see her as a caricature. She’s a comical, almost cartoonish Eight. But the show surprises us with her moments of humanness and vulnerability and it’s the best.
While Logan certainly has his flaws, I would like to publicly affirm my place on Team Logan. If I loved Rory like Lorelai, I would probably say I was Team Rory and that none of them are good enough for her. But I think that even with Logan’s faults and Rory’s many faults, they make the best pair. I will argue this further in the relationship section.
ANYWAY. Logan. So charming and refreshingly joyful. He shows up on the scene in Season 5 (yes, as a bit cocky and condescending) but he’s self-assured and seems to genuinely enjoy life and the humor of it, unlike Dean or Jess. He’s a breath of fresh air.
Threes are motivated by their need to impress and distinguish themselves from others. They are often called “The Performer” in addition to “The Achiever”. When we first meet Logan he loves having friendly, competitive banter with Rory and we definitely see this performer side in “But Not as Cute as Pushkin” (Season 5, Ep 10) when he plays the public prank on Rory in the middle of one of her classes.
On a deeper note, we can see his need to be affirmed by others in the lack of affirmation he received from his distant mother and his bully of a dad. We see that he can become disengaged and apathetic when his business endeavors don’t go well (thus, his ambition and competency isn’t being affirmed).
At their unhealthiest, Threes can be exploitative and opportunistic, covetous of the success of others, and willing to do whatever it takes to preserve the illusion of their superiority. They can be devious and deceptive so that their mistakes and wrongdoings will not be exposed. At their best, they are self-assured, energetic, and competent with high self-esteem: they believe in themselves and their own value. Adaptable, desirable, charming, and gracious.
I think we definitely see Logan go back and forth in health, but ultimately I think he makes a significant arc in his character from later in Season 5 on.
The committed, security-oriented type. Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible, and trustworthy. Excellent “troubleshooters,” they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious—running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicion.
Luke Danes is by far the best man on Gilmore Girls, and he and Lorelai will forever be one of my favorite on-screen couples. Luke has the helpfulness and dependability of a Two, without the unhealthy need of reciprocation. He’s a problem solver, a caretaker, and has the kindest heart beneath his burly, flannel-wearing exterior.
However, when Sixes are unhealthy, they resist having more demands made on them and they react against others passive-aggressively. They can become evasive, indecisive, cautious, procrastinating, and ambivalent. Internal confusion makes them react unpredictably. We see this in their first break-up: Luke tells Lorelai he’s all in, but backs out when he’s overcome with self-doubt after Chris threatens their relationship in “Wedding Bell Blues” (Season 5, Ep 13). We see this again in their big break-up after postponing their wedding (because Luke has to compartmentalize his relationships with Lorelai and his newly introduced daughter) and ultimately when he “can’t jump like this” and elope with Lorelai.
At their unhealthiest, Sixes can become sarcastic and belligerent, blaming others for their problems. Highly reactive and defensive, they look for threats to their own security. At their best, they become self-affirming, trusting of self and others, and are able to elicit strong emotional responses from others: very appealing, endearing, lovable, affectionate.
We really only see unhealthy sides of Luke when his relationship with Lorelai is being threatened (particularly in the last half of Season 6). He’s mostly healthy and such a wonderful man.
Ones are conscientious and ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are teachers, crusaders, and advocates for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards, but can slip into being critical and perfectionistic. They typically have problems with resentment and impatience.
Rory’s arc as a character is a tough one but as I get older, I regrettably see it as a fairly realistic one.
Rory was born in 1984, which makes her – *gasp* – a millennial. And she is the product of the cliche perceptions of how a millennial child is seen to be raised and how they are supposed to turn out.
But, back to her Enneatype. Rory is organized and driven, but bears too much the burden of being perfect and being allegiant to her perception of what is “right” and “good”.
We see her need to improve and fix the people around her a lot in the series. In Season 2 she’s drawn to rescuing Jess. In Season 5 she’s drawn to rescuing her mother by telling Christopher not to contact Lorelai anymore. We see her desire to be good and perfect when she completely avoids the admittance of having an affair with Dean in Season 4 and 5.
One of the key motivations of a One is to be beyond criticism so as not to be condemned by anyone. We see this at the end of Season 5 into Season 6 during the so hard to watch (but debatably necessary) rift between Rory and Lorelai – which is perpetuated by Rory’s inability to deal with Mitchum’s criticism.
At their unhealthiest, Ones are too afraid of making a mistake. They can become impersonal, puritanical, emotionally constricted, judgmental, perfectionistic, intolerant, and inflexible. But at their best, they are wise, transcendentally realistic, humane, inspiring, and hopeful: the truth will be heard. They have a strong sense of responsibility, personal integrity, and of having a higher purpose often make them teachers and witnesses to the truth.
Rory’s arc as a character is an unfortunate one. We begin to see her slip into un-health in Season 5 and it continues throughout (we may even see it the most in the revival – see: Honestly, Rory Gilmore Sucks). I don’t hate Rory, but she’s not my favorite by a long shot.
Emily is arguably my favorite character. She was probably the easiest one for me to type (aside from Lorelai).
She is the quintessential 8: when you read that description, it couldn’t be more accurate.
My favorite thing about Eights is that they can be controlling, intimidating and domineering on the outside, but have some of the most sensitive and caring inner selves. They can be the last person you want be vulnerable around (and the last one that wants to be vulnerable around you) but as soon as it happens, it’s such a beautiful and necessary thing.
I love Kelly Bishop as an actress. She’s hilarious and such a caricature at times (like Paris) but her rare scenes when she lets us into her inner world are the most touching. We see this when Jason takes the party away from her in Season 4 and she opens up briefly to Lorelai abut feeling obsolete, and in Season 2 when she tells Lorelai to wear a tiara at her wedding because that’s what she wore.
At their unhealthiest, they defy any attempt to control them, become completely ruthless and dictatorial, and develop delusional ideas about their power, invincibility, and ability to prevail. But at their best, they protect the underdog and exude passion and strength for those who can’t muster it up for themselves.
Emily is definitely an unhealthy 8 most of the time, which can be frustrating and hilarious all at the same time, but the rare times we see her in health are incredible and moving.
Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming over-extended, scattered, and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness.
Sevens are some of my favorite people. They are outgoing, energetic, and such a blast. This is the person you want with you at a concert or a party (or at an all you can eat buffet).
Sevens constantly seek out new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go (she’s literally referred to as “the blur” in Season 5).
When emotions become overwhelming they tend to overextend themselves and downplay what’s really going on. They can also slip into shallowness and selfishness, which we see in Lorelai throughout the series (even though you can’t help being on her side 95% of the time).
The 7 goes to a 1 (The Reformer) in stress, which makes sense for when Lorelai becomes consumed with the Inn and becomes overly perfectionistic about everything. They go to 5 (The Investigator) in growth, becoming more grounded, and I believe that Luke and Rory (when she’s healthy) help her to move toward this growth.
At their unhealthiest, Sevens become desperate to assuage their anxieties, becoming overly impulsive and infantile. At their best, they assimilate experiences in depth, making them deeply grateful and appreciative for what they have, becoming awed by the simple wonders and joys of life.
We see Lorelai slip into selfishness, and it’s unhealthy to see how much she believes the world revolves around her and her daughter, but for the most part, she’s a healthy Seven. Lauren Graham brought such an effortless confidence, playful sense of humor, and heartbreakingly relatable emotion to this character.
K. Now we’ll take a look into some of the most interesting relationship dynamics on the show:
The One and Three combination can be dazzlingly accomplished, high energy, extraordinarily competent and impressive both individually and collectively. Sometimes they succeed so well that this pairing virtually glows with self-confidence and the thrill of their own talents. They strive to make each other proud of them, someone the other can look up to and show off to his or her friends and family.
When I read this pairing virtually glows I immediately think about Richard and Emily ogling over them as a brand new couple in “How Many Kropogs to Cape Cod?” (Season 5. Ep 20).
Rory and Logan are a stunning couple – and it’s not just about how they look. They bring out a certain confidence, energy, and drive in each other. Logan pushes Rory to be less risk averse and accepting of herself, and Rory keeps Logan more grounded and focused in his career, and just as a person in general. A lot of people that are not Team Logan argue that he’s privileged and a bit of a jerk, and that is partially true, particularly early on in his character’s arc. However, when he comes on the scene, Rory is beginning to enter her character’s entitlement arc anyway…
Ones can see Threes as tending to cut corners in ethical matters, willing to exaggerate or fudge the truth in order to achieve whatever they are after. Ones may also have issues with Threes attempting to reinterpret ethical questions and with not owning up to their personal behavior, including their behavior regarding fidelity in the relationship itself.
Threes tend to find Ones too rigid and judgmental in their attitudes and inflexible in various areas. While Threes generally value Ones’ organizational ability and ability get things done, Threes can also feel that Ones are too narrow-minded and methodical, too perfectionistic and focused on details rather than results.
The trouble spots could not be more accurate. Logan is amused by Rory’s crazy attention to detail in “Come Home” (Season 5, Ep 12), and points out her need for adventure in “You Jump I Jump Jack” (Season 5, Ep 7) Logan and Rory have a Ross and Rachel “we were on a break moment”, wherein Logan thinks they’re broken up and sleeps with not one, but three of his sister’s friends. Yikes. He’s able to explain his way out of it and they’re back together within the same day (although it eventually takes a life-threatening accident for Rory to truly forgive him).
I’m a big fan of Logan at the end of Season 6 and for most of Season 7. He matures a lot and is supportive of Rory while also challenging her. Ultimately though, Rory turns down his proposal in favor of focusing on her career. Part of me wanted them to end up together, but I was glad that they didn’t end up happily ever after, all tied up with a bow. I think it was more realistic.
Twos bring the nurturing and feelings that Ones do not easily allow themselves: they help Ones soften and relax. On the other hand, Ones bring integrity, conscientiousness, responsibility, and consistency. Ones commit strongly which makes the Two feel secure and that they won’t be abandoned. Twos are more convivial and welcoming than Ones and can warm up the One’s more typically reserved exterior—which most Ones are glad to have happen.
What’s special about Dean and Rory is that they’re each other’s first love. At the beginning especially they are committed and loyal to each other. Rory introduces Dean to new things, mostly intellectual and cultural, whereas Dean makes Rory feel loved and safe.
Ones feel that life is serious business and that work must always come before play; the lower impulses of the self must be held tightly in check. Twos feel that they must take care of everyone else’s needs before they are allowed to have needs themselves. Life is about serving others and making themselves useful to so that others will need them and want them in their lives. Both Ones and Twos, therefore, find it difficult to talk about what they are actually feeling, what is actually going on in the relationship, and what they actually want.
Most of the positives of their relationship happen early on. The first sentence of these cons makes me think about Rory and Dean’s fight in “Hammers and Veils” (Season 2, Ep 2) – this is our first hint that Rory and Dean won’t last because, frankly, she’s going places and he’s not. Rory wants to spend the summer focusing on building her resume whereas Dean wants her to watch him play softball lol.
We see Dean cling too hard when he gets the feeling that he’s going to lose her to Jess. He serves her, but not altruistically. It comes from a place of insecurity and fear of abandonment. When they get back together for the last time in Season 5, we see that they simply aren’t meant for each other. They don’t bring out each other’s best, and they leave each other feeling unfulfilled and insecure.
This is a highly complementary pair: both types are self-assertive, have high energy, and are outgoing and capable of being around people with relative ease. They are persuasive and articulate, often lively and attractive, making them sought after company. Both have a youthful orientation such that they feed off of each other’s energy: no other couple is as vivacious or gregarious as the Three/Seven couple. This is probably the highest energy combination of types and they wholeheartedly engage in lots of activities, plans and projects, with the emphasis on attaining the good life. Sevens can be spontaneous in ways that are helpful to more self-conscious Threes.
Lorelai and Chris’s chemistry is so palpable. It’s such a different chemistry than the kind she has with Luke. The part about this pair wanting to attain the good life makes me think that the idea of them being together was always too idealistic to be realistic and to ultimately feel right. When they’re together it’s almost like they revert back to their teenage selves.
They have a blast together – they love drinking and getting in to trouble. There are moments in the show where they make you root for them.
This is also an extremely volatile couple: there is almost too much electricity under one roof. A Three/Seven pair always looks like a great couple, but this can also mean having to live up their own hype. They can be exhausting to keep up with and their mutual qualities make it difficult to admit to or look at problems. Both types seem light-hearted, and unconcerned; yet, in their high-energy routines they often hurt each others without realizing it. Often this results in a backlog of past hurts that have been suppressed until it is too late and too much damage has been done.
In the end, Lorelai and Chris’s relationship is too explosive to be sustainable. Chris’s false sense of self-confidence leads him to be insecure and unable to trust Lorelai in their short-lived Season 7 marriage. Wanting something so badly doesn’t always mean it’s what’s right.
Both are idealistic and concerned with getting it right in their work and self-expressions. By working together, something universal and transcendent could result in their work and in their relationship itself. Ones bring a desire for objectivity, truth, value, and reason to the relationship. Fours give Ones permission to explore and express the full range of the One’s feelings and passions. Ones help Fours actualize their dreams by supporting creativity with healthy self-discipline and appropriate structure. Both types have a taste for a cultivation of the arts.
Fours bring creativity, intense feelings, sensuality, spontaneity, inspiration, and the ability to tap into dreams, the unconscious, and other universal forces. Their expressiveness and emotionality can be a welcome counterbalance to the One’s typical formality and sense of order and reason.
Unlike Dean who just blindly supported Rory in all of her endeavors and who edified her too much, Jess allowed Rory to not only be her true self, but seemed to understand her on a deeper level. When Jess returns in “Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out” (Season 6, Ep 8) we see these results: Ones help Fours actualize their dreams by supporting creativity with healthy self-discipline and appropriate structure – when Jess shows her the book he has published and says that he couldn’t have done it without her.
A relationship between Ones and Fours can sometimes be like mixing oil and water: they tend to separate quickly because they see things from the opposite points of view. Their habit of being disappointed in others can be turned against each other as well.
Both types are ironically highly aware of their impulses, their sensuality, their longings and frustrations, but they both attempt to handle these issues in diametrically different ways. Thus, one of the biggest areas of conflict between Ones and Fours is in self-discipline versus self-indulgence, between personal and emotional impulses either being acted out (Fours) or being suppressed (Ones).
With all the good they bring out of each other, they also bring out something that is highly dangerous in relationships: the feeling that the other is their savior or will ~complete~ them. They are the couple I want so badly to work, but it never quite feels right. I think ultimately they would be too much for each other and not enough all at the same time.
Ones and Sevens have a particular complementary and reciprocal relationship. They are opposites who can either bring something needed to the other person. Ones bring conscientiousness, orderliness, methodical attention to detail, and a pleasure in maintaining excellence and high standards. Sevens bring spontaneity, high energy, curiosity, an orientation toward fun and adventure, the desire to try new things, and an ability to not get too hung up with getting everything done perfectly. Sevens offer Ones a sense of excitement and life as a source of pleasure and enjoyment.
Ones offer Sevens a sense of purpose and idealism, as well as direction and the feeling that life is noble and meaningful. Sevens appreciate the One’s consistency and reliability and are glad to have someone who can attend to details. This tends to be a stimulating relationship for both—they stretch each other and are fascinated and challenged by their differences.
For most of the series (especially in Seasons 1-4) we see the pros of their relationship. Lorelai pushes Rory to be more social, more passionate, and more fearless. Rory stabilizes Lorelai and keeps her focused and goal-oriented in her career and relationships.
Their opposite yet complementary relationship dynamic is one of the main reasons we love this show and this relationship is the genesis of all the others we learn to love.
Sevens deeply resist feeling trapped or being in situations that continually produce unhappiness. Unfortunately, low functioning Ones continually contribute to this. If matters continue to deteriorate, Ones will lose respect for Sevens who become increasingly pushy and demanding, with a calloused, vulgar tone. Ones can become disillusioned and depressed, withdrawing emotional connection from Sevens. Thus, a disdainful contempt for the other can enter the picture from both sides, making reconciliation even more difficult.
Of course reading this I can’t help but think about the big rift between Rory and Lorelai that begins at the end of Season 5 and isn’t resolved until “The Prodigal Daughter Returns” (Season 6, Ep 9). This description could not be more accurate in the way both of these women react when in crisis mode.
In “A House Is Not a Home” (Season 5, Ep 22) Lorelai and Rory both display unhealthy and self-unaware versions of their Enneatypes. Lorelai, in wanting to avoid unpleasant feelings and downplay the negative emotions of others, immediately wants to move forward and fix the damage Mitchum has caused. Rory has this near ludicrous idea that if x is this way, than that has to mean y, without any room for postulation or subjectivity. She literally says “He told me I can’t be a journalist so I can’t be a journalist” – or something to that effect.
Although I believe Rory is much more in the wrong in this fight than Lorelai is, it’s interesting to see the places they come from and the angles they choose in their longest break of the series.
These two types offer many areas in which they reinforce each other, and some areas in which the strengths of one counterbalance the limitations of the other. Sevens are usually entertaining and tend to lift the spirits of Sixes.
Both are quick mentally: they enjoy bantering with each other. Sevens are particularly good at generating new ideas while Sixes are particularly good at mastering the practical steps that are necessary to get things done. They thus make effective team members in which the Seven lays out the big picture and gets people excited about new possibilities while the Six moves in with the logistical and tactical know-how, following through with the details. Sixes bring commitment and loyalty to Sevens, often an expertise and groundedness that the Seven comes to trust and rely on implicitly, as well as a strong grip on reality. In intimate relationships, the same balance pertains: Sevens are the stimulators, Sixes are the regulators.
Luke and Lorelai are the best romantic relationship on the show. No competition. Their slow courtship is so sweet to watch and (for the most part) they are a great balance for each other, bringing out each other’s best sides while also challenging each other to exemplify the other’s best qualities themselves.
Sixes are essentially interested in security and predictability, foreseeing problems and building procedures to prevent future uncertainty. They are aware of limitations and why things cannot be done—or at least done easily. Sevens, by contrast, are about seeking happiness and relief from increasing frustration or anxiety. Sixes tend to be negative and pessimistic, while Sevens tend to be positive and optimistic.
Sevens are future oriented, while Sixes tend to be aware of the past, of precedents, and the lessons of history that would prevent things from going badly again. In a Six/Seven couple, these two opposing philosophies reflect the very different expectations Sixes and Seven have from life and from a relationship, and unless they can be reconciled, it will be difficult for this couple to remain one.
Even though they’re the best (and arguably the healthiest romantic couple), that doesn’t mean they’re without their challenges. It takes them forever to get together (and even longer to get married), and while of course some of the obstacles were purely written into the script for the sake of drama and delayed gratification for the viewers, when I read this I think it really spells out their surface level problems, as well as the ones that run much deeper.
We see playful frustration from Luke when Lorelai is running late or just simply being ridiculous about something, and we see this tension of positivity from Lorelai vs. pessimism from Luke in “A Vineyard Valentine” (Season, 6, Ep 15). But their deeper issues come to a head when Luke won’t set a date for their wedding because he’s overwhelmed with getting to know his new daughter – which LEMME SAY SOMETHING REAL QUICK. Everybody seems to hate April but:
1. You only hate her because she was a hindrance to Luke and Lorelai getting married (which was Luke’s fault, not hers).
2. You should hate her mother Anna far more who keeps April a secret from Luke for so long.
3. April’s hilarious and pretty dang adorable.
But ANWAY: “In a Six/Seven couple, these two opposing philosophies reflect the very different expectations Sixes and Seven have from life and from a relationship.”
Luke becomes paralyzed by his need for security and to slowly process life events, and Lorelai becomes flighty with her need for things to happen and to be constantly moving forward (aka to finally get married to Luke).
Good thing all ends well 🙂
Both Sevens and Eights are highly self-assertive, independent, and strong willed. Both types also resist being controlled or limited by authorities or even by internal, psychological mechanisms. Both tend to overspend their budget on a bountiful lifestyle that is a source of pleasure for themselves and their friends and family. They love to entertain and offer the best there is to others as a sign of their generosity and as a signal of their success and standing in the world.
They are also both extremely outspoken and do not hold themselves back from voicing their own opinions or making their needs known. Sevens bring more lightness and a sense of fun and excitement, trying something new and different for the sake of keeping things fresh and stimulating. They are also usually the more talkative of the two: Sevens are usually highly engaging storytellers and raconteurs, turning their adventures (and catastrophes) into entertaining tales. Eights also bring directness, decisiveness, and the willingness to face difficult situations with determination and persistence.
Since both Sevens and Eights are extremely strong willed an resist being controlled by the other, they often taunting the other with their lack of influence over them. Eights tend to be authoritarian and bullying, ordering the Seven around and making threats if they are disobeyed. Sevens will attempt to avoid being controlled, and can become highly insulting and contemptuous of the Eight and their heavy-handed tactics. Both types will flaunt the other’s inability to have their way, as if their defiance were a badge of honor. Both types can be extremely selfish and self-centered, feeling that the world revolves around them and their desires.
Oh wow. So I saved this relationship for last because it’s the most interesting to me to watch and to analyze. I’m going to talk about their pros and cons together because it’s so interwoven.
Watching this show when I was younger, I always focused on the Rory/Lorelai relationship, but as I re-watch, I’m so much more drawn to the Lorelai/Emily dynamic. Their scenes together, whether they’re comical or heartbreaking, are my favorites.
I think when you view this relationship on the surface as archetypes, you might mislabel Emily as the antagonist to Lorelai’s protagonist, but I think that discredits the depths to their respective characters. We always want to root for the lead/the “hero” that it can warrant blind spots to the aspects of their character that are flawed. While Emily does some downright evil things, Lorelai can also be pretty horrible and rude to both Emily and Richard.
While their comedic moments/petty fights are the black and white of their relationship, their emotional moments are their grey areas and to me, these moments are the pulsing heart of the show. I cold go on and on about my favorite comedic moments between the two but to close this out, I want to refer to just a handful of my favorite touching ones.
This scene without fail always makes me cry. I think it is a microcosm moment of why I love the show so much.
Lorelai is graduating from business school and her parents show up unbeknownst to her, and of course they annoy her by bringing an obnoxious camera crew to film it, embarrassing her in front of her classmates. But then, as she walks across the stage, it pans to her parents’ faces and I can’t even describe the looks on their faces. Incredible pride, love, and dignity mixed with a touch of sadness and recognition of the ever-present distance between them.
One minute you’re cracking up at Lorelai’s face as this camera person tries to get a close up and then you’re bawling at Emily and Richard’s reaction to her graduating business school. THIS IS WHY WE LOVE THE SHOW SO MUCH.
Emily and Richard’s love for Christopher is a bit frustrating. It’s more than a bit actually. It feels like a betrayal, but makes sense at the same time as they wanted Lorelai and Chris to raise Rory together. But when Chris comes barging into the Gilmore home wanting to talk to Lorelai even though he just broke her heart, Emily kicks him out, showing that at the end of the day, her loyalty is with Lorelai.
When Rory moves out of the Gilmore house and Emily says “I lost her like I lost you – it feels remarkably similar to me” Lorelai has this line that was so perfectly delivered by Graham. She gives her first a logical response, and then as she leaves without looking at her she says: “…and you didn’t lose me.”
This scene is heartbreaking to me. Lorelai and Emily have a drink together and Lorelai tells her that she and Chris are splitting up. Emily comforts her and the way Lorelai says “thanks mom” with so much sincerity and surprise is so good. But the next morning Emily turns cold and acts like their little moment never happened.
This shows that they can always move closer towards each other, but at the end of the day, will always remain who they are.
Monica Moser is a native New Yorker, grew up in Texas and now lives in Nashville. She's a graduate of Belmont University where she studied Songwriting & Music Business and interned with NoiseTrade, Nashville's Independent Radio Station Lightning 100 and Dualtone Records (The Lumineers, Shakey Graves) assisting their TV/Film Synch Licensing department. She’s a musician, writer, playlister and is the Marketing Coordinator at Streaming Promotions in Nashville, and is also Coordinator at NoiseTrade.