The Vampire Diaries -- Why I Wouldn't Wish A Relationship Like SE On My Worst Enemy
A Stefan and Elena fan was quoting Paul Wesley as saying he hopes everyone has a love like Stefan and Elena, and I'm like, "No thanks, Paul." While not as overly abusive as the Damon and Elena side of the triangle, Stefan and Elena are pretty sick in their own right.
I've debated this with other The Vampire Diaries fans who keep declaring how Stefan is just respecting Elena's choices. No, I'm sorry, I don't call what Stefan does as respecting Elena's choices. I call it him being a yes man who lets her have her own way because he doesn't want her to be mad at him, and I could never respect someone like that, myself. I'd want a man with enough balls to stand up to me when I'm wrong and to actually save my life when it's in danger. Not to let me die just because I tell him to.
The thing is, I can prove Stefan doesn't really respect her choices, he's just putting Elena not being mad at him over her own best good. He let Elena walk off with Klaus and the second she was gone he called up Damon. He wanted Damon to stop the sacrifice from happening and get all the anger from Elena for not respecting her choices, while he got to have his cake and eat it, too. So how is that really respecting her choices?
Frankly, the whole thing is just a little too close to what happened back in 1864. Giuseppe found out Katherine was a vampire and ordered Stefan to get the men who would take her away and kill her. Stefan could have easily overpowered his father and ran off with the woman he loved to protect her. Instead, he did what his father told him to do and got the men who took the woman he supposedly loved off to her death because his daddy told him to. He doesn't stand up to people who are telling him what to do, even though it goes against what he feels, so they won't be mad at him. And I think it all goes to Stefan's image of himself as the good brother. In his mind the good ones do what they're told and don't stand up to someone and disagree with them. And that's not respecting someone's choices. That's called being a submissive wimp.
Another thing that makes their love superficial is they don't really deal with their problems in a healthy manner. They pretend their problems away like they don't exist. As we saw in 1912 Elena doesn't accept what a vampire is the way she acted when she saw Stefan feeding on a human. She used the fact that he used to feed on animals as a way to pretend away the fact of what he is: a vampire, and to be able to appear to accept what he was. Everything else Stefan does Elena fits under two categories: "This isn't Stefan" and "It's all right, Stefan."
In, "This isn't Stefan," when Stefan does bad things, that's her mantra so she can pretend away the dark sides of Stefan's nature. Like when he slammed her up against a wall. Which was followed by, "It's all right, Stefan," when Stefan threw a pity party for himself about all the bad things he did to his brother and father 145 years after the fact. He went and sat out in the dark waiting for the sun to rise so he could burn up in a giant ball of fire. He conveniently left his ring behind in his cell so Elena rushed to him and convinced him to put it back on and that, "It's all right, "Stefan."
The pity party from Stefan followed by the instant forgiveness from Elena happened in season 3 when Stefan did the worst thing to date that he's done to Elena. He shoved blood down her throat and terrorized her by claiming he was going to recreate her parents accident by driving her off the bridge so she'd die and become a vampire. He did all that because he was in a pissing contest with Klaus and wanted Klaus to back down and do what he ordered him to do. Once Klaus did, Stefan didn't follow through with his threats. In the aftermath, Elena was angry at Stefan, then he pulled out the pity party with, "I lost you when I left town." But if you think about it that line was pure BS. Stefan was there when Elena was chasing him all over the place and was willing to let everyone in Mystic Falls be murdered so Lexi could fix him, right? So he didn't lose Elena when he left town. However, she swallowed that pitiful line hook, line and sinker, and she gave him instant forgiveness. Of course, the upshot was Stefan took off in his car, leaving her stranded on the spot her parents died, and she had to call Damon to come and get her. Of course, she wasn't even mad about that, because Stefan lost her the minute he left town. Yeah, whatever.
At the core of this relationship is a fact that show has tried hard to back pedal away from, but the truth is the truth. This is a stalker romance. If Elena didn't resemble Katherine he would have never started stalking her. Saying he did it to prove she wasn't anything like Katherine was a nice save, but it doesn't erase the essential truth. It was Elena's resemblance to Katherine that brought his initial interest in her. And even without that, there's no way you can't say Stefan wasn't stalking Elena when he first came to town.
He compelled the school secretary to put him in every single class Elena was in. He showed up at every social occasion he knew she'd be at. He even joined the football team because he thought she was going to be a cheerleader for them. That's called stalking no matter how you try to pretty it up. Stefan and Elena are the tale of a grief-stricken girl who falls in love with the guy that's stalking her. It has all the making of one of those cautionary after school specials. This is not a love you want to wish on anyone else, Paul. It's a very sick relationship.
Their first time together he slept with her without telling her she looked like his ex-girlfriend, Katherine. Elena found a picture of Katherine, afterwards, and rushed out. She was so upset she got into a car accident. That's not a romantic or beautiful first time together, it's ugly. And that's the essence of Stefan and Elena's relationship. It's not some beautiful epic romance with some great love that the show tries to sell. It's a guy who puts the girl not being mad at him over saving her life. It's a girl falling for her stalker and having an abusive relationship with him.
It's a relationship I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.