Collected from various sources on tumblr. These barely scratch the surface and give wewe a little insight into the show. Interpretation not 100% correct and open to debate.
Thoughts on stefan/SE:
Stefan is not who he appears in the Pilot. He starts the onyesha kwa saying “This is my story” and constructing himself as a version of himself who just wants to start a life with the human doppelgänger of the girl he loved so long ago. Who just wants to live a life in peace drinking animal blood in the town he grew up in without the torment of his older brother. Rewatching early season one with the knowledge that Stefan has a history of blood issues, separating his personality into two parts and feeding on people until their heads rip off onyesha a very different picture than the one Stefan wants people to see. It reveals a lot of manipulation, stalking and emotional abuse not only in Stefan and Elena’s season one relationship, but in their relationship through season 4, as he takes advantage of her vulnerable emotional states to take him back au feel like she needs to change to keep him.
Just as a disclaimer: I’m well aware that every relationship and friendship in this onyesha has problematic and potentially abusive aspects. I know that Damon has done many things to Elena that are abusive (breaking Jeremy’s neck, forcing his blood down her throat). I just feel like the onyesha properly addresses Damon’s actions as being terrible and awful things to do, but tends to skim over/ignore some of the similarly awful things that Stefan does. This post looks at some key examples of Stefan’s emotional manipulation and abuse of Elena throughout season one and addresses why these actions are abusive. While the onyesha has gotten better at inaonyesha how Stefan’s actions are abusive in season 4, there are many points in the onyesha where his actions are glossed over au way too easily forgiven. This post will be about season one only, with later posts focusing on his abuse in season three and four.
Let’s start with season one. Stefan admits to Elena, once she realizes that she looks exactly like Katherine, that he stalked her for months before deciding that she wasn’t Katherine and to pursue her. It’s why he knew so much about her in the Pilot, including where she lived, where she went to mourn her parents, who her Marafiki were. It’s just truly *beep* up that after months of stalking her, Stefan decides he wants a relationship with Katherine’s human doppelganger. He says “I have to know her” and wants to be with her, without even considering if Elena even wants to be with him. He enters a relationship with her under false pretences (she doesn’t know that he’s a vampire). At the point where Elena does find out that he’s a vampire, she’s already reliant on him for making her feel alive again (she’s a depressed young girl who just Lost her parents - it makes sense that she associates him with safety and security). He’s in her life to the point where she can’t leave him, even if he’s a vampire, even if he never told her so many things about his life.
So, she continues in a relationship with him, until the inayofuata new bombshell of information comes out: Elena looks exactly like Katherine. It’s another piece of information that he’s kept from Elena, and when she finds out, she’s justifiably angry. When she comes back from Atlanta and confronts him about it, Stefan does two things to distract her and manipulate her from the knowledge that he stalked her for months before meeting her and that she looks exactly like Katherine. One, he reveals that Elena is adopted, distracting her from the topic at hand, which is a huge piece of information. And two, he tells her that he saved her from her accident off of Wickery Bridge. This is another huge piece of information that distracts Elena, but does another much zaidi harmful thing. It associates Stefan with saving her. Not just from her depression in early season one, but literally saving her life when she nearly died with her parents. Elena associates Stefan with safety because he saved her life, and it’s an association that’s hard to break throughout the series.
The third huge thing that Stefan keeps from Elena is his history with being a “Ripper” and his severe blood issues. While Elena is exposed to some of his blood issues in season 1 after feeding him her blood kwa necessity, even through season 1, she doesn’t understand the full extent of Stefan’s past and issues. Stefan’s relapse into drinking human blood shows Elena some of the darker things that Stefan is capable of and what his hunger would drive him to do, but even here, she just gets a bit of the picture. During this arc, he constantly lies to her about being perfectly fine and off of human blood, while he’s secretly consuming blood bags and attacking her classmates at Miss Mystic Falls pageants. This issue continues to a much zaidi extreme level into season 3, when his deal with Klaus causes him to go even deeper into his blood issues and “Ripper side”.
At first glance, Stefan and Elena in season one might seem like a cute couple falling in upendo and wanting to live again. Later seasons, contexts and knowledge about Stefan’s history paint a much darker, manipulative and abusive picture of Stefan’s treatment of Elena. The inayofuata part in this series will address Stefan’s abusive actions in season three, minus the period where he’s compelled kwa Klaus, because he’s not entirely under his own actions.
Stefan has a history of using emotional abuse to manipulate Elena into needing him, being the person he wants and expects her to be. While I’ve written a post on Stefan’s emotional abuse in season one before, this post will specifically focus on 3x20 and 4x10. This post is inspired in part kwa this gifset, which juxtaposes the scenes in 3x20, where Stefan tells an Elena recently faced with Alaric’s death that she has him and the scene in 4x10, where he walks away from Elena after she’s forced to admit deep personal secrets about him and he’s willing to have all of his memories of hers erased. When Stefan needs Elena to take him back, he manipulates her into clinging to him, and when she can no longer be who he wants her to, he walks away and makes her feel like the whole thing’s her fault.
3x20 - “You have me”
In season three, Stefan has put Elena through some very overt abuse and trauma. The most obvious example is in 3x11, when Stefan threatens to drive Elena off of Wickery Bridge, where her parents died and shoving his blood down her throat, so that she faces two of her biggest nightmares at the same time. But, after Stefan’s revenge on Klaus falls through and he fails at killing him, Stefan wants to be good!Stefan again. And since such a big part of his identity of his “good side” is built around Elena, Stefan wants her back in his life. And that’s where 3x20 comes in. While some of Stefan’s actions through asking Elena to the dance and telling her not to talk about what happened with Damon in Denver are dubious at best, I want to talk about the scene after Alaric’s died/in transition, where Stefan deals some pretty severe emotional abuse and manipulation that gets Elena into taking him back into her life.
It starts with Stefan stopping Elena from dealing with her grief kwa moving Alaric’s things from his classroom. Elena is a person who deals with trauma kwa doing physical things (such as scrubbing the blood off her porch in 3x10), and Stefan stops her from doing something to help her deal with her trauma kwa taking her into the gym. And while this might appear to be a romantic distraction (such as Stefan taking Elena on the ferris wheel in 2x02), it’s actually a very damaging thing. Because what does Stefan do in the gym to a highly traumatized Elena, dealing with Alaric’s imminent death? He says the following:
Elena: I don’t have any one anymore.
Stefan: wewe have me.
Here, Stefan reasserts himself as someone that Elena still has left. And while on the surface, this might appear to be sweet au supportive au romantic, it’s actually highly emotionally manipulative and abusive. Because here, Elena is in an extremely emotionally vulnerable place, losing her sixth parental figure in under two years in a way she probably sees as her fault. And instead of reminding her of everyone else in her life (Jeremy, Bonnie, Caroline, Matt, Tyler, and yes, even Damon), Stefan tells Elena that she still has him. And that places Stefan as a person of support, someone who is salama to her, even if he’s hurt and abused her all through season 3. It takes advantage of Elena’s emotional vulnerability to get her to let Stefan back into her life. And it’s probably a huge part of the reason why she “chooses” to be with him in 3x22 and clings to their relationship into season 4. Because she still has him and she’s Lost so many people, so how can she give up on him now?
4x10 - “How many zaidi ways can wewe rip my moyo out?”
Through season 4, Stefan tries to make Elena into the vampire he was never able to be (drinking from animals, killing no one) and projects all of his issues onto her. When she’s unable to be what he wants her to be, he becomes obsessed with the cure and “fixing” her - so that Elena can be human again and be the girl he needs her to be. The human girl he constructs his entire good!Stefan self around and was so desperate to get back near the end of season 3. And when Elena doesn’t want that, breaks up with him (mutually) and instead pursues her feelings for his brother? Stefan has a huge problem. There are a lot of problematic and emotionally manipulative things Stefan does in season 4, but I want to focus on 4x10 specifically, because it contains Stefan manipulating Elena kwa inaonyesha her that she no longer has him if she doesn’t act in the way he wants her to. Stefan’s emotional manipulation and twisting of the truth come with Rebekah’s swali to him:
Rebekah: I asked wewe what happened, wewe have to tell me
Stefan: She slept with Damon
While Stefan is compelled to tell the truth, he still manages to twist it in a way that places the onus of their breakup entirely on Elena for sleeping with Damon and even implies that she cheated on him. While, in reality, Stefan and Elena broke up before Elena pursued her feelings for Damon, the breakup was mutual and based on multiple factors, including Elena’s feelings for Damon. This shows Stefan manipulating a situation to get Elena feeling guilty and as the one at fault for their breakup, taking the blame off of him.
While Rebekah gets Elena to admit some painful and personal truths, this is not on the responsibility of Stefan, but Rebekah. What is on him, however, is what he chooses to say to Elena after Rebekah leaves and they have some time alone together to talk:
Elena: Stefan, we have to talk about this. Please.
Stefan: Talk about what? Huh? How many zaidi ways is there for wewe to rip my moyo out?
Elena: I’m sorry.
Stefan: Sorry that it happened au sorry that I found out?
Elena: I’m sorry about all of it!?! I’m really sorry Stefan. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I didn’t want that.
Here, Stefan puts the entire blame of his pain on Elena. Despite what she alisema having a lot of truth and merit (he does want to “fix” her and cure her and it’s gross), Stefan doesn’t take ownership of what he’s done to Elena. Instead, he asks her a guilt-tripping swali of “How many zaidi ways is there for wewe to rip my moyo out?”. Even though what Elena alisema was pried out of her against her free will, even though Stefan has done countless things to deserve her anger and to hurt her, he guilt trips her for it anyway. And because of the trauma of having her mind compelled and those truths forced out of her and the emotional manipulation that Stefan does to Elena throughout the whole episode? Elena apologizes. She apologizes for hurting Stefan, even if what she alisema didn’t even come out of her own volition, even if he’s done so many things to hurt her and make her angry. Elena apologizes because of how Stefan’s manipulated her throughout their relationship and because of how Rebekah violated her mind earlier in the episode.
What could almost be worse is the later scene, where Rebekah offers Elena to have all of Stefan’s memories of her compelled away from him. And while this completely horrifies Elena, Stefan jumps at the chance to have every moment of Elena and their relationship removed from his mind. Because Stefan, even though he told Elena in the pilot that memories were important, doesn’t want the memories of Elena if it means that she’s not who he wants her to be. He built himself up around human Elena, and since she’s a vampire and in upendo with his brother, he wants it all erased. Wants to start new and fresh, without Elena there at all. And that’s the ultimate blow to Elena. Because Stefan values her and their relationship so little at this point that he’s willing to have it all erased just because she hurt him, ignoring all of the pain that he caused her.
In 3x20, Stefan tells Elena that she has him, despite all of the trauma and abuse he put her through and all of the other people Elena has to support him. And in 4x10, he walks away and shows Elena that she never really had him at all. Having Stefan in her life comes with conditions, and if Elena can’t meet them, then Stefan will twist the truth and guilt her to the point where she feels like it’s her fault. And that’s his emotional manipulation at the core. When Elena has so many legitimate reasons to be angry at Stefan, he can still make her feel guilty for hurting him.
Some DE thoughts:
DAMON/ELENA: THEMES OF LIFE, FEELING ALIVE, DEATH, AND SURVIVAL
I think what the fandom never talks about is how the above themes are all explored together for Damon and Elena when it’s actually so interesting.
Elena has always had a relationship with Death since her parents accident and every time she tries to songesha on, Death comes back in a short time as a reminder of all that hurt, crippling her till she gets back up again.
It’s not that she was completely unhappy with Stefan but even in the start, Bonnie alisema in 1x04 “You look happy…ish?”, and Elena says “I am…ish” and even when she talks about Stefan helping her after her parents’ death as a replacement for her parents she says “You should upendo the person that makes wewe glad that you’re alive”. There’s a difference in “being glad that you’re alive” and “feeling alive”. The former means that you’re content and happy-ish but feeling alive is feeling free and unperturbed. She had most of those moments mostly with Damon before she turned, inaonyesha sides she didn’t generally onyesha to other people because she wasn’t afraid of being judged(“Safe is good when it comes to the judges”).
In 4x06, Elena hallucinates Katherine, who is depicts her subconscious, telling her that everyone was better off without her and her entire existence brought suffering, that she wasn’t worth it. She almost commits suicide because finally her mother brings up her insecurities that she was supposed to die on that bridge, not once but twice and she believes she’s a monster who deserves to die.
In the Book Thief, Death narrates:
Needless to say, I vacation in increments. In colors. Still, it’s possible that wewe might be asking, why does he even need a vacation? What does he need distraction from? Which brings me to my inayofuata point. It’s the leftover humans. The survivors. They’re the ones I can’t stand to look at, although on many occasions I still fail. I deliberately seek out the colors to keep my mind off them, but now and then, I witness the ones who are left behind, crumbling among the jigsaw puzzle of realization, despair, and surprise. They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs. Which in turn brings me to the subject I am telling wewe about tonight, au today, au whatever the saa and color.
It’s the story of one of those perpetual survivors—an expert at being left behind.
Aaron basically says what she felt that everyone dies around her like a curse and she associates herself with death(“Everything is because of me”; “What’s the most human experience?” “Death” ; “Dear, diary. Don’t wewe ever get tired about me uandishi about death?”). And then there’s Damon who is the one that makes her feel most alive in death and he told her that she is his life. Even in 4x06 her hallucination of Katherine tells her “At least youstill have Damon” and there’s her saying “We’ll survive this. We alwayssurvive” because Damon and her both cheat death and others have to suffer even so, they’re both the ones left behind. When she’s on the Wickery Bridge in 4x06 when Damon’s there and the spell lifts off, for the first time in her life she wants to live even though she believes doesn’t deserve it and it’s because Damon didn’t see her as a curse au a monster; she still had him.
Ironically, Damon (someone who is a self-proclaimed serial killer and who she has called a psychopath, a “psychotic mind who snaps and kills people impulsively” and “you’ve been a terrible person and wewe made all the wrong choices”) doesn’t represent Death to Elena(“I know why wewe hate them but you’re wrong” - Elena to Liz about Damon, 2x22; “I deserve this; “I deserve to die” “No, wewe don’t”; “You would rather die and wewe expect me to be okay with that?”). Even though she tells him in 1x07 that “people die around you, how can it not matter?” it’s not her casting him as a Death figure but another way of her actually understanding him and projecting a bit onto him - because the most important people in her life died around her and it mattered and it changed EVERYTHING but even that projecting comes from her understanding of him from their interactions in 1x03(“I’m sorry. About Katherine. wewe Lost her too”), 1x04(“Doesn’t it always come down to the upendo of a woman?”) and 1x06(“Did wewe thank Katherine?”) and it’s a reference back to her saying “Some things could matter again” and he says “Maybe but it seems a bit unrealistic to me”. He Lost Katherine and it matters. That’s why he is this way and she points it out to him(“I really think that Damon believes that everything he’s done, every songesha that he’s made he’s done for love. It’s twisted but kind of sad).
Damon represents life to her(although people will contest this), but zaidi than that Damon and Elena’s relationship represents survival most of all; something that Elena has a strange relationship with. She’s a reluctant survivor (unlike Katherine, whose entire drive is to survive and be one step ahead of everyone else). But that changes in season 4, when Elena realizes that yes,she wants to live, kwa living she also wants to stop confining herself to expectations and let herself be happy for a change.
But now there’s the guilt that she was so consumed with him and happy that she ignored au missed signs of others suffering au dying and she says in 1x02 “I’m scared that if I let myself be happy, the world will come crashing down the inayofuata dakika and I don’t know if I can survive that”. But the thing is she knows she will survive it with him but she still sees herself as a curse to everyone else and if she’s happy someone else will suffer. All that guilt comes rushing back because Death comes back to Elena again, and she thinks it’s because of her (she says in 5x04 Bonnie died FOR HER so she could have her brother back). So she distances herself from Damon but she can’t let go of him because she loves him that much.
Stefan isn’t their biggest obstacle; Death is.
What I mean is that Damon presents this irony where she is happiest with him(which Bonnie notes as genuine considering how she alisema “happy” and was smiling. Also Bonnie and Elena talk about how Elena had the summer of her life with Damon), most alive with him even in death and they always survive somehow but with that also comes death and while she’ll fight against the world and universe to be with him even if it is selfish, she falls short when death hits someone she cares about because she doesn’t know if she can be that selfish.
To Elena she is the harbinger of death to everyone else but to Damon she is life. And he is the one who makes her most alive, the most real thing she has ever felt in her entire life and with him she generally doesn’t bother about being worthy but he’s also a reminder that in giving her happiness while others suffer, she doesn’t deserve that happiness and thus to be with him. But she loves him too much to let him go completely. That’s one of their largest conflicts.
I think this was present in her no humanity arc as well. It comes from 1x02(“When wewe lose somebody, it stays with you. Always reminding wewe of how easy it is to get hurt”, “I’m scared that if I let myself be happy for one moment, the world will come crashing down… and I don’t know if I can survive that”). She pushed people away so that she wouldn’t get hurt(“You’re mean to the people wewe care about”) and her words were harsher than for Stefan. People could bring up how Damon betrayed and abandoned Elena in her no humanity arc. I don’t think either of them was right but there’s a difference in loving someone and being their enabler. Elena alisema “People die around you. How could it not matter? It matters and wewe know it” and Elena wasn’t just killing bila mpangilio people but going after her best Marafiki so obviously wanting to stop her wasn’t wrong. The approach he chose through torture, however, was wrong but Damon was so far gone himself at that point where he didn’t trust his own intuition and wanted to try everything to get her back and stop from his mistakes getting worse(I wrote zaidi on this in Relativity: Damon/Elena and/vs happiness)
Now Elena is a zaidi balanced version of her no humanity arc but it’s the same struggle but she’s honest with him that she feels guilty for being happy with him while Bonnie was dead and she didn’t figure it out. She didn’t even stop making out with him after they found out that Stefan was missing and they had to save them, even if she was worried and she didn’t distance herself from Damon and even when the universe speculation came up she didn’t give a damn but he’s not a distraction. Rather she was consumed kwa him(“When I’m with him, it just consumes me”).
She says “I know these past few days I’ve been focused on finding Stefan but that has nothing to do with how I feel about you” in 5x03 and in 5x05 she says “Bonnie died and I was busy having the summer of my life…with you”. She still loves him but that nagging guilt is there that she doesn’t deserve that happiness and Aaron presents a good parallel to that. Feeling guilty about being alive and happy while her best friend wasn’t means she pushes Damon away who represents both of these things to her(life and survival).
She focuses on Megan to distract herself from Damon and the guilt she feels for Bonnie. It’s not incidental that “alive”, “life” and “survive” are associated with D/E and Elena speaks of Death as a person, an entity. But kwa the end of 5x05 she realizes finding out about Megan won’t bring Bonnie back which is the real problem and she communicates that to Damon.
Even if she hangs out with Aaron it’ll be out of a savior complex of wanting to save him because she thinks she’s responsible for others and helping them find their way and in saving him she believes she’d save herself, au him helping her kwa becoming her friend au it’ll be two outcasts who don’t think they deserve happiness. It was made very clear that she sees herself in Aaron in 5x05 so it’s zaidi about her than him and generally in such situations one tends to project and I feel this is the Elena/April storyiine that didn’t happen last season.
I don’t think they’ll poetically say Death is their obstacle but it’s obvious it is. But life is a theme for Damon/Elena and Death and Loss for both of them(“It’s like my life is a never ending funeral”, “When wewe lose somebody, no candle au prayer can make up for the fact that all wewe have left is a hole in your life where that somebody used to be”) and Damon and Elena are pretty much tethered kwa their understanding of loss and abandonment.
Damon seems aware of that she associates happiness with him to whatever extent even if insecure(“You are allowed to be happy” and he doesn’t sugar kanzu, koti it and adds “every once in a blue moon”). It’s interesting on TVD how it’s Happiness vs Death, zaidi than Happiness vs Misery especially for Elena.
I just upendo this switch (as sad as it is) that we see Elena undergo because it’s all those strange overlapping contrasts that make this theme so intriguing. How ironically Damon doesn’t represent Death to her but Life and Survival but he’s also a reminder now because of that happiness/feeling alive of the death that is caused while she is happy and the guilt and feeling of unworthiness that comes with it and even though while she thinks she’s the harbinger of Death, she is Life to Damon.
Now while Elena doesn’t live kwa others expectations, she is inhibited kwa her own expectation of waiting for the inayofuata shoe to drop as she has since her parents’ accident and thinking of herself as cursed, even if logically she knows it’s not her fault because of her survivor’s guilt. She has to learn that while her life sucks she is allowed and deserves to be happy which is a state with fluctuations in between but she will struggle with it because it’s something she fundamentally has been driven to believe in since her parents accident and death keeps hitting her reminding her of her grief. She has to learn that she’s not disposable and her happiness matters. This is something she and Damon have to deal with together first kwa learning how to deal with loss together which they both don’t know how to do. But like I said, most importantly Damon and Elena represent survival, literally and figuratively.
Some SE thoughts:
I think the key to understanding S/E is to refer back to Elena’s scenes with Matt in 3x16 and 3x22, and also the S/E candle scene in 1x02 because those scenes reveal volumes that other scenes tie into. It’s about abandonment issues and representations and what a person meant once.
So referring to the 3x16 scene:
Elena: I know it does not make sense, but at the beginning, after my parents died, there was something about being with Stefan that just felt safe.
Matt: Safe? Elena, he’s a vampire.
Elena: I know, believe me, just saying it out loud it sounds crazy, but it’s like I knew that he would never stop loving me. Like he would never…
Elena: Die. Like he would never die.
Matt: Like your parents did.
What I see in this scene is so many abandonment issues tied to the death of her parents where she finds safety in Stefan not dying on her and thus never stopping to upendo her and this desire for safety carries on even after she stops loving him. It’s not that before she found out he was a vampire she did not see anything in him but again a lot of it is to do with the context, the right time. Lets refer back to 3x22:
Elena: He saved my life, wewe know. I never told wewe that. The night that my parents’ car went off the bridge, Stefan was the one that saved me.
Matt: So, do wewe feel like wewe owe him au something?
Elena: No, it’s not that. It’s – after the accident, I kind of felt like I did not know how to live anymore, like I did not want to, but then being with Stefan… it just… somehow I figured it out. And that’s what upendo should be. wewe should upendo the person that makes wewe glad that you’re alive.
And her phone call with Damon she says “He came into my life at a time when I needed someone and I fell for him instantly”. To understand the 3x22 scenes it’s important to refer back to the pilot and Elena’s emphasis on “being someone new”, rebuilding herself, pretending to smile and also finding “someone” new who also understood loss.
Elena: Dear diary, I could not have been zaidi wrong. I thought that I could smile, nod my way through it; pretend like it would all be ok.
Stefan: I had a plan. I wanted to change who I was; create a life as someone new, someone without the past.
Elena: Without the pain.
Elena/Stefan: Someone alive.
Elena: But it’s not that easy. The bad things stay with you.
Stefan: They follow you. wewe can’t escape them, as much as wewe want to.
Elena: All wewe can do is be ready for the good. So when it comes, wewe invite it in, because wewe need it. I need it.
As cheesy as I find the paralleling dialogue in the montage of the pilot this is actually crucial. In the pilot Bonnie was worried and understood what she had been through and she knew Elena was not okay but Elena wanted something new, separate of her past and Stefan walked into her life right then and it made her content with life au as Bonnie puts it in 1x04 “happy-ish”. That’s what being “glad that you’re alive” means and that’s the difference from “feeling alive”. Stefan will always be that guy who helped her get kwa after her parents death, not completely but even so and that’ll always mean something to her as Matt says in 4x21 that he’s the guy who has loved her longer than he can remember and he knows that means something to her. But just because I’m making this comparison Stefan does not become like Matt in her eyes. Because of the time Stefan came into her life, Stefan means something else entirely and also she was never in upendo with Matt while Stefan was her first upendo and Stefan’s been in upendo with her since they met while Matt has been her best friend longer so she’s fine with him moving on with Caroline but not Stefan. And there’s a feeling of entitlement there now that she feels even though she’s not in upendo with him because while she says he should let her go, she does not want him to stop loving her because she ties it to him abandoning her. I don’t support that feeling but I get it.
Damon and Elena are not about timing though au being bonded kwa death like Stefan and Elena. Damon and her had an understanding before the accident and they seemed to click but neither having the notion that they were falling in love. But Elena understanding loss did tether her to Damon in a way Stefan could never be because it was because of that understanding of loss and abandonment, not just loss and abandonment that increased their bond.
wewe could now swali why I still think Elena is not in upendo with Stefan. The answer for me is simple which wewe might cluck your tongues over but like I alisema I don’t expect wewe to agree. In 4x10, when compelled to tell the truth and Rebekah asks her what Elena thinks of Stefan’s statement, Elena deflects and says that Rebekah needs a better hobby. So Rebekah compels her again “You’re hiding something. Fess up”. Elena then says “I did not sleep with Damon because of the sire bond; I slept with Damon because I’m in upendo with him” and even Elena is surprised kwa her answer which actually negates 4x08 “I think I’m falling in upendo with him” because Elena when compelled not once but twice to tell the truth thus accessing her subconscious says that she slept with Damon because she’s in upendo with him which means she decided to sleep with him in 4x07 because she was in upendo with him. But on a conscious level she believed she was still in the process of falling in upendo with him. There is a difference in thinking and knowing. When Rebekah asks Elena how she feels about Damon, she majibu that being with Damon makes her happy and Rebekah tells her to dig deeper where she majibu that she feels free with him. Finally when asked if she still loves Stefan, she majibu that she does and when asked if she is still in upendo with him, she says she is not and again she’s surprised kwa her own answer. Even in 4x06 and 4x07 Elena says she still loves Stefan(“And I upendo wewe for that” ; “It’s not like I don’t upendo Stefan anymore”). So Elena learns the distinction between the two. On a subconscious level she knew but on a conscious level she chose to be unaware. But the fandom sort of understands from that that Elena now must still be in upendo with Stefan. Except even in 4x11(one episode after 4x10), she asks Stefan what he’s doing with Rebekah, that she tried to kill her and in 4x13, she acts annoyed around Rebekah because of that added onto her other reasons to be annoyed at Rebekah. Stefan majibu that she has no right to swali who he is with. And yes, she does not. But it’s sort of that feeling of losing him, of him abandoning her because he’s no zaidi in upendo with her added to the fact that Rebekah killed her and Qetsiyah tortured him and erased his memories and tried to create a rift between her and Damon simply to spite her. Again, I’m not saying she’s right au wrong but I don’t think she was jealous as much as territorial out of a feeling of abandonment that he was sleeping with someone else because he hated her and that feels like emotional abandonment, like the loss of that security, like a rehash of him abandoning her in season 4. Elena says to Stefan in 1x02 about Katherine breaking his moyo “When wewe lose someone it stays with you. Always reminding wewe of how easy it is to get hurt”. Stefan made her feel like a broken toy and whether she wants to accept that au not, which I don’t think she ever did even in 4x10 where she was apologizing to him after that because he shifts the blame onto her and she takes it because she believes everything is her fault; she has a guilt complex.
All I’m saying is that even when the sire bond was present, Elena acted in similar fashion and it explains a lot about early season 4 S/E interactions where as I have mentioned she was sublimating feelings for Damon with Stefan as shown with the best/worst choice parallel and the difference of “Because I upendo you" and "But I’m not sorry that I’m in upendo with you”. Elena might have alisema “I never unfell for him” but she also alisema “I think I’m falling in upendo with him”. But added to that was not just wanting to give their relationship another chance, but the affect that a first upendo au a upendo that had such an impact on you, still affecting you. We see the same with Damon with Katherine but differently because the relationship was different and so is how Damon handles abandonment different. Even after Damon shut the tomb door on Katherine in 2x07, even though he was no longer in upendo with her, he was still affected kwa her when she chose to save Stefan’s life over his as she revealed in 2x16 and he holds onto that resentment and even in 3x05, he does make out with her and it’s not that he does not like making out with her(I mean hello! It’s Katherine and she’s the photocopy of Elena in appearance) but she toyed with him and he’s in upendo with Elena and he has some self respect. But in 3x09 he shows that he still cares for her and in 4x21 and 5x01 he shows that he’s still affected kwa her as she caresses him with her touch and he’s willing to help her despite all that she’s done to him, Elena and Stefan. Even when Stefan!Silas says Katherine called him first, Damon seems to be affected because of his feeling of inadequacy. But Damon also knows Katherine was never in upendo with him like he was with her while Elena knows she had Stefan’s upendo right from the start of their relationship. Damon Lost someone who was never his but Elena Lost someone who was once hers so the feeling of entitlement is zaidi on her part. But she does not do anything gross like Stefan’s “How many zaidi ways can wewe rip my moyo out?” au “Erase it. Erase it all” au “My brother aliiba my girlfriend and she let him”. An episode after Silas says “A woman never forgets her first upendo no matter how badly it ends”, Amara stabs Silas in the neck and drinks from him to get the cure and turn human so that she can die because she doesn’t want to live another day. And Silas/Amara parallels Katherine/Damon in a way because Silas spent years wanting to be reunited with Amara and in the end she betrays him, she never wanted to be saved. It also parallels Damon/Katherine in that Damon sacrifices Katherine, his first upendo for his life, Elena. And the Qetsiyah/Silas scene where she squeezes his moyo and bleeds him out so he dessicates but does not die is similar to Damon leaving Katherine in the tomb where he spent 145 years waiting to get her out but in the ending scene of the episode, he’s willing to let her die because he’s not all that attached to even hate her, even if he does care about her but she’s on the bottom of that priority list. It took Damon 3 seasons to do that. But essentially Damon deconstructs the idea of first loves never dying as does Amara. Which explains a lot about Elena’s situation now. Qetsiyah/Silas was based on a lot of lies as is S/E built around lies and idealization even if differently and Silas was a manipulative douche and there are parallels made to S/E in that episode. My point is that while it seems to make no sense because I’m saying zaidi than one dynamic applies to D/K and S/E in the Q/S/A pembetatu but the point is as Damon says “That’s not fate. That’s wewe uigizaji like a crazy person” and honestly Qetsiyah, Silas and Amara are all canonly crazy. Neither of the relationships ring out “epic love” as each one wants them to. Qetsiyah says “Silas had his one true upendo and Stefan has Elena” when before she says “I alisema Silas was my one true love; I never alisema I was his” because there’s a difference and even Silas does not have Amara as much as he thought. It’s the deconstruction of this idea that Silas and Qetsiyah are trying to sell separately and their reliability is put to swali after she lies about Amara and even Damon finds inconsistencies in Silas saying the universe is trying to reunite him and Amara through Stefan and Elena.
There is a lot zaidi going on than “Elena is still in upendo with Stefan”. And she does respect Damon which is why she did not tell him about the pit in her stomach considering Stefan because she did not want to bring up his insecurities and that’s not healthy. But the thing is that Elena knows she’s no longer in upendo with Stefan but she has a lot of baggage with him as did Damon with Katherine but the nature of those relationships are different and the interpretation of those relationships kwa them is different. Please do realize that Damon is an enabler to Stefan even if not as much as Elena and Caroline. And I think Elena was not only worried for Stefan when she found out Damon snapped his neck multiple times, she was mad that he lied to her again. But at the end of the siku when she’s in that cabin, kibanda and Qetsiyah asks her about the pizza, Elena says that Silas was going to bring back Bonnie but she told Damon if he did not kill Silas, Elena would die and Damon has never put anyone’s life before hers, including his own. She does not blame Damon for making that choice even if she feels saddened kwa it but she knows Damon does not have a vendetta against Bonnie au Silas. It’s simply about her being Damon’s life and she’s accepted that so when she goes nyumbani after talking to Stefan, she goes and sits kwa Damon’s side in a way that they’re touching. She could be mad because of him lying but remember 3x08? She was not mad at him even when he expected it and even though she was mad and worried earlier because they have an understanding which is why their trust thrives. Not because of a skewed understanding but a real one. I’m not saying Damon does not have a right to be insecure and I think it will come up at some time even if he’s trying really hard not to be but that’s because it’s a deep rooted issue going back way before Elena and so is Elena’s baggage before Stefan being about her parents and transferring it onto him.