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"Choices aren't what आप think. They're fickle, dangerous things. Slippery, unpredictable. Tenacious. The big ones just don't go away. आप make them once, but they keep coming back, demanding to be re-made again and again, insisting that आप own them."
'Rosie: Note To Self', Claire Connor with G.P. Taylor
I'm going to be direct here: it KILLED me that Elena chose Stefan in the finale. I think a lot of प्रशंसकों expected her to make the right choice, but she didn't. She made the wrong one.
I would never do Elena the dishonour द्वारा arguing that she didn't प्यार Stefan. We all know she does. She loved him all the way through his ripper phase this season, and she कहा she loved him in that excruciating phone-call to Damon too. So she loves Stefan, I believe her. The issue is not: 'Which brother do I love?' because she और या less कहा she loves them both to Matt. The issue, and the problem at the दिल of her choice is that she made it based on select components, which she believes overrides her प्यार for Damon, IN SPITE of her प्यार for Damon being arguably और intense than her प्यार for Stefan.
Elena's choice is complicated द्वारा the knowledge that Stefan saved her life, and that afterwards, being with him apparently taught her how to live again at a time when she felt lost. When Matt asks if she feels like she 'owes' him, she denies it. But I wonder...
"After the accident, I kind of felt like I didn't know how to live anymore. Like I didn't want to. But then being with Stefan...somehow I figured it out. And that's what प्यार should be. आप should प्यार the person that makes आप glad that you're alive."
Where is the passion in this speech? Does it sound like a girl who's madly in love? Notice that towards the end of her speech, something strange happens, and Elena refers to herself in the third person. It's not "I", it's "You". She doesn't say "I प्यार Stefan because he makes me glad to be alive," या "When I'm with him I feel alive". She says "You SHOULD..." almost as if she is trying to convince herself that it's the right thing to do. She can't admit it because she doesn't think that's what she's doing, but Elena's basically saying that she loves Stefan because he made her feel alive at a time when she felt dead. In her mind, this makes total sense, but her logic is very warped to me.
Here's the thing: प्यार isn't about a सूची of what आप 'should' do. If आप think आप 'should' do something, the chances are that आप won't feel like it doing it. Elena is still very young, and she doesn't yet know what प्यार is. She has no mother या aunt to shed some light on the situation she's in, and any सलाह Caroline gives her will be hopelessly in favour of Stefan. People don't seem to know what प्यार is; their perception of it can vary wildly according to what they believe या it can be very flawed. The truth is, if you've never been deeply in love, then आप can't know how it feels या what its like. "You don't understand," Karen tells Derek in 'Smash', "because आप don't understand love." Elena has this idea of what प्यार is, she thinks she knows what it should be, but the truth is, she just doesn't understand what प्यार really is.
Although Elena can be forgiven for believing that she should प्यार Stefan because he got her back on her feet and made her feel "alive", she is mistaken in thinking that's what प्यार is.
Elena says that when she's with Damon it just "consumes" her, and Stelena shippers will undoubtedly pounce on this and immediately denounce her feelings as unhealthy या wrong, and something that is not real प्यार at all. "Real प्यार is not a "consuming love". It is a love that makes आप feel alive, makes आप glad that you´re alive. That is the greatest thing आप can feel..." one such person wrote.
I think they're misguided in their thinking, because "real love" IS consuming, या it can be. Some of the greatest प्यार stories ever told are about a प्यार that "consumes" the characters. The most famous प्यार songs in the world weren't written because the song-writer loved somebody who made them happy to be alive, but because they loved someone so much, it hurt.
Loving someone who makes आप glad to be alive isn't necessarily what makes a relationship "great", nor is it the greatest thing आप can feel. It might be a part of it, but if प्यार doesn't take over you, if it's not so intense that it would make आप want to go to the ends of the earth for someone, या drives आप to distraction, या fills your every waking moment, या has the power to destroy you, then...maybe आप have a problem. Maybe it's not what आप think it is and it's not the greatest प्यार it could be.
When I was 19 and in my सेकंड साल at university, I met a guy and fell head over heels crazy in प्यार with him. Did he make me feel alive? Yes, but और importantly, I was utterly consumed द्वारा him. I couldn't think of anything but him, which was a big problem because I was supposed to be studying for my exams. But it was a feeling I couldn't control. Elena talks herself into choosing Stefan द्वारा rationalising that she has to let one of them go because she can't प्यार them both. Being consumed द्वारा what she feels for Damon naturally makes her feel alive too, to the point where it overwhelms and frightens her, but because she didn't fall in प्यार with him when she had लॉस्ट her way, then her loyalty to him isn't as strong as the loyalty she feels towards Stefan. So Elena's choice isn't ultimately about love; it's about who she feels most loyal to at this moment in time. Notice that at no time in her phone-call to Damon does she utter the words "I'll always प्यार Stefan." She says "I can't think about always, all I can think about is right now," suggesting perhaps that her choice comes with a time limit, an समाप्ति date. Sure, it's what she wants for now. But what will her choice look like in the months ahead? Elena thinks she's chosen, but in reality she hasn't. Her choice will come back to haunt her, and demand to be re-made until she makes the right one - not the choice she thinks she SHOULD make, but the one she really wants, deep inside.
"You want a प्यार that consumes you," Damon tells her in the flashback. "You want passion, and adventure and even a little danger." As long as Elena clings to Stefan, she will never have what her दिल truly desires.
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