I have always believed that TVD isn’t a दिखाना about which brother is better than the other, usually the root cause to ship wars is प्रशंसकों contesting the selflessness and humanity of either brother, but I hold myself foreign to this argument (though, there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind n दिल that Damon is the better n human of the two). Both brothers have sacrificed a lot for each other, because they are family and they are stuck with each other forever. So its never been a scoreboard of whose done what for who? The real सवाल has always been which brother loves Elena truly and is better for her?
The story arc that we were presented with in season 1 was that when Stefan and Elena met, they were both grieving and they needed something to hold onto, someone to coddle them. Their प्यार has always catered safety and comfort. Stefan had just redefined his status as a ripper and wanted to प्यार a human in a bid to feel human again. He wanted to forget who he was because even after 145 years, he still couldn’t find consent from within about his whole being. He was still at odds at who he was so he wanted to forget his inner demons and find himself at shelter in the human world, and so he met Elena and instantly fell in प्यार with her. While I am not trashing Stefan but the real outset of Stefan’s प्यार for Elena is mainly her being human.
Another point worth mentioning is that when आप truly प्यार someone आप cannot fathom या accept a world without them. आप will stomp all over their true will and save them because they mean that much to you. There is nothing selfish about putting the people आप प्यार ahead of someone else. In Private Practice, Addison’s brother Archer had brain tumor but he didn’t want to get surgery but because Addison loved him, she forced him to have it. In ‘Beastly’ Lydia’s father left her with Kyle knowing that she might never speak to him again but he did it for his daughter because Kyle vowed to protect her. My point is that when someone means so much to you, आप protect them and save them regardless of what they think of you. Your happiness lies in their well being. On numerous occasions when Elena has a death wish, Stefan does little to nothing to improve the situation. He has never been able to live up to his ‘soulmate’ status. Whenever he has the chance to do something for Elena’s betterment, he is always held back द्वारा fear. Fear that Elena will lose her respect in him या stop loving him. So, Stefan would rather have Elena dead than think any less of him, which I find impossible to comprehend. Letting someone आप प्यार die especially when आप have every power to save them, is moronic in the least.
Stefan to Damon (3x22): ‘you know she will just hate आप for it.’
Damon to Stefan (3x22): ‘yeah but she’ll be alive and hate me, thus the eternal difference between आप and me.’
So far, time and time again we have been presented with irrefutable arguments of how weak Stefan’s प्यार for Elena is. I am not denying that Stefan loves Elena, he does but everytime has a chance to prove and fight for her, he chooses the easier way and backs off. In 1x20, when he was ready to off himself, did he for one सेकंड think what Elena would go through? In 2x20 when Elena readily accepts her death, Stefan does nothing but shrug his shoulders. The entire सेकंड half of season 3, Elena was the one fighting for Stefan because she wanted to remain loyal to her relationship with him, but Stefan did not reciprocate. He could’ve had Elena back in a flash but he didn’t want to. He chose his own pain and self loathing over his प्यार for Elena. Similarly in 3x22, when Elena was सेकंड्स away from departing from this earth, Stefan her so called ‘soulmate’ failed to save her. He had every chance to get back what he lost, to retrieve what he had thrown away in his bid to get revenge, but did he? No. He chose the easier way and let her die. The fact that Stefan has done so little for love, redemption and forgiveness really irks me and that's the reason why I can’t bring myself to respect his character at all.
Now lets talk about season 4. Stefan’s actions in 3x22 resulted in Elena becoming a vampire. Something she has always dreaded, but और than that Stefan always dreaded it. Because ,as I pointed out earlier, the main reason why Stefan fell in प्यार with her was because she was human. This entire season, Stefan has exhibited signs of not being at ease with Vampire Elena, though she is still the same person. He immediately puts her on his bunny diet, why? Because he doesn’t want Elena to drink from humans and do something he doesn’t approve of? Precisely. In 4x02, he clashes with Damon when he pleads that Elena needs to drink warm blood from the vein, which was the only credible way for her to learn control. In 4x03 when they both almost had sex and Elena started with her fang-y play, he flipped her over because he couldn’t accept her like this. In 4x05, when Elena killed Connor, Stefan was so taken aback द्वारा it. Elena was being a protective sister and she killed Connor to ensure Jeremy's safety, I don't find any fault in that. Every vampire kills at least one human in their lifetime, there is nothing dark या unusual about it. Was Stefan worried that because Elena killed Connor, she would crumble या was he disgusted that she did something that he never wanted her to? I'll go with the latter..thank आप very much. He has been constantly pointing out the demerits of being a vampire, like how dark a vampire is and how easy it is to lose control etc. In 4x04, Elena learnt how to feed and actually felt free and for once had fun in her young vampire life, with Damon, without carrying the burden of the whole world on her shoulders, but she knew Stefan was expecting her to be miserable so she immediately lied that the whole experience was dreadful. I am not holding a grudge over Stefan for being protective या cautious but looking at it from a very neutral eye, Stefan was taking Elena on a denial journey of their existence, with him. Because he couldn't accept his own self so he was doing the same with Elena.
Stefan (4x05): She is not supposed to be this person, I DON'T want her to be.
Since when is प्यार about, WHAT आप WANT the other person to be..huh Stefan? The thing with Stefan is that he idealizes Elena. He thinks of her as the anti- Katherine. He has this picture of Elena who is a passive, young, docile, innocent HUMAN who blames herself for her parents' death, who has little to no regards for her own life n keeps a diary. And when Elena doesn’t fit into the idea that he has of her, he gets flustered. What Stefan has proved, द्वारा so frantically trying to find the cure, is that he can’t प्यार Elena as a vampire. His प्यार often comes off as selfish and is evident now द्वारा the level of desperation that is driving his intentions to turn Elena back into a human, so it can be EASIER for him to प्यार her again. He has shown no mercy to Jeremy, who happens to be Elena’s brother and only family, because he wants to get his hands on the cure as soon as possible. Because its easier for him to find the cure than to accept n try to प्यार Elena just as she is. Sorry SE fans, but loving some one under terms and conditions doesn’t merit with true या epic प्यार at all.
Now onto Damon:
Damon, when he first came to Mystic Falls, did not care the least about Elena या her फ्रेंड्स and threatened n made it clear on numerous occasions that he will take no mercy on them. Damon knew Elena before her parents died, so he was aware of the girl who wanted to live life to the fullest and has immense power and आग inside her. He recognized the girl she became after the accident, who wanted comfort n safety. It was only after Damon knew Elena, accepted her, fought for her trust, friendship and respect, being honest with her, did he fall head over heels in प्यार with her. His प्यार for Elena encouraged him to fight and become better, isn't that the real dynamic of true love? Change a person inside out, redeem them and make them whole.
Damon didnot fall in प्यार with Elena until he knew who she really was and what she wanted. He has seen every side of her, her manipulative side, the sides that hurt and betrayed him, the sides that hold and possess आग like Katherine did but he loves her just the same. Because Damon didn't fall in प्यार Elena as a counter to someone, he didn't fall in प्यार with Elena because of his desires; to forget his existence. He fell in प्यार with Elena because she was Elena. He has never felt insecure या jealous when Elena chose Stefan, kissed him, had sex with him. Time after time, he has only heard four words out of Elena's mouth 'its always going to be Stefan', he has gotten his दिल stomped over a million times but he never blamed Elena, या demonized her for breaking his heart. He has always fought for her and has never abandoned her because, again, he loves Elena because she is Elena. Her safety and happiness comes first and just the prospect of a world without Elena haunts him, isn't that real meaning of true love?
When Elena was going to be sacrificed in the ritual, Damon fought for her safety. He got himself bit but didn't care as long as Elena was safe. He offered himself as a replacement to Klaus so that Elena n Stefan would get back together and would be happy again. Damon took the blame and turned Bonnie's mom so Elena would be safe. It was Damon who vowed to protect Elena even if she spends her entire life hating him because at least she would be alive and happy. It was Damon who looked after her, it was Damon who was playing hero last season but didn’t ask for anything in return. This season, when Elena was grossed out about human blood, was weak, miserable and wishing herself dead, Damon didn't abandon her but stayed to help her because to him it doesn't matter whether Elena is a human या a vampire.
Klaus: I imagine he (Damon) prefers Elena just the way she is
Damon: I am fine with her, either way
Damon has never wanted Elena to be anything या anyone other than herself. He doesn't want to find the cure because he wants Elena to turn back into a human. He is only doing it for HER, because he thinks Elena might not be able to live with her new status. He isn't treating Elena like a problem that needs to be 'fixed'. His प्यार for Elena never ever hit a roadblock because she changed, because he loves her just the way she is.
Another thing that I would like to mention here (maybe its just my DE mind that makes me look at things in a lot of depth) is that whenever Stefan n Elena have sex या make out, Elena doesn't really take charge, especially in 4x03 when she takes out her fangs, Stefan flips her over because he can't take her like this. He doesn't let her take control (a quality that resembles Katherine's). On the other hand, when Elena n Damon make out या make प्यार (4x07), Damon lets Elena take charge. He knows she has immense passion and a lot of Petrova आग inside her, like Katherine does and he lets her live in it. When Elena ripped his कमीज, शर्ट off in 4x07 (something that Katherine likes to do), he didn't stop her, rather he let her revel in it because for him, Elena isn't the anti-Katherine, for him she is Elena.
SE प्रशंसकों can hate, काप, कार्प and disparage DE's arguments all they want but nothing can change what the दिखाना has been demonstrating every week. The facts are incontestable now, Stefan's struggles to attain and find content from within is his real journey, not with Elena. He loves Elena but only certain aspects of her; her humanity.
Damon loves her unconditionally n far far और than Stefan, because he didn't fall in प्यार with Human Elena's दिल या Vampire Elena's heart.
Damon fell in प्यार with Elena Gilbert's heart.