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"Choices aren't what you think. They're fickle, dangerous things. Slippery, unpredictable. Tenacious. The big ones just don't go away. You make them once, but they keep coming back, demanding to be re-made again and again, insisting that you 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 fãs expected her to make the right choice, but she didn't. She made the wrong one.
I would never do Elena the dishonour por arguing that she didn't amor Stefan. We all know she does. She loved him all the way through his ripper phase this season, and she said 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 mais or less said she loves them both to Matt. The issue, and the problem at the coração of her choice is that she made it based on select components, which she believes overrides her amor for Damon, IN SPITE of her amor for Damon being arguably mais intense than her amor for Stefan.
Elena's choice is complicated por 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 amor should be. You should amor the person that makes you 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 amor Stefan because he makes me glad to be alive," or "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: amor isn't about a list of what you 'should' do. If you think you 'should' do something, the chances are that you won't feel like it doing it. Elena is still very young, and she doesn't yet know what amor is. She has no mother or aunt to shed some light on the situation she's in, and any conselhos Caroline gives her will be hopelessly in favour of Stefan. People don't seem to know what amor is; their perception of it can vary wildly according to what they believe or it can be very flawed. The truth is, if you've never been deeply in love, then you can't know how it feels or what its like. "You don't understand," Karen tells Derek in 'Smash', "because you don't understand love." Elena has this idea of what amor is, she thinks she knows what it should be, but the truth is, she just doesn't understand what amor really is.
Although Elena can be forgiven for believing that she should amor Stefan because he got her back on her feet and made her feel "alive", she is mistaken in thinking that's what amor 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 or wrong, and something that is not real amor at all. "Real amor is not a "consuming love". It is a love that makes you feel alive, makes you glad that you´re alive. That is the greatest thing you can feel..." one such person wrote.
I think they're misguided in their thinking, because "real love" IS consuming, or it can be. Some of the greatest amor stories ever told are about a amor that "consumes" the characters. The most famous amor 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 you glad to be alive isn't necessarily what makes a relationship "great", nor is it the greatest thing you can feel. It might be a part of it, but if amor doesn't take over you, if it's not so intense that it would make you want to go to the ends of the earth for someone, or drives you to distraction, or fills your every waking moment, or has the power to destroy you, then...maybe you have a problem. Maybe it's not what you think it is and it's not the greatest amor it could be.
When I was 19 and in my segundo ano at university, I met a guy and fell head over heels crazy in amor with him. Did he make me feel alive? Yes, but mais importantly, I was utterly consumed por 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 por rationalising that she has to let one of them go because she can't amor them both. Being consumed por 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 amor with him when she had lost 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 amor 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 expiração 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 amor 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 coração truly desires.
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