Edward and Bella: True Love or True Lust

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Sparked by a recent conversation with my friend Hillary, I have decided I need to post my thoughts about a certain series of novels written by Stephenie Meyer. Particularly the relationship between one, Bella, and the object of her affection. The supposedly uber hot vampire, Edward.

Believe me when I say Edward has been well cast in the movie which is scheduled for release in December of this year. I thought Robert Pattinson was exceedingly good looking when I first saw him in Harry Potter (as Cedric Diggory) and I eagerly await his debut in a role that will likely earn him unending fame amongst giddy teenage girls for years to come.

But enough about young hot guys whose posters would have hung on my wall as a teenager.
Besides having a knack for catching spelling and punctuation errors I think a lot about how a certain book might influence it’s audience, and what I think the author should have done differently in writing it based on that.

Can you see why I haven’t written a novel yet? I’m too busy thinking about subtle messages I want to convey instead of the actual story. But I digress.

The main audience in the case of the Twilight series, are a bunch of giggly teenage girls with egregious romantic notions that play out in their daydreams over and over, or which they speak to each other in hushed tones during sleepovers. Oh, and grown women who are often silly school girls at heart. Ahem….

***Warning – Spoilers Ahead!***

I devoured all three of Stephanie’s books, each within a day of borrowing them. I didn’t think much about them initially. I was caught up in the intense romance, the stunningly accurate view through a teenage girls mind. I identified immensely with Bella and her feelings of being so very ordinary. I also understood her intense attraction to Edward. I always crushed on the mysterious guys. The dangerous guys.
But the more I’ve mulled over this vehement love story, the more concerned I’ve become in what I anticipate will be its ending. Especially when thinking about the thousands of teenage girls who worship this series. So I say….
Bella really needs to break things off with Edward.

Let me offer up my reasons for this before any of you kick me:

1. Holy Co-Dependent Relationship Batman!
Co-Dependant relationships are never healthy and Bella and Edward have got a doozie of one going on. It may not have started that way but it’s turned into that. Grieving for those we’ve loved and lost is certainly natural but Bella took it well beyond that point, ceasing to be anything but a drone doing only what she had to in order to survive after Edward left. Then of course Edward has sworn to kill himself shortly after the time Bella has died.
Sweet? Romantic? Not on your life.

Other problems with their relationship that hinge on co-dependency:
* Lack of interaction with other friends and acquaintances
* Bella’s mental attention focusing solely on relieving Edward’s pain i.e. If she’s a vampire, he won’t struggle with wanting to kill her anymore. If she’s a vampire, she’ll finally be worthy of him.
* Feeling her life is meaningless without him.

2. Bella is being smothered
Edward and his family are controlling Bella. They may not be doing it on purpose but that doesn’t make it any better. Bella seems to attract danger and Edward feels the need to protect her. He watches her all night, she gets driven by them everywhere. She rarely does anything of her own accord or by herself and when she does she know she’ll face Edwards disapproval afterwards. Their relationship has become more and more like a naughty little child disobeying their master. *shudder*

3. They don’t really love each other
They lust each other. The only basis for Bella’s devotion and supposed love that I can find are descriptions of Edwards danger and his beauty. And do you think for one moment that Edward would have taken a second glance at Bella (other than to eat her) if he had been able to read her thoughts? He was bound to be obsessed with the first girl who had the power to block him out. They are enchanted by the mystery of each other. Is this love? No. Could it turn into love? Certainly. But book three definitely had their relationship getting more and more icky.

4. My belief in number 3 was only reaffirmed by the part Jacob has played.
I won’t tell you that I think Bella should end up with Jacob instead. But it would be healthier than being with Edward. Being around his cheerful and friendly self brought some vigor back into her life. It was good that she didn’t perceive him as a possible love interest or she may have latched on to him in rebound as she had to Edward in the first place, becoming more needy and dependent on his feeding her constant reassurances than she had been with Edward. Slowly and without force, Jacob’s friendship brought her back to life, and though she still grieved for Edward she was finally living again.

I also agree with Jacob that eventually she would have been happy without Edward. She would have maybe even realized that her love for Jacob was real and something deeper than the one she had with Edward. Alas that Edward has to go off and try to kill himself!

As an adult I’ve looked back on some relationships I had as a teen in which I was sure I really loved the person. I did care deeply about them. It was love of a sort. But not the kind that would have withstood the fizzling of passion and the inevitable changing of beliefs and shifts in personality we make until we die.

So Stephenie Meyer, if you’re reading this, do you really want to send a message that co-dependent relationships are romantic? That ceasing to live for yourself is romantic? That being willing to kill yourself over the one you love is romantic? That love is based on mystery, danger and good looks alone?

I don’t care who she ends up with ultimately (though I do hope that if it’s Edward their relationship improves) but please do us all a favor and have Bella learn to think and live for herself and grow out of this sickening neediness and willingness to be controlled.

Alright, why am I right? Why am I wrong? Keep it respectful please.