Twilight Is The Reason For All My Troubles In Love

Elena explores the unrealistic and unhealthy representations of love in the Twilight saga.

With this summer’s release of Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun came a glorious Twilight Renaissance. Those who first discovered the magic of Twilight in their early teens have re-fallen in love with the saga. From Instagram to TikTok our feeds have been blessed with Twilight memes. And I am HERE for it; however, it made me realise that those juicy, dark and quite blatantly toxic love triangles have had a massive impact on my love life. After discovering Twilight at the merry young age of 12 I was enthralled in finding this love that never ends. Real passionate love was to be filled with pain, discomfort and a whole heap of emotional manipulation, right? WRONG. 

The desire for never-ending love gifted me with an inability to leave emotionally abusive and toxic relationships. Even when dating, l’d hold on to my mismatched suitor for far longer than I should, because if Twilight has taught me anything it’s that if it feels difficult, too passionate and too hard then you are on the right path to finding your everlasting love. I willingly accepted Edward’s possessive, controlling and gaslighting tendencies to justify his unbreakable love for Bella. Mesmerised by his dark and tortured being, I underestimated the amount of emotional damage that 109-years-young Edward was putting on Miss Swan. 

And goodness me…I can barely start on the terrible behaviours that I accepted because of New Moon. This rollercoaster of obsession and rejection, masqueraded as overwhelming love and fear, is as far away from a healthy relationship as I can imagine. How many of us have gone on breaks because our gf/bf wasn’t “feeling” it anymore only to take them back with open arms as soon as they expressed that they wanted us again? This acceptance of bad behaviour in order to support a fictitious future does nobody any good. Twilight teaches us to put up with the bad for the payoff of the magical but real love just shouldn’t be that difficult. 

But wait…. are some of you now thinking that I’m Team Jacob?? No way loca. Just as toxic, if not more so, is our shapeshifting Jake. You’d be a fool if you thought that Jacob was thinking of anyone but himself. He is depicted as having a passionate and unstoppable love, but his constant guilt-tripping and strops are so manipulative that Edward’s fouls look meek in comparison. But again, I discovered that I’d accepted these behaviours in my own relationships because I perceived them as care and affection, whereas in reality, it was only selfish, controlling, one-sided love.

This obsession where one cannot live without the other may play out well in YA fiction, but I would be cautious to believe that that sort of intoxication is anything but dangerous and draining in real life. Therefore, I ask you next time, rather than choosing the love interest who can’t survive without, you choose the one who simply asks you: ‘How you liking the rain gurl?’

Elena McCaffrey