When I started watching TVD I liked Stefan and Elena’s relationship. For me Stefan was the one who would help Elena be happy after her parents death and she would help fill the void in his lonely vampire life. Throughout the ‘Pilot’ Stefan and Elena shared some touching and cute moments and I couldn’t help but grin whenever they were together, as I felt that I was witnessing the beginning of an epic love story (as this was the official story line given to us by the makers and actors). Then “Hello Brother”…Damon is introduced, and without thinking too much, in the first scene, I realized that he had already become my favorite character, and his story line was the one I was most interested in. Then the second episode comes about, Stelena share their first kiss (I remember being quite surprised) and Damon and Elena meet; and their chemistry was electrifying. But I was worried that Damon (who was acting as quite the evil douche at that time) would spoil the relationship between Stefan and Elena, which I thought was a healthy one at that time, and so I didn’t even want to see them in the same frame together. From the third episode onwards however, after the kitchen scene between Damon and Elena, I started to doubt my staunch Stelena shipping. Just the way Damon and Elena acted around each other, it was casual, real, and they were honest with each other. Elena admits to Damon that she didn’t want to continue with cheer leading and he offers her a solution to get out of it. Already Damon was beginning to think about her, even though his entire reason for living was still Katherine. And Elena recognizes Damon’s pain from Katherine’s ‘death’; and the way Damon looks at her, you just know that he is startled by this girl who looks exactly like the woman he has loved for so long, but who already understands him like no one else had done before (my heart melted quite literally) even though they had just met. Finally the moment that made me a Delena shipper, is when Damon strokes Elena’s face with so much tenderness and adoration. I knew that something was happening in him for her, even if he didn’t want to admit it. Sorry long post. I’am almost done;)
But I still wasn’t happy with Damon’s behavior, and after I found out why he came to Mystic Falls, to free Katherine from the tomb, I felt that I would be happy if Damon and Katherine got together and Stefan and Elena being together. That way everyone is happy and the couples are equal. I don’t have to recall the moments between them throughout the season, but all of them made me love Delena so much, and I always looked forward to their scenes and banter. Little did I know that Katherine was quite the HBIC (head bitch in charge) and was never in the tomb, and Damon’s disillusionment and pain from this revelation coupled with Elena’s subsequent comforting of him, made Damon and Elena my OTP. Also I started to notice a disturbing trend that was signaling the end of my Stelena shipping. Stefan was becoming quite possessive with her and they were both acting like they had been together forever and that their love was perfect. Also Stefan’s confession about joining high school specifically to be close to Elena disturbed me a little. And that is the reason I have grown to love Delena to the point of insanity (as one can tell from this long post). Damon never intended to fall in love with Elena or care for her and her loved ones as much as he does now. It just happened naturally and through circumstance. Damon didn’t care whether she lived or died, she was just his brother’s girlfriend through whom he could nag and disturb Stefan with. Now she is his humanity, not just a pretty girl whom he has fallen for, but his actual reason for living and staying sane. Also the heart-wrenching Damon confession of 2x08 is the biggest testament of love and selflessness I have ever seen. I think that if Elena dies Damon would remove his ring and burn in the sunlight without hesitation, whereas I think that somehow Stefan would survive (even if he is devastated), because he is the more rational, less passionate and more wise brother. I also think that Katherine could take care of Stefan better than Elena did, whereas Elena can nurture Damon in a way no one else can.
But the end of my Stelena shipping also led to me loving Stefan as a character, and loving the brotherly bond of Damon and Stefan (however fractured it is). With the episodes showing his lack of control of bloodlust, I realized that Stefan has the most internal demons than anyone else in the show, and maybe Elena isn’t enough to hold his humanity together. Even now in season 3, Stefan is more real, honest and interesting, and Elena has proved that she isn’t a damsel in distress or the anti-Katherine that Stefan fell in love with. It is sad to say, but no matter how much Stelena might have loved each other, they were never their real selves, and that can never lead to anything good or long lasting.