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17 September 2011 @ 08:43 pm
Stefan/Caroline vs Stefan/Elena  
I've been so gung-ho for Stefan/Caroline, thinking how perfect they'd be for each other, and yet I'm so opposed to Stefan and Elena, and think he's not a very good boyfriend to her, so I was trying to figure out what it is beyond my uber-love for Damon/Elena. So I decided to work out the list of things that I dislike about Stefan and Elena and compare/contrast this with Stefan and Caroline and why it isn't an issue.

1.) Their chemistry is subpar for me. I mean, I do think that they have chemistry, but it is a muted, sweet type. The muted doesn't work for me at all, and I'm fine with sweet, but I like spice with my sweet.

2.) Because of that chemistry being only of the muted, sweet variety, the fact that their storyline together doesn't have a lot of spark and fire in it, the chemistry feels even more muted. (Ie, Katherine and Stefan come across as more chemical than do Stefan and Elena, even though Katherine and Elena are played by the same actress. Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley have that sweet chemistry, however, because of the storyline that's all hot and sparky between Stefan and Katherine, as opposed to the sweet, non-passionate one between Stefan and Elena, I find much more heat between the former.)

3.) Stefan essentially stalked Elena for five to seven months. I find that incredibly creepy. And the fact that he did so to make sure she didn't act like Katherine didn't make it any better. It's like he decided that Elena was the "good parts version" of Katherine after cataloguing her pros and cons during his observation period. And, again, I just find that creepy.

4.) Stefan lies like a rug to Elena. And if he's not lying, he's lying like a rug by omission to Elena. On a constant, consistent basis. Keeping secrets from his past over and over, after telling her that he won't keep any more, and then keeping more secrets, more details.

5.) And if he's not lying (either flat-out or by omission), he's white-washing who he is, his actions, his past, his misdeeds because he's ashamed of his dark past, that part of him.

06.) On that note, when with Elena, they tend to bury their heads in the sand and try and pretend to be "normal," which they most assuredly are not. The fact that Elena thought the worst thing about being a vampire was wanting to drink blood is just insane.

07.) And on *that* note, Stefan and Elena do have a sameness to them that might work in real life, but on a fictional drama, it gets pretty durn boring to watch. I can only watch them have variations on the same conversation so many times before wanting to walk out of the room.

08.) Elena and Stefan make each other stupid. They are such stupid, stupid teenagers together. With Elena, Stefan completely loses his cool. With Stefan, Elena pretty much loses the functioning of her brain cells. I do believe that the vampire mythology on the show is that their personality is based on their respective death age and that that never changes. It certainly explains why Stefan is SUCH a stupid, emo, idealistic, teenage BOY! with regards to Elena.

So, looking at all of these factors, let's break down why they don't even remotely apply to my beloved Stefan and Caroline potential pairing.

1.) Paul Wesley and Candice Accola have chemistry like WHOAH! It first reared its head in their bathroom scene in 2.02 when Stefan was comforting Caroline, and continued in sparkly glory in 2.03. They had a few more scenes in 2.09 that continued to highlight their chemistry, but it was their interaction at Caroline's door in 2.13 that really drove it home. Obviously not intended as romantic, there was still an air of tension and squee about them that played as romantic because of the dynamite chemistry between Wesley and Accola.

2.) While their current storyline (well, last season's anyway and what little of them we saw -- *sniffsniff*) didn't have a lot of the push/pull, yin/yang dynamic that I generally find myself falling for in my preferred OTPs, because of their chemistry, every moment with them still sang and zinged. The little moments of friendly disagreement had that push/pull *because* of their chemistry. And the more weighted moments (Stefan reacting to Caroline's kidnapping, the afore-mentioned door scene) held an overwhelming amount of tension and left this viewer riveted, again, because that chemistry had me savoring and enjoying every moment between the two.

3.) Stefan never stalked Caroline. Period. Caroline did a brief bit when they first met, but it was standard high schooler likes cute new boy finds out all the deets on him, end of story. Nothing stalkery or creepy about that.

4.) Beyond last season where, of course, there was lying because Caroline was one of those in-the-dark humans, but they barely interacted. This season -- which is when the ship really set sail -- there have been almost no lies from day two her vampirism. Yes, there was the bit where Caroline was trying to break Elena and Stefan up at Katherine's demand, but she wasn't actively pulling those strings with Stefan, and everything she told Elena about Stefan (as a vampire) was actually true.

As for Stefan and Caroline together, they don't lie. They are actually incredibly honest with one another, probably the two most honest characters with one another. Everyone else lies to each other for some reason or another (generally for protective purposes), but that's not necessary between Stefan and Caroline. They are both vampires, she is trying to follow his "good" vampire path, so they have that in common. Stefan told Caroline more about the reality of being a vampire in a few days than he's ever said to Elena. Yes, yes, she is a vampire and needs this information. However, Elena is his girlfriend, spending large amounts of time with him ... she should really be getting that information too.

05.) Obviously, it's because Caroline is a vampire too now, but the fact of the matter remains that Stefan has been completely honest with her regarding his struggles and how difficult things are for him as a vampire. This is something that he doesn't do with Elena, he whitewashes all instances when he wasn't a "good" vampire. So far we haven't seen him do the same with Caroline.

06.) Again, we have the vampire aspect, and this ties into the above points -- Stefan doesn't pretend to be normal with Caroline, as he does with Elena. He faces what they are dealing with head-on without burying his head in the sand, something that Elena -- with a similar type of personality -- practically encourages he do because she does the same herself. Caroline faces things head on and wouldn't let Stefan fall into that pattern. She embraces challenges and turns lemons into lemonade, and based on what we know of both their personalities, she'd drag Stefan head-long into that as opposed to letting him try and put a band-aid on a problem and pretend it doesn't exist.

07.) Stefan and Elena have a similar type of personality and this is a problem when they are facing massive amounts of danger on a regular basis, and they choose to, oh, I don't know, go and look at waterfalls instead of making sure that everyone they love is safe and protected like, oh, I don't know, her human aunt who's just been introduced to the crazy and is left all alone with the very real possibility of falling prey to the dangerous forces barely held at bay. But this is what Stefan and Elena do. They've done so all throughout their relationship, and the last couple of times it's led to terrible things happening. All because they want to bury their heads in the sand, play at being "normal," and they encourage that type of behavior in the other. It's not good.

08.) Perhaps because Caroline does see Stefan as older now, and not on the same "level" as them -- which, again, comes into play because Stefan doesn't pretend to be normal for Caroline -- Caroline, while herself, doesn't act especially teen-ager-y stupid with him. She doesn't keep things from him, she reasons things out with him, she listens to him, but doesn't treat everything he says as gospel. She has her own mind and uses it. Plus, I do think that since she looks up to Stefan, and she *does* think of him as older and not a teenager like her, she tries to think older, act older and be more mature.

On the other hand, because Caroline isn't a human with whom he feels the need to be normal with (but rather can be himself), he calls her on her behavior when she is being, well, stupid (which he has done to Elena exactly once). He doesn't tiptoe on eggshells around her, he doesn't acquiesce to every thought, desire she has because he's not afraid of losing her, which is definitely the case with Elena. In addition, when you take into account the whole vampire mythology, your personality is based on your respective death age, well, both Stefan and Caroline were turned when they were 17. :)

So, looking at all of those things, yeah, it's very easy to see why I think that Stefan and Caroline are ACES, and why I think that even though Stefan is a lousy boyfriend for Elena, he'd be PERFECT for Caroline. :D

Stefan and Caroline: MEANT TO BE FOR ALL ETERNITY!
 
 
 
sumeria on September 18th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
To this, all of which I agree entirely with, I would add that I don't think Elena is really a person, foremost, to Stefan. That sounds a kind of terrible, but. She is, to him, a lot more of an ideal, I have always thought. She's like his image of the perfect girl, exactly the one he thinks he ought to want. (It remains my deep seated conviction that the Stefan we see is largely repressing most of his actual personality in an effort to pretend to be the sort of person/man he thinks he 'ought' to be. In this vein, I think Elena is the girl he thinks that person, the one he wishes he were, would/should like.) But she's not a person to him, she's a symbol. She's the ideal perfect girlfriend, and she represents his redemption. If she likes him, if he can be the boy that *this girl*, the anti-Katherine, wants then he can convince himself that he is not the boy who made the mistakes that he hates himself for having made.

But I remember his description of Katherine, back in what, 1.03? when he was telling Elena about his old girlfriend. How she was flirty, and a bit shallow, a bit self-centered, but beautiful and fun and made him laugh, and I dunno. I don't want to imply that I think Caroline is shallow and selfish, because she's *awesome*, but she strikes me as being way more the kind of girl he *actually* likes, as opposed to the kind he thinks he *should*.
Arabian: Caroline04arabian on September 18th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
I beyond agree so much with every word. Stefan and Elena are just not "real." They spend so much time pretending to be this perfectly normal couple with this perfect love and yet they don't even truly know each other.

And then there is this, which I'd totally forgotten -- or at least never put into play as you did.

I remember his description of Katherine, back in what, 1.03? when he was telling Elena about his old girlfriend. How she was flirty, and a bit shallow, a bit self-centered, but beautiful and fun and made him laugh, and I dunno. I don't want to imply that I think Caroline is shallow and selfish, because she's *awesome*, but she strikes me as being way more the kind of girl he *actually* likes, as opposed to the kind he thinks he *should*.

Yes, Caroline is like a non-psychotic version of Katherine. (In fact, now that I think of it, Katherine in "Klaus" was a lot like Caroline.) She has heart and cares, but she is also shallow, and self-absorbed and flirty and makes Stefan laugh.

SO MEANT TO BE!
sumeria on September 18th, 2011 02:47 am (UTC)
Honestly, the laughter thing is at the very heart of both why I ship S/C, and D/E. In so much romance fiction, particularly in YA, there is much time spent establishing the serious epic drama of the relationship. Much time spent on the insecurities, and problems, and falling out. But when you actually *look* at most fictional relationships, they totally skip the bit where they show you the two characters *having fun* together.

In short, I like Damon with Elena because she doesn't have to twist his arm to get him to dance with her. Real relationships are not made up of only intense serious Conversations About Love. If you're always serious and/or miserable around someone, why would you want to spend all your time with them?

Also, Stefan has a certain seventeen-ish uncertainty that seems to translate (to me) as a kind of wanting to be grown up and responsible. YOu know what I mean? That way that it's super important to young men that they be Very Adult? I think a more flighty and fun and younger-seeing girl like Caroline would actually be good for Stefan's self image as well as for his person. (Did that make any sense at all? I'm trying not to write an essay in your comments, but I may just be making myself unclear.)
bluesuzannebluesuzanne on September 18th, 2011 03:12 am (UTC)
I was so disappointed by the lack of S/C in the s3 premiere. I hope they don't think they can just drop it entirely :(( I mean, even if all we ever get is friendship... at least give us cute moments and Caroline caring about him!

And I totally agree that they're a much better fit together than S/E, both from a storytelling point of view and for their own growth and happiness. Love the post.
Arabian: Stefan & Caroline03arabian on September 18th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
I wasn't expecting S/C at all. In fact, I don't think we'll get anything with them until Stefan's back in MF. I'm really hoping that Caroline is going to be one of the ones who helps turn him back to the light.
distant_autumn: Caroline - Radiant by imaginary_livesdistant_autumn on September 18th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
♥ ♥ ♥! I love this post and everything it chooses to be.

Their chemistry is subpar for me. I mean, I do think that they have chemistry, but it is a muted, sweet type.

Yeah. It feels very much like a teen sweethearts sort of chemistry, the end. There is just not a lot of 'there' there for me. And I definitely feel it is deliberate, because as you say, Nina and Paul are capable of being somewhat more fiery together, chemistry-wise, with Stefan/Katherine. Aside from my other issues with S/E, I just can't get excited about a relationship that seems so lacking in real spark and passion. I just can't.

Stefan essentially stalked Elena for five to seven months.

IKR? I rewatched the pilot recently, and EVERY SCENE I was so damn creeped out by knowing what Stefan had done. I can't believe how completely brushed aside and dropped that got because of the adoption revelation. I love Stefan, but damn. That was a seriously unfair and creepy thing to do to Elena.

It's like he decided that Elena was the "good parts version" of Katherine after cataloguing her pros and cons during his observation period.

His refusal to deal with his Katherine issues, combined with his initial feelings for Elena being so wrapped up in his Katherine issues is so damn odd. And HOW is it not more of a thing for Elena? She looks just like her! He initially got interested in her precisely because of that! Then lied his ass off to her for months about it, even after promising to tell her everything! How has that not been more of a thing for her than a one-episode freak out?

Stefan lies like a rug to Elena. And if he's not lying, he's lying like a rug by omission to Elena. On a constant, consistent basis. Keeping secrets from his past over and over, after telling her that he won't keep any more, and then keeping more secrets, more details.

IKR? She doesn't seem to see it as an issue, but I bloody do. She can't trust him to actually tell her the full truth, ever. And he apparently doesn't trust in her and her love for him enough to be completely honest with her. I do get why he would find it hard to open up, but... that does not make it at ALL okay or healthy for their relationship.

On that note, when with Elena, they tend to bury their heads in the sand and try and pretend to be "normal," which they most assuredly are not.

Waterfall walks! Carnival rides! Going away while major things are going down! Fiddling while Rome burns! Just generally pretending like they are in fact two normal teenagers, which OMG they are so not.

The fact that Elena thought the worst thing about being a vampire was wanting to drink blood is just insane.

Right? And the issues that go undiscussed! I cannot even.

Stefan and Elena do have a sameness to them that might work in real life, but on a fictional drama, it gets pretty durn boring to watch. I can only watch them have variations on the same conversation so many times before wanting to walk out of the room.

Thiiiiiis. Things seemed to get into such a mundane loop with them, and they are in every other way SUCH awesome, interesting characters. I cannot get behind a ship which is actively making two characters I adore LESS interesting.

Elena and Stefan make each other stupid. They are such stupid, stupid teenagers together.

Yes. They need somebody (Damon, Caroline, even Katherine) to pull them out of the loop of enabling echo chambery teenager stupidity they fall into.

Meanwhile, yes to your reasons for C/S!

Paul Wesley and Candice Accola have chemistry like WHOAH! It first reared its head in their bathroom scene in 2.02 when Stefan was comforting Caroline, and continued in sparkly glory in 2.03. They had a few more scenes in 2.09 that continued to highlight their chemistry, but it was their interaction at Caroline's door in 2.13 that really drove it home.

Yes ♥! And I mean, it was obviously unintentional, so all that amazing chemistry was there without them even trying to vibe that way, which means they are probably capable of having even more chemistry if they consciously plug into it.



distant_autumn: Caroline - woods by lipglossingdistant_autumn on September 18th, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
Part 2
because of their chemistry, every moment with them still sang and zinged. The little moments of friendly disagreement had that push/pull *because* of their chemistry. And the more weighted moments (Stefan reacting to Caroline's kidnapping, the afore-mentioned door scene) held an overwhelming amount of tension

There is such a sense of connection there between them. I can't even describe it, but there is just something so there between them. It's like, I really can see them, 100 years down the line, still together, still totally getting what each other needs, still capable of making each other laugh, still sparking. (And OMG that door scene. Hearts in eyes.)

Stefan never stalked Caroline.

Hahaha! I mean, it's true, but you'd think one party not having stalked the other party would be a basic ground rule for all relationships, really. AND YET. APPARENTLY NOT! Oh TVD, it's such a good thing I adore you as I do.

Stefan told Caroline more about the reality of being a vampire in a few days than he's ever said to Elena.

Yes yes yes ♥! I know it was due to circumstances, but that and the honesty between them was SO significant to me.

Caroline faces things head on and wouldn't let Stefan fall into that pattern. She embraces challenges and turns lemons into lemonade, and based on what we know of both their personalities, she'd drag Stefan head-long into that as opposed to letting him try and put a band-aid on a problem and pretend it doesn't exist.

Can't you just see them years from now, with her keeping doing that, and him balancing her out? They both really benefit from having the type of person the other is in their life.

she reasons things out with him, she listens to him, but doesn't treat everything he says as gospel. She has her own mind and uses it. Plus, I do think that since she looks up to Stefan, and she *does* think of him as older and not a teenager like her, she tries to think older, act older and be more mature.

Yeah, it's almost like they unintentionally encourage each other's better selves, just by being around each other.

because Caroline isn't a human with whom he feels the need to be normal with (but rather can be himself), he calls her on her behavior when she is being, well, stupid (which he has done to Elena exactly once). He doesn't tiptoe on eggshells around her, he doesn't acquiesce to every thought, desire she has because he's not afraid of losing her, which is definitely the case with Elena.

I have nothing to add, just... yes. So much yes.

In addition, when you take into account the whole vampire mythology, your personality is based on your respective death age, well, both Stefan and Caroline were turned when they were 17. :)

I love this. I had already gone to the same mental place as you re: Elena turning 18 and aging/growing past Stefan, but that is SUCH a great call re: Caroline turning at the same age as him. Love it.
lacrimadraconis: TVD Stefan Carolinelacrimadraconis on September 21st, 2011 11:59 am (UTC)
Though I'd still like to see Caroline and Tyler together, at least at some point, I basically agree with the things you said here. Stefan and Caroline would make a great couple. I love all characters on their own, but Stefan and Elena together are just not my cup of tea. As you well know :D

I still wasn't able to watch the season premiere, hence the lack of comments and posts on that, but I honestly can't wait to see which direction they take everything *sigh*