Twilight Love: Do You Love Like a Vampire & Is It a Good Thing?

Bella and Edward Cullen
Creative Commons License photo credit: bruna :]

Edward Cullen. The name causes hearts all over the world to skip a beat. Chivalrous, dangerous, protective. His love for Bella, 90-odd years his junior, has captivated the hearts and minds of girls and women everywhere. They leave cinemas green with envy; wishing that that had a love like that.

In this post I want to look at this vampire love and explore some of the thoughts I had about Edward and Bella as I sat there in the New Moon screening. Is this love realistic? Is it harmful to the girls who long for it? Why is it so attractive?

BE INTERACTIVE: Leave a comment after the post and share your views. We have some extremely smart comment leavers here.

Why is Twilight so attractive to girls and women?

Let’s start this post by looking at why Twilight is so incredibly captivating to girls and women around the world. This will serve as a base for discovering whether or not it is a positive thing.

1. Edward is dangerous
Anyone who went to high school will know that some girls love the bad boy. They are attracted to the danger and the thrill of being associated with someone so loose. Edward takes this danger to a whole new level because he wants to eat Bella! Her smell intoxicates him. Add to the mix that a tiny cut on Bella’s finger can turn Edward’s relatives into a pack of blood-thirsty killers and you have yourself a dangerous man.

2. Chivalry is alive
Edward Cullen is extremely old fashioned. Having been turned into a vampire sometime in the early 1900’s he has a set of values that many women today long for. He is romantic and extremely chivalrous. Mix that in with the element of danger and you have a very attractive male figure.

Later in this post I will touch on why I am extremely happy to see this back in popular culture.

3. A mind reading protector
Some women love a protector. The love of being protected is something that, I have read, occurs naturally in many women due to the relationship with the father and the history of having a male go out and hunt for food and fend off dangers in ancient times. Nowadays women are completely independent of course and no longer need the protections of a male. But many of my female friends remarked that the way Edward fights for Bella is one of the most attractive things of all.

Why this vampire style love is a good thing

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Sparkle in the sun

Before I get into the reasons why Twilight could be harmful to some relationships, I want to start with the positive and talk about why I am extremely happy that many young girls and boys are seeing these movies.
And it goes back to one word – chivalry.

A generation of teenagers valuing respect for women
I’m a male. And I have male friends. And when you go out with males you inevitable get onto the subject of women. Sex. And the conversations that take place are often enough to make your stomach crawl (my stomach anyway). Call me old fashioned, but I really struggle to participate in conversations where women are just games, sexual objects and described in vocabulary that you would never call your mother.

And for all intensive purposes one could say that this view of women is getting worse. Pornography is now more wide spread than ever. I recently read a statistic that the number of women appearing in pornographic material online doubles each year. Doubles. So when you mix the two facts that men are watching more pornography and more women are appearing in pornography you start to create a culture that has little respect for women other than as sexual beings.

But Twilight paints the relationship between boy and girl in a different light. Sure there is sexual tension and sure there is romance, but it is of a very respectful nature. Edward values Bella more than anything else on Earth and because of that value he behaves in very a chivalrous way. And this is a very important thing for young men to see women enjoying.

Why Twilight is NOT helpful for relationships

oh, Edward (365.195)
Creative Commons License photo credit: splityarn

Now I would like to get into my usual critical self and talk about why I think the love portrayed in Twilight is potentially harmful.

They cannot live without each other
The most amazing thing about Twilight is also the most concerning. We all love to see how desperate Bella and Edward are for each other. When Edward leaves Bella in New Moon she sits by her window for months on end. She is depressed. She begins to seek out dangerous hobbies in order to feel close to him again. She cannot live without him.

Now let’s be honest, teenagers do not really need any encouragement in this area! We all remember what it was like with our first love. It had to go on forever because we simply could not live without them. The pain and the angst was crippling. And we all got hurt. And while the great love of Edward and Bella has created an incredible love story, it also paints relationships in an unrealistic light.

You can live without your partner. If they leave you it is not the end of the world. Your identity is completely separate from them and you will move on. If you know this then you can sit back and enjoy the eternal romance without any issues. But if you base your idea of a relationship on that of Edward and Bella’s then you are bound to have some problems.

Love does not last forever
Here is the part of the post where I say something that gets me into trouble. Especially if my gorgeous lady reads it. But I do not think it is true to think that love is eternal. I think it is a view that causes more problems than solutions and I think it is based on fear. Here’s why.

I love Mrs. Daily Minder with all my heart. I have loved her since high school and there has never been a day where I have stopped loving her. Captivated by her intelligence, her compassion and her companionship I imagine I will go on loving her til the day I die. But at death there is a separation. And it is a separation I want to be aware of. I do not want to ignore it.

As brutal as it may sound, I think the idea that love goes on forever and that you will meet in the afterlife is something people say to hide the painful truth that one day you need to part. We are not vampires that can live forever in some timeless romance. We are humans with bodies that get sick and die. And at that moment of death the attachment to your loved one will cause you immense suffering – you will struggle to let go.

Why the impermanence of love is a good thing
Understanding that you are going to have to leave your love is a good understanding to have. It is a very positive and workable situation. It is not a cause for depression.

Why?

Because all of a sudden you are pushed into a realistic world where you know that your time with this person is finite. Much like a person who has survived a serious illness, you now look at life and love in a new light and you do everything you can to make the most of the opportunity.

Imagine a marriage where you spend 50 years together knowing that you have to part and making the most of each day together.

What do you think?

Here is the interesting part. What do you think about Twilight? Do you think the ideas about love and chivalry portrayed in the movies are helpful or harmful? Why do you think it has captivated so many young women? Do you think I am wrong about love not lasting forever.

Please leave a comment and let us know.

17 thoughts on “Twilight Love: Do You Love Like a Vampire & Is It a Good Thing?

  1. What I find interesting is the way most go on discussing about love as though it has already been clearly defined. Incline to think that often, the definition starts with that of the writer, and slowly but surely go on to mean different and various things with comments and responses. For example, that love doesn’t go on forever may be disagreed with, if love is defined to mean an undescribable regard in a relationship that is allowed to mature with its beholders. That would certainly make love something dynamic and interesting to follow through. On the other hand, the danger is to get too clear minded or logical about such a ‘thing’ called love. For all that one could conclude, it may not be a ‘thing’ at all – though it does not help when today, the advertisers like to suggest that love is that affordability to buy a diamond for the girl…
    Just one last comment: perhaps, that which that does not last is not so much love as romance? Thought love is also very much about being willing to live the mundane life with the other 🙂

  2. I’ll be seeing the movie with my wife, who is a huge fan of the series (she seriously read all the books in a week). While I haven’t seen New Moon yet, I have to agree with you it’s funny how “mature” these characters’ love for each other is portrayed when they might be better off just moving along.

    On particular thing I found worrisome in the first movie is how Edward sneaks into Bella’s room at night to watch her sleep. This is shown as being a romantic gesture. In reality, this is stalking that could easily escalate into something dangerous. Chivalry means you don’t break into your lover’s house and invade their privacy.

    On a lighter note, I also gave in to the hype with 5 Lessons Vampires Teach about Life Insurance.

  3. I guessed its because of the reality that we all known for so long that makes us succumbed to unrealistic romantic movies like Twilight. I mean because of the fact that we know we will not have eternal love, our partners may not be the greatest, that is why we need a little of this fantasy that sparks our life a little. It all boils down to the fact that we are all human after all, and we never like to face reality, that is why fantasy always has its way to win people’s heart. And of course as we grow older, we will tend to think more logically when we watch movies like Twilight, but its supposed to be a young adult fiction, and teenagers have all the time of their youths to fantasized in fictional fantasy romantic loves. Guess they just have to learn to as they grow about the facts in life.

  4. First of all I think your blog is amazing and I look forward to it. I have to agree that chivalry is a good thing and it is also a good thing to respect women both the ones you are having a relationship with and those who which you aren’t.
    Lets face it love is a complex emotion and it can’t be understood in a 90 minute film and maybe not in a 90 year life. Commercial culture is always going to try to give you the fast easy pitch and there are many things that don’t fit into that characterization. I think we have done that with the idea of God and it has left us with a one dimensional punisher or a Leo Buscalia hugger and I think there is more there then that.
    The same it true with love, I think
    Once again, thanks Daily.
    Keep up the thoughtful work,
    P

  5. This made for a very interesting read. Thank You!

    I had read the first book in the Twilight series, and to be honest I was as taken by Edward’s character as any other girl. The book felt like a fantasy-filled and thrilling ride.
    But it was fantasy indeed. I agree with Kiu’s point about love being willingness to live the mundane life with each other. Such thrills are harder to come by in real life 🙂

    People who find love and are in a relationship are lucky and every moment is worth cherishing, but again it is just a part of life and to think that love will last forever is foolish if not impractical. Everything that has a begin, has an end.

    ~Shri

    P.S. I really liked the way you wrote about Mrs. Daily Minder!

  6. hey , twilighters :-p
    look i’ve got my own ideas , but i haven’t seen twilight in a while. i’m gonna watch it again then i shall make my proper remarks .
    instead , this time i’m leaving the link to a youtube video , talking about twilight and the romantic message part of it . even though it’s about the book , it still captures the essence present in the movie as well . it is not my own and i do consider some teenage unsolved issues of the speaker but she has a pretty fair point which i consider worth sharing with you on the topic of this movie and other ones that portray romance and such 🙂

    still , i can’t hold back and i have to say this before re-viewing the movie:-p : i see part of the chivalry you talk about as a defence mechanism . what i mean is edward holds back like that from bella only because getting any closer would tempt his vampiric nature a bit too much , thus making him want too go just too far for bella’s sake and his(given his values regarding human life).
    That is all for now , thank you:)

  7. Aaron @ Clarifinancial,
    I too found the ‘love’ of Edward for Bella a little concerning.
    It seemed to me, that this love smacked emotional abuse, uncannily resurfacing throughout bouts of protective kindness, much like in real life. The attention and dependancy Edward receives by keeping Bella clinging and afraid, seemed to serve only his eternally 17 year old ego.
    After all, in real life narcissistic/passive-aggressive emotional abusers ability to read and use others with little consideration is often referred to as deficit in emotional maturity. Maybe this ’emotional-vampire’ never grew up.
    However, I can see a certain harm in idealizing Edward and Bella’s relationship as romantic.

    Tina,
    I completely agree with you that youth will idealize fantasy compared with the harsh facts of real life love and romance.
    Here’s a personal story.
    I had watched the first ‘Twilight’ with a friend, and thought my (now ex)boyfriend would enjoy it, simply for it’s romantic idealizations and. At the end he turned to me and sighed, “why can I have a romance like that?”
    It cut very deep, as I had just packed up my life and moved over 2000 miles to be with him. Yes, immaturity does magnetize towards fantasy.

    All in all, If Bella my friend or daughter I would be very concerned over Edward’s hold on her, and I wouldn’t call it ‘love’.

  8. Mr Daily Mind, I could not disagree more about your statement of love not being forever. Your rationale is that love cannot be forever because we will all eventually die someday. Love is not a tangible element. Even though someone that we love dies, that does not mean that our love for them dies. The love for them goes on and on and on…forever.

    If you are the one to survive a loved one’s death, you may move on to fine another or a different person to love but it will NEVER be the same as the love you had for the person that you loved and lost. It can’t be…they are two different people.

    My statements will probably not change your mind because it is often said …. “Never give advice. Wise men don’t need it, fools won’t heed it.” I guess I deal in a world where I believe that perhaps my word will influence someone enough to alter their twisted thinking and in this case it is trying to help you, Mr Daily Mind, realize that your concept of love is based on such concrete and finite circumstances and therefore, is not representative of what true love is.

  9. I love your blog as well. I really look forward to reading it and thank you for writing it. In my opinion love is not eternal. I’m not sure anything is eternal or if it is just as simple as we are here one day and gone the next. I’m leaning toward the here one day theory. I believe in a higher power, but am saddened by the suffering that we are put through while we are here. Some of us more than others. Where is their higher power? What is eternal for them?

    New and daring can be very sexy. And if a man wants to protect me, it makes me feel special and even more attracted to him than I would’ve been originally. It is all a fantasy that is sure nice to think about it’s just not very realistic.

  10. I think all women want a guy who is ready for unconditional love,without just wanting to get into her pants.I’m sorry for the metaphore,but seeing most of my friends’ relationships…It’s the ugly truth.

  11. Intresting blog and posts here.Funny enough my girlfriend just today after watching both films last night said to me on the phone ” wouldnt you like to be in that kind of love?” to which i sighed.It is intrresting that so many women love these kind of books & films and crave for the feelings that develop between the lead characters and i can tell you it is very very possible to experience such feelings but the problem is that most of us are infact very very fearfull,paranoid and selfish.I would say in reality,a very small % of the population like 3-5 % ever find that kind of love in their lives or should i say “keep/evolve that connection” i dont care how long you or someone you know have been together for,what their official status is and how many smiles are plastered on old photographs.Your thoughts and feelings cant be seen,only expressed or supressed.Those that express easilly especially in the modern world tend to go in and out of many relationships quickly.Mainly becasue of a need to “fit in” with everyone else which has bred us into a collectivist society with one dimensional personalities.But those that supress their feelings will ultimatley be mistaken as people in a long lasting solid relationship.
    I find that comment by Mya funny “I think all women want a guy who is ready for unconditional love,without just wanting to get into her pants” oh really? but are you prepared to do the same??? Men secretley desire unconditional love also but most are insecure hypocrites who also want someone all for themselves.You use teh word unconditional love but the structure of relationships and marriage is based on conditions and that is what creates all the emotional baggage that has NOTHING to do with love.Jelousy,paranoia,control are traits of some one who is fearfull.My concience told me early on in one relationship to get out soon as possible and unsuprisingly when i tried letting my gf down as sweetly as possible i was threatned and made to feel guilty,my concience was correct and i was right to leave.UNCONDITIONAL love is to love some one no matter what mistakes,actions or decisons they make,your happiness comes from seeing them happy.I made up my mind a long time ago that i would never try to persuade or make a lover feel guilty in walking out on me if thats what she truley wanted or needed to feel happy.How many of us have that attitude towards other lovers/people? not many which is why you hear nothing but non stop vile dross from so many people that say they have been hard done by in a relationship.Its a 2 way thing,many free spirited ppl complain of feeling controlled in a relationship and it is true in our approach to them.I was threatned if i did this or that by both her and her family all before i did anything and all it did was make me feel trapped.Men do it to women and women do it to men this is not an attack on women because there is so much hypocricy in mens views also.Women are madeto feel guilty for having sex with multiple partners and infact slaughter one another for doing so while men once away from the girls pat each other on the back on their sexual conquests while damning women that do the same………….CONTD

  12. “I think all women want a guy who is ready for unconditional love,without just wanting to get into her pants”

    so what do men want? and are you also prepared to give unconditional love back?there is a scene in the first movie where edward brilliantly tells bella that he can mind read everyone in the room, ” sex…money..drugs ” but that he cannot read her.This is not some supernatural ability like you may think but through observation and experience ,a skill developed through his 104 year life time.She is an open mind which is why she can not be read while those that have a larger understanding of how society works will know most people,the majority, are collectivists & sheep,socially engineered & fuelled by materialsim.She also claims she has “no fear” His ability aswell as his sisters to forsee events is based on predictability,the visions only change when the individuals make different choices.I deffenetley feel for edward because he obviously has not been able to connect with anyone till belle who is not intrested in “shopping ” or getting her nails done etc; all the “normal” things girls do.If he was to engage in a relationship with an average girl he would get bored soon enough and this ladies is the real TRUTH.I do desire hot sexually attractive girls and it is great to have one,a girl that looks after herself seems to reflect confidence but most beutifull women are just that,pieces of meat with no mind of their own.They are extremley self obsessed and by looking so good they think that will keep their relationship together.These type of girls bore the shit out of blokes in the long run who want to be interlectually stimulated or feel UNCONDITIONAL love.To stop going insane we blokes start to spend more time down the pub or increase work hours which of course eventually just leads to the “2 strangers living together” or joke talk of being mere “lodgers/room mates/hosemates” .The predictable conversations and behaviour lead to bickering and awkward silences.The bloke(or woman!) gets bored and if he “cheats ” or begins to question his relationship he is ridiculed as a dog/slag/slut etc .Our perception of love i beleve is flawed,built on the hypocritical bias foundations of the concept in the ancient past whereby in a marriage a man was allowed as many women as he desired while his official wifes place was in the kitchen and if she “cheated” she usually got the death sentence.Sex is used to make us feel guilty when it occurs outside the official relationship and it has been embedded into the population as a means to reduce population numbers by governments.The idea that it is okay to “look but not touch” is a sick joke.Why do u think porn and sexual fantasies are so big right now???its the product of naturally supressed desires in ppl.Even if your bf/gf has never cheated on you in all honesty,how many times has he/she cheated on you in his/her mind? If this scares you then you need to re-adress the concept of what love is because to desire the control of soemone elses thoughts is plain sick.

  13. i recently cought the twilight fever.When you wrote the post i was unaware of the book so just browsed through your points.
    now that I read both the books i really liked the characters.
    but what you said just kept coming back to me when i saw the movie..how he hogged her every minute, how in real life if i have a boy sitting in my bedroom at night,almost stalking me..i would scream and not love him.

    So thank you for a very different but read insight to all this madness..

    and i dont know if others felt it..but although i do like the story book version alot..it has brought in a very strange sadness in my heart…its true that any husband would protect his wife if in danger..but then does it mean we should start looking for danger to find our own edward???

  14. I tried to watch the movie but to be honest i found it very boring and soppy..

    I can understand why Edward would appeal to teenagers but a I fail to see what the attraction is to mature women.

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