I don't think Elena necessarily came into my life to be my soul mate. I mean, she was. We loved each other, but she was also the only person I've ever met who actually believed that my brother was worth loving. And she reminded me that I used to believe that about him too. Her faith in him, it brought Damon and me back together, and yeah, I loved her, more than I thought I could love somebody else, but I think in the end I needed him more than I needed her.

This is the former relationship between the deceased cured vampire/human doppelgänger, Stefan Salvatore, the cured vampire/human Damon Salvatore, and the cured vampire/human doppelgänger, Elena Gilbert.

Similar to how both Stefan and Damon were in love with Katherine, they later both fell in love with Elena. Unlike Katherine, she did not enjoy both of their love for her. She initially dated Stefan and had a rocky relationship with Damon as she was nervous, assuming he was a killer. Over time, she became Damon's first friend and began to bring out his emotions. Elena and Damon grew closer when Stefan fell into Klaus's clutches and she eventually fell in love with him, too. However, she chose Stefan. Following her transformation into a vampires, she remembered the memories Damon made her forget and grew tired of Stefan's desire to "fix" her instead of accepting her. Enjoying how Damon made her feel alive, her relationship with Stefan ended and she began a relationship with Damon. Damon doubted her feelings for him when it was discovered she was sired to him so had to please him. After Elena lost her humanity, she taunted Damon, threatening to go back to Stefan since the sire bond was gone. However, after she regained her emotions, she confessed her love for Damon, choosing him.


Stefan returned to town to meet Elena after saving her from a car crash several months ago on Wickery Bridge. Damon returns shortly after to free Katherine from the tomb. However, a connection forms between Damon and Elena. After Damon discovers Katherine doesn't care about him and never loved him, he began s to develop some major feelings for Elena. When Stefan loses control of his bloodlust, Damon and Elena bond as Stefan recovers. When Isobel demands a meeting with Elena, a recovered Stefan becomes suspicious when Damon seems to be acting like he's in love with Elena. Isobel later tells Elena that Damon is in love with her. Damon begins to become more open about his feelings and tries to become a better man so she can be happier.

After learning that Katherine always loved Stefan, not him, Damon forces himself on Elena despite her pleas that she only loves Stefan, and in a drunken rage he kills Jeremy. Stefan supported her choice to turn her back on Damon following this and kissed Stefan in front of him. Elena then played Damon. Eventually, they returned to an unsteady friendship and after spending a day with Elena, Damon confessed to Andie that he wanted to be the bigger man for her, but also wanted to be himself. He began an affair with Andie to take his mind off Elena. Both Stefan and Damon offered to be sacrificed in Klaus's ritual to save Elena's aunt, Jenna, and save Elena from more heartbreak. Klaus refused them both as Damon had a werewolf bite and he wanted to recruit Stefan. Elena kissed Damon on his supposed deathbed, officially forgiving him from regularly breaking her heart. They learned from Katherine that Klaus had taken Stefan away.


Damon, Elena, and Stefan, Dangerous Liaisons (3x14)

Damon decided to help Elena win Stefan back. He got her to confess her feelings for him first, however, and told her to remember how she felt when Stefan does return. Stefan continuously tries to kill Elena but she begins to rely on Damon and is shocked when he's not there to save her, however, he promises to never leave her again. Despite telling Elena he no longer loved her, Stefan later confesses that he's never stopped loving her and wants to win her back. Damon kisses Elena, telling her he has nothing to feel guilty about, and she tells Stefan who punches Damon. At a ball, Elena dances with both Damon and Stefan and, knowing Damon wants to protect her, gets Stefan to snap his neck so she can talk to Esther. He then says he's mad at her because he loves her, which she calls the problem, prompting him to sleep with Rebekah. Elena later kisses Damon, resulting in them fighting. Rose then talks to Jeremy about how Damon's either the best thing for Elena, or the worst. Stefan later kisses Elena and tells her they'll talk later. Elena later calls Damon after hearing that Klaus died, and tells him that she's choosing Stefan to say goodbye to, both because she loves him and he's closer to Caroline and Tyler.

800px-Stelena season 4 pic 2

Elena and Stefan, Pictures of You (4x19)


Elena and Damon, Graduation (4X23)

Following Elena's transformation into a vampire, she resumes a relationship with Stefan, at the same time growing closer to Damon. When she has troubles drinking blood, she calls Damon and he supports her in her newfound vampirism. He pushes her to embrace her new lifestyle while Stefan becomes determined to "fix" her and make her human again. Stefan realises Elena is in love with Damon and breaks up with her. Elena then moves in with Damon to avoid Jeremy and admits she's upset that no one wants to accept her for who she is now instead of who she was. Damon then says he's never seen her more alive and they sleep together, beginning a relationship. When Caroline informs Stefan of this, he's distraught. Rebekah later compels Stefan, Caroline, and Elena to tell the truth. Elena confesses she still loves Stefan but no longer is in love with him and is in love with Damon. Stefan and Caroline realise that her feelings may have something to do with the fact that she's sired to Damon. Damon struggles to come to terms with this and begins to doubt her feelings for him. She later tells him that her love for him is the most real thing she's ever felt. Elena later becomes friends with Stefan and begs Damon to become human with her, but he refuses her. When Jeremy dies, Damon tells Elena to turn her emotions off, breaking the sire bond but also destroying all the love she had for him. Stefan tried to seduce her, but she made him care more than she did. She later tortured herself to prove Damon and Stefan wrong that they could make her afraid, and she teased Damon, saying she would go back to Stefan since the sire bond was over. Damon had killed Matt, which got her emotions back. Stefan confessed to Lexi that Elena was the love of his life and possibly "the one" but she confessed her love for Damon and it was real, choosing him. Stefan then told Damon that he was happy for him.


Stefan: "History will not be repeating itself where Elena is concerned. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
Damon: "Sure. Sure."
Stefan: "Do you understand?"
Damon: "Whatever you say man, I mean honestly we're just friends..."
-- Isobel

Stefan: "I try so hate him. I guess it's just pointless."
Elena"You care about him, so do I. But I love you Stefan, and I know that you are worried about that."
-- Founder's Day

Elena"Damon! I care about you. Listen to me, I care about you(Damon smiles slightly and entwines his hands with hers hoping to hear that he loves him back). I do but...I love Stefan, it's always gonna be Stefan."
-- The Return

Damon: "I know you love Stefan. And it will always be Stefan. But I love you. You should know that."
Elena"I do."
Katherine (to Elena about Stefan): "He just sacrificed everything to save his brother, including you. It's a good thing you have Damon to keep you company. Good-bye, Elena. Oh. It's okay to love them both. I did."
-- As I Lay Dying

Caroline: "So you're not, like, switching Salvatores, are you?"
Elena: "What?"
Caroline: "As your friend who worries for you daily, what is the deal with you and Damon?"
Elena: "There is no deal. He's been just as focused on finding Stefan as I have."
-- Disturbing Behavior

Klaus (to Stefan and Damon): "Gentlemen... The worst thing for Elena Gilbert, is the two of you."
Stefan: "I love her, Damon."
Damon"So do I."
-- Bringing Out The Dead

Klaus (to Stefan): "The only thing stronger than your craving for blood , is your love for this girl."
-- The Reckoning

Elena"Just say it."
Matt"I just don’t get it. Your thing with them."
Elena"I know it doesn't make sense, but at the beginning, after my parents died, there was something about being with Stefan that just felt safe."
Matt"Safe? Elena, he’s a vampire."
Elena"I know, believe me, just saying it out loud it sounds crazy, but it’s like I knew that he would never stop loving me. Like he would never…"
Elena"Die. Like he would never die."
Matt"Like your parents did. And Damon?"
Elena"Damon just sort of snuck up on me. He got under my skin and no matter what I do I just – I can’t shake him."
Matt"Once you fall in love with someone, I don’t know if you can ever shake them."
-- 1912

Rose"They had a fight. I know you want to stop it. Protect her from him. But you’re young, you don’t see what I see. It’s not just that she makes him a better person, she does, but he changes her too. Damon challenges her, surprises her, he makes her question her life, beliefs. Stefan is different, his love is pure, he’ll always be good for her. Damon is either the best thing for her or the worst."
-- Heart Of Darkness

Matt"So, Stefan?"
Elena"He saved my life, you know. I never told you that. The night that my parents’ car went off the bridge, Stefan was the one that saved me."
Matt"So, do you feel like you owe him or something?"
Elena"No, it’s not that. It’s – after the accident, I kind of felt like I didn't know how to live anymore, like I didn't want to, but then being with Stefan… it just… somehow I figured it out. And that’s what love should be. You should love the person that makes you glad that you’re alive."
Matt"So then, what’s the problem?"
Elena"The problem’s Damon. When I’m with him, he just consumes me. And I know that I can’t love them both, I know that it’s wrong, but when I choose one then I’ll lose the other. And I don’t want to lose anyone else. I – I just – I wish that I had my mom here to give me some advice."
Elena"Matt’s taking me home."
Damon"To Stefan..."
Elena"Not just to Stefan, Damon. To Tyler... to Caroline."
Damon"Ah, I know, I get it. So, since I’m possibly a dead man, can I ask you a question?"
Elena"Yeah, of course."
Damon"If it was just down to him and me, and you had to make a choice, who got the goodbye, who would it be?"
Elena"I love him, Damon. He came into my life at a time when I needed someone and I fell for him instantly. No matter what I feel for you, I-I never unfell for him."
Damon"Yeah, I get it. Stefan, it’s always gonna be Stefan."
Elena"I can’t think about always. All I can think about is right now. And I care about you, Damon, which is why I have to let you go. I mean, maybe if you and I had met first..."
Damon"Yeah, maybe..."
Elena: "You’re gonna be fine. You hear me? You’re gonna be okay and I’m gonna see you soon."
Damon"Real soon. Goodbye, Elena."
Damon"You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger...  I want you to get everything you're looking for. But for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena."
-- The Departed

Stefan: "I love you, so much..."
Elena: "Do wanna know why I was even on that bridge? I was coming back for you, Stefan. I had to choose... I picked you. Because I love you. No matter what happens, it's the best choice I ever made. God, sucks that I can't see you right now."
Stefan: "I'm smiling."
Elena: "Me too."
-- Growing Pains

Elena: "Stefan, why did you send Damon to come look for me instead of you?"
Stefan: "I sent him because lately it seems like he’s able to get through to you in ways that I can’t. You’ll listen to him. You trust him, even when you can’t trust me."
Elena: "I didn't mean to not…"
Stefan: "Come on, Elena, I mean after everything that we've been through… You can admit it."
Elena: "You've been so strong for me. Helping me, fighting for that girl that chose you, the girl that I was when I died on the bridge, and I love you so much for wanting to find this cure. Because I’d like nothing more than to get her back, because the – the girl that she’s become, that – that I've become is different, somehow. Darker. Who I am, what I want…"
Stefan: "What you want, or... who you want?"
Elena: "Something’s changed, between Damon and me. Much more than it ever used to be. It’s like everything that I felt for him before I was a vampire…"
Stefan: "Has been magnified. Your feelings for him have been magnified."
Elena: "I’m sorry. I don’t want to lie to you."
Stefan: "You know, before when I was the, uh, the Ripper, I understood why you cared for him. I mean, I practically drove you to it. But now... I can’t do this, Elena. Not anymore."
Elena: "I know."
-- We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes

Damon"I wanted to apologize."
Elena: "Good."
Damon"Let me finish. I said I wanted to. And then I realized, I'm not sorry."
Elena: "You would rather die than be human, and you expect me to be okay with that?"
Damon"I didn't say you were supposed to be okay with it, I just said I'm not sorry. But you know what I really am? Selfish, because I make bad choices that hurt you. Yes, I would rather have died than be human. I'd rather die right now than spend a handful of years with you, only to lose you when I'm too old and sick and miserable and you're still you. I'd rather die right now than spend my last final years remembering how good I had it and how happy I was, because that's who I am, Elena, and I'm not gonna change. And there's no apology in the world that encompasses all the reasons that I'm wrong for you."
Elena: "Fine, then I'm not sorry either. I'm not sorry that I met you. I'm not sorry that knowing you has made me question everything, that in death you're the one that made me feel most alive. You've been a terrible person, you've made all the wrong choices, and of all the choices that I've made this will prove to be the worst one. But I am not sorry that I'm in love with you. I love you , Damon. I love you."
-- Graduation

Stefan (to Elena possessed by Katherine): "Alright. The truth is, ever since the first time I noticed you're falling for my brother, I have been waiting for him to screw something up so badly that you hate him. So I've been waiting and watching him do all these horrible things and then every single time I think he's gone too far, he's there for you, sometimes in ways better than I ever was. So the truth is, after a while I just stopped waiting for him to fail because I liked the person he had become -- and I don't want to lose that person."
-- Total Eclipse of the Heart

Alaric (about Elena:): "I'm trying to get her to figure out when she first fell in love with Damon but she--can't seem to get there."
Caroline: "Yeah, because she doesn't want to admit what everyone already knows. That she fell in love with Damon while she was still with Stefan."
Alaric: "It didn't work because you weren't being honest."
Elena: "I wasn't--are you crazy? I was being completely honest. Do you think I want to talk to you about my romantic life?"
Alaric: "You weren't being honest with yourself. Look, I want to hear all the Damon stuff--while you were still with Stefan."
Elena: "No, I was completely faithful to Stefan."
Alaric: "Of course you were—"
Elena: "I did everything—"
Alaric: "I know—"
Elena: "I stuck with him, even when he lost his humanity—"
Alaric: "I know you di—"
Elena: "After he left a trail of bodies from Florida to Virginia, I fought for him."
Alaric: "I know you did, Elena, you don't want to admit it because you feel like you're betraying Stefan but this won't work until you do."
Elena: "No, I loved Stefan. The entire time, I never would have hurt him."
Alaric: "Elena, you've been lucky enough to love two people this deeply, in your young life. There's nothing wrong with that. It's okay."
Elena: "It's okay to love them both. That's what Katherine used to say. How sad is it that my own evil doppelgänger was smarter than me?"
Alaric: "It's okay, Elena you can tell me, tell me the moment you knew you loved him."
Elena: "It was my birthday."
-- Yellow Ledbetter

Damon: "So Jer's applying to art school. Hmm. (smiles to himself) Might want to compel him a decent portfolio because he ain't that great."
Elena: "Don't be mean. He needs to move on with his life, and... so do I."
Damon: "I'm not sure I'm a fan of that transition."
Elena: "Look. I've... made some huge mistakes in my life. Being with you wasn't one of them, and, yes, I had Alaric compel away my love for you, and, yes, I did love Stefan once. The night I died, Matt was driving me back to him, and yet I found my way back to you. Damon, I somehow always find my way back to you. It doesn't matter if I have memories or not. It doesn't matter if I'm a vampire or not."
Damon: "You're just saying that because you can't change what you are."
Elena: "No, Damon. I don't care what human me would have done because she's not here. I am. And if the past is a place without you and me together, then stop living in it."
Damon: "Yeah."
-- The Day I Tried To Live

Stefan (to Caroline): "I don't think Elena necessarily came into my life to be my soulmate. I mean, she was. We loved each other, but she was also the only person I've ever met who actually believed that my brother was worth loving, and she reminded me that I used to believe that about him, too. And her faith in him, it brought Damon and me back together. And yeah I--I loved her more than I could ever thought I could love somebody else. But I think, in the end, I needed him more then I needed her.
-- I'm Thinking Of You All The While

Cade: "This exact choice has defined your life since the moment you and your brother first laid eyes on Elena. Being torn between the two has only brought both of you an immeasurable amount of pain and suffering. It can end now. Choose."
Damon: "I choose me. Stefan's mortal. He's lived a supremely messed-up life. His soul's already damned. Take me. You'll get us both eventually."
Cade: "I have to say... I'm intrigued."
Damon: "Well, act now, because it's a one-time offer."
Cade: "Are you aware of what you're offering me?"
Damon: "My soul. In eternal anguish."
--It's Been a Hell of a Ride

Related Relationships


  • Damon, Stefan and Elena have all been antagonists at one point in the series.
    • Damon was the main antagonist for the first half of Season One and Eight.
    • Stefan was the main antagonist for the first half of Season Three and the second chapter of Season Eight.
    • Elena was the main antagonist for most of the second half of Season Four.
  • Damon, Stefan and Elena are the main trio of the series.
  • They used to be in a love triangle, but this has now ended.
  • Elena is the only one out of the three characters to have not slept with an original.
  • Damon & Stefan have both slept with Katherine, Rebekah, Elena and Caroline.
    • Damon is married to Elena.
    • Stefan was married to Caroline until his death.
  • All three characters have not interacted with each other at some point in the series.
  • As of Home, Elena, Stefan and Damon have all been on the Other Side and have been ghosts.
    • Stefan became a Ghost first in Promised Land after he was killed by Julian through heart extraction.
    • Elena and Damon both became ghosts in Home after they were killed when Damon's car crashed into Mystic Grill and exploded to destroy the Travelers.
  • Elena and Stefan were resurrected in Home.
  • Ironically, both Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, the actors who play Damon, and Stefan Salvatore, don't want Elena to be with either one of the Salvatore brothers.[1][2]
  • Julie Plec states that there's an equal number of Delena and Stelena fans.[3]
  • They were the first love triangle seen on the TV series and in the books.
  • The three of them are now human since they all took the cure.



See also

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