There are couples in The Vampire Diaries that stayed together for seasons as well as pairings that didn’t get more than an episode or two of content. Whether or not these couples were official, every time the characters began a new romance, they were faced with complications.
Nothing about the characters’ lives is normal, so it makes sense that their relationship issues aren’t either. Even school dances were battlegrounds rather than date nights. But despite how complex their journeys are, each major ship in the show has a quote that manages to summarize its story.
10 Stefan And Caroline: “You Were By My Side When I Needed A Friend. … You Told Me That I Would Find Love Again.”
Stefan and Caroline are one of the only romances in the series that’s rooted in a real and genuine friendship. They dated different people during the first six seasons of the show, but could always count on each other to be there through the highs and lows.
While Caroline started crushing on Stefan the moment she saw him in the pilot, Stefan didn’t return her feelings until he got to know Caroline on a deeper level. She stood by his side, even when he didn’t deserve it, and taught him how to be happy again after his breakup with Elena. Without Caroline’s energy and optimism, there’s no saying who Stefan would’ve become.
9 Matt And Rebekah: “I Need To Keep My Love Life A Low-Vampire Zone Too, OK?”
Matt and Rebekah’s romance ended on a positive note, but for the majority of the time they knew each other, Matt wanted nothing to do with any of the Mikaelsons. It’s understandable why Matt rejected her initially, given that she’s the reason he almost died and why Elena became a vampire.
But Rebekah had significant character development during The Vampire Diaries season 4, and genuinely tried to live a human life. Matt didn’t believe she was capable of being a good person, which is partly related to the hatred he begins to develop towards all vampires. The events of the fourth season finale exemplified that Matt did come to care about Rebekah. However, their fling took place on a summer trip and what happened between them “stayed on the road.”
8 Katherine And Stefan: “You’ve Gotta Admit, For That One Fleeting Moment … Your Feelings Were Real.”
By the time Katherine reunited with Stefan in the 21st century, he had moved on and fallen in love with Elena. Stefan was under Katherine’s compulsion for the majority of their relationship, which made him believe that his feelings for her were never real.
While it’s true that Stefan was manipulated and brainwashed, Katherine spent the entire show believing that he genuinely loved her at one point. Stefan refuses to admit it, but from what viewers witnessed in flashbacks, Katherine isn’t wrong. Stefan confesses his love before Katherine revealed she was a vampire and only compels his fear away afterward.
7 Damon And Elena: “I Have To Go Against Every Single Thing That I Believe In. Again! Because I Love You!”
Because there are so many aspects about Damon in The Vampire Diaries that didn’t age well, his romance with Elena was toxic. Vampires clearly don’t hold themselves to the same code of ethics that humans do, but Elena was unwilling to go against her principles.
Yet once she fell in love with Damon, there was no way to take it back. No matter how many horrible things he did to her and the people she cared about, Elena couldn’t stop loving him. Her only options were to break up with Damon and be miserable or abandon all her morals to try and defend their relationship.
6 Tyler And Caroline: “Everything I Like About Me Is You.”
At the beginning of the series, Tyler was one of the most selfish characters and an all-around jerk. It wasn’t until he triggered the werewolf curse and befriended Caroline that he started to change. There was a period of time when he showed admirable qualities, but Tyler is still a hero that fans hate in The Vampire Diaries.
Without Caroline, it’s hard to believe that he would’ve started down the road of self-improvement. Caroline turned Tyler into a likable character, which is why this quote fits them so well. After being away from Caroline for months, Tyler returned to the person he was and became obsessed with getting revenge on Klaus.
5 Bonnie And Enzo: “I Would Brave The Oceans And Sail Past The Sirens To Find My Way Back To You.”
None of the relationships can be considered pure by real-life standards, but Bonnie and Enzo are as close as it gets. Although it happened over a time jump, Bonnie and Enzo formed a close friendship before falling in love. They spent years together in Enzo’s safehouse, and Bonnie became his priority.
There isn’t a single male character in the show that can match Enzo’s level of devotion. He didn’t just care about keeping Bonnie safe; he cared about keeping her happy. Enzo would move heaven and Earth to put a smile on her face, and Bonnie would do the same for him. Their love is selfless and they care about each other’s feelings more than their own.
4 Klaus And Caroline: “I Think A Part Of Me Has Always Known That You Weren’t The Villain Of My Story.”
They had an intricate relationship in The Vampire Diaries, but fans can relive Klaus and Caroline’s highlights in 10 pictures. Because of all the horrible things Klaus had done, Caroline refused to give in to his advances. Yet, despite how much she claimed to hate him, Caroline sent mixed signals.
No matter what they were fighting about it, the argument was always followed by longing looks and unresolved tension. There were times when Caroline genuinely enjoyed being around him, and she clearly viewed Klaus in a different light than her friends. Caroline’s confession to Klaus in The Originals only confirmed what viewers had known since the beginning.
3 Jeremy And Bonnie: “What About You?”
The characters treated Bonnie like their own personal genie and counted on her to get them out of bad situations. Because she cares more about her friends than herself, Bonnie always did what they asked. However, Jeremy was the only person who understood that Bonnie wasn’t invincible.
Magic comes with a price, and every spell she does has its toll. Jeremy took it upon himself to look out for Bonnie because she refused to taker her own life into consideration. They shouldered each other’s burdens, rather than letting carrying them alone.
2 Caroline And Matt: “Even Though Today I Wanted To Throttle You, I’m Pretty Sure That I’m In Love With You.”
There are several reasons why Matt could be considered Caroline’s worst love interest in The Vampire Diaries, and the main one is that he never seemed to like her. Even when a romance began to blossom, Matt was hesitant to start anything.
Caroline is the optimist of the friend group, and she brought love and positivity to the people around her. But even though her energy level was a lot for Matt to handle, fighting his feelings was even harder. No matter how often Caroline did things that annoyed him, he couldn’t help but love her.
1 Stefan And Elena: “That Kind Of Love, It Can Change Your Whole Life.”
Elena and Stefan might not have ended up together, but they had the biggest impact on each other’s existence. They were both in a dark place when the show began, and their relationship helped them find the light.
Elena admits that she owes everything she has to Stefan because he brought back her back when she was dead inside. Their run-in in the school hallway made Elena realize that happiness was still possible, and her love made Stefan realize he was worthy of redemption.
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