books on a bookshelf

Why the ‘Twilight’ Saga Ruined My Life

We all know and have heard of the worldwide phenomenon that is the Twilight saga. Mostly all have seen the movies and if you’re “fortunate” enough you’ve also read all four books. When the Twilight books came out everyone and their dog was obsessed and either wanted to be a vampire or date one. These books caused major obsessive tendencies in adolescents; some were getting tattoos, some actually tried drinking blood and claiming they were a vampire, and if you’re like me then you created embarrassing YouTube videos of you and your friends discussing the books. Due to the young age I was when Twilight came out and how malleable of a person I was at the time, Twilight definitely impacted my 12-year-old self, which has carried into my later life.

When you’re younger, you’re easily affected by your surroundings. When I was young, Twilight, oddly and grossly enough, is what impacted me. For one instance, it was my first encounter with love. When you’re 12 you don’t know anything about love other than what you’ve seen from your parents, so reading Twilight for me was my first look at love.

woman reading a book on a couch in a library

Stephanie Meyer did not portray a healthy outlook on love for young adults. She based it off of the ’Romeo & Juliet’ die for you kind of love, which might feel great but is also extremely unhealthy. When we’re young we all want that love and might even have our first relationship like that but the older we get we realize or at least NEED TO, that love isn’t supposed to be so codependent. Meyer portrayed Bella as someone who was nothing without Edward. She had no hobbies, no ambitions, all she wanted was to turn into a vampire so she could forever be with him. This is a very unhealthy representation of what love looks like for a 12-year-old girl. Sadly, for a little while this is what I thought love looked like, however unconsciously. This can lead to a lot of heartbreak and disappointment.

Twilight sets up unrealistic expectations of love that one needs to have enough common sense to be able to see this is not what love looks like, healthy love anyway. At 12, how was I supposed to know? I was just reading along and thinking “Oh this is awesome! Edward and Bella love each other so much!” I wish someone would’ve slapped 12-year-old me and told me to get a grip. You can have an epic love, but you need to find a balance so you don’t get so lost in the love that you lose yourself like Bella did. I’d like to see a version of the book where Bella had a hobby or wanted to go to art school or something, so when Edward left her in the second book she persevered and bettered herself instead of wanting to die.

Even though today I know better and know that codependent love is toxic love; I still curse Stephanie Meyer for creating such a gooey hopeless romantic in me that still sets high expectations for love. I still dream of a day where I’ll find that final love (notice that I avoided saying “true love” to avoid sounding totally cliche) but I am at least smarter now to know that no boy will complete me or consume me to the point that I am no longer me. And for anyone out there that needs to hear this, know that no one completes you except yourself. As for Stephanie Meyer, thanks for screwing up my love life.