|“|| Thank you for bumping into me that day in the hallway. I never thought I could be happy again and then I met you. You changed everything for me. You... you quite literally saved my life. I love you so much.
— Elena to Stefan in I'm Thinking Of You All The While
— Stefan about Elena in I'm Thinking Of You All The While
Stefan and Elena were the original and main couple of the series. Stefan originally returned to town to get to know Elena after saving her from a car accident. They instantly fell in love and began a romantic relationship in season 1, which became strained when Damon fell in love with Elena and Katherine returned to win Stefan back. Though they continuously reassured each other and remained loyal throughout seasons 1 and 2. They fell out of contact at the end of season 2, when Stefan left to save his brothers life. Though they stayed faithful to each other, whilst Elena searched for him, until Damon kissed Elena. She admitted this to Stefan and at the end of season 3 rejected Damon, choosing to be with Stefan. Their relationship was rekindled and lasted into the beginning of season 4. Though they eventually broke up when Elena began to reciprocate Damon's love, and chose to be honest with Stefan about her feelings and intentions. He was determined to move on, before he came upon the discovery that Elena was sired to Damon. He stayed to help Elena in their search to cure her vampirism, throughout the sire bond. He admitted to still being in love with her, and even attempted to seduce her into finding her humanity again. But when the sire bond was broken and Elena chose Damon all the same, it became apparent that her affections for him were real, and Stefan was finally convinced to leave town. When Stefan goes to dispose Silas's body, Silas suddenly appears as Stefan's doppelgänger and locks Stefan in a safe and throws him in the water. Stefan is trapped in the safe the whole summer, and thinks about Elena whenever he gets the urge to turn his humanity off. Throughout the summer, Elena feels that something is wrong with him and when it is finally discovered that Stefan is missing, Damon and Elena are able to find him with the help of Elena's dream. Elena and Stefan later learn that they are part of the Doppelgänger prophecy and are destined to be together. However, they learn that this prophecy is fake. Throughout Season Five, they both are able to form a close friendship post break up and move on from each other. In Season Six, Elena and Stefan fall out of contact again and both cope with Damon's death in different ways. Stefan originally comes back home after four months to seek revenge on Enzo, but is caught off guard when he runs into Elena at Whitmore College and they immediately renew their friendship. Elena also goes to Savannah with Stefan, where he teaches her about living a new life as well as how to "start over". Stefan and Elena later work together to try to get Caroline's humanity back and when Caroline forces Stefan into his humanity off, he tells Elena to "bring him back". Elena helps Damon bring back his mother and they are able to get Stefan and Caroline's humanity back. Elena later takes the cure, and soon falls under a sleeping spell, created by Kai, to link her life to Bonnie's. They share an emotional goodbye and assure each other that they will meet again soon.
They are known as "Stelena" by fans.
While visiting his nephew Zach Salvatore, Stefan hears a car crash near Wickery Bridge and sees a car submerged in the water. He dives in the water and goes after it and is able to get to the car. A man is still conscious and tells him to help his daughter, who is unconscious. Stefan does as he is asked, and saves Elena from drowning. When he sees her face, he is shocked to see she resembles an old flame of his, Katherine Pierce. He goes back to the car, but is too late to save her parents. Due to his curiosity about Elena, Stefan remains in Mystic Falls and keeps an eye on her from a distance. When school starts, he decides to become a student so that he can meet her and get to know her better.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
About Their Relationship
- --Bob Levy
"One of the important things Julie and I wanted to do this season is cement the love between Stefan and Elena. It's that love story that will be the anchor of this entire show. We have to earn that."
"This is a story about Stefan and Elena's love story. I think it's fun to watch the twists and turns we take. Because you know what? She doesn't know." 
"Is she single right now? Elena is always, no matter how single she is, she's still standing there with Stefan." 
"This show is always going to be about Stefan and Elena. It has to be. They're soulmates."
"I can only say that it's a show predicated on a girl coming back to life and her development of love for one brother who then, because of who she is, changes the life of the other brother and that's our show."
"The bottom line is that Elena and Stefan are the true epic love story of the show. Damon is the third point of the triangle."
"The bottom line is that Elena as a human made a very, very, very clear choice that she would love Stefan always and forever. But then her entire life turned upside down, and any feelings she originally had for Damon were still there, and of course magnified. There was always going to be a little bit of a confusion there for her — but not enough confusion for her to be over Stefan. It would take a lot to rip Elena away from loving Stefan. It would take years and seasons." 
"Stefan is good. Stefan's knee-jerk reaction is to do the heroic thing. He can influence her in the right ways...Stefan is a person that she's going to lean on for advice and wisdom. She trusts him fully." 
"I just want [Stefan] in the end to find his love, that’s all he cares about. Of course I want him to end up with Elena. Cause I have to, that’s all I can hope for. Elena is his true love."
"I’m telling you, all it takes is one shift in writing. All it takes is one intelligently shifted moment or new storyline to sort of diverge and — boom! — we’re back on the Stefan and Elena train." 
"I love The Notebook, and I know an epic love story when I see one, and I felt like Elena and Stefan had an epic love. You know [how] your first love in high school, or whatever it may be for each person, feels like it? It’s almost an infectious look that you see in people’s eyes. I’ve felt it and I’d been in love before, so I wanted to make sure it was epic … just like it was in The Notebook."
Since the beginning of the show, Stefan and Elena had this instant connection. After her parents' death, Elena felt completely lost and dead inside. This is until Stefan arrives and makes her feel glad to be alive. Elena and Stefan have constantly risked their lives for each other. Elena helped Stefan control his heavy blood addiction by giving him her blood a little each day in order for him to gain strength. In Season Two, they face a huge obstacle when Katherine comes back to town to win Stefan back. Despite this problem, the love between Stefan and Elena prevailed.
In Season Three, their love story takes a huge turn when Stefan leaves town with Klaus to save Damon from dying. Elena constantly searches for Stefan all summer and teams up with Damon and Alaric to bring him back. When Stefan comes back to town, Klaus immediately makes him turn his humanity off when he learns that Elena is still alive. Elena desperately does everything to get Stefan to turn his humanity back on and vows that she won't give up. During this process, Damon and Elena begin to grow close and Damon kisses her, which makes her question who she should be with. At the end of the season, Elena calls Damon and tells him that she's coming back for Stefan. Even though she had strong feelings for Damon, she was still deeply in love with Stefan. Elena claimed that no matter what happens he's "the best choice she's ever made."
Throughout Season Four, Elena struggles with her transition into a vampire. Stefan assures her that everything will be okay, but their relationship becomes strained. They eventually break up when Elena admits that being a vampire has heightened her feelings for Damon which she can no longer control. When it's discovered that Elena is sired to Damon, Stefan does everything to try to find a way to break the bond. Stefan, Elena, Damon, Alaric, Jeremy, Rebekah, Bonnie, Katherine, and Klaus race against each other to find the vampire cure. Stefan and Damon attempt to find the cure before the others in order to break Elena's sire bond. Shortly after the journey, Elena turns her humanity off in reaction to Jeremy's death. Stefan discovers that this also broke the sire bond. He does everything he can to turn her humanity back on. At the end of the season, Elena reveals that her feelings for Damon are real and she chooses to be with him, leaving Stefan heartbroken.
A lot of characters admired Elena and Stefan's romantic relationship including: Caroline, Rebekah, Klaus, and Lexi. Caroline often mentioned throughout the show that Stefan is Elena's epic soulmate. After their break up, Caroline told Elena that breaking up with Stefan was a huge mistake. The powerful Original Hybrid Klaus admits that he has never seen a love as strong as Stefan and Elena's, emphasizing how influential their love story is. Even a vampire like Rebekah envied the love Stefan and Elena had for each other. When Elena chose to be with Damon at the end of Season four, Lexi assured Stefan that Elena was and always will be his epic love.
Throughout Season Five and Season Six, Stefan and Elena are able to accomplish a close friendship and are comfortable enough to ask each other for relationship advice. In the beginning of Season 6, Julie Plec stated that the friendship between Stefan and Elena is very strong, and that it could turn into romance soon.  In a recent interview, Paul Wesley states that possibilities of Stelena's romantic relationship is "not out of the question" and to not rule anything out. 
Many fans hold on to the hope that this epic couple will reunite again. As said by Klaus, "Crazy or not that kind of love never dies."
Significant Moments and Symbolism
- Start Up: The Night of the Comet (1x02)
- Break Up: Lost Girls (1x06)
- Reason: Elena finds out that Stefan is a vampire.
- Start Up: The Turning Point (1x10)
- Break Up: Plan B (2x06)
- Reason: Katherine wanted Elena and Stefan to break up and to prove it she attacks Jenna. So for the sake of anyone she loves getting be killed, Elena does what Katherine wants, and tearfully breaks up with Stefan, despite how much she doesn't want to.
- Start Up: Rose (2x08)
- Break Up: The End of the Affair (3x03)
- Reason: Elena and Damon go in Chicago to save Stefan. But by the time she was there to save Stefan, Stefan rejects Elena and said that he doesn't want be saved; he lies and says he doesn't want her anymore.
- Start Up: Growing Pains (4x01)
- Break Up: We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes (4x06)
- Reason: Elena admitted to Stefan that since she became a vampire, her feelings for Damon had intensified and that she wasn't the same girl that chose him on the Wickery Bridge. Stefan consequently broke up with Elena.
Elena Gilbert is a popular teenager in her senior year, mostly referred to as the Queen of the school, but somehow felt lost in her world, wanting to fit in somewhere else. She is confident and bold and always got what she wanted, until a new student came to school, a gorgeous Italian named Stefan Salvatore. Stefan was a centuries old vampire, who still felt guilt over the lost of Katherine von Shwartzchild, a young lady that he had loved very much. At first, he felt Elena's powerful personality, but had no clue who she was, and Elena was shocked that he never even noticed her, as did the other guys. During European History Class, Stefan was shocked when he saw Elena and how her appearance was exactly like Katherine's. He then purposely tried to keep away from her, and left immediately when the class was over. Elena, hurt by his behavior towards her, vowed that she'd have him.
She broke up her current boyfriend Matt Honeycutt, as she felt that their relationship wasn't what she wanted. Matt was hurt, but remained her friend. After another attempt to talk to Stefan failed, she created a rumor to make it seem that she wasn't upset. She explained the matter to Matt and got him to get Stefan to the Homecoming Dance, but was shocked that Stefan had come with her ex-friend, Caroline Forbes. Truly upset, she left the dance with Tyler Smallwood, his friend Dick, and Dick's girlfriend, Vickie Bennett. Her friends Meredith, Bonnie, and Matt went to look for her. Stefan left as well. He went to the cemetery and saved Elena from being assaulted by Tyler. He took Elena back to the boarding house and took to her room to get her a cloak to wear over her torn clothes. Finally, Elena angrily spilled out how she felt about him and asked him why he hated her, but was surprised when he said she reminded her of a friend he lost years ago. Stefan succumbed to his feelings and kissed Elena passionately and she realized that he didn't hate at all. She felt safe with Stefan, and knew where she belonged now.
Stefan took her home afterwards, where Matt, Bonnie, Meredith, Aunt Judith, Uncle Robert, and several policemen told her Vickie had been attacked. Stefan left not long afterwards, suspecting the attack was caused by a vampire, and even suspected himself, though he couldn't remember it.
Elena and Stefan are improving in their relationship, until Damon appear in the village and started havoc on Stefan's image in society. Caroline and Tyler begin to cause rumors among students, these rumors were saying that since the arrival of Stefan to the town, the attacks have occurred. During the celebration of Halloween, Damon kills Tanner, but it is believed that Stefan was the cause. Elena, along with Meredith, Bonnie and Matt manage to find Stefan in a water well, after the incident Tanner. Everyone thinks it was Damon, but Stefan says I can not have been because it's not his style. During the coronation celebration, Caroline and Tyler try to reveal the nature of Stefan but Damon involved avoiding the disclosure of the truth. Shortly after that, Elena and her family have strong discussion caused by Damon. Elena out of school but during her journey, she is attacked by a great power causing her death.
Elena becomes a vampire while Stefan and Damon try to help. Elena begins to feel something for Damon and Stefan says he just wants to be happy. A large number of incidents start happening in town. Elena, Stefan, Damon, Bonnie, Meredith, Matt and Alaric investigate who is causing all this. Eventually, Elena, Stefan and Damon discover that Katherine is the cause and she just wanted to Stefan and Damon were happy. Elena manages to defeat Katherine, but she dies. Before her death, Elena asks Stefan and Damon to take care each other.
Elena comes back from the dead and starts acting in a strange way with Stefan and all his friends.