|“||You know, when you and I were together, every single atom of my body told me that it was the right thing, that we were the perfect fit.||”|
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. He still loves her though, and he will never stop loving her. Their relationship isn't over, even Julie Plec admitted that.
Stefan and Elena may be a part of The Doppelganger Prophecy. They are known as "Stelena" by fans.
While visiting his uncle 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.
In True Lies, Stefan continued to hallucinate. He and Elena were laying with one another next to the quarry talking about how it is just another hallucination. They were kissing until Elena started coughing and water came out of her mouth. It was the moment, when Stefan woke up in the safe again. Meanwhile Elena met Silas (who pretend to be Stefan), she hugged him & said she was worried about his absence. Silas tried to make her feel guilty for leaving Stefan for Damon. Later, under Silas compulssion Elena, tried to kill Damon - the only thing that stopped her of killing herself & Damon - were Elena's feelings for Stefan, the visions of him dying in the safe, his pain & fear.
In Original Sin, Stefan discovered from Qetsiyah that he and Elena are both doppelgangers of Silas & Amara, Qetsiyah's hand-maiden who was Silas's true love. After stripping Silas of his mind control, Qetsiyah mentioned to Damon, how every version of Stefan and Elena found each other and fell in love. Later on Elena arrived in the cabin and went streight to help Stefan not even noticing Damon. After that, Damon & Elena brought Stefan back to the Salvatore Boarding House, where Elena put Stefan's ring back on him. Stefan woke up only to reveal that he has no knowledge of who they are.
In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Stefan after losing the memories & spending time with his brother Damon, who is determined to help him recover his memory, they go to the Mystic Falls cemetery for the traditional Remembrance Day to honor the dead. Damon has to go and leaves Elena and Stefan alone, they talk about their family tragedies, he asks her how they met and Elena leads him to school to relive the moment.
When they are in school remembering the first time they met, a student is bleeding and passes near Stefan , Elena realizes this and takes him outside of school. They spend time enjoying each other's company, Elena teaches him some of her vampire skills. Later, she takes him to the Wickery Bridge to remember time, when he saved her from dying . He tells her, that when he is with her, the blood thirst disappears and he feels better. They are about to kiss but Elena tells she's with Damon, that makes Stefan angry, he's feeling betrayed and his bloodlust returns, he disappears leaving Elena alone. Later, in the Salvatore's mansion he's burning his diaries, when Elena and Damon arrive. Stefan says that he doesn't want to live with them in one house & he leaves them behind.
In Handle with Care, Stefan was located in the cabin of Qetsiyah(Tessa). After the call with Tessa, Elena was concerned about why Stefan would be fraternizing with Tessa. When she phoned Damon and Silas made sure Damon told her about how he snapped Stefan's neck a couple of times, Elena was furious. She had gone to Tessa's cabin to talk sense into Stefan, whom she assumed had slept with Tessa. Once jealous Elena was informed that Stefan wasn't sleeping with Tessa she tried to leave the cabin & she realized that she's trapped with both of them. At the cabin, Tessa and Stefan were discussing pizza toppings when Elena explained why she was so upset: Damon's never put anyone's life before hers, so there's no way he'll spare Silas. Stefan looked hurt & started flirting with Tessa.
After some time, Elena couldn't hold it in any longer. She couldn't stand to see Stefan and Tessa flirting while he cooked for her. Elena told Stefan that even if he can't remember it, she does: Tessa isn't the kind of person he'd like. When Tessa gave them some distance, Stefan whispered so only Elena would hear him. He told her he's got this. "I know you think that I hate you, but I don’t," he said. "I won’t let her hurt you, I promise." At sundown, Stefan knifed Tessa and told Elena to run. Then he followed her. Back at home, Elena was very grateful to Stefan for protection & thanked him for being him, the man whose instincts were always to protect her. They became friends again & Stefan came back to his room in Salvatore's Mansion.
In Death and the Maiden, Stefan woke up from a nightmare about how Silas stabbed him and put him in the safe. Elena was waiting by his bedside with coffee. Elena told him how she lost a friend when he lost his memory, so she wanted to start over. But that didn't exactly work for Stefan, considering he could suddenly remember everything. He told her that before Silas stabbed him, he had planned to drive to Portland. Elena was confused and asked him, how does he remember this. He explained, that Qetsiyah was in his room last night and brought back his memories as an act of revenge for his betrayal.
Later, Damon, Elena and Stefan discussed their current situation and Elena said, that they need to hide Amara and keep her alive so that they can use that again Silas. Stefan, however was pessimistic and said that Silas isn't going to bring Bonnie back. Elena told him, that he got his memories back and he knows her better than anything and she's not going to give up on her plan. Stefan responded, that he indeed knows her best - she puts her hope in all the wrong places and sometimes in the wrong people. He added, that Silas needs to die to put them all out of their misery. Stefan was angry and said, that Silas needs to die and he needs to be the one who kills him.
After learning Stefan's plan, Elena was worried that Stefan would get himself killed by going after Silas. But if Stefan didn't get to kill him, Silas would win. Stefan told her about moments of stillness in the safe, in the time that he was dead and just before he would come back to life, when he thought about things that made him happy, things that gave him hope and kept him from switching off his humanity switch. He explained how, eventually, the pain took away even those moments. Every time he closed his eyes now, he relived those three months, and if he didn't kill Silas and make it stop, he'd lose his mind or flip his switch... or both.
At the end of episode, Elena found Stefan digging Silas' grave in the woods. She felt the need to continue to be naive and ask if killing Silas fixed him. She was feeling guilty. She needed to know that he was going to be okay, because while he was suffering for the past three months, she was finally getting her summer of happiness. She needed to know that killing Silas would take away his pain. All he could say was that he had wanted it to be her ... when that safe finally opened and somebody found him. "I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be both of you," he said as Damon appeared.
In The Cell, Stefan was trapped in the safe with Katherine as a form of therapy of his PTSD, he was feeling like he was dying. She told him she thinks he still loves Elena, and though he wants to leave town, he finds reasons to stay. He grabbed Katherine by the neck and started to strangle her. She wanted to show him that the safe isn't the problem: The death he felt in the safe wasn't just dying physically again and again -- it was the emotional heartbreak of Elena leaving him. At the end of episode Stefan said, that Katherine was right about him & he needs to move on from Elena.In Fifty Shades of Grayson, while Stefan was changing his clothes, Damon came into his room telling him that Elena was gone and they have to go to her rescue. Later, Stefan accompanied Aaron to his room for clues to find Elena - he found documents, which helped find Elena. When Elena woke up in the lab, Wes was ready to inject her with the thing that would make her Vampire Ripper. Just as Wes stabbed her, Stefan showed up. Elena head-butted Wes, and Stefan helped her out of there.
In, 500 Years of Solitude, Damon told everyone that Stefan had sex with Katherine. Elena was shocked & jealous. Later, Nadia popped in to tell everyone she needed help to save Katherine. No one would volunteer, which is why she'd buried Matt in the safe Stefan had spent the summer in, somewhere on the grounds. She correctly guessed that Elena and Stefan would rise to the occasion. Nadia said a Traveller could teach Katherine how to take a ride in a new body -hers. Nadia deliver the doppelgängers to the Traveller, Mia, who was going to help her save Katherine. Nadia bolted the house, and Elena and Stefan realized their day rings no longer worked. A pack of chanting Travellers trapped them in a corner, where they wouldn't burn.
Stefan and Elena remained calm enough to quip about their predicament being awkward and them having chosen the wrong day to be in a fight. Elena apologized for her earlier judgment about him having slept with Katherine and admitted it wasn't her place. Then, one guy slit their wrists and they bled into buckets. They weren't healing. Still bleeding, Stefan made a joke about it being a good thing that he's not claustrophobic anymore. Elena realized that Katherine had helped him through that. Still, she wanted to hate her anyway. Fine, but Stefan said he couldn't. He can't stop rooting for her to find peace. And Damon, too. He told Elena to not give up on Damon like she hadn't given up on him. He told her to not let Damon give up on her either. The Travellers took the blood they needed and then Elena and Stefan were free to go.
In Total Eclipse of the Heart, Katherine (who pretend to be Elena) had conversation with Stefan at the end of the episode - Katherine wondered why he wasn't honest with her to begin with. She asked him to be honest with her. Stefan replied that ever since he'd noticed Elena falling for Damon, he'd been waiting for Damon to screw up so badly that she'd turn on him. But when it didn't happen, he stopped waiting for Damon to fail because he liked the person he had become,and he doesn't want to lose that person.
- 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 intensified . Her desires became darker and she wasn't the same girl that chose him on the Wickery Bridge. Stefan couldn't deal with it anymore and consequently broke up with Elena.
- In the novels, Elena and Stefan are soulmates.
- In the novels, when Stefan realizes how Elena looks exactly like Katherine, he tries to avoid her and she is determined to have him. In the series, Stefan wants to know Elena and be with her, unlike his book counterpart who wants to stay away due the temptation of hurting Elena, or worse, killing her.
- Both the novel version and the television series version of Stefan wants to protect Elena from the charming Damon Salvatore.
- Caroline and Lexi support them.
- Kevin Williamson said Stefan and Elena are "soulmates".
- They are both doppelgängers from different bloodlines.