|“||We changed. Both of us. We grew. We grew apart. But that is real. That is life.||”|
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 this episode Elena started to have weird dreams about Stefan & feel strange. She wanted to call him as she felt some pit in the stomach, until Caroline stopped her & said it would not be the best idea, considering she's with his brother now & it would cause more heartbreak for Stefan. At the same time, Caroline tried to convince Elena to reconsider her decision about relationship with Damon & push her towards Stefan again, who in her opinion would take her back.
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. The next day, Elena decided to leave Whitmore for a few days in order to find Stefan. At the end of the episode, Sheriff Forbes took Damon and Elena to the safe that Stefan was locked in. When they opened it however, they found a dead man. It was evidient that vampire fed on him; Elena & older Salvatore realized that Stefan's bloodlust will be harder to control than ever.
In Original Sin, Elena woke up in bed after having another nightmare, after Damon asks what's wrong, she admits that it was a dream about Stefan again, but Damon says he doesn't want to know what happened. He eventually relents and she tells him that Stefan was at a bar but doesn't know where, Katherine then makes her presence revealing that she had the same dream that Stefan is in danger and desperately needs their help - they convinced Damon to help them find him.
On the road, Damon is driving with Elena & Katherine. Miss Pierce begins to taunt Elena about how all summer she has been having dreams of Stefan and yet was so interested in her relationship with Damon. At the same time 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 his memories & spending time with his brother Damon, who was determined to help him recover his memory, they went to the Mystic Falls cemetery for the traditional Remembrance Day to honor the dead. As Damon had to go and left Elena and Stefan alone, they started talking about their family tragedies. Stefan asked her how they met and Elena took him to school to relive the moment.
When they were in school remembering the first time they met, a student was bleeding and passeed near Stefan, Elena realized this and took him outside of school. They spend time enjoying each other's company, Elena taught him some of her vampire skills. Stefan guessed that they were dating befroe - that's why he came back to high-school. He started asking her, why they brokeup - Elena said the reason was her becoming vampire, which changed her. Stefan wanted to know how Elena bacame vampire.
Later, she took him to the Wickery Bridge to remember time, when he saved her from dying. He told her, that when he is with her, the blood thirst disappears and he feels better. They were about to kiss but Elena told him that she's with Damon now. That made Stefan angry, he was feeling betrayed and his bloodlust returned, he disappeard leaving Elena alone. Later, in the Salvatore's mansion he was burning his diaries, when Elena and Damon arrived. Stefan said that he doesn't want to live with them in one house & be the "old" Stefan. Before he left, he promised to them that he won’t become the Ripper again and that Caroline will be checking up on him.
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.In Gone Girl, Stefan killed Katherine to let Elena to take control over her body. Later he waited for Elena to wake up.
In While You Were Sleeping,Elena woke up in her dorm room having a bad dream. She went downstairs, and Stefan told her Whitmore had cleared out for spring break and she'd been in and out since she first came to. Turns out, they had Bonnie's new witch friend Liv seal Elena in the building because she has a lot to catch up on, including an appetite that she can't control.
Later Stefan showed up with a new cell phone for her, along with four ounces of his blood in water bottle. She wanted more. Badly. Caroline called Stefan and told him about the Ripper virus now having werewolf venom added. She told him there was good news, but to get it, he had to meet her at a location that the Travelers don't want any witches to know about. Before Stefan left, Elena asked why Katherine had stayed in Mystic Falls and guessed it had been for him. He told her they had kissed and he'd pulled away.
Later on, Elena left Aaron a message asking him to call her, and then she discovered that Katherine had been writing in her journal. She read about Katherine trying to seduce Stefan in the hotel room and hallucinated her own hot version of it, which ended with her pushing Stefan away and, just like in the opening dream, asking why he didn't recognize that it wasn't her sooner. When Hallucination Elena went to leave the hotel room, Damon was at the door and started a verbal tiff with Stefan. Elena stopped them by saying even dead, Katherine is getting what she wants -- a wedge driven between them. She came to after Hallucination Stefan hinted there was something bad Damon wasn't telling her. Her nose was bleeding.
In Resident Evil, episode opened with Elena journaling at a table outside the Grill. A page blew away, and Stefan stopped it before it went too far. After they had flirty banter over the quality of her writing, she introduced herself and then a car horn snapped them both out of the vision. In real life, Stefan was standing in the street, and Elena woke up in bed.
Later Elena had a vision of Stefan walking her home after a movie. It'd been their first date, and they wanted to see each other again. At the moment they kissed in front of Elena's house, someone interrupted this perfect moment. Elena said that it was her father who'd turned on the porch lights to put an end to their first kiss.
Caroline's voice snapped Elena out of the vision, and then Miss Forbes used said voice to tell Elena that she was probably just fantasizing about Stefan because she'd broken up with Damon. But then Stefan called Caroline to tell her about his vision, and they realized something was really going on.
In another Elena's vision Stefan was cooking her dinner for their anniversary. She was looking for a bottle opener in a drawer when she found the little black box he didn't want her to see. She didn't even open it, she just said yes. Both of them looked very happy, they kissed & confessed love for each other. After that, they started makeout session - dream Elena knocked some mail off the counter, and real Elena broke the glass she was holding.
In the last vision, Stefan and Elena had two kids, and they were still in love enough to playfully suggest they'd bite each other. When the vision abruptly ended, the real Stefan was home at Salvatore Mansion with Elena. He'd felt it, too. Such happiness, and then it was ripped away from them. Elena had tears in her eyes. Was it over? It's over, he said.
They sat in front of the fire and came to terms with it: Just because the fantasy was gone doesn’t mean the memory of their real relationship had been stripped from them. That had been beautiful and real with its ups and downs. He said he'd always love her, and she said she'd always love him. Then she asked if Stefan thought she and Damon would ever be able to talk like this, like friends. "I think you can either be friends with someone or in love with them. I don't think you can be both," he said.
In Man on Fire,
In Promised Land,
- 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.
- Qetsiyah said they are destined to be together.
- Julie Plec said in Season Five that their relationship isn't over.