After Elena chose Stefan in the season 3 finale..
Julie Plec: What she said was 100 percent true: even at its worst, she never fell out of love with Stefan, and you just can’t let somebody like that go. She’s committed to Stefan. She loves Stefan / It’s honest and pure and real. Hopefully people who are fans of the show and fans of Elena and fans of real human behavior will understand and respect the choice that she makes / We wanted Stefan to be her hero, to really reaffirm all the ways and all the reasons why she chose him at the end of last year / Yes, that’s why when I had a choice to make, in about who I wanted to be with, that helped inform the choice that I made. Knowing these things about Stefan versus Damon… Stefan respects me and my choices and me as an individual.
After Elena chose Damon in the season 4 finale..
Julie Plec: Damon wanted to be loved.