Going through the mobile tag had become tolerable as days go by because of the fact that Steroline is clearly being given a strong storyline which is inevitably making them the main romantic arc this season and that all the reasons to hate thrown by the haters are being proven wrong in canon one by one. So you see, on the mobile tag I see the anti-posts. I see the Stelena and Klaroline posts and as a former shipper of these ships myself (well, a bit), it kind of affects me inside.
If the posts aren’t offensive, I usually just ignore and giggle because I respect that it’s just how they view things and of course I think they’re wrong (lol). And then I realize, maybe the root of the problem is not just that they strongly dislike Steroline because they strongly like another ship, maybe it’s also because they don’t
like to understand what makes Steroline shippable. It’s like Damon when he said “not all love is true love, brother” which is clearly a bad piece of advice considering the only kind of true love he has ever known is the messed up one (not meant to shade Delena, just in reference to what Stefan explained to him later on).
In fact, I think I’ve seen some posts along these lines:
Stelena shipper: Stefan is clearly being guilt-tripped to have feelings for Caroline. With Elena, he just knew right away.
Klaroline shipper: If Stefan needed some convincing to admit he has feelings for Caroline, then Caroline deserves better. At least Klaus didn’t need anyone to see all those traits of her and saw it right away.
In the surface, it looks reasonable tbh. If I were a girl and a guy kissed me and was practically leading me on romantically knowing I have feelings for him but then hesitated especially when he knew I was emotionally unstable, I would take that as offensive. But that is Caroline’s side of the coin. Stefan, on the other hand, thought he was paying her and her mother some respect by choosing to talk later regardless of what he would have told her prior to that realization-when-he-saw-her-singing-like-an-angel-went-straight-down-from-heaven moment. He needed convincing, yes, he needed it. Because unlike that instant I-saw-all-your-good-traits-the-moment-I-saw-you-so-I-love-and-fancy-you-right-away kind of love, he saw all those traits of her not in the intention of loving her romantically but by knowing her by actually spending time together and understanding her which took a looong time by natural progression. He knows Caroline is all of those things (like are you kidding? He’s a hardcore Caroline fanboy like nobody else), but in his mind he’s not supposed to love her like he loved Elena/Katherine. In his mind, you cannot be friends with someone and in love with them at the same time. That’s why he was so conflicted. That’s why he needed convincing. He didn’t know that it is possible. And yet, even after he got that bad piece of advice from Damon, he figured it out on his own. On his own, I repeat. He could have pulled the rip cord as Damon told him to do, but he can’t shake whatever it is that he feels. And what do you know, another reason why he can’t recognize the feeling is because it is not like the one he felt with Elena/Katherine. It is not the messed up kind of love and he thinks it could be something even better. For him to say this is really very telling because 1) he was basically told in his face to gtfo of it and he could as well have if he wanted to 2) this is something brand new to him and he has no idea what it is and yet he decided upon himself it is worth a shot. And some people are still saying he’s being-guilt-tripped-and/or-being-forced like haven’t you been paying attention? Probably not.
So I guess it just comes down to what these shippers see as the right kind of love. They don’t want the kind that roots from a deeper level that actually requires a certain level of understanding for one to actually appreciate. For them, it has to be this from-the-moment-I-saw-you-I-already-want-to-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-you-even-though-I-have-no-idea-if-we-can-tolerate-each-other-when-we-are-at-out-our-worst-but-I-guess-it-is-all-worth-the-risk kind of love which both applies to Stelena and Klaroline. And I guess that’s fine because that’s the kind of love they want to see. But I know I am speaking for the whole Steroline fandom when I say that the character depths and internal conflicts that Stefan and Caroline have to deal with in order to be together is what make them much more fascinating because unlike the other pairings on this show whose conflicts to be together are that in the kind of I-love-you-but-you-love-another-but-still-I-will-fight-to-have-you or the instant love, theirs is actually them resolving their own issues which is much more interesting. They got past that getting-to-know stage ages ago with no problem at all; to act on the feelings they were not planning to feel is what’s they are struggling with now. A bit complicated when you think about it, but when they finally get together after all these complications they first have to deal with, they’d be laughing their asses at all the other couples in Mystic Falls because it will be a cakewalk for them from then on.
Of course, assuming that the writers stay consistent with the narratives, characterizations, and trajectory all in all. *cough* Don’t you dare, Plec & Co *cough*
But yeah, different strokes for different folks, I guess.