Why Twilight's Bella And Edward Are NOT #CoupleGoals

One of the film industry's most famous movie couples isn't as perfect as it appears.
Unhealthy traits within their relationship
Image Source: Netflix

Best-selling author Stephenie Meyer transformed the written stories in The Twilight Saga and brought them to life on the big screen when the first Twilight movie came to theaters in 2008. Fans all over the world (myself included) craved to be in protagonist Bella Swan's position: falling in love with a charming vampire, Edward Cullen.

Now, these feelings have reignited since Netflix recently added the entire Twilight series to its streaming platform.

However, is this the type of relationship people want to be in? After close examination, this seemingly ideal relationship may be more problematic than expected.

Therapists, psychologists, and other professionals investigated the details of Bella and Edward's love story. What they discovered was anything but a perfect relationship. This relationship is considered very toxic.

What is a Toxic Relationship?

A relationship, whether romantic or familial, is considered toxic when one or both partners display unhealthy character traits that cause conflict and damage to each other.

Various factors establish a toxic relationship. Some unhealthy traits are more apparent than others. They may be as subtle as toxic verbal cues or as obvious as evidence of bodily harm like bruises. What's most important is being aware of toxic traits, finding ways to avoid getting into or continuing a toxic relationship.

Identifying Toxic Traits within a Relationship

The Twilight Saga has prime examples of some toxic traits that can appear in relationships. These traits are clear signs of types of relationships to avoid.  

Here are a few unhealthy characteristics found within the relationship between Twilight's Bella Swan and Edward Cullen:


Imagine you see someone you don't like at the store. The next day at school, that person approaches you and asks if you were at the store yesterday. You tell them no, you weren't at the store. They look confused and try to defend themselves by saying that they swear they saw you. However, you continue to deny ever going to the store that day. They eventually give in and suppose they just saw someone who looked like you.

What you're doing in this hypothetical situation is gaslighting.

An Example of Gaslighting in Twilight

In this scene from the first Twilight movie, Bella interrogates Edward at the hospital after he saved her from a car crash. She wants to know how it was humanly possible for him to have gotten over to her in time before the crash. Though, Edward, withholding the truth, tells Bella that he was standing right next to her the whole time.

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation in which a person tries to convince someone that a situation happened differently than they believe, to make them feel crazy.

The example of gaslighting during this scene occurs when Edward attempts to persuade Bella into thinking that he was standing right next to her the entire time before the crash. However, Bella knows what she saw and is taken aback by Edward. She refuses to believe him.

Why is Gaslighting Unhealthy?

If someone in a relationship is gaslighting their partner, it can cause many problems. For example, if the partner begins to believe that they're crazy, they may develop a mental health disorder. A medical article on the subject mentioned the effects of being gaslighted include anxiety, depression, isolation, and psychological trauma.

Gaslighting is a sub-form of manipulation, which is another problem found in Bella and Edward's relationship.


Imagine your best friend wants to go to a concert performed by their favorite band with you. You have plans to visit your ill grandmother at the hospital that day. So, you respectfully decline the invitation and apologize. Your friend bursts into obnoxious sobs and cries, "If you were my best friend, you would go with me!" Stricken with immense guilt, you appease your friend by saying you'll go visit your grandmother another day and go to the concert with them.

In this hypothetical, your friend has manipulated you.

An unhealthy trait in their relationship
Image Source: New York Daily News

In Eclipse, the third movie in the series, Bella attempts to pressure Edward into having sex with him. She manipulates him by asking "Please?" over and over again and telling him that she wants to do this while she's still human. Edward also manipulates Bella by saying that if she wants to have sex with him, she needs to marry him first. They're manipulating each other in different ways.

What is Manipulation?

Manipulation is finding clever ways to get what is desired, even if it is unfair. This happens all the time and people may not realize they are manipulative or being manipulated.

Why is Manipulation Unhealthy?

Studies show that manipulation is trying to change someone's beliefs, typically for bad reasons. The manipulator gets what they want at the victim's expense. This harmful tactic displays a sense of disrespect to the victim. It indicates that the manipulator doesn't care how the victim feels, they just want the victim to give in. 


A good hypothetical scenario of cheating would be walking in on your significant other making out with someone who isn't you. You agreed to an exclusive relationship and the significant other is breaking that boundary by being romantically involved with someone else.

Hypothetically, your partner has just cheated on you.

Cheating is another unhealthy trait in relationships
Image Source: Pinterest

At the end of Eclipse, Jacob Black manipulates Bella into kissing him after threatening to leave and join the fight occurring with newborn vampires. Bella knows this is wrong, but she decides to fall for Jacob's trap anyway. At that moment, she cheated on Edward.

What is Cheating?

If two people are in an exclusive, monogamous relationship, this means that either partner cannot indulge in the benefits of a relationship with anyone outside of the pre-established relationship. There are specific boundaries in place when two people agree to a monogamous relationship, and if those boundaries are crossed, it is considered cheating.

Why is Cheating Unhealthy?

Cheating on a partner, regardless of the reasons behind it, is wrong. It's a sign of betrayal, disloyalty to the partner. This can lead to major trust issues and a broken heart. Trust is one of the most important aspects of a relationship. Bella was aware that Edward would be upset if she kissed Jacob and she still went through with it.

However, Bella and Edward always say how they can't live without the other. So, they just brush the kiss aside and continue obsessing over each other.


Did you have a celebrity crush on anyone famous? I had (and honestly am still in) my hardcore One Direction fan phase. Posters of the band members covered my walls, I bought all of their albums on CD, I went to a couple of their concerts, I watched all of their X Factor diaries when they were competing on the show, and saw their tour documentary in the theatres.

I guess one could say I was obsessed with One Direction.  

Their obsession is unhealthy
Image Source: Polygon

The entire Twilight series is based on an intense love story between Bella and Edward. Their feelings for one another may seem endearing, but it crosses the line of obsession.

What is Obsession?

Obsession is an overwhelming feeling. To think about or want something to an extreme level is a sign of obsession. For example, before Bella and Edward became a couple, Edward stalked Bella. He would climb through her bedroom window late at night and watch her sleep. In the first movie, Edward mentions how Bella's human scent is "like a drug to [him], like [his] own personal brand of heroin." 

Why is Obsession Unhealthy?

To be obsessed means that a specific person, place, object, or idea is always on a person's mind. Psychologists found that obsession can lead a person to lose a sense of reality. Bella is so obsessed with Edward that she constantly needs him at her side. She can't eat or sleep when he's away. Obsessive people stop caring about themselves and only focus on their obsession.

The Reality of #CoupleGoals

Although relationships in movies, television shows, and books can appear to be super romantic, there can be many issues under the surface. Healthy relationships take hard work. There is no perfect couple out there because that's just not reality. Every person has their faults. In relationships, these faults can either be repaired or cause further problems.

Famous relationships, fictitious or real, should not be idolized. Every couple is on their independent journey. There are going to be cute moments and damaging ones. That is a normal part of relationships. The real #CoupleGoals is finding a partner who admits they're broken and that they're working on their unhealthy habits. A good couple is two people who choose to walk alongside each other on their journey to becoming the best version of themselves.

Being aware of unhealthy traits within a relationship is key to finding a good partner.

23 | uni graduate | aspiring author | overthinker | theatre kid

No Saves yet. Share it with your friends.

Write Your Diary

Get Free Access To Our Publishing Resources

Independent creators, thought-leaders, experts and individuals with unique perspectives use our free publishing tools to express themselves and create new ideas.

Start Writing