Why a 20-something Bella would never date Edward

Too bad Bella Swan will never get to the age where she’d be so over this guy.

Like many people, I went into “Twilight” expecting to hate it and came out of it addicted. Watching the series has been bittersweet, because as mentally stable adults we’re just not capable of loving that desperately. If Bella had met Edward in her 20s, there’s no way she would have been willing to risk everything and turn herself into a vampire so she could be with him. With more experience, she would have rationally concluded their lives were on different trajectories and opted to move on.

After living through the breakup of your first love, your entire perspective changes. It’s not the ending of the relationship that jades you as much as the realization that you can get over it. You thought the world was going to end … but it didn’t. And with this knowledge, love becomes a choice instead of a compulsion — because if you fall in love with someone who’s bad for you, you know that walking away is actually an option.

As an adult you have something else going for you too: a sense of purpose. At this point you’ve worked hard for your career, done crazy things for it — like resisted punching your jerky boss in the face, left your friend’s birthday party early because you wanted to be “on” the next day or accepted crap pay because something was a “good opportunity.” If faced with losing everything for the sake of a relationship, the everything you’re losing is much greater — and choosing the relationship above all else is less appealing.

Just like how “Fifty Shades of Grey” allows women everywhere to fantasize about S&M sexcapades they probably wouldn’t enjoy in real life, “Twilight” has let us fantasize about a love that’s probably too irrational for this stage in our development. When we love now, we know the person we care for so deeply doesn’t actually have the wisdom of two lifetimes, run at the speed of light and have skin that sparkles in the sun. As amazing as he seems to us, he is merely human. Knowing this allows our love to have boundaries — which, for our sanity and safety, is a good thing.  

— Amber Madison is a  Manhattan-based relationship expert and dating coach. She is the author of ‘Are All Guys Assholes?’ for which she traveled the country, spoke to over 1,000 men and  discovered that the answer is no. You can follow her on Twitter @ambermadi or online at www.ambermadisononline.com


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