Real Love Or A Fantasy: The Appeal Of The Twilight Saga


There's a line drawn between reality and fantasy....but sometimes that line gets blurred.

During it's first week of availability, Breaking Dawn Part I sold 3.2 million DVD's and Blu-rays. For many, the anticipation of attending a Twilight premiere or purchasing the newly released DVD is likened to that of preparing for a high school prom. But teens aren't the only ones captivated. Audiences of all ages are hooked, guiltily or not, to the fanatical, addictive and utterly over-the-top love between the film's lead characters. So what is it about this solemn, inter-species affair that so appeals to the masses? Is Twilight Bad For Your Love Life?

To put it simply, vampires and werewolves aren't the only element of fantasy we are taken with. It is the instant and eternal attraction between Edward and Bella, two somber teens, one human and one vampire, pulled together inexplicably against all forces of danger and all rules of logic. Edward's desire for Bella is so ravenous in nature that he literally craves her blood above that of any other, while after a fleeting encounter, Bella is so taken with Edward that she can't imagine her existence without him.


Is this the model of love we should teach our kids to strive for? Maybe not, but its appeal is closer to home than we may think. Fantasy and fairy tales tell us stories of the perfect love, the flawless soul mate and the uncontrollable wave of desire that never seems to ride out. While the thought of happily ever after with someone you love forever isn't a bad goal to strive for, the trouble comes when we start putting all our security and identity into that person. Making ourselves vulnerable to love is one thing, but losing ourselves in fantasy is another. Sex Video: How To Tell Your Partner About Your Sexual Fantasies

Falling in love can mean opening yourself up to new experiences, feeling free, spontaneous, generous, and differentiated from your past. Falling into fantasy can mean forming a connection that isn't based on real substance. The instant and addictive attractions like that depicted so intensely in Twilight are not always based on the qualities and reality about a person or the connections that would lead to a real and lasting relationship. Instead, they may be based on a draw toward fantasy, a false sense of being completed or an innate desire to merge one's identity with another (returning to the safety of the womb). They can also be based on emotional hunger toward a partner, or the illusion of getting safety and immortality through "love" and walking off into the sunset together forever.

This article was originally published at PsychAlive . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Lisa Firestone


Dr. Lisa Firestone PhD

Director of Research and Education

The Glendon Association

(805) 681-0415 x216

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression, Family Support, Parenting, Stress Management
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