The Way Edward Treats Bella in Twilight Is Super Problematic — I Can't Believe I Had a Crush on Him

At the ripe old age of 11, I was fully convinced I was destined to meet the glittery love of my life and spend eternity with him as a “vegetarian” vampire (as were all of my other friends in the sixth grade). I wasn’t on social media yet (thank god), but if I had been, all of my pages would have proudly proclaimed I was #TEAMEDWARD4LIFE. His charm and mystique lured me into the pages of the Twilight Saga like his piercing gold eyes lured Bella into the forest where he confessed his love for her. Nearly 15 years later, my stance on a 100-year-old vampire wooing a teenage girl — whom he constantly wants to murder and drain every drop of blood from — is, uh, a little different.

Aside from the fact that he’s 100 years older than her, Edward’s relationship with Bella is basically the definition of problematic. For instance, after speaking to her exactly once, Edward takes it upon himself to sneak into her bedroom and sit in the corner all night to watch her while she sleeps. Considering that I used to be afraid of the shadows projected by jackets thrown over chairs at night, I have no idea how middle-school me didn’t catch onto this being super creepy sooner. Also, aren’t vampires supposed to require an invitation before they enter someone else’s home?!

In addition to the fact that one of his favorite pastimes is smelling her, I find it difficult to get past the fact that, prior to Bella’s transformation, Edward spends 100 percent of the time right on the edge of murdering her and draining all of her blood. My younger self would have argued that this was sort of romantic because Edward loves Bella so much that he’s willing to battle his inner bloodlust constantly just to be with her. Now, of course, I realize that’s a terrifying train of thought. Edward is manipulating Bella, and his inability to stay away from her ultimately hurts her more than anything. In fact, there are quite a few majorly questionable moments between the couple that all of Team Edward should have thought through a little more carefully when we were younger. Here are just a few of Edward’s creepiest and most problematic moments:

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