Science Totally Supports Caroline And Stefan From 'The Vampire Diaries' -- Just Like You

Research backs up all your Steroline fantasies.

Steroline fans, we've got some much-needed good news after "The Vampire Diaries" ripped your heart out and mercilessly tore it to shreds in the devastating season 6 finale on May 14. Science backs up your undying belief that Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola) and Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) are endgame in CW's hit show.

Research published in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science explored the connection between control and wellbeing in single people and those in committed relationships. "TVD" fans know Caroline tends to be a littttle bit obsessed with control, so we decided to apply the study's findings to the whole Steroline situation.

(Spoiler warning: If you haven't seen the last two episodes of "TVD," stop right here. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.)


After more than a season of will-they-or-won't-they confusion, viewers finally saw Steroline become a thing in season 6. They kissed, they ~fooled around~. It wasn't under the best of circumstances -- both Caroline and Stefan had shut off their humanity when they did the dirty -- but it still happened. When their humanity switches were flipped back on, they faced a difficult decision us mere mortal humans know all too well: DTRing, aka Defining The Relationship.

Stefan, bless our hearts, made it abundantly clear that his epic love/ex-girlfriend Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) was OUT and that Caroline was IN. He said it much more gracefully than that, of course, because he's Stefan and he was born in 1846 and all -- but that was the general gist of the conversation.



Caroline doesn't have any of it, though, and her reasoning had nothing to do with Elena -- and everything to do with maintaining a sense of control in the wake of her mom's recent death.

"I hate the way that this is making me feel," Caroline told Stefan in the season's penultimate episode.

"That's because you're a control freak who's lost control; I feel the same way when I'm around you," Stefan assured her. "That's what falling for somebody is. It's being vulnerable. It's giving up control."

"I know, but where I'm at right now in my life -- the guilt, grief -- control is all I have, and I don't think that I can give that up," she told him before walking away.


Can you hear that? It's the sound of Steroline shippers everywhere banging their heads against the wall because these two just need to get together and STAY together already. But in the end, it's all about control.

Or is it? Let's bite (sorry) into some science.

Psychological researchers Dr. Erik G. Helzer of Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and Dr. Eranda Jayawickreme of Wake Forest University define two types of control in their aforementioned study, "Control and the 'Good Life': Primary and Secondary Control as Distinct Indicators of Well-Being." Primary control is how you directly affect challenging situations, while secondary control is how you choose to respond to those situations. Both are important, but which plays a bigger role in achieving life satisfaction?

The research suggests that the answer depends on whether or not you have a bae. If you're single, they found that secondary control was more important to your happiness. If you're shacked up, primary control was more important.

According to a New York Times post on the study, "Dr. Helzer thinks having a partner may help people deal with adversity the same way secondary control does, so secondary control may have less of an effect."

In other words, snuggling up with Stefan probably won't hurt Caroline's sense of control. It might even make her feel more in control, since Helzer believes relationships help people confront challenges.


So no, Car, you don't need to give up control to be with Stefan. You can still be your wonderful "control freak" self that we love. If this study is right, having Stefan by your side will help you fight the many supernatural battles to come -- and with a group of witch-vampires running around Mystic Falls, we think you're gonna need all the help you can get in season 7.