When Will Nina Dobrev Leave 'The Vampire Diaries'? For Fans of the CW Series, Far Too Soon

It's news that's hitting Vampire Diaries fans harder than the sentence, "Stefan and Elena are so much better than Delena." On Monday came the news that Nina Dobrev is leaving The Vampire Diaries six years after signing on to play the series' main heroine, Elena Gilbert. It's a shock to fans of the series — despite the fact that several supporting characters have become fan favorites, the idea of a Vampire Diaries without its main character is as scary as, well, a plate full of garlic if you were a vampire. But even though we can't imagine the CW series without the relatable woman that attracted us to the series to begin with, we have to prepare ourselves for the inevitable. So, when will Nina Dobrev leave The Vampire Diaries ?

As if the news of Dobrev's departure didn't hit hard enough, the timing of it will be an even more brutal punch in the gut. Because, according to Deadline, the actress will part The Vampire Diaries after its sixth season. You know, the season we're currently watching. As Dobrev detailed in her Instagram post announcing her exit:

I’ve just spent the most beautiful weekend on Lake Lanier in Georgia with my own TVD Family, the cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries. I want to be the first to tell you that it wasn’t just a holiday celebration, it was a goodbye party. I always knew I wanted Elena’s story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime.

So, yes, the end of a "six season adventure" means the last we'll see of Elena Gilbert will be Thursday, May 14 — the date currently slated as The Vampire Diaries' Season 6 bow. And, in case you refuse to believe the news and are still in denial, the series' creator herself, Julie Plec, confirmed the news of Dobrev's exit.

Saying goodbye to Nina is both bittersweet and beautiful ... After six-plus years together, the entire cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries has reached a level of closeness that I don’t think any of us ever expected. Nina is excited to spread her wings, get some rest, travel the world and also take it by storm, and we support her a thousand-fold. We will miss Nina and the four hundred characters she played, but we look forward to the insane and exciting challenge of continuing to tell stories of our Salvatore Brothers and our much-loved and gifted ensemble.

That means we'll continue to see the Salvatore Brothers live on... without Elena. So that means we might have to cope with a future without a Delena. Or without even a Stefan and Elena. My god, how will we cope?!

Of course, the main question when it comes to Vampire Diaries fans: Why? Why is Dobrev heading out the door? According to Deadline, though the series was able to lock in Season 7 deals with the aforementioned Salvatore Brothers, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, contract negotiations eventually led to Dobrev's exit.

So what's next for Dobrev? Though she currently doesn't have anything slated post-Vampire Diaries, the Degrassi alum's previous successes have certainly set her up to bite into another meaty role. After all, we're talking about an actress who attracted fans playing not just one characters, but three. Hollywood — Dobrev is available. Don't wait too bloody long to scoop her up.