Admit it, you’ve wondered if your crush is thinking about you: what you’re wearing, what you smell like, where you are right now, how to murder you. You know, the usual stuff we fantasize our crushes are fantasizing about. All over social media people wax poetic about wanting their crushes to run them over, hit them with a hammer, even kill them — and I completely relate. Ever since R Patz spent five Twilight films fighting his burning hot desire to kill K Stew I’ve dreamt of having a crush want me so badly that they’d drink my blood à la Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. (The closest I’ve ever gotten to that is a hickey, which is hot, but not boiling-blood-level hot.) And whether you’ve realized it or not, your obsession with having your crush murdering you comes from Twilight, too.
Hear me out. Twilight shows us that there’s something sexy about a man wanting to murder you, but fighting against it. Because actually being murdered isn’t all that sexy, because then you’re dead, so you don’t know what hot guys are crying at your funeral. Edward knows he should want to kill Bella — since he’s a vampire and she’s a human — but he also loves her and wants her alive. He spends much of the books trying to control his primal urges, even resisting sex on numerous occasions, which shows he cares. (A little effort goes a long way when it comes to dating.) In fact, Edward cares so much about not hurting Bella that he fully leaves for the entire second book, letting Bella find a new partner, Jacob, just to protect her. Yet in the end he can’t resist Bella’s siren call.
"I sometimes feel like I can barely get guys to return my texts, so a man who’s interested enough to want me dead? Nice."
The allure of a crush murdering you is that they have to be really, really, really obsessed with you to even think about it. I sometimes feel like I can barely get guys to return my texts, so a man who’s interested enough to want me dead? Nice. And Edward is fully obsessed with Bella. He stops a car and risks revealing his superhuman reflexes just to protect her. Another time he shows up in the middle of the night to make love to her until morning. He even asks the most evil vampires in all the land to kill him when he believes she’s about to kill herself. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
While Edward’s steadfast desire to resist killing Bella is likely the genesis of millennials’ thirst for having our crushes murder us, I’ll admit that Twilight is hardly the first story to sexily mix love, death, and blood sucking. Vampires are designed to want to attack non-vampires, and yet, they’ve fallen for humans before. Think: Buffy and Angel or Kirsten Dunst and Brad Pitt in Interview with the Vampire. Twilight’s main vampire-based innovation was vampires sparkling in the sun, not desiring a forbidden fruit. Dying for love may have actually started with Romeo and Juliet, but it’s continued all the way to the guy on Hinge who suggested I break quarantine to sleep with him (I will not, he doesn’t even have a dog).
Nevertheless, Twilight’s impact on our collective desire is immeasurable. Bella struggles whether Edward is or is not around, because she both misses him and fears for her life when he’s there. He’s the toxic man who threatens us when he’s close and devastates us when he’s gone, like the guy on Hinge who unmatched me after asking me to drinks, only to rematch me again on Tinder. So if you find yourself waking up to a fantasy of your crush slitting your throat, don’t worry — you have Robert Pattison’s perfect coif to thank.