True love comes to those who wait — and when you're a vampire, that love may take a few centuries and come loaded with evil and angst. No two people know that better than The Vampire Diaries
' Damon and Elena. They've weathered murderous exes, monsters, and jealous siblings/doppelgängers in the pursuit of life, love, and blood (hey, a vamp's got to eat). While their romance continues to shift from smoldering highs to devastating, heart-breaking lows, we know these two are destined for immortal greatness.
In celebration of their untamed, unpredictable love, we've created a GIF-happy primer for both the newbie and advanced Delena shipper.
A is for Awards
Let's kick things off with some snazzy recognition. Delena has a shiny People's Choice Award for Favorite On-Screen Chemistry and they've also won countless polls for everything from cutest to sexiest couple — in other words, this TV relationship is pretty legit. Sorry, haters.B is for Bloodsuckers
Damon's been a vampire since the 19th century, but Elena remained a human for the first three seasons of The Vampire Diaries
before also becoming a vampire.C is for Complicated
complicated. Elena first dated Damon's brother Stefan, and both Damon and Stefan previously dated an Elena doppelgänger named Katherine.
D is for Damon + Elena - Stefan = Delena
We love us some do-gooder Stefan, but we need a break from the love triangle every now and again. More solo Delena outings please. E is for Endless
There are a lot of downsides to being a vampire (holy water, garlic, house calls, etc.) but the undead thing works wonders for aging. Ideally, Delena can live happily ever after FOREVER.F is for Fans
We know we're not the only ones singing Delena's praises. There's a veritable army of shippers around the world, which includes cast members — and (randomly) Selena Gomez
.G is for Going the Distance
From risking their lives for each other to tackling the horrors of a long-distance relationship (with unfortunate results), Delena's willing to go the extra mile and back.H is for Hugs
Ever notice that some hugs just seem more angst-y than others? Damon and Elena are serious pros at conveying so much more than whatever a normal hug is supposed to convey. I is for Ian Somerhalder
We can't imagine anyone else nailing the complex, snarky role of Damon better than Somerhalder, the devilishly handsome actor from Louisiana. You can't teach that smirk in acting classes, people — you're just born
with it.J is for January-December Romance
Oh yeah, so no big deal, but Damon is about 170 years old when he meets teenage Elena. But, guys, it's okay — she's emotionally mature. Or something. Luckily, Damon stopped aging.K is for Katherine
Even though Damon (and Stefan) both dated Katherine in the 19th century, she's still stirring up trouble in the 21st century, thanks to her vampire status. She and Damon play with rekindling their romance, but he realizes his feelings are true for Elena, not Katherine. L is for Lore
For a time, it was believed that the doppelgängers of Amara and Silas, the first immortal man and woman, were destined to fall in love. Elena and Stefan are the last living descendants of Amara and Silas, but that prophecy (or at least that interpretation) was soon de-bunked. M is for Miss Mystic Falls Dance
Even in the first season, Damon showed signs of supporting Elena even better than her boyfriend. Like at the Miss Mystic Falls Dance when he stepped in for an absent Stefan. N is for Nina Dobrev
We can't help but fall in love with this effortlessly charming Bulgarian Canadian actress every time we see her. She balances her gorgeous looks with silliness — and acting skills that make her doppelgänger roles actually believable. O is for "Original Sin"
Season 5, Episode 3 served up some swoon-worthy magic for Delena. Damon tells Elena, "I'm not gonna let someone else's idea of destiny stop me from loving you or being with you or building a future with you, because you are my life."P is for Plotting
Fun fact: For a while Elena was plotting to KILL Damon. But don't worry — it was just doppelgänger Katherine controlling Elena's body. Q is for Quit
Stop breaking up! Once Delena actually succumbed to their feelings, fans got a taste of romantic "bliss" (as blissful as things can get on The Vampire Diaries
anyway) before relationship-ending story lines kept getting in the way. R is for Roller CoasterVampire Diaries
co-creator Julie Plec on Delena: "[Elena's] had a very traumatic roller coaster of life experience... and at the center of it all was the diehard belief that she loved Damon, that she loved him more than she'd ever loved anyone."S is for Sibling Rivalry
So yeah, Stefan's still always around. The poor Salvatore boys are always at odds in some respect, and it does make us sad thinking about Stefan's broken heart. Maybe we can un-earth another doppelgänger for him.T is for Torrid
Words will probably take away from these GIFs, so we'll just shut up for now...
U is for Under Covers
This may seem redundant after the above GIFs, but it's not — promise. Delena enjoys under cover time so much that they even have break-up sex after deciding they're horrible together. Now that's real commitment.V is for Vampire Blood
Mmmm vampire blood. Unfortunately, when Elena drank Damon's blood, it created a sire bond that really mucked up Delena's trust issues. Damon was scared that Elena only cared for him because of the bond, but a handy compelling session proved her feelings were real. W is for "We Are Real"
As Elena tells Damon in Season 5, "You and I we are messy and complicated, but we are real." Preaching to the choir, Elena. X is for eXes
One explanation for Delena's unstoppable chemistry? Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder dated for three years! Unfortunately, they broke up in 2013, but we have hope that these former lovebirds can rekindle their romance.Y is for Your Big Boy Pants
Somerhalder gave his two cents
on why Delena keeps striking out romantically: "When you have grown-up conversations, you have to put your big boy pants and big girl pants on and have the conversation. They keep taking their pants off, and that's what gets in the way of the grown up conversations." Z is for Zealous
Say what you want about Delena, but these two supernatural on-again, off-again lovers have enough passion to ignite an entire continent. Sure, sometimes their attraction overshadows everything else, but at heart, they're two people who just can't live without each other. Have your own ABCs of Delena? Share them with us in the comments below! And be sure to catch up with Damon and Elena on The CW, Thursdays at 8/7c.