Imprinting....As good as human love?

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Post by Phact »

Yay, this is a great topic for debate- this concept of imprinting fascinates me to no end. xD

It seems to me that imprinting is purely love working in a person- it's just more forceful and...helpful, I guess I'd say. Instead of wondering and stressing over finding the right person for you, all you need to do is see him/her and you -know- that's them. At the same time, I think that imprinting isn't always as strong as "other" love. I'm sure that it is extremely strong- but Edward said in Eclipse that since he could see inside the pack's mind and see what imprinting is like, he still says "almost as strong as I feel for you". So basically, Edward's love for Bella is stronger than imprinting love. It's all love, but maybe natuarl love is stronger than imprinting love in rare cases?

The hardest part to get around is Jacob. I know he has that bone-deep love for Bella in himself. I'm pretty sure he'd do anything for her, absolutely anything. But he didn't imprint on her. Which seems to translate into: they weren't meant to be. I know in the book it says that if Edward didn't exist, they'd be perfect for each other, like soulmates. So does Jacob not imprint on her because Edward is there? I mean, I know imprinting is an thing you can't control, but I wonder if it can be changed according to situations. Like...if Edward had died in the hospital from spanish influenza instead of living forever and finding Bella, would Jacob have imprinted on Bella? It would make sense, since Edward isn't supposed to be "alive"- it's abnormal. Yet Edward's love for Bella is so strong that if he was a werewolf they'd tag it as imprinting, no doubt about it. It's strange, like Bella has two soulmates at one time because one of them (Edward) isn't supposed to be alive in her lifetime. If Bella was born in the 1900's and met Edward, they would be soulmates. I'm positive of it. And if Bella met Jacob without Edward being alive, they would be soulmates. I'm fairly positive of it. But at the same time, Edward is more of Bella's soulmate than Jacob is- that's why she had to say goodbye to Jacob and not Edward. So even though Edward and Bella's love is completely wrong and probably messed up everything, it's the strongest love, anywhere and anytime. I also wonder if Edward's propensity for Bella's blood has something to do with their right-ness for each other, but that's an entirely different topic. xD

Imprinting isn't "fair", but when are life or love ever fair? All's fair in war, to quote another lovely book by Stephanie.
However, why does imprinting need to be fair? Yes, Leah didn't get to be with Sam, but that seems like it just says to them that they weren't meant to be. Sam is meant for Emily, not Leah. Yes, they loved each other. But Sam is -meant- to love Emily, and Leah is meant to love someone else. I think once Leah imprints, she'll understand better what Sam went through.

Ah. I have to go. Darn. I wanted to keep going with this. xD I might pick up my thoughts later on today.
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Post by Enlightenment »

What I have noticed in all the books written by SM, is that love seems to be more...blissfully unrealistic. The love Sam and Emily have, Emmery(sp) and Claire, Edward and Bella, Esme and Carlisle, Emmett and Rosalie, Alice and Jasper, is pretty much unparalled. But the couples that are purely mortal in the book, Charlie/Phil and Renee, Angela and Ben. They all have something good, but it doesn't come close to any of the said couples. So I guess it depends if you want the wow love or the normal, regular, but still sweet love like your average Joe and Jane. The imprinting gives you the wow love, like it has for Sam and Emily.
Is it fair to give someone something so overwhelming? Sam and Emily (eventually) welcomed it, but if Jacob imprinted, would that really help him or hurt him? Maybe whatever or whomever decides who imprints on who looks to se if it will help them.
To me, it seems that imprinting love is so much more than regular human love, I would want it.
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Post by EbonyCircles »

Is imprinting as good as ordinary human love? For the imprinter? For the imprintee?

I think if we say that human love pales in comparison to imprinted love, I might cry. Because dose that mean I can never reach some deep and special kind of love? We're undermining the very essence of what this novel is about, by saying the human love is well "weak". Love, throughout the whole fist book it seems Bella and Edward are in this constant battle of who loves who more and can human love equal vampire love? Human love has the capability to be just as wonderful and fulfilling as any kind of love.

In terms of imprinting I think it takes something away from each person. For the imprinter, look at Sam, I think he's a great guy, and then I remember what happened to Leah. I have to say, while I am sure he was supremely nice and wonderful about the break up, that the amount of pain it's causing him, and the whole pack was that any good? Not that I begrudge him and Emily anything, I think this is the price you pay when you have the power to just "know."

The imprintee seems to have no say, and yes we are told that they "fall in love" guaranteed, but let's take a look at Claire. First off I have to agree with Sasha maybe they can get Jasper to give them a discounted rate, but those psych bills are going to be astronomical. I mean think about growing up as a teenager and knowing where you're going in life. While all your other friends get to go off and explore, you are done. I think the room for growth is extremely cut off, at least for her.

Does it undermine the worth of love if you have no say about it? Does it make a relationship stronger -- or less meaningful -- if there is no possibility that the imprinter will ever fall out of love?

Well in all its forms it is still "love" however you want to interpret that. I think it undermines our freedom of choice. It's just a new spin on love at first sight, which I don't like either. To me, love at first sight is silly, you have no idea who they are or what they like/dislike, what they want to do with their lives'.ect. I mean what if you imprint on someone who is inherently bad for you? There are downsides to this whole idea. Think of the person who imprints of Leah or who Leah imprints on. Her past is going to make it very difficult for her to leave all of that behind and just go for it. All of the emotional wounds that she has, it's going to take a long time, I think, until she is ready to be in a relationship.

Worth of love, that's hard, does it make love worth less if you don't have to work for it? I think it might make someone stop looking for love. If they know that one day it's just going to happen, like poof here I am. What's the point of dating? If you look at a girl and are like nope I don't feel anything, then what? Think of the people who could be hurt. In that sense I think it takes away from everything that makes love great. Experimentation. How do you know what you like until you tried it? If there werewolf senses don't tingle you might pass someone over who could be someone who could make you happy.

The power that it might give to someone in that relationship I think is what would become the problem. Back to Claire and Quil think of all the emotional turmoil Claire could put Quil through growing up. Being a teenager she could pull a lot of crap that might hurt them both. Whether she actually would, well I don't think SM is that cruel. I do think imprinting could give someone the upper hand in a relationship.

As to changing to fit what your person needs, I think that's a little wrong too. I mean a relationship should not change you entirely. I think there is room for compromises, but to completely redo who you are for someone is silly.

How would you feel about either imprinting or being imprinted on?

Hmmmmmm'..I don't think so, because what if I found someone I could be happy with and just stopped looking? Then say one day I found him, "the one," but I'm already in love with this other guy, and we have kids, and you know what we're perfect for eachother. I'd rather be blissfully happy and unaware of what I might be missing, because who's to say I couldn't love someone else that much?

What do you think Stephenie wants us to think about imprinting?

As I said earlier I think it's her spin on "love at first sight" going back to her love of Romeo and Juliet. Except in this version it's completely safe, cause no one is going to get hurt'..right. I think she wants to give Jake someone that will make him happy and be able to make him forget. The only worry is should we be willing to forget a broken heart?
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Post by overajump »

I could argue both sides as well-I'm feeling neutral here for this debate. I feel that imrpinting is good in a sense that you can't ignore it even if you wanted to. In this case, it is better than human-being love. You will never fall out of love, and there's no doubting your feelings. Now, for my sanity's sake and Belward's(<haha) sake I will state that their love is stronger than Jacob's imprint. It's more pure, and I feel that in a way, Edward did imprint on Bella. Not that's possible for his kind, but In a sense, he did. The moment he saw here and smelled her blood, he knew that he had to stay away from her because her blood waswhat he longed for the most. But he couldn't stand to stay away from her, he couldn't ingore it. That sounds alot like imprinting to me-they were ment to be together. When you impring on somebody, you know right away, right as sona s you see them;you see it in animals all the time. Now, if you look at it that way, "imprint-love" is stronger than any other kind. In relation to Stephenie's books, you see it in New Moon when Edward leaves Bella. He know's he's dangerous and he even stated that he wouldn't be able to stand himself if he ever hurt her, so he left. Yes, you can argue that him leaving DID hurt her, but he thought it was for her own good. He figured she would eventually forget about what they had, but for eternity he would remember. But in the end they ended up together once again. Their love was strong enough to keep them together. That is what I call TRUE love, and a stronger kind, there is none.
Last edited by overajump on Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Wolf Girl »

I think it's unfair for the imprinter.. Like, when Sam imprinted on Emily, he felt really sorry for Leah.. It's not his fault.. I could have written more, but not right now ^^
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Post by ClassyDrama »

Ok i have 2 sides to this:

First is its unfair to both for this reason. For the IMPRINTER because he really didnt have a choice and what if was dating someone else (Sam as an example)

For the IMPRINTEY it is also unfair for they only have the imprinter as a choice and pretty much HAVE to fall in love with him

SECOND: The love is really really strong so they dont fell its unfair.
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Post by LisaCullenAZ »

Okay, I want to make sure I understand something...

Because the way now understand things, I thought imprinting was not "falling in love" right away. It was more of this sort of PING! that marks you as belonging to one another. The love doesn't necessarily have to be instant. Am I mistaken?

Because it makes sense to me that this would be the way it actually is. Like with Quil and Claire. The way I see it, Claire will definitely have that great, slow, falling-in-love getting-to-know you experience that Sasha was talking about. She'll have it Quil, we know, there's no guessing involved any longer on who it will be with. But that gradual love will still be there. He'll just always be around. And as she gets olders she'll start to see him more and more in a romantic light... until she's completely head over heels for him and happier than she could be with anyone else in the world.

And for Quil it will be the same. He feels attached to her more than to anyone else right now, and dedicated to her happiness. But it isn't romance. Not yet. That will grow, gradually, over time... at the same pace as Claire's will grow, most likely.

The point is, the only thing that's happened so far is they simply know now who they are meant to stick with. And I'm sure they are so glad to have found that person, because they also know they will NEVER be unhappy with the connection. In fact, it's probably the only sure thing they'll ever have in their lives. And that's comforting rather than disturbing... at least in the way I believe we are meant to understand it.

Another thought: Remember that Jared knew the girl he imprinted before his instincts kicked in. Before he was a werewolf. He'd seen her, but never in that "romantic light" that imprinting caused in him, until that moment. And so it was a great surprise, a new and exciting turn of events for him, I imagine.

For Jacob, I can see it being similar. Exciting and new. He'll suddenly be hit with a ton of bricks over this girl, and yet know nothing about her. But he'll want to. He'll want to learn everything he can about her. He'll want to get to know her and allow her to know him... just like a regular courtship. I will not be unhappy for Jacob when/if he imprints, because I know HE will not be unhappy. That's easy for me to answer.

And finally about Leah. Yes, this whole thing sucks for Leah. It sucks for Sam. But I think that Leah's pain will subside once she imprints on someone herself. In the meantime, what can I say? Love is never painless, not even wolfy-love. :)
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Post by Sasha »

ouisa wrote: Which begs the question I asked earlier when we were first thinking of this topic. Will we as readers be happy for Jake in this instance. Will it be the happy ending tied up neat little bow that we are assuming is Stephenie's plan for Jake or will it leave a slightly bitter taste in our mouths as a cop out.
For me, it would be bitter taste all the way, and I would be disappointed in the storytelling.

When I fall in love, I want the person to love me because of me and not because of fate. Fated romances, I think, cheapen the entire experience (in fact, I think fate cheapens the human experience... but that's another convo). And I wonder whether imprintees have ever taken advantage of their position... I mean, the imprinter loves them in the very sense of the unconditional: they can never fall out of love... ever.

As for how successful imprinting has been shown to be... Sam-Emily was definitely a bit of a train wreck (Leah, for one. And then, how much more did it tear Sam up that the girl he hurt was the one he is forever in love with? And Emily, that she really couldn't even leave). Quil-Claire... she's TWO. That's about a 50% mess up rate.
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Post by JulesCullen »

My thoughts are pretty jumbled. I hope this is at least a little clear:

Is imprinting as good as ordinary human love? For the imprinter? For the imprintee?

I think that the key for imprinting, is that for the imprintee, they don't have a choice. However, they are true "soulmates" so at some point, they will fall in love with the imprinter. At first, the imprintee may feel as if they got the short end of the stick: they had no choice, and it might hurt someone else (ie. Leah). At some point, they will realize that they are in love, as well. For the imprinter, I think that imprinting is quite as good as ordinary love. In Sam's case, though he loved Leah deeply, it is always possible to fall in love with someone else (it happens in the real world all the time) and is therefore no worse (though I don't think it can be better) than ordinary human love.

Does it undermine the worth of love if you have no say about it? Does it make a relationship stronger -- or less meaningful -- if there is no possibility that the imprinter will ever fall out of love?

Hmmm... I'll say no. I don't believe love is about choice- you can't say "no, I won't fall in love with them". It simply happens, just, in this case, it is a little more sudden, and a little more powerful. I think the choice is how you will stay in love. Often, you need to work things out, or give a conscious effort not to fight. In that way, the relationship is a little less meaningful: there is no work to keep it up.

How would you feel about either imprinting or being imprinted on?

Despite what I just said about it being a little less meaningful, I think that I would love it. To have someone with no doubts about their feelings would make the relationship so sure of each other (have you realized that Bella and Edward are always doubting their hold on one another? yet with imprinting, it's impossible: no worries there).

What do you think Stephenie wants us to think about imprinting?

I think you are supposed to draw your own conclusions. Just like love, there are so many conflicting views, there is no way of saying a certain way. Hence the debate about this subject.
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Post by Saskia »

I think it's unfair for the imprinter.. Like, when Sam imprinted on Emily, he felt really sorry for Leah.. It's not his fault.. I could have written more, but not right now ^^
I don't think you can call this unfair! Leah wasn't meant for him... She wasn't his true love... otherwise he would have imprinted on her...
Yeah... he felt sorry for Leah that he hurt her... but that's not a fair or unfair thing... it happend... it was fate!
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