I made this post on the OAL, and I think I'll post it here. It's a bit long, but it tells my interpretation of Edward (and kind of Jacob too) as complete as I can.
I am Team Edward, but because of some explanation I received a few weeks ago, I will admit, that I am becoming a bit of a Jacob lover as well. However, I will give my piece. Sorry it is long and tedious but I have been trying to formulate this whole "thing" for months now, and I can finally say that I've gotten about as close as I can hope to making sense of it. So, here goes.
People (myself included) love Edward for many reasons: the fact that he is a vampire and we are strongly biased towards vampires because they have always been categorized as beautiful; he's charming; he's an artist (not necessarily painting, but the fine arts); and the way he loves Bella. He does not want to live in a world without her, but he would do anything to keep her safe. Her well-being is his priority. Many of us want to be, well, wanted in the exclusive way that he wants her.
Edward is far from flawless. Oftentimes, we see him as the perfect man that SM created. He is not. He is tortured because deep down, he is still human. He has the same human needs/wants/urges. Sure, he's got all the vampiric ones thrown on top of it, but he wants what we want. So, for the idea that Edward is a tease when it comes to things like "over the hip," I have to disagree a little. Not that it's not mean- it is- but I think it is for a different reason. Edward wants to be with Bella in this way just as much as she does. And, like any teenager/person on the face of the planet, he gets into the moment. Oftentimes, by the time he catches himself, it's almost too late, and then he does. But he can't make Bella think that he wants it as much as her because then she would REALLY press it, and he's not really ready for that. So, he leads her to believe differently. That is what is wrong about him and what he does.
Also, one of the reasons we all fall so hard for Edward is because he was the first man in the book. It was the first time Bella was in love; obviously then, it is the one that effected her most. Edward was the first romance in the Twilight series, so he sticks in our minds. Jacob was the unlucky second. Believe me, if their order had been reversed, I bet a lot of the fanbase would be switched around. From the beginning of the series, you root for Bella and Edward and when Jacob becomes and element- or a wedge, it seems- he gets made out to be the villain. It happens all the time. I hated Jacob throughout much of New Moon and Eclipse because of that. I "see the light" now, as it were, but I was severely biased towards Edward because in the words of Sheryl Crow (can't believe I'm sticking it in here) "the first cut is the deepest." The first time you are in love- the first time your heart breaks- is the one that sticks with you. Which is probably why I'm sticking by Edward.
But Jacob. You can't blame him for trying because in the end, he was right. Bella DOES love him. Sure, the way he went about it may not have been the best, but we all make mistakes. When Bella didn't want him to kiss her, he shouldn't have done so. THAT was wrong. But he needed to get her to realize that Edward wasn't the only one occupying her heart. I think I needed to realize it too, if you get what I mean. Edward IS the Eclipse. He blots out everything and when your eyes DO adjust, you realize that Jacob really meant well. Went about it wrong, but meant well.
Which leads me into Edward's biggest flaw- yes, flaw. And believe it or not, it is one of the reasons why he is loved. He wants Bella to be happy more than anything. YAY, who wouldn't want their beloved to think that of them? Wrong. He was going good until he didn't fight for her. He pretty much resigned in the fight. "If you want me, I'm here. If not, I can't refute your decision." Unlike Jacob, he would never force her to realize how she truly felt. Maybe it's because he's too much of a gentleman? I think not. I think it's because he has normal, human nervousness about love but on a grand scale since he is, afterall, NOT human.
In relationships, do we not often wonder how we came to be with the person we are with? And we have to wonder, are they truly happy? Would they be happy elsewhere? We all wonder this. But he- he not only wonders- it torments him. He's so (for lack of a better word) obsessed with her that this fear pervades every thought that is concerned with her. She "is his life now" so everything about her concerns him.
And that's not even getting into the whole he wants to drain her thing. His inherant instincts are to kill her. He knows, she knows that she is very lucky to be alive. She has some danger of that line when it comes to Jacob too, but Edward is more specifically targeted towards her because she is la tua cantante. Bella is breakable; they both know this. Given that, Jacob is the safer choice for her. Safer, but not safe.
To sum up, I guess, Edward is the first love. And you always remember your first love. But Jacob- you will always remember him because he was the one that showed you what else you're missing.
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Alice House/Team Edward