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Obsessions: Lessons we've learned from the 'Twilight' franchise

By Breeanna Hare, CNN
updated 3:45 PM EST, Fri November 18, 2011
There's lots to learn from Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) in
There's lots to learn from Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) in "The Twilight Saga's Breaking Dawn Part I."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part I" opens in theaters today
  • The supernatural romantic series has plenty of tongue-in-cheek lessons
  • "Twilight" shows how a partner's eccentric qualities just spice the stew
  • Need to juggle two lovers? "Twilight" is a great teaching tool

(CNN) -- In the three years since "Twilight" bowed in theaters, we've learned a few things:

One, while teen girls are a sizable portion of the fan base, they're not its totality.

Two, the first three films of the franchise have pulled in roughly $1.8 billion worldwide in ticket sales (not adjusted for inflation), according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. That's apparently enough for Robert Pattinson, who stars as Edward Cullen, to talk of being able to afford to fail, and his co-star Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan) of donating some of her "funds."

Three, there must be a just a teeny tiny footnote on each installment's budget for Taylor Lautner's wardrobe, because rare is the moment when the kid isn't walking around without a shirt.

But as "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part I" opens in theaters today, we're recounting 10 other (tongue firmly in cheek) lessons we've culled from the series, themes that have been carried from Stephenie Meyer's best-selling novels onto the big screen.

1. Love at first sight is overrated; he or she should fall for you at first whiff.

Before Edward Cullen got to know the human he eventually married, he smelled Bella from across the classroom.

Yes, his senses are attuned to the scent of human blood, but you're missing the point: Bella's smelled special, like his "own personal brand of heroin," as he memorably says in the first film. Ladies and gents, rethink your relationships if they don't inspire comparisons to narcotics.

Why Greene likes 'Twilight' Alice

2. "He's Just Not That Into You" had it all wrong -- silence, irritation, storming off and mood swings are actually signs of unexpressed affection.

Edward Cullen wasn't always the sparkly dreamboat of a blood-drinking gentleman you'll see in theaters this weekend. At first, he was actually pretty rude, prone to angrily walking away from Bella, being short with her and repeatedly telling her to stay away from him because he's dangerous. Talk about mixed messages!

The next time someone gives you the brush off, don't think he or she isn't into you. Perhaps they're just trying to refrain from going for that vein in your neck.

Which brings us to our next lesson:

3. Be accepting of your partner's eccentricities.

Quirks such as eye color fluctuations, superhuman strength, the ability to read minds and family members who try to devour you on your birthday are qualities that make a partner unique. Don't let silly things like her predisposition to kill stand in the way -- every relationship has its obstacles! Just be glad she's not a zombie.

4. There's no such thing as personal space when one's in love.

Edward and Bella are so into each other, the thought of being separated for more than a span of a few days could send one of them into an outburst that rivals a demonic possession out of "The Exorcist." This was depicted with strong commitment from Kristen Stewart in 2008's "Twilight," as she made Bella appear to be on the verge of a stroke when Edward suggested they should maybe rethink this whole human/vampire relationship thing.

Really, your partner only needs enough space to go to the bathroom and change clothes, and even then, you should be waiting for them on the other side of the door.

5. In the event that you and your partner do breakup, withdrawing from life as you lived it while having hallucinations about your romantic partner are all expected side effects.

That's why they call it being lovesick, kids.

6. Since you can't control such emotions, one should be open to falling in love with a human, shapeshifter, immortal or a baby.

Taylor Lautner's Jacob Black and other select members of his tribe have the ability to phase into wolves to protect their land, and they can also "imprint," essentially falling in love and linking themselves with the one person with whom they're supposed to be . They also can't help whom they "imprint" on.

So if it happens that the woman of your dreams was born just a few days ago to the woman you used to have a crush on, well, you'll just have to wait.

7. If one love interest is the fun one, and the other love interest brings the passion, just hang out with both for as long as possible. *

Committing to one person is a tough choice, especially when you could die just from hanging around said individual, so it's understandable if your affections get pulled in another direction during a vulnerable moment. The best thing to do is to maintain one as the "relationship" and the other as the "friendship" until you can't play that game anymore. Bonus if they're natural-born enemies.

* Frankly, this lesson makes some sense.

8. There's always going to be a rumble brewing, and one of you is always going to have to be saved.

Edward and Bella are always fighting off this enemy or that, right up until the very end. Believe it or not, this kind of stress somehow benefits the relationship -- just think of all that drama as the"spark" that ignites the fire of romantic moments. You know, "It's us against the world/Volturi," etc.

9. When given the option, go ahead and stay human for the honeymoon.

And if you're not breaking the bed while vacationing on your new spouse's private island, you're doing it wrong. Thankfully, there's hired help ready to clean it all up for you -- that's what happens when you wed an unbelievably wealthy immortal. But if you get pregnant, get ready for one hellish gestation period.

10. One can both acknowledge the ridiculousness of lessons one through nine and still be in line for a midnight showing after reading the series (again).

Perhaps the biggest lesson of all? Don't look for nuggets of enlightenment in "Twilight." As fans of the series could tell you, the biggest draw isn't the outlandish plot points or the unrealistic romantic ideals, but the classic fantasy of love somehow conquering all.

Have we missed a lesson you've learned? We want to hear it in the comments.

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