'The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder Talks Delena: It's a 'New Love Story'

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Get ready to feel some butterflies, Delena Fans!

The Vampire Diaries returns tonight with its highly anticipated mid-season premiere, and we know that many of you have been dying to discover what's next for our favorite Mystic Falls residents. Luckily, after enduring countless heart-breaking episodes, it seems like things are finally looking up in the romance department between Damon and Elena.

ETonline sat down with TVD star Ian Solmerhalder and co-executive producer Caroline Dries at the TCA Winter Press Tour last week to get the scoop on what's next for the star-crossed vampires as they navigate through their newest jaw-dropping obstacle: the awkward first date.

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Throughout the first half of Season 6, Damon and Elena have been forced to fight for their love. They're not just getting their happy ending handed to them on a silver platter. And despite the agony, it's creating a "worth the wait" type of scenario. And when ETonline caught up with Somerhalder, this was an observation that the 36-year-old-actor wholeheartedly agreed with.

"Actually that's a really awesome observation," Somerhalder said. "They haven't just been handed this. In the past we've fast-forwarded through a lot of the cool, gushy parts that you would typically see in a new love story, so I think that Damon being in this space of who he loves genuinely gives him a sense of purpose."

"When an audience sees that sense of purpose in Damon, I think it makes them very happy. And I enjoy it as well," he continued. "And I think that the one thing that [fans] can expect again, because it's The Vampire Diaries, for every minute of screen time of happiness, you're going to have five minutes of drama, f—ked up, and people trying to kill us."

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Fans were devastated at the end of the mid-season finale when Damon and Elena were this close to rekindling their romance — only to discover Kai's wicked plan to steal a magically invisible Elena away from the Salvatore house.

"I knew the fans would hate that and I'm so happy that they did," executive producer Caroline Dries said with a laugh. "I just remember when we thought of that, it was perfect — let's just ruin everyone's hopes and dreams and let's add mistletoe to make it even worse."

Calm down, Delena fans—don’t' be grabbing those torches and pitchforks just yet! Dries promised that there's a bigger plan in the works and the outcome will be worth this tortuous wait. "I always want to say [to the fans], 'Trust me. We know what we're doing. We know what we're doing.'"

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And what they're doing is setting up a side of Damon and Elena's relationship that viewers have never seen before: the adorable dating phase. "It's more of that courting period of, 'Do we go on a date?' 'Where would you want to go?' the EP explained. "When you see Damon be a normal, human, twenty-whatever-year-old, it's refreshing and fun, and what we don't normally get to see."

Dries teased that Delena fans should get ready to feel some "butterflies" as Elena attempts to re-fall in love with Damon. "As they re-connect — she's been compelled to forget that she loved him —those feelings are still in her," Dires said. "So it's like what do we do? We don’t just jump into bed together. We're going to be normal so, 'Should we go out to dinner?' It's like the fun kind of boring stuff that you would never want to tell but now it's interesting because we've never seen it before."

Somerhalder spilled that he believes it's "important" for the Damon and Elena fans to focus on the positive side of things. "That glimmer of hope usually turns into some really gnarly things but it's a give-and-take," he said. "I think that there's some really great stuff coming up, some great Damon and Elena stuff."

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Bonus Scoop: For those fans who are wondering if Damon could have any deep-seeded romantic feelings for Bonnie, Dries was quick to shut that thought down. "I think it's a deep profound friendship that he even doesn't admit is a friendship," she said. "I know there are a lot of eager Bamon fans out there, but for now no. His eyes are on Elena 100 percent."

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Are you excited to see Damon and Elena start dating? Shout out your Vampire Diaries thoughts in the comments below, or chat with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter using the hashtag #ETNow.

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