1. Bad Boy Attraction

Edward has a dark side. A very dark side. Twilight author, Stephenie Meyer, has stated that the apple on the cover represents the forbidden fruit from the Book of Genesis. It symbolizes Bella and Edward's love, which is forbidden, similar to the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, as implied by the quote from Genesis 2:17 at the beginning of the book. The apple also represents Bella's knowledge of what good and evil are, and the choice that she must make. She must decide if she's going to indulge in a relationship with Edward-the "forbidden fruit"—or to stay away from him. There's something about the "forbidden fruit" of a relationship with a bad boy that attracts young women. I would warn my daughter that this attraction is deceptive, and very, very dangerous.

2. Shared Dark Secrets

A second sign of a bad relationship is when a young woman feels she must keep something about her relationship or love interest hidden and secret—especially from her parents. A shared dark secret forms a bond that is unhealthy. It puts up a barrier to prevent the loving scrutiny and helpful input of family and friends. It prevents people from offering outside objective feedback. Darkness loves to remain hidden.  If something needs to be hidden, then the relationship is likely bad. I would tell Bella that if she could not be completely open with us about who Edward was, or what the two of them were doing together, then the relationship was probably ungodly and unhealthy and needed to end.

3. "Us" versus "Them" Mentality

An "us versus them" mentality is another warning sign.  Whenever a woman feels that "no one understands" and that she needs to "side" with her boyfriend against family and friends, chances are that the relationship is not a good one. When Bella started dating Edward, she felt that it was the two of them fighting against all odds, and against all the naysayers that wouldn't approve. The two of them were going to overcome all the obstacles, and prove that they were right, and everyone else was wrong.  This is a danger sign. If you feel like you need to choose sides—to side with a love interest against your family, and hunker down together "us" against "them"—the relationship probably isn't a healthy one.

4. Isolation and Seclusion

Isolation and seclusion is another mark of an unhealthy relationship. If an unmarried young man and woman spend most their time together alone—apart from family and friends, their relationship isn't healthy. Healthy relationships are forged in the context of community. If a love interest isolates you from family and friends, and interferes with you building and maintaining other relationships, then that relationship is not good for you. Bella had very few relationships outside of Edward. The two of them became loners that stuck to one another, spent the bulk of their free time together, and didn't develop healthy community connections.

5. Mismatched Interests and Values

The thing that concerns me the most about the Twilight saga is the underlying message that it's possible to mix light and dark—good and bad—together.  That's a concept that's reflected in the title of the series. "Twilight" is the period of dimness that exists when the light is growing weaker, and the darkness is growing stronger. But the book's message is that with a bit of effort on everyone's part, dark and light can be mixed together-a state of twilight can exist forever. And indeed, many young Christian girls think that this is the case. They think that daughters of light can hang out with, hook up with, and even marry sons of darkness.

The problem is that the vampire, Edward, has no soul. He is darkness. He is irredeemable—he can't change. He will eternally, immortally be a slave of darkness. But Bella is human. She has a soul. Tragically, because of her association with Edward, she is in danger of losing it. They are mismatched. The clear message of the Bible is that light has no business pairing up with darkness. Ultimately, light and darkness cannot coexist.  Darkness and light cannot come together as one.