50 Shades of Black and White

I went to see 50 Shades of Grey this weekend… I know your respect for me is gone. It’s for work I swear! I had to see what all the hype was about, and the lead was Irish so what can I say?

The thing that stood out the most for me (despite his collection of cattails) was how candid and authentic Christian Grey was and how despite this Anna still believed he could change. Even to start the movie he is completely honest with her, saying he doesn’t “sleep over”, he “doesn’t make love”, he doesn’t do “relationships” or “romance”. I mean come on girl, he is being so clear. It’s not grey, it’s black and white!

50shadesgrey

Despite how lucid he is being about his values and character, she still tries to change him by nagging him to open up, sleep over, and take her on dates…. Leading her to be completely miserable and compromise her values in the hopes that he will compromise his.

I think we have all had experience with these characters; maybe we have been them ourselves or dated them. It hurts me to say this, but I respect Christian Grey more. He knows himself and communicates clearly what he wants. I wish we could all be like that without being scared of rejection (I guess he softens the deal with the helicopter and chiseled abs).
The scary part is when we mislead ourselves. We think that when someone gets to know us that over time they will change. We fall in love with their potential, not the person in front of us. Each of us deserves to be loved for who we are (even if that is a kinky multimillionaire sadist).
I see a few lessons to be learned from this movie:
How can we be more clear with what we want, what behaviours we will tolerate and what we are aiming for in our relationships? If we made a contract for the behavior we would tolerate or that we expect from a partner, what would it look like?
Can we give up the ghost of the “future perfect person”, not get tied up in a fantasy (sorry for the pun!) and love the flawed and unique human being in front of us?
How can we really listen to cues our partner is giving (verbal and behaviour)? If you want a loving committed relationship and the person you are dating says things like “I don’t want anything serious right now”….time to use your safe word (RED!) and get out.

1 Comment

  1. This is such a valid point, but of course in the books her patience does eventually pay off and she is finally granted the good and open man who appreciates her for opening him up and challenging him to be better. Hollywood frequently perpetuates the idea that people can and do change if they just get to know you and you love them long enough.

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