Before you read- Possible spoiler alert!***My take on 50 Shades- just read and reflecting on it! Hint may be mild spoilers ahead- is an overview of the trilogy)***
Ana fell for her first love. Christian (or Mr.Grey- as she first knows him by) was an experienced suitor/lover and they both were experiencing new things for the first time with each other. What they didn’t realize was that the other truly, deeply loved them. They doubted each other and fought for control. Ana became his first ever girlfriend- all the others had been “submissives” only to him- that he didn’t love, but that he could control. That was the “first” for him. The first for Ana was the sexual side of things, the pleasure, the carnality. She lost control sexually with Christian, as he did with her because of his love for her and because of her unique abilities as a temptress- she did what she liked and went for what she desired, unlike his submissives who only did as they were told. Christian didn’t mind her temptress, seductive, take-what–she wanted- ways. He loved her and wanted her. All of her. For who she was to him. On the other hand, she enjoyed giving Christian this pleasure and playing this role to please him- and because she enjoyed it as well, as she admitted. He also enjoyed those times when she did take control and loved her all the more for her independence and fiery spirit.
Their love for each other went very deep. It was their own brand or “flavor” of love, but it was true, long-lasting and solid. They each went through their own doubts and had their own fears and avoided things or ran away from each other at certain times. But their love was of the lasting variety.
One example of Ana’s love for Christian was that she accepted him for who he was- flaws and all- yet always challenged him to be free and to be better- so they could be the best they could be- for each other. She sought out answers to fully understand him and his past and the ways he was affected by things. She accepted his past- the abuse, the choices he made. The lovers he had. And she wanted healing for him so they could be closer together and because she wanted the best for him. She didn’t want him to be trapped in his past. She wanted him freed from his prior bondage- in various ways. Pun intended 😉
One example of how she “freed” him with her love was when he allowed her to draw in marker around his “no touch” zones where he did not allow anyone to touch him because of past wounds and scarring- as it was literally painful for him. Yet he saw her need to touch and recognized his own need to be touched by her- physically and emotionally so that there was nothing between them. As he stated- he craved her touch. He enjoyed when she touched him; it was just painful with the past wounds in those certain areas where he had been hurt before. This is true to any real life relationship- we don’t want to be “touched” or hurt in ways or areas where we were wounded before and we tend to guard ourselves from this and not allow new lovers to touch us or affect us in these ways where there is scarring from the past- so we set up walls and don’t allow people in who may hurt us in the same way or we naturally react or have a reflex to defend ourselves from this possible pain. Ana freed Christian by pressing this boundary and working with him so that he could get to the point where he could allow himself to be touched- symbolizing the healing he could experience in a long-term, lasting, healthy loving relationship with her. He opened himself up to her. He allowed the “light” in and the healing could begin. They took steps together. He was brave and allowed her to work with him in this until she was surprised and pleased of how she could hold him and touch him in the former “no touch” zones as he experienced healing and freedom from his past.
Christian also deeply loved Ana and showed this to her in many ways. He was patient and even though they had a rough start and few stops along the way, he allowed her to go at her own pace with things so that she was comfortable. Yes, they both fought each other along the way, with their stubborn independence. But. He consistently showed his tenderness and protectiveness for her- always holding her best interest at heart. I may be old-fashioned in this sense- but I crave a protector in a loving relationship with a man. I enjoy being taken care of and taking care of the ones I love. He put her own needs first when he “became vanilla” (or sort of vanilla 😉 ) for her- putting her as a person first and his sexual desires second. Yes, he still craved her carnally and wanted all of her. He wanted to take her and own her. But he realized after she left that he didn’t “need” those things of BDSM- he needed and wanted her. And so he chose her first. He was willing to go full “vanilla” for her- stating that she became his priority. He missed certain things- but valued her above all. And when it became clear that they both liked certain things- that was just the icing on the “not so vanilla after all” ice-cream cake. They learned they both liked “vanilla” and non-vanilla things. After all, as Ana so aptly put it, “variety is the spice of life.”
Christian, though he acted many times on his “primal” animalistic/hunter side, expressing dominance and anger when he wasn’t able to protect Ana, also always acted out of his love for her. He was very tender with her. Even the times he was angry, he would still come back to her and show love. He might be on fire, but still loved her and expressed this to her. He compromised. He backed down when necessary. He stood up when necessary to protect Ana and fight to keep her safe. He didn’t always act “super mature,” (50 shades here, people) but he always listened to her needs, her desires and gave them to her. He protected her. He cherished her. He compromised. He was so tender and gentle and treated her as precious because that’s who she was to him. Above all, his heart was for Ana. To guide her tenderly, protect her fiercely, and love her above all. Dominant or not, she was his and he was hers.