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“What do you need to think about in Georgia?”
“Us,” I whisper.
He stares at me, impassive.
“You said you’d try,” he murmurs.
“Are you having second thoughts?”
He shifts as if uncomfortable.
Maybe she’s having second thoughts because you’re a giant asshole and you don’t care about her needs or wants or desires at all, you only care about yourself, and it’s all about what you want and need and it’s okay because you had a hard childhood therefore you don’t need to answer for all of the shitty things you do, like stalking her or threatening to rape her or doing things she doesn’t like all because you like those things.
GEE I CAN’T SEE WHY SHE MIGHT BE HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS.
What do I say? Because I think I love you, and you just see me as a toy. Because I can’t touch you, because I’m too frightened to show you any affection in case you flinch or tell me off or worse – beat me? What can I say?
YOU SAY ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
EXCEPT DON’T DO THAT BECAUSE HE’LL PROBABLY MURDER YOU.
Fun fact: if you’re too scared to tell your partner how you feel because you’re afraid they might BEAT YOU then MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T BE IN THAT RELATIONSHIP ANYMORE.
I don’t want to lose him. In spite of all his demands, his need to control, his scary vices. I have never felt as alive as I do now. It’s a thrill to be sitting here beside him. He’s so unpredictable, sexy, smart, and funny. But his moods… oh – and he wants to hurt me.
Yeah, I bet it’s pretty thrilling to play Russian Roulette too, I bet that makes you feel more alive, but that doesn’t mean you should go play it.
GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM HIM.
I like how she says “oh…and he wants to hurt me.” as an afterthought.
Like “oh yeah, and he’s abusive.”
GET OUT OF THERE, ANA. HE WILL HURT YOU.
And then, instead of sharing any of her very real concerns about his personality and his character flaws and his fucked-up-ness, she says this:
“I still want more,” I whisper.
HIM BEING MORE AFFECTIONATE WILL NOT MAKE HIM ANY LESS THREATENING.
“I know,” he says. “I’ll try.”
I blink up at him, and he relinquishes my hand and pulls at my chin, releasing my trapped lip.
“For you, Anastasia, I will try.” He’s radiating sincerity.
Hear that, ladies? If your man really loves you, he’ll completely change his personality and his wants and desires and everything about him, just for you! And if he DOESN’T want to change for you, well then you clearly aren’t trying hard enough, are you? Or maybe you’re just not good enough.
THAT IS THE MESSAGE THIS BOOK IS SENDING.
Why can’t we just get a romance that doesn’t require one person to change for the other! Small changes, fine, if you spend long enough in a relationship you do change in small ways, but I’m talking about the fundamental personality shift that Ana is requesting and that Christian is somehow going to pull off.
You should find someone who loves you for you and who you are, not someone who wants to change you.
And you shouldn’t change for someone else. If you want to change, you should change for yourself. Change because YOU want to, not because someone else wants you to.
“But Caitlin! Christian isn’t really changing! Ana is just helping him realize who he really is!”
Who he really is is a misogynistic monster with abusive tendencies who has even admitted to getting boners over hurting women.
Who he really is is an extremely fucked up individual who is in need of some serious counselling.
Who he really is is someone YOU DO NOT WANT TO DATE.
This relationship has more in common with stockholm syndrome than actual romance.
So they start kissing and Ana agrees to sign his stupid contract, but he tells her to wait and sign it after she visits Georgia, because he wants her to think about it.
They get back home and Christian asks Ana to spend the night with him. They head up to his bedroom and he starts undressing Ana, and they start saying flirty things like they always do, and then something that I find kind of disturbing happens (again):
“Do you think that for once I should play hard to get?” I ask coquettishly.
His eyes widen with surprise, and I see a glimmer of excitement.
“Well…the door’s closed. Not sure how you’re going to avoid me,” he says sardonically. “I think it’s a done deal.”
AND WE’RE BACK TO THE RAPE THREATS, HURRAY.
For a second I almost thought Christian was going to transform into slightly less of a carton of dicks.
I get it, they’re being flirty and playful and whatever. I get it, he’s kidding.
But if you think for a second that he’s not capable of rape or that he’s not partially serious here, you’re lying to yourself.
Maybe I’m just overly sensitive to stuff like that. I don’t know. I just think Christian is a creepy fuck and I do not like him one tiny bit.