50 Shades is great fiction but it is fiction nonetheless
Two weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled, 5 Love Lessons Men Can Learn From Christian Grey. It received many comments, mainly from men angry I didn’t address what women can do to improve relationships. I had always intended to write an article for women and here it is.
I made a case for what women loved about Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey and what men could learn, if they were so inclined, about how to please a woman from characteristics Mr. Grey exhibited. However, there are just as many lessons for women that the books don’t teach.
1. No man will ever measure up to a fictitious character in a book. While reading romance novels and watching romantic comedies can provide great entertainment and a temporary escape from daily life, don't make the mistake that the characters in these works of fiction are real. You will not find Christian Grey in the real world. When we begin to believe in the existence of these fictional characters, we do a disservice to the real men in our lives. We expect them to measure up to a writer’s imagination of a man who is completely made up! Yes, you can find men who have some of the qualities and characteristics of your favorite male character, know that it is impossible to find a perfect match over the long haul. Adjust your expectations to be realistic. Stop looking for the “perfect” man and perhaps you’ll find the “perfect” man for you, imperfections and all.
2. The love of a good woman does not turn the “bad” boy into a prince. This fantasy begins early in life with many Walt Disney movies and continues through soap operas, Harlequin romance novels and romantic comedies. In the real world, a “bad” boy typically remains a “bad” boy until he decides he wants to change and many never do. Your love will not heal or otherwise transform a man from bad to good. And if your man does try to change for you, it will likely not last because the change is not self-motivated.
People choose the behaviors that generally work for them. You will not get them to change simply because you love them enough. They must decide what they are doing no longer works and there is something better to try with a greater likelihood of success.
The best gift you can give your man is a genuine acceptance of who he is. If you are unable to accept him, then you are better off ending the relationship than continuously trying to mold him into your idea of the man you really want.
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