50 Shades Freed Is Wrong About Love

And so is a lot of pop culture

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The movies and films, popular today, rarely depict healthy, loving and fulfilling relationships.

The relationships we see on TV and in movies are full of DRAMA.

No one wants to watch a movie about two people that fall in love and make it work, do they? People want to watch drama, heartache, and pain. We want to see people get together and fall in love, and we want to see the pain that it takes to get there.

There are countless romantic movies where the two leads lie, manipulate, and coerce each other into falling in love. All in the name of love and destiny. Leaving much to the imagination of what a healthy relationship looks like.

50 Shades Freed shocked me.

But it wasn’t the graphic content that shocked me but the way Christian treats Anna. Their relationship is full of drama, pain, and suffering. Pain and suffering do not sound romantic.

Jealously Is Not Sexy

Christian is borderline creepy. He seeks to control Anna the entire movie. He won’t let her do anything that he does not agree with and he is aggressively overprotective and jealous . On their honeymoon, somewhere in Europe, Anna is tanning on the beach in her bikini and considers taking off her top (its popular in Europe to tan topless). Christian won’t allow her.

He seeks to control what she wears and how she dresses. Later on the movie, she buys a revealing dress. He is not happy about it either. And makes comments about how short it is. That is not a sweet and loving relationship but a sign of a controlling and abusive relationship that lacks trust and boundaries.

Popular culture leads women and men to believe that being jealous of your lover is a sign of love. Nick Jones released a song titled Jealous:

I don’t like the way he’s looking at you
I’m starting to think you want him too
Am I crazy? Have I lost ya
Even though I know you love me, can’t help it

Jealousy is not the sign of a loving relationship.

Trust and respect are.

There is never love without an obstacle

There is never a love story without some sort of obstacle involved.

If there was no obstacle would the story be boring?

For Anna and Christian its Christian’s weird sexual history that prevents him from being a relationship with Anna. For Bella and Edward, it was Edwards's taste for blood that prevented them from being in a relationship.

However, in real life love there are rarely significant obstacles.

The movies make it seem that a love without obstacles is no love at all.

Love is not meant to be difficult. A loving relationship is not meant to be hard or a constant struggle. A flight for survival.

Popular love songs are riddled with references to the pain of love:

Cause pain is love and love is pain
And when it hurts like crazy, you will appreciate me
’Cause no one else will love you more
And take the pain from your thoughts
And when your world is falling
Maybe I’ll let you crawl in
When you can love me all the way, oh

Fergie sings these lyrics in her song, Love is Pain.

No, love is not pain. And a loving relationship should not be fraught with emotional trauma and pain. That is not loving. That is something else entirely.

Communication is lacking

Christian treats Anna like shit sometimes. He has almost no idea on how to have a proper adult conversation about his feelings.

He is manipulative and stonewalls Anna when he doesn’t want to talk about something. It's not romantic.

When Anna tells him she is pregnant with their first child, Christian lashes out her. He is stressed. That is clear. Most people would be when faced with an unplanned pregnancy at an inconvenient time. Instead of talking to her, he disappears into the night and into the arms of his former lover. He intentionally or without thinking hurts Anna. He blocks her out and leaves her worrying.

That is not a healthy way to communicate with your partner and is almost abusive!!

He loves to punish her and not just physically but emotionally too. One evening she goes out drinks with a friend. He expressly forbade her from going out for drinks (another sign of controlling behaviour!). When he finds out he ignores her. He refuses to engage in any sort of conversation and then later that evening tricks her into thinking he is in the mood for some fun but instead tortures her in the playroom. Not a loving relationship.

Why would you punish the person you love?

Love is not a romantic movie

While watching the movie all I could think was;

what the hell?

This is not a love story but a tale of emotional abuse and neglect.

Hollywood would have us believe that love is hard. Love is full of pain and suffering. That working hard to convince your partner to be in a relationship with you is ok.

But they are wrong. Love is not manipulative, jealous, unkind, unfeeling and cold.

Love is kind, generous, safe, trusting, respectful and obstacle-free.

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store