Did Christian Grey and Ana Steele Really Fall In Love At First Sight?


By A. Charlotte Rose

One of the exciting aspect so of Fifty Shades oF Grey is that everything happened so quickly. But was it actually love at first sight?

I believe it was.

Essentially, they had each other at hello—although neither of them were familiar enough with love to recognize it in that moment.

Although there was a bit of a back and forth dance that led to the start of their relationship, from the moment they met the connection is strong. As the characters reveal their emotions to themselves, and one another, we see that this really was love at first sight, according to recent discoveries about love and how it impacts the brain.

After her first meeting with Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele, has a strong physical reaction to Mr. Grey—and he to her. Because it is so unfamiliar, it frightens her so she tries to get away, right after interviewing him. With heart pounding, she heads for the elevator and tries to leave the building.

“No man has ever affected me the way Christian Grey has, and I cannot fathom why,” she muses to herself. “Is it his looks? His civility? Wealth? Power? I don’t understand my irrational reaction. I breathe an enormous sigh of relief. What in heaven’s name was that all about? I valiantly attempt to calm down and gather my thoughts. I shake my head. What was that? (p. 17).”

These two are irresistibly drawn to each other. It manifests in Ana in physical symptoms that make her feel out of control and unable to speak intelligently, in addition to woozy clumsiness and falling, in reaction to Christian.

These all appear symptomatic of falling in love, according to a meta-analysis study conducted by Syracuse University Professor Stephanie Ortigue that revealed falling in love can elicit not only the same euphoric feeling as using cocaine, but also affects intellectual areas of the brain. The researchers also found falling in love only takes about a fifth of a second!

These findings seemed to mirror the awkwardness of Ana and Christian’s first meeting – he was cool and collected on the outside but he later reveal how taken he was and she was obviously overwrought by feelings in those first moments. While she kept thinking he was arrogant and annoying, her body seemed to be having a different kind of reaction.

According to a October 22, 2010 report in Science Daily, “Results [from Professor Stephanie Ortigue’s study] revealed when a person falls in love, 12 areas of the brain work in tandem to release euphoria-inducing chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline and vasopressin. The love feeling also affects sophisticated cognitive functions, such as mental representation, metaphors, and body image. ”

The researcher was asked if the heart or brain fall in love and Ortigue responded: “I would say the brain, but the heart is also related because the complex concept of love is formed by both bottom-up and top-down processes from the brain to the heart and vice versa. For instance, activation in some parts of the brain can generate simulations to the heart, and butterflies in the stomach. Some symptoms we sometimes feel as a manifestation of the heart may sometimes be coming from the brain.”

Ana was in Christian’s office for under an hour, yet she experienced so much that she was overcome by her reaction to him much in the way that researchers described as love at first sight.

Do you believe it was love at first sight?

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