Part of Gurov's problem with women comes from the fact that he is married to a woman he does not love. His parents chose his wife, and he tells us that she is cold, and harsh and unintellligent.
"After he becomes involved with Anna, Gurov discovers that ''everything that was of interest and importance to him, everything that was essential to him, everything about which he felt sincerely and did not deceive himself ... was going on concealed from others; while all that was false... went on in the open.’’ Gurov learns that he cannot tolerate living a lie and that it was wrong to engage in a superficial relationship with Anna."
With Anna, Gurov finds a real companion, someone he can explore the beauty of life with, Anna becomes a true friend to Gurov. They have a genuine connection, true love changes Gurov.
"Once Gurov has discovered true love, he finds himself intolerant of the Moscow social life, a life ‘‘clipped and wingless, an absurd mess.’’ This allusion to the possibility of a more meaningful, dignified, and fulfilled life refers back to his revelation when he sat with Anna watching the sea at Oreanda."
Anna sees in Gurov a lovable individual, and her honesty startles him into paying more attention to the little things in life.