Focusing into the relationship between Offred and The Commander, it would seem that the Commander is putting down his walls in order to have Offred approach him. With the actions he makes and with he even speaks to Offred, there is a slight different to him compared to the other commanders. His actions even surprising Offred, defeating her expectations.
Going to to Offred’s expectations about The Commander, in comparison to her pass experiences with other commanders, when she is summoned she will expect she is called for some “kinky” request, something foul from the other man. Instead he asks her to play “Scrabble”. “As if we were an old married couple, or two children, seemed kinky in the extreme, a violation in its own way.” (Chapter 25 PG. 155 PP 4) She isn’t being used the way she was intended to be used. Is The Commander just using her as entertainment instead? Maybe, but he isn’t treating her as some tool like the other maids or even the wife. She’s being treated as a human, a companion to simply pass the time with. Though he still shows signs of speaking to Offred as a child or some low intellectual woman, (how he would renoince words for her in Scrabble or dangle the magazine in front of her, knowing very well she wants it) in comparison to the others, it seems he acknowledge her humanity.
His human compassion (even if it’s minor compassion) towards Offred by giving her a taboo item, his magazine, something Offred would consider to be the man’s prized possession. He seems to understand how bored she might be during her times alone, it could even be as a token of gratitude or appreciation from him for all she is doing.
His reasoning soon show that he is a man that is simply lonely. Much like Offred he feels a certain hunger of companionship, already it is not as great as Offred’s need, The Commander feels astray from his wife and that she just doesn’t understand him.
“She wouldn’t understand. Anyway, she won’t talk to me anymore. We don’t seem to have much in common, these days.” – The Commander, Part X Chapter 25 PG 158 PP. 6
Both he and Offred are mkre alike than we think, they understand eachother on one thing, the sheer loniless and hunger for companionship. While in Offred’s case she seems to accept any kind of human contact, just as long as she is involved with others and is acknowledged of her existence. Ad for The Commander he seems to want specifically a woman to keep him company, a woman to look at and speak to about his own interests. Possibly to remind himself of how she used to speak to his own wife before she bgan to distance herself from him. For that loniless, he seeks out the attention of his Handmaid in hopes for her to fill out this void.