3 Surprising Love Lessons You Can Learn from One Jane Austen Classic: Sense and Sensibility

No bio available

Love lessons you can learn from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility according to Much Ado about Loving author Maura KellyBy Maura Kelly
Co-author of Much Ado About Loving

Jane Austen seems to be everybody’s favorite writer—men I’ve dated have spent entire evenings singing her praises, and the ladies love her, too, of course. But for most of my life, I was vehemently anti-Austen. She had a decent sense of humor and her heroines could be feisty and strong-willed—I’m down with that. Austen sure knows her way around a plot, too; she sure knows how to keep the interpersonal dramas dramatic, the twists twisting. But her characters never seemed that complex or interesting to me—there were just so many society girls, so obsessed with marriage! What could I ever learn from reading about such people?

Nothing, I thought. But then, while researching my new book Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-so-great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals, I “forced” myself to read her first published novel Sense and Sensibility. And once I got over my initial readerly pride and prejudices, I found myself loving it—and learning some valuable lessons about love in the process.

1) How to deal when you don’t hear back from him.
Sense and Sensibility‘s supporting heroine Marianne Dashwood arrives in London—the city where the flirtatious charmer she’s been seeing, Willoughby, has taken up residence. Eager to hang out, Marianne sends him a note, letting him know she’s in town. Marianne doesn’t have a Gmail account, of course, but she does have a fast-moving footman—and the servant has barely left with the letter before she begins “anxiously listening to the sound of every carriage,” eagerly awaiting his return with a response. (Does that sound familiar to those of you checking your inbox to see if you’ve heard back yet? It sure does to me.)

Days pass, however, without any Willoughbethean word. The very same kinds of questions that any one of us would have cross Marianne’s mind: Did he get the note? Is he ill? Was it something she said? But unfortunately, she doesn’t wonder enough if he’s just a plain old cad—until she discovers he’s engaged to another woman. Poor Marianne’s experience confirms that then, as now, if a romantic interest takes too long to write back, it doesn’t bode well—and you should do yourself a favor by moving on quickly, and trying not to fret too much.

2) Why it’s often not you—it’s him.
As Marianne much later finds out, Willoughby lost interest not because of anything she did, and not because that new perfume of hers gave him a headache either. In reality—as he later confesses to her sister—he totally loved her, but eventually decided got engaged to another, much wealthier woman because he needed her money; he was basically broke.

Very often, when flirtations or relationships don’t work out, it’s not because of something deeply unappealing about you, something weird you did, or even because you didn’t realize until later that your fly was down the whole night. Usually, it’s because of fundamental incompatibilities. Often, the person in question either needs or wants a completely different kind of life partner—perhaps with someone who doesn’t want kids, or wants them very soon; someone who wants to move in together pronto, or someone who’d rather maintain separate apartments forever; and even, sometimes, unromantic though it may be, someone who has a lot more cash.

3) Why girls who like nice guys don’t finish last.
Willoughby inspired wild passion in Marianne—but as she seems to have learned (and as I’ve personally noticed), there’s a reason we describe the “crazy connections” we sometimes feel as crazy: A lot of times, they’re a little nuts. People who are good at making us feel instantaneous infatuations can be bad at working through problems and sustaining relationships. They’re often thrill-seeking types, out for the excitement of forging the initial bond, less interested in the calm that comes as you settle into a serious relationship. In contrast, nice guys—like Marianne’s sweet neighbor, Colonel Brandon—might not make us swoon like the girls at a Beatles concert, but they’re frequently more reliable, stable, and trustworthy than the world’s Willoughbys. And that’s my favorite Sense and Sensibility lesson of all: A love built slowly with a good person who may not have the most dazzling personality ever but cares deeply for you and wants to make a serious commitment—the way Colonel Brandon did for Marianne—can turn out very nicely indeed.

macroons

Bake It, Don’t Fake It Recipe: Red Velvet Macarons

Heather Bertinetti is the talented young pastry chef working her way through some of Manhattan’s most acclaimed restaurants. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America with a degree in baking and pastry arts, Heather joined Gramercy Tavern and, just two years later, Per Se. She then went on to open and receive rave reviews at Alto, Convivio, Marea, and Osteria Morini. Heather has been lauded by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and was named in Zagat's 2011 "30 under 30: New York's Hottest Up-and-Comers."

RomanticParisCouple_567

Wanna Have a Summer Fling? Go to Europe

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soul mates and brain-twins, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, New York Times, USA Today, and #1 international bestselling authors of the Beautiful Bastard series. Some of their books have kissing. Some of their books have A LOT of kissing. You can find them online at ChristinaLaurenBooks.com, or at @seeCwrite and @LolaShoes on Twitter.

cake-topper wedding couple and a pre-nuptial agreement

Why Everyone Should Get a Prenup

Kevin O’Leary is one of North America’s most successful business entrepreneurs, as well as a star of ABC’s Shark Tank. Kevin founded and built SoftKey (later called The Learning Company), a global leader in educational kids’ software, and negotiated its sale to Mattel for $4.2 billion in 1999. Since then, he has successfully cofounded, funded and sold numerous companies in a range of industries, including storage, entertainment, and finance. Today, Kevin is the chairman of O’Leary Funds and O’Leary Mortgages, and the founder of O’Leary Fine Wines. He is also an avid guitarist and photographer.

More Stories >

Debugging information below
(This will not show up in Production)

Total Queries ran on page 46
Time Query
Time Query
0.00072002410888672 SELECT ID, post_name, post_parent, post_type FROM wp_posts WHERE post_name IN ('love-and-relationships','3-love-lessons-you-can-learn-from-one-jane-austen-classic-sense-and-sensibility') AND post_type IN ('page','attachment')
0.00011610984802246 SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_name = '3-love-lessons-you-can-learn-from-one-jane-austen-classic-sense-and-sensibility' AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC
0.00010085105895996 SELECT t.*, tt.* FROM wp_terms AS t INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON t.term_id = tt.term_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('category') AND t.slug = 'love-and-relationships' ORDER BY t.name ASC
6.1988830566406E-5 SELECT term_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_termmeta WHERE term_id IN (6) ORDER BY meta_id ASC
6.0081481933594E-5 SELECT tr.term_taxonomy_id FROM wp_term_relationships AS tr INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tr.object_id IN (2991) AND tt.taxonomy IN ('category') ORDER BY tr.term_taxonomy_id ASC
0.0011200904846191 SELECT t.*, tt.* FROM wp_terms AS t INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tt.term_id = t.term_id INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('post_tag') AND tr.object_id IN (2991) ORDER BY t.name ASC
0.00016593933105469 SELECT term_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_termmeta WHERE term_id IN (2558,529,292,2561,2502,2557,2555,1570,2560,2447,2445,2562,1170,2556,2500,2456,2559) ORDER BY meta_id ASC
0.00056195259094238 SELECT t.*, tt.* FROM wp_terms AS t INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tt.term_id = t.term_id INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('post_format') AND tr.object_id IN (2991) ORDER BY t.name ASC
6.0081481933594E-5 SELECT tr.object_id FROM wp_term_relationships AS tr INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('nav_menu') AND tt.term_id IN ('10280') ORDER BY tr.object_id ASC
8.7976455688477E-5 SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.ID IN (15201,17412,17413,17414,17415,17416,17417,17418,17419,17420,17421,17422,17423,17424,17425) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'nav_menu_item' AND ((wp_posts.post_status = 'publish')) ORDER BY wp_posts.menu_order ASC
7.7962875366211E-5 SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.ID IN (2) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'page' AND ((wp_posts.post_status = 'publish')) ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC
0.00043296813964844 SELECT t.term_id FROM wp_terms AS t INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tt.term_id = t.term_id INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('category') AND tr.object_id IN (2991) ORDER BY t.name ASC
6.3896179199219E-5 SELECT tr.object_id FROM wp_term_relationships AS tr INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('nav_menu') AND tt.term_id IN ('10282') ORDER BY tr.object_id ASC
8.1062316894531E-5 SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.ID IN (15204,15205,15206,15207,15208) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'nav_menu_item' AND ((wp_posts.post_status = 'publish')) ORDER BY wp_posts.menu_order ASC
6.7949295043945E-5 SELECT t.term_id FROM wp_terms AS t INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tt.term_id = t.term_id INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('category') AND tr.object_id IN (2991) ORDER BY t.name ASC
6.0081481933594E-5 SELECT tr.object_id FROM wp_term_relationships AS tr INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('nav_menu') AND tt.term_id IN ('10282') ORDER BY tr.object_id ASC
7.3909759521484E-5 SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.ID IN (15204,15205,15206,15207,15208) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'nav_menu_item' AND ((wp_posts.post_status = 'publish')) ORDER BY wp_posts.menu_order ASC
5.8889389038086E-5 SELECT t.term_id FROM wp_terms AS t INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tt.term_id = t.term_id INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('category') AND tr.object_id IN (2991) ORDER BY t.name ASC
0.00030183792114258 SELECT p.ID FROM wp_posts AS p WHERE p.post_date > '2012-02-14 12:53:07' AND p.post_type = 'post' AND p.post_status = 'publish' ORDER BY p.post_date ASC LIMIT 1
0.00021481513977051 SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE ID = 16396 LIMIT 1
0.0007469654083252 SELECT t.*, tt.* FROM wp_terms AS t INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tt.term_id = t.term_id INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('category') AND tr.object_id IN (16396) ORDER BY t.name ASC
6.2942504882812E-5 SELECT term_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_termmeta WHERE term_id IN (10657) ORDER BY meta_id ASC
0.00037598609924316 SELECT post_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_postmeta WHERE post_id IN (19295) ORDER BY meta_id ASC
0.0038719177246094 SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND ( wp_posts.post_date >= '2012-01-01 00:00:00' ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 0, 4
9.2029571533203E-5 SELECT FOUND_ROWS()
0.00032210350036621 SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE ID IN (7256,8938,9840,16498)
0.0020999908447266 SELECT t.*, tt.*, tr.object_id FROM wp_terms AS t INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tt.term_id = t.term_id INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('category', 'post_tag', 'post_format') AND tr.object_id IN (7256, 8938, 9840, 16498) ORDER BY t.name ASC
0.00070691108703613 SELECT post_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_postmeta WHERE post_id IN (7256,8938,9840,16498) ORDER BY meta_id ASC
0.00020480155944824 SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = '106'
0.00028705596923828 SELECT user_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_usermeta WHERE user_id IN (106) ORDER BY umeta_id ASC
0.00021505355834961 SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE ID = 7261 LIMIT 1
0.00037097930908203 SELECT post_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_postmeta WHERE post_id IN (7261) ORDER BY meta_id ASC
0.0046539306640625 SELECT `post_id` FROM `wp_postmeta` WHERE `meta_key` = 'bk_isbn' AND `meta_value` = '9781476735542';
0.00020313262939453 SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE ID = 6618 LIMIT 1
0.00015783309936523 SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = '187'
0.00029301643371582 SELECT user_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_usermeta WHERE user_id IN (187) ORDER BY umeta_id ASC
0.0001990795135498 SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE ID = 8951 LIMIT 1
0.00040197372436523 SELECT post_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_postmeta WHERE post_id IN (8951) ORDER BY meta_id ASC
0.0043661594390869 SELECT `post_id` FROM `wp_postmeta` WHERE `meta_key` = 'bk_isbn' AND `meta_value` = '9781476751801';
0.00018787384033203 SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE ID = 8934 LIMIT 1
0.00017118453979492 SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = '212'
0.00028395652770996 SELECT user_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_usermeta WHERE user_id IN (212) ORDER BY umeta_id ASC
0.00020909309387207 SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE ID = 9868 LIMIT 1
0.00044608116149902 SELECT post_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_postmeta WHERE post_id IN (9868) ORDER BY meta_id ASC
0.0043621063232422 SELECT `post_id` FROM `wp_postmeta` WHERE `meta_key` = 'bk_isbn' AND `meta_value` = '9781476734446';
0.00018787384033203 SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE ID = 9846 LIMIT 1
WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 2991
    [post_author] => 1
    [post_date] => 2012-02-14 12:53:07
    [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-14 16:53:07
    [post_content] => Love lessons you can learn from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility according to Much Ado about Loving author Maura KellyBy Maura Kelly
Co-author of Much Ado About Loving
Jane Austen seems to be everybody's favorite writer—men I've dated have spent entire evenings singing her praises, and the ladies love her, too, of course. But for most of my life, I was vehemently anti-Austen. She had a decent sense of humor and her heroines could be feisty and strong-willed—I'm down with that. Austen sure knows her way around a plot, too; she sure knows how to keep the interpersonal dramas dramatic, the twists twisting. But her characters never seemed that complex or interesting to me—there were just so many society girls, so obsessed with marriage! What could I ever learn from reading about such people? 

Nothing, I thought. But then, while researching my new book Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-so-great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals, I "forced" myself to read her first published novel Sense and Sensibility. And once I got over my initial readerly pride and prejudices, I found myself loving it—and learning some valuable lessons about love in the process. 

1) How to deal when you don't hear back from him.
Sense and Sensibility's supporting heroine Marianne Dashwood arrives in London—the city where the flirtatious charmer she's been seeing, Willoughby, has taken up residence. Eager to hang out, Marianne sends him a note, letting him know she's in town. Marianne doesn't have a Gmail account, of course, but she does have a fast-moving footman—and the servant has barely left with the letter before she begins "anxiously listening to the sound of every carriage," eagerly awaiting his return with a response. (Does that sound familiar to those of you checking your inbox to see if you've heard back yet? It sure does to me.) 

Days pass, however, without any Willoughbethean word. The very same kinds of questions that any one of us would have cross Marianne's mind: Did he get the note? Is he ill? Was it something she said? But unfortunately, she doesn't wonder enough if he's just a plain old cad—until she discovers he's engaged to another woman. Poor Marianne's experience confirms that then, as now, if a romantic interest takes too long to write back, it doesn't bode well—and you should do yourself a favor by moving on quickly, and trying not to fret too much.

2) Why it's often not you—it's him.
As Marianne much later finds out, Willoughby lost interest not because of anything she did, and not because that new perfume of hers gave him a headache either. In reality—as he later confesses to her sister—he totally loved her, but eventually decided got engaged to another, much wealthier woman because he needed her money; he was basically broke. 

Very often, when flirtations or relationships don't work out, it's not because of something deeply unappealing about you, something weird you did, or even because you didn't realize until later that your fly was down the whole night. Usually, it's because of fundamental incompatibilities. Often, the person in question either needs or wants a completely different kind of life partner—perhaps with someone who doesn't want kids, or wants them very soon; someone who wants to move in together pronto, or someone who'd rather maintain separate apartments forever; and even, sometimes, unromantic though it may be, someone who has a lot more cash. 

3) Why girls who like nice guys don't finish last.
Willoughby inspired wild passion in Marianne—but as she seems to have learned (and as I've personally noticed), there's a reason we describe the "crazy connections" we sometimes feel as crazy: A lot of times, they're a little nuts. People who are good at making us feel instantaneous infatuations can be bad at working through problems and sustaining relationships. They're often thrill-seeking types, out for the excitement of forging the initial bond, less interested in the calm that comes as you settle into a serious relationship. In contrast, nice guys—like Marianne's sweet neighbor, Colonel Brandon—might not make us swoon like the girls at a Beatles concert, but they're frequently more reliable, stable, and trustworthy than the world's Willoughbys. And that's my favorite Sense and Sensibility lesson of all: A love built slowly with a good person who may not have the most dazzling personality ever but cares deeply for you and wants to make a serious commitment—the way Colonel Brandon did for Marianne—can turn out very nicely indeed. 

    [post_title] => 3 Surprising Love Lessons You Can Learn from One Jane Austen Classic: Sense and Sensibility
    [post_excerpt] => By Maura Kelly
Co-author of Much Ado About Loving
Jane Austen seems to be everybody's favorite writer—men I've dated have spent entire evenings singing her praises, and the ladies love her, too. I was vehemently anti-Austen. There were just so many society girls, so obsessed with marriage! What could I ever learn from reading about such people? Once I got over my initial pride and prejudices, I learned valuable love lessons.
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => 3-love-lessons-you-can-learn-from-one-jane-austen-classic-sense-and-sensibility
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-02-05 16:30:04
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-05 21:30:04
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://www.tipsonlifeandlove.com/?p=2991
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 1
    [filter] => raw
)