Couple on Date Making Bad First Impressions

#CouplesGoals - Bad First Impressions

Do you ever wonder why we celebrate relationships in literature like Romeo and Juliet despite their bad first impressions, heinous miscommunication, tragic endings, and/or obvious character flaws?

In our #CouplesGoals series, we will examine some of those (in)famous love stories and dissect the ins and outs of those fictional relationships that society has put on a pedestal.

Is accidental double suicide really the ideal romance? I think we can do better as a culture, don’t you?

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite works of classic literature. Not just for the complex web of interpersonal relations, which we will dive into momentarily, but for the continuous lesson of bad first impressions.

Like most writers, I’m an introvert. I listen more than I speak, and I’m cursed with what has lovingly been coined Resting Bitch Face, or RBF in polite company. Many of my friendships began with them saying, “I thought you were mean the first time I met you.”

Nope, that’s just the way my face looks.

So, as someone who often feels like I don’t always make the best initial impression, I can’t get enough of a novel that proves all the characters’ gut-instinct wrong.

Spoiler Alert—I don’t know if this needs to be said for a book that is nearly 225 years old, but just in case. 

Bad First Impressions

When Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy first met, neither one of them liked the other. He basically called her ugly, and she kind of chewed him out in public. By the end, not only are they married, but they are Jane Austen’s version of #couplegoals. 

Alternatively, when Elizabeth meets Mr. Wickham, she’s smitten. We later learn the truth of his money-grabbing background which involved seducing young girls. In fact, he performs his bait and switch routine on Elizabeth’s youngest sister, Lydia. The two end up married in order to protect the family’s reputation. 

After observing his best friend, Mr. Bingley, dance and converse with Elizabeth’s older sister, Jane, Mr. Darcy came to the conclusion that they weren’t a good match. He was so sure of his bad first impression that he basically tells Mr. Bingley, she's just not that into you, and they break up

Clearly Mr. Darcy wasn’t a trained Matchmaker, because as it turns out, Jane is very much into Mr. Bingley. She’s just not into PDA in a time where showing too much ankle would get you slut-shamed. Go figure. 

Austen illustrates false positive and negative first impressions to show how one’s intuition can’t always be trusted.

Dating is a process of gathering information about the other person. You keep learning new things about them until you decide if you want to commit to a relationship with them or not. If you learn new information that negates everything you thought you knew about that person, don’t ignore it. Dig deeper lest you fall into the trap of an imposter.

Rank the Relationship

Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy: 8/10

I see why they are the novel’s main couple. Their love story includes a decent amount of drama, secrets, and Shakespearean misunderstandings. In the end they overcome their initial bad impressions of one another.

Mr. Darcy falls for Elizabeth despite their socioeconomic differences and his lack of attraction to her. Elizabeth forgives him for meddling in her sister’s affairs after he takes actions to correct his mistakes.

These are key takeaways in our line of business. This is why we always advise a minimum of three dates. Physical attraction and chemistry often grow over time, but so many people write a good match off simply because there weren’t fireworks on the first date.

They’re not a perfect match, but they choose to practice loving one another and that’s what keeps a relationship strong. They accept each other’s flaws, and encourage one another to do better and make things right whenever possible.

Jane Bennet & Mr. Bingley: 10/10

This is my favorite couple, although I must admit, an entire book on their story would be quite boring to read. They’re both shy and a bit reserved, but they click and they work well as a team. If everyone would have just left them alone, they would have been married much earlier and it would have saved a lot of heartache. 

Lydia Bennet & Mr. Wickham: 4/10

Lydia is the youngest of the five sisters. She and Mr. Wickham run off together after he makes her his latest love scam victim. Before rumors and shame overtake the family, Mr. Darcy intervenes again, this time for the better. He pays off Mr. Wickham’s debts, and convinces him to marry Lydia. Their passion burns hot and fast. Those fires rarely last long.

Mr. & Mrs. Bennet: 1/10

Full disclosure—Mrs. Bennet is my least favorite character. Neither of them are shy about announcing to their own daughters which is their favorite child. Maybe that was common practice of the time, but it’s terrible parenting either way you spin it.

Mrs. Bennet is overly dramatic and constantly nagging everyone in sight or playing the victim. Mr. Bennet mocks her to her face and verbally abuses the whole family. Elizabeth says at one point that she couldn’t possibly have a favorable view of marriage after watching her parents’ union her entire life.