What Can the Netflix Series Bridgerton Teach Us About Dating?

Apr 07, 2021



Like many of you, I have been enjoying the hit Netflix series Bridgerton about a family navigating the 1813 social scene in Regency London. I thought it might be fun to explore what we can learn about dating that applies in real life.


In the first episode of Season 1, there is a scene at the ball where the main character Daphne is whisked out of the ball by her brother, moments after being introduced to the leading man in the series, Simon (Duke of Hastings). Daphne is at first confused and annoyed. Daphne’s brother explains to her, “You must think about this. The most perfect thing for you to do now is not to dance, but to leave them all wanting more. If anyone knows how this works, it is your eldest brother.”


This concept of “less is more” is one that is very important for the best interactions with men.  Always be the one to end the call first, end the date first, end the evening first, end the kiss first. Less is always more with men.


Lest you think this is game playing, this is actually for the highest and best good of both parties. Men usually have a fear of being suffocated and/or getting bored with a woman. Women have a fear of being emotionally hurt or abandoned. When the woman pulls back first, she protects her heart by giving less (for now). This is for her own good. Her pulling back first helps the man as well.


The reason the woman pulling back first benefits the man is that, if he likes her, her absence allows him to experience longing (a.k.a. desiring and missing her) which is crucial if he is to develop feelings of love for her. Men really thive on a quest, such as Jospeh Campbell’s hero’s journey. Figuring out how to see her again is one example of the challenge or quest he needs to feel like a man. If he’s not that taken with her, he’ll at least appreciate that she’s not smothering him and over-occupying his time, and he doesn’t have to awkwardly make an excuse to get away. (For a good example of what not to do, think of the Featherington women in the series, where the desperate mother is always shoving her trio of daughters in front of a man, and you can sense each man is wondering how to politely escape.) Whether he does or doesn’t have a strong interest in her, both parties benefit when the woman ends the interaction first (remember, if he’s interested, he gets to experience longing to see her again to the point that he’ll ask her out, and if he’s not interested, he gets an easy exit). When a woman ends the interaction first with a man, she wins and he wins.


While what happens next in the show is scripted and thus not necessarily track with real life, always remember that less is more with a man.


Even women who are married or in an exclusive dating relationship would be wise to remember this motto. Try talking less. Texting less. If he texts you and you’d like to reply, reply with fewer words than he used to write with you. Hold back a little bit, which gives him the space to connect with his feelings for you. Remember that men are easily overwhelmed by a woman who talks too much, wants to see him too much, wants to interact too much, or wants to spend too much time with him. Gracefully end interactions first to keep the spark alive on his part.


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 - “Coach Cori” McGraw at the Love Academy for Women


In any area of life, it helps to have a mentor. Dating is no different. 

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