Some Dating Advice from Lydia Bennet About 6 Weeks into Her Relationship with Mr. Wickham

It is a truth universally acknowledged that everything that happens within the first 4–6 weeks of a relationship is indicative of exactly how that relationship is going to be forever.

I met Mr. Wickham in town six weeks ago and we haven’t been apart since. I had been nervous about trying to meet militia men, given their reputation, but I jumped in feet-first and threw my handkerchief to the first shiny ponytail I could see. I’m pleased to say that Mr. Wickham, George, was my first and last soldier.

I am just so grateful to be able to say after six weeks that Mr. Wickham is truly my other half and my partner. I’m only sorry I couldn’t see it sooner. Now we are on our way to Scotland to elope and my life is so full of love and laughter and lying to innkeepers.

I know it might be easy to look at us and see us as the ultimate #relationshipgoals, but trust me when I say we’re not pros at this either. I’m sure this comes as a shock, considering that after 6 weeks and saying “I love you” once, you’re almost morally required to dole out relationship advice like a drunk aunt passing out crabcakes at a babyshower. But if you’d let me, I’d love to share some lessons I’ve learned during these six long weeks of constant sex, almost non-stop verbal affirmations and extremely minor disagreements that in no way belie any deeper compatibility problems.

Communication is key!

Wickham’s and my relationship is like a painting: from far away, like to the innkeeper who thinks we’re a married couple traveling to Edinburgh to visit my dying aunt, we look perfect- but if you look closely, like the same innkeeper who later informed Mr. Darcy of our whereabouts, you can see the brushstrokes. Even masterpieces take work.

Practice Gratitude

When I look back at my life less than two months ago, it’s hard to believe how much has changed. I am hardly the same girl getting drunk at manor houses, flirting with soldiers while my boring sister plays the piano- Read the room, Mary. I am forever grateful to George for convincing me to step outside my comfort zone and outside of the jurisdiction of the sheriff of Derbyshire. I’m grateful to Lizzy for inadvertently introducing us. I’m even grateful to the glum Mr. Darcy for agreeing to witness our wedding early this morning.

Laughter is the Most Important Part of Any Relationship

Sure, my father might say it’s wit, my mother might say it’s money, Jane might say it’s kindness and Mr. Darcy might say it’s not having any outstanding gambling debts and poor character, but I know what’s most important: Laughter. And George makes me laugh.

I used to find myself bogged down with the mundane day-to-day details of my life: ribbons, dances, my father’s entire estate being entailed to a soggy kiss-ass cousin…

It was my Wickham that taught me the value of flexibility and humor and being able to think on your feet. He’s taught me to go with the flow and roll with life’s punches. Where would I be without him? Home, probably. Laughter bonds people, increases happiness, relieves tension and disarms the local sheriff who's come to collect you.

the second mrs. de winter

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