Bridgerton: How does Regency Era dating compare to now?

Bridgerton: Netflix announce second season of hit show

Netflix’s saucy Regency series Bridgerton gives a refreshing take on the period drama genre, shunning bonnets and stolen glances for something a little more contemporary. The drama is based on Julia Quinn’s novel The Duke and I (2000) and follows Daphne Bridgerton (played by Phoebe Dynevor) in her pursuit for love and marriage. Throughout season one, viewers are privy to a series of opulent balls over the course of the season where men and women meet with the aim of making a suitable match.

Considering men and women were kept quite apart in the Georgian period, these formal occasions allowed them to interact as they scoped out a potential spouse.

In some regards, this was the Regency Era equivalent to dating and finding a suitable match.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Match.com’s dating expert Hayley Quinn shared her thoughts on the dating game in modern-day society versus in the times of Bridgeton.

Quinn said a “huge amount” had changed in the intervening years, namely the sexual revolution which liberated women from simply being chattel to be sold off at a price.

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She also said the sole aim of relationships now wasn’t just marriage with men and women having to make active decisions about the kind of relationship they wanted.

Nevertheless, there was still the pressure to find a long-lasting relationship with women defined by their marital status of either being a miss or mrs.

Quinn said: “We are on the path as a society for individuals to not be strictly defined by gender roles, but many people still expect men to make the first move, and for women to be recipients of their advances.

“However, even in the 1800s women would drop a handkerchief, or make a move with their fan, to signal interest; so dating really has always been more of a two way street than it initially seems.”

The dating expert said there was still societal and familial pressure – much like in Bridgerton – with modern comparisons including turning up to a wedding alone or celebrating a birthday while still single.

Quinn said this is something which could take a lot longer to change, explaining: “Maybe it will take another 200 years but the message that people can be electively single and truly happy will eventually sink in!”

She also warned against allowing time pressures to have a negative effect on the decision-making process.

The expert advised: “Keep reminding yourself that there are plenty of great people out there to meet, and that people can fall in love at any stage of their lives, there’s no time limit on this!

“Going with the flow sounds counterintuitive but it can actually help you to reach your goals faster.”

She went on to advise: “It’s important to remember that whilst going on a first date after a failed relationship may feel like starting over, this isn’t actually the case!

“Every relationship you have can teach you something about what you like, what’s important to you, or what to have clearer boundaries around in the future.

“If you can bring this knowledge into your future dating experiences, you are actually always moving forwards.”

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With Netflix giving the green light to Bridgerton season two, viewers will again be returning this Shondaland take on Regency England before too long and again becoming immersed in the dating game of the time.

The second outing is going to be an adaptation of The Viscount Who Loved Me (2006) with the focus on Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and his quest for a wife.

However, his own attempts to find a suitable match on the marriage market will be equally as dramatic as his sister Daphne’s own experiences.

Viewers are likely to get a slightly different experience of the dating game in this period and may see things more from the male point of view in contrast to Daphne’s perspective in the first outing.

Bridgerton season 1 is streaming on Netflix now

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