We can probably all relate to the utter pain and agony Marianne Dashwood experiences when Willoughby breaks her heart. Although they flirted, shared in artistic pleasures together, were affectionate….his words never expressed a hint at any engagement.
Remember this when dating. The man who your heart flutters with excitement over might be another Willoughby type. Sorry to burst your bubble but these guys are everywhere out there. He’s incredibly handsome and seems most excellent on paper. He’s charming, will date you, kiss you, and leave you wanting more but won’t necessarily settle down (or is just not a good man in general).
For all you know, he’s out and about galavanting around (in the novel, Austen created him as a protagonist driven by the need for his own pleasure and not one who values an emotional connection like Marianne experienced) and ends up playing you like a fiddle. He tells you he isn’t ready to get serious, doesn’t desire marriage, or perhaps has gotten more serious with someone else.
I‘ve dated the Willoughby type in the city and oh did my heart break in two. I was quite confident that my Willoughby and I would end up together until one day after many dates he sat me down at a bar and declared that I was one of many girls he was seeing and I didn’t have what he needed. He said something along the lines of he needed someone smarter. Wow did that feel like a dagger through my heart and also like a giant “who do you think you are” saying that to ME moment? What you need a female Einstein…seriously so insulting! It was his way of telling me he needed to continue to date others and be a player. I was so mesmerized at how perfect on paper he was for me that I never really read the signs. There were many signs along the way (not calling when he said he would call, being uncomfortable with emotion, wanting to sleep together with no commitment, and on and on.)
I believe he took great pleasure in dating up a storm and having the “ultimate control” over the women in his life who he knew he had in the palm of his hand since he was a modern-day Willoughby. He had many women in his life all on speed dial, kept many secrets along the way (he made each of us feel we were his only one…that was something that made it all so confusing!), and when things started getting more serious (like me hinting at becoming exclusive together) he freaked out and went cold turkey. It was as if I didn’t even recognize him. Who was this monster in my presence that could be so cruel and sink my hopes? He let go and dumped the girls (myself included) who needed something he couldn’t provide being a commitment.
Let’s not forget that he expected that you’d sleep with him anyways even through no commitment was there. As Cher would say in Clueless, “As if!” On a side note, Clueless is loosely based off of Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. There are many parallels to the film and novel. Both Cher and Emma are matchmakers to their friends.
Enjoy the complete film here.