Does ‘Bridgerton’ Accurately Reflect Dating in the 1800s? We Asked an Expert

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Bridgerton left us with several burning questions, but one of the most probing is about the show’s accuracy in terms of relationships. For example, does Bridgerton properly depict dating in the 1800s? As in, people actually based their entire lives around finding a worthy suitor once they were old enough to bear children?

That’s why we turned to Maria Sullivan (dating expert and vice president of, who walked us through what Bridgerton got right…and wrong. Here’s what she had to say.

1. Is 'Bridgerton' accurate?

In terms of dating during the 1800s, yes. While it seems over the top, Sullivan explained that marriage was the number-one priority. “I would say that there is less pressure put on today’s youth to find love,” she told PureWow. “It has become more of a personal choice rather than a life mission.”

The dating expert went on to describe how relationships have evolved over time, adding, “During the 1800s, courting looked like gowns and suits, traditional hand fans, ballroom dancing and grand romantic gestures. None of this really has gone away—it has just changed.”

Sullivan continued, “Today, many of us emulate whatever is in style for the season, carry and share moments on our phones, dance together to the latest TikTok trends and still try to charm our partners with grand romantic gestures like proposals.”

2. What did 'Bridgerton' get right?

For starters, the show does a fantastic job of capturing the characters’ dire need to find a mate ASAP. “Bridgerton places a large emphasis on dating with the intent to marry from the moment a potential pair first meets,” Sullivan said.

Although this mindset is reflective of the 1800s, it’s not a far stretch from what we strive for today. Sullivan continued, “Ultimately, the foundation of dating remains the same regardless of either time period: singles desire an emotional and physical connection.”

3. What did 'Bridgerton' get wrong?

As Sullivan pointed out, one of the show’s biggest flaws is the dramatization of meet-cutes. The dating expert said, “One aspect of Bridgerton that is a bit farfetched when compared to today reveals itself through ‘the art of the swoon.’”

Sullivan continued, “The show places a strong emphasis on a woman’s ability to stage a faint at a moment’s notice with grace, of course, and fall into the arms of a potential match. An onlooker on the show even called the act the ‘most romantic thing’ she has ever seen.”

She explained that fainting had the same connotations back then as it does today, adding, “Fainting is perceived as an entirely negative, somewhat embarrassing and non-romantic experience overall.”

*Viciously jots down notes*

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