While Frederica holds out hope of supporting herself if need be, Lady Susan must string together a haphazard sequence of long-term visits and mysteriously rented lodgings in order to keep herself and her daughter housed.
(Susan’s short-lived spouse left her little more than his name and child.) And while Frederica’s youth gives her some time to explore romance, Lady Susan vacillates between another woman’s husband and the much-younger brother of her reluctantly hospitable sister-in-law.
As I adjust to dating at almost middle age, I’ve learned three main lessons, offered here by way of Lady Susan’s example.
Although the relationships are tenuous, Lady Susan’s family provides essential support to her. First with single roommates and now in the former convent where I live (with two young families and some other adults), I find life in community vital to my relational health.
I recently went out with a widower who hadn’t been on a date since 1968 and we shared few laughs about how dating has changed.