Sometimes, when you try to do the right thing for the people you love the most, you’ll actually just end up hurting them.
Kate and Anthony were both obsessed with doing what was “right” in their situation that they failed to see how their actions were hurting their loved ones. By not telling Edwina about her feelings for Anthony (or Anthony’s feelings for her), all in hopes that she was giving her sister what she really wanted, she ultimately put Edwina in a situation that was much more painful than it would have been otherwise. Similarly, Anthony wants the best for his family, but because of that he’s often too hard for them—such as when Gregory’s Latin tutor called him stupid because of Anthony’s expectations. Even when Kate and Anthony tried to do the best they could for each other, it often made things more complicated and heartbreaking for both of them. Sometimes you have to understand that even the best of intentions can lead to unfortunate outcomes.
Sometimes you fall in love with the illusion of who someone is, not who they really are.
Edwina was head over heels for Anthony—at least, she thought she was. The problem is, she was falling in love with the version of Anthony that he presented to her—the one of an even-tempered, respectable viscount who was willing to listen to her ideas. But Edwina never met the unfiltered Anthony that Kate tended to bring out, and so while Edwina’s heartbreak was legitimate, it was also misguided—she wasn’t losing Anthony, because she never really had him. She was just losing who she thought he was. (That being said, losing our idea of someone can be just as painful.)
Unresolved trauma can often manifest in different areas of our life.
Anthony dealt with the pain of losing his mistress in season 1, but interestingly enough, his trauma from that isn’t what affected his relationship with marriage—it was the trauma of losing his father that did. Trauma rarely fits itself into neat boxes. Something that happened in one area of your life (such as losing a parent) can find a way to spill over into other areas of your life (such as your love life). This can sometimes make understanding your trauma responses difficult, but it’s also a great case for why you should deal with your trauma head-on—because healing can often improve your life overall.
Oftentimes our biggest roadblock in love isn’t other people—it’s ourselves.
Kate and Anthony had a million reasons why they believed they couldn’t be together—but none of them were actually legitimate. At any moment, they could have set the course straight, been honest with those around them (and themselves), and chosen to be together, but they didn’t. And yet even with all their excuses, they still ended up together at the end, making them all moot. Their love is proof that sometimes we create our own roadblocks in life—and if we want to get past them, we have to start with ourselves.
When you’re so focused on looking at the past, you fail to see what’s standing right in front of you.
A shout out to the Polin fans with this one—in this season, Colin and Penelope seemed to get a lot closer, often confiding in one another, but Colin still couldn’t seem to stop thinking about Marina, who he was briefly engaged to in the first season (and who was now married). Maybe it’s because Colin was so stuck in the past and in his thoughts of what could have been that he was unable to see Penelope as a viable love interest—and why he said such hurtful things about her to his friends. (You’re going to be eating your words soon, Colin!)
Other people won’t always understand your trauma—and because of that, they’ll fail to understand you.
Despite knowing Anthony better than anyone else, no one in his family could understand why he refused to marry for love. Even when he explained to his mother why he feels that way, she still had trouble wrapping her head around it. Trauma doesn’t often make logical sense (usually it doesn’t), and because of that, people won’t always understand where you’re coming from or why you’re doing something. Just know that it doesn’t make you weird or broken or undeserving of love—you are simply hurting and healing.
Sometimes we lose the people we love—but that should never stop you from loving.
Here’s a terrible fact about life: You will lose people. It will hurt. It may even break you apart. But that doesn’t make love any less worth it. As Violet Bridgerton explains to Anthony, even knowing the pain of losing her late husband, if she could go back in time, she would do it all again—because the love she gained from him when she had him would always be more important to her than the heartbreak of losing him. Knowing that we can lose someone shouldn’t stop us from loving them, because life is always going to be full of wonderful and terrible things—and choosing to abstain from wonderful things will never erase the terrible ones from your life, so hold on dearly to the things that matter to you the most.