The Dashwoods find their lives shockingly busy and full of frequent visitors. Once Marianne recovers, Sir John has many parties. Willoughby is always invited, which allows their relationship to develop. Elinor tries to caution Marianne to be less demonstrative in her affection for Willoughby for the sake of propriety. However, the couple are united in their disapproval of restraint.
Willoughby and Marianne exist only for each other. Willoughby can do no wrong in Marianne’s eyes. They rarely acknowledge anyone else when they are together. Their behavior causes people to ridicule them, but this does not bother them. Mrs. Dashwood is not disturbed by it, for she thinks the behavior is only natural for lovers. Willoughby makes Marianne happy and makes her forget the sorrows of leaving Norland.
Elinor is not as happy. She misses Norland and cannot find worthwhile companions to distract her. Mrs. Jennings tells Elinor her life story several times. Lady Middleton is quieter. Her even-temper is more due to dimness, and she is totally preoccupied with domestic concerns and her children. Colonel Brandon is the only acquaintance whom Elinor respects. She begins to believe he had been disappointed in love once.
Elinor can’t wait for Marianne’s prejudices and romantic notions to mellow into more reasonable expectations. Colonel Brandon warns her that it can sometimes be disastrous when a romantic mind succumbs to realistic notions.