Some time ago I wrote that Elizabeth’s love for Darcy could not bloom before she was assured of his feelings as well as that her wishes and hopes would be rewarded by a proposal.
Elinor expresses similar sentiments when she answers Marianne’s queries about Edward:
There is a lot of confusion as to when and why Elizabeth Bennet fell in love. (See this post at Austenprose and subsequent comments for example, but it’s only one of many such opinions.) This post is to show that the reason of it does not come from any imperfection of Lizzy’s affection or Austen’s writing, but rather our modern notions that downplay the significance of love.