It is sometimes a disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the world equally in the dark. There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely – a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten a women had better show more affection than she feels.

– Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 6. Charlotte has a very pragmatic view of love, born of necessity from the patriarchal society that the women of the novel live in. If a woman remains single, especially one of modest means, then she could face an uncertain financial future. So Charlotte’s philosophy on love is that a woman must show more affection than she feels and use manipulation to get a husband. Charlotte is speaking to Elizabeth here about her sister Jane’s attraction to Charles Bingley, advising that Jane should not conceal her affection for Bingley but display it more openly to him.