Anna is part of the best social circle in Petersburg and has particular friends in three subdivisions: Karenin’s official career social group; the unattractive but virtuous group with Countess Lydia at its center; and society proper, the people who hold lavish balls, with Princess Betsy Tverskoy at its center.
Anna is directly in the center of all the best levels of Petersburg society: she maintains her place at the center of both the most politically well-connected and the most socially brilliant aspects of Petersburg life.
When Anna returns to Petersburg from Moscow, she begins spending more and more time with Princess Betsy’s set, which entails spending more and more time with Vronsky, as this is his group. One night, they all go to the French Theater to see an opera. Vronsky feigns slight embarrassment about his constant presence with Anna, but knows that he will be admired, rather than ridiculed, for attaching himself to a married woman.
Anna openly allies herself more and more with Vronsky by subtly shifting how she proportions her time within each subdivision of society. Vronsky, knowing that his reputation will not be tarnished, does not hide his intimacy with Anna.