Vronsky returns home to find that Anna is out with a lady. Her behavior has seemed strange to him lately, and he resolves to have a talk with her. Anna returns with Princess Varvara, her aunt; Anna seems to be acting somewhat peculiarly. They report that Princess Betsy won’t say farewell to Anna. Anna requests a box at the opera for the evening and flirts with other men while at dinner. Vronsky tries to persuade Anna not to go to the opera, but she is in denial that she has become a pariah in society.
Anna hectically tries all tactics to keep herself looking as beautiful and desirable as possible so that Vronsky won’t be tempted to stray––though she has no concrete reason to believe that he is interested in other women, their entire relationship has been built on the ties of flirtation and excitement rather than deep love.