Kitty asks Levin what he thinks about the possibility of Koznyshev and Varenka as a match. Levin says that Koznyshev had fallen in love with a girl who died, and that ever since, he has purely followed a spiritual life; even Varenka might not be able to pull him down to earth. Kitty and Levin can leave things unsaid and frequently speak in shorthand because they are so intimate.
Nikolai, Levin, and Koznyshev are all monogamous, though in quite different ways: Marya, the prostitute, is effectively Nikolai’s wife, though they couldn’t actually wed (an interesting echo of the social rules that restrict Anna’s life as well); Levin devotes himself to Kitty; and Koznyshev remains faithful to the memory of his dead love.
Levin says that he is happy in marriage but dissatisfied with his own work; though he is envious that Koznyshev puts society above himself, Levin wouldn’t change places with his half-brother. He and Kitty pull daisy petals to count off whether or not Koznyshev will propose, but since they can’t agree on whether or not a little petal counts, the counting-off does not produce any results.
Levin is somewhat envious that Koznyshev has devoted his life to his work rather than his love, but he is too wrapped in his own happiness to be truly discontent. He and Kitty, like children, use a counting-off game to predict the proposal, but just as no one could agree who stepped on the silk first at their wedding, the conversation ends with both sides winning, not with one opinion dominating.