While Rose is attracted to the chivalric Patrick, who feels compelled to rescue this "damsel in distress" in their first meeting in the university library, she is also repelled later by his self-abasement and apologies for his lack of manliness. "She would shiver with irritation and misery." Nevertheless, Rose accepts his proposal of marriage,
She could not turn Patrick down. She could not do it. It was not the amount of money but the amount of love he offered that she could not ignore; she believed that she felt sorry for him, that she had to help him out.
Rose has become the "beloved." As such, she acts as a stimulus for the love that has been stored by the lover, Patrick, for a long time. Rose finds all this attention very gratifying at first. But, in the role of the beloved, she becomes disillusioned with Patrick. "It was a miracle; it was a mistake. It was what she had dreamed of; it was not what she wanted." Rose finds herself loving "some obedient image that she herself could not see. And his hopes were high."But, amid all this ambivalence, it is Rose's familial loyalties that shake her out of love. After Patrick calls her home "a dump," Rose perceives him in a different light; consequently, she tells him she cannot marry him and does not love him, "You despise my family and my background and you think you are doing me a great favor." Then, Rose insults Patrick cruelly.
She wanted to beat and beat him, to say worse and worse, uglier and crueller, things. She took a breath, drew in air, to stop the things she felt rising in her from getting out.
After this outburst, Patrick does not try to win her back, he does not call her or visit her. When Rose again sees him in the school library, she looks at the back of his neck and ponders how honorable he is and how ashamed she is .
She was so moved, made so gentle and wistful, by the sight of him, that she wanted to give him something, some surprising bounty, she wished to undo his unhappiness.
So, she gets back together with Patrick. However, this pattern continues and Rose and Patrick have a volatile relationship. But, she does not how to survive without his fortune; she is "frightened of the world." At any rate, Rose and Patrick argue frequently until Rose procures a good position and is financially free.
When she spots Patrick at the Toronto airport, she sees the back of him and recognizes the Patrick she first sighted in a carrel at school."And she has the same feeling that this is a person to whom she is bound," so she speaks to him. But, Patrick knows that she perceives what she wishes, and he turns to her "a truly hateful, savagely warning, face." He resents all her past attempts to have remained with him because he knows that Rose has deceived him in the past, and he tries to "strip bare" all that she has caused him.