In this chapter Paul admits that his mother does not share in all aspects of his life: his sex life is separate from her. He evidently feels that the incident with Dawes in the bar belongs to this life, because he feels mortified at the thought of telling her about it. However, he does not like having to conceal anything from his mother.
We can see, however, that his mother is still the most important to him through his thoughts as he tries to make his way home after his fight with Dawes: he thinks over and over again that he must make it home to his mother.
Paul’s reflections on love recall his older brother William’s complaints when he was engaged. Paul thinks that he loves Clara when he is with her, is indifferent toward her when not with her, and often tunes her out when she talks to him.