The Dalai Lama tells Cutler to try to understand the background of people, and to be more honest and open. Cutler finds this advice simplistic, but then changes his mind when he puts it into practice. "Sometimes it is the most basic and straightforward of advice, the kind that we tend to dismiss as naive, that can be the most effective means of enhancing communication." [page 93]
The Dalai Lama says that to understand a relationship and analyze its conflicts, you need to understand the underlying basis of the relationship. "Some friendships are based on wealth, power, or position. In these cases your friendship continues as long as your power, wealth, or position is sustained." [page 99] Marriages whose underlying basis is sexual attraction are vulnerable in the same way. "If one is seeking to build a truly satisfying relationship, the best way of bringing this about is to get to know the deeper nature of the other person and relate to her or him on that level, instead of on the basis of superficial characteristics. And in this type of relationship there is a role for genuine compassion." [102-103]
Finally, the Dalai Lama has a low opinion of relationships based on romance. "The idealization of this romantic love can be seen as an extreme. Unlike those relationships based on caring and genuine affection, this is another matter. It cannot be seen as a positive thing. It's something that is based on fantasy, unattainable, and therefore may be a source of frustration." [page 104] Cutler initially thinks that the Dalai Lama has dismissed romance too quickly. He summarizes psychological theories about where the intensity of the falling-in-love response comes from, then reviews a case history where romance is distraction from working on depression. At the end of the chapter he seems reluctantly to agree with the Dalai Lama's position.