Said at 58:48 into the movie by Merton to Kate after confirming what she desires him to do is the statement that will unravel their relationship. Although this pivotal moment is a major contributor to their destiny the moments leading up to this painted a different fate for the pair. The movie begins in the train where Kate is riding along in a crowded car. At first we do not know the man who has given her his seat is Merton but we soon find out after the kiss in the elevator. The first few minutes of the film give us a glimpse into their relationship. We can see their desire to be around one another and the fun times they shared in scenes such as when Kate came to see him when he is involved in an argument with other gentlemen regarding politics as well as them spending time in the park. Both Kate and Merton at this point in the movie seem as if they are head over heels in love and will find a way to be together eventually no matter what tries to stand in their way. However this happy go lucky relationship soon transforms and it’s in this transformation that we get the answer to Merton’s question and how do you love?
Although in the beginning of the movie Kate appears as if she loves Merton as deeply and freely as he does her we soon see that she and Lord Mark share a similarity in the way that they love. Lord Mark loves Kate but he trying to pursue Milly for her money. He even admits to Kate one drunken night after he slips into her room. He professes that although he loves her he needs Milly’s money and that she is in fact ill and will not live very long and that after she passes he will then marry Kate. This moment in the movie does two things it establishes the way Lord Mark loves but it also plants an idea in Kate’s head. She knows that Milly is in love with Merton and if uses Lord Marks plan she can solve her problems. In this moment we see the confirmation of how Kate loves. Kate has had the choice all along to marry Merton and choose love over the unhappy life she is living with her aunt. But Kate like Lord Mark is more in love with money then they are the people they claim to love.
As we soon see Merton wanting only to please Kate goes along with her plan. As time goes by while he is courting Milly I believe Merton begins to realize the difference in the way Milly and Kate love. Milly loved Merton without condition. We see this in the few weeks worth of dates that they share and even previous to the trip to Venice. Milly simply wanted Merton in her company. She often wanted just to be able to steal a glimpse of him. Her love was pure and her only desires was to give it to Merton and receive his in return. This kind of free love is all Merton ever wanted from Kate. He loved Kate to the extent that he had allowed her to convince him to through with this plan just so he could finally have her. The guilt and the true knowledge of who the women he loved really was ultimately lead Merton to avoid Kate when he finally returned and upon her visiting him he gives her a final test. Merton hands Kate the envelope addressed to him from Milly. Although in the book Kate reads it in the movie she does not. She simply tosses it into the fire place. This is a small confirmation for Merton that Kate does in fact love him and he proceeds to give her a final ultimatum. He tells Kate either you marry me without the money or not at all. Kate says she will marry Merton with out the money but I personally feel this statement is just a formality on her part. She had previously said to him that the letter being burnt did not mean he would not get Milly’s money. I believe Kate is still very much aware of the depths of Merton’s love for her and she just answers him to appease his mind. She knows that Merton will do anything to make her happy and will most likely still take Milly’s money to make sure he is capable of doing so when they are married. What started out looking like a promising future for these two was ruined by the differences in they the way they loved.