Oh, I see now.
The layers are ego.
In scenario A of my image there is ego attachment. As the layers are removed the relationship fails.
In scenario B the relationship is deeper. So even as the layers are removed the fundamental relationship doesn’t change. The ego parts of the attachment might shudder and it might hurt for the dissonance, but ultimately the pair is complete.
How can you tell which is which. You can’t. Just throw a few off and see what stays around.