" Part of the process by which people soften their boundaries and move into a we involves repeated expression of the desire to do so, repeated telling each other that they love each other. Their statement often will be tentative, subject to withdrawal if the other does not respond with similar avowals. Holding hands, they walk into the water together, step by step. Their caution may become as great as when two suspicious groups or nations - Israel and the Palestinians might be an example - need to recognize the legitimacy of one other. Neither wants to recognize if the other does not, and it also will not suffice for each to announce that it will recognize if the other ones does also. For each then will have announced a conditional recognition, contingent upon the other's unconditonal recognition. Since neither one has offered this last, they haven't yet gotten started. Neither will it help if each says it will recognize conditional upon the other's conditional recognition : " I'll recognize you if you'll recognize me if I'll recognize you." For here each has given the other a three-part conditional announcement, one which is contingent upon, and goes into operation only when there exists, a two-part conditional announcement from the other party ; so neither one has given the other exactly that will trigger that other's recognition, namely a two-part announcement. So long as they both simmetrically announce conditionals of the same length and complexity, they will not be able to get started. Some asymmetry is needed, then but it need not be that either one begins by offering unconditional recognition. It would be enough for the first to offer the three-part recognition (which is contingent upon the other's simple two-part conditional recognition), and for the second to offer the two-part conditional recognition. The latter triggers the first to recognize outright and this, in turn triggers the second to do the same. Between lovers, it never becomes this complicated explicitly. Neither makes the nested announcement " I will love you if you will love me if I will love you," and if either one did, this would not (to put it mildly) facilitate the formation of a we. Yet the frequency of their saying to each other " I love you ", and their attention to the other's response, may indicate a nesting that is implicit and very deep, as deep as the repeated triggering necessary to overcome caution and produce the actual and unconditional formation of the we." (Robert Nozick, The examined life, Simon and Schuster, 2006, p. 78-79)