Do you let your time-travelling self sleep with your partner?
April 26, 2006 6:25 PM   Subscribe

Your time-travelling self has arrived from 2011. Naturally, you make yourself feel at home. Do you let future you sleep with your partner, or do you insist that future you take the futon sofa in the spare room? Your partner doesn't seem to have a problem with it - they'd be sleeping with you, after all. What if you took the sofa route, but you found out your partner had slept with the future you anyway? Would your partner be guilty of infidelity?
posted by obiwanwasabi to Human Relations (29 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: ask mefi isn't for silly hypotheticals

I would kill him immediately. I'm not going to fall into some null-causality vortex just so future-me can get a little nookie.

Future-me would know this, and know that he could never win in a death struggle, so he would steer well clear.
posted by ikkyu2 at 6:28 PM on April 26, 2006

Not directly on point but for more on stuff like that check out the book The Man Who Folded Him Self. Time Travel and the results of meeting your self in different forms and ages.
posted by Captain_Science at 6:29 PM on April 26, 2006

Time traveling self gets the couch, no privileges. He'd already know that, of course.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 6:34 PM on April 26, 2006

That's good shit you're smokin' dude.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:35 PM on April 26, 2006

I don't think a future and present you can exist at the same time. I believe that only a past and present you can exist.

If present you went into the future, present you would cease to exist, thus disappearing from the earth completely, only to reappear in the future. Therefore, present you IS future you.

OTOH, if present you went to the past, past you's life remains the same and present you (who is now from the future) can coexist until the past collides with the present.

Therefore I believe your question is moot. It can't happen.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:37 PM on April 26, 2006

Someone's been reading The Time Traveler's Wife.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:40 PM on April 26, 2006

Working on the assumption that I have more hair and less gut than future me, I imagine mrs nomis would not be tempted.

Then again, future me would have more money than present me (fingers crossed). Plus, he has a TIME MACHINE! That's gotta impress.

Ultimately it makes sense to let future me do whatever he wants as long as he enjoys himself, since that's me in 5 years.
posted by nomis at 6:40 PM on April 26, 2006

Damnit, and I misread the question.

To answer the question, unless future you brought back future wife or future mistress, or a boatload of cash, future you gets the boot. But future you would know that, so it's inevitable that future you gets what he wants (since he already knows the past).
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:40 PM on April 26, 2006

He probably remembers this thread, so just ask him for the Best Answer and go from there.
posted by staggernation at 6:42 PM on April 26, 2006

posted by louigi at 6:47 PM on April 26, 2006

It's cheating. Although can you blame him? In his world, present you broke up with the girlfriend 5 years ago for cheating with future you, and for 5 years he's always regretted it and wanted to spend just one more night with her.

My head hurts.
posted by teem at 6:49 PM on April 26, 2006

Yes, threesome. Though it would be way better if my it were my future wife who came--or my future second wife! But wait, current wife doesn't know about future second wife, so that would be awkward. Could wife #1 come up from 1986 for the threesome? Cause she migh be more open-minded to the threesome with future wife #2. Or not. Time travel is so hard!
posted by LarryC at 6:53 PM on April 26, 2006

I don't think a future and present you can exist at the same time. If you tried to temporally align the future and present you, your time machine's anti-reversor fluxitron would break.

Therefore I believe your question is moot. It can't happen.
posted by martinrebas at 6:54 PM on April 26, 2006

teem wins.
posted by dmd at 6:55 PM on April 26, 2006

In fact, if I went to jail for killing my future self, I would demand DNA testing on myself and the decedent, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were genetically identical. I would then be the first person ever incarcerated for the crime of completed suicide, guaranteeing my place in the history books - and, a few years later, I would be guaranteed a daring jailbreak, probably via timetravel-associated mattermission!

posted by ikkyu2 at 7:04 PM on April 26, 2006

Paging Dr. Freud!
posted by Xalf at 7:09 PM on April 26, 2006

Someone's been reading The Time Traveler's Wife.

My thoughts exactly.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:11 PM on April 26, 2006

On the off-chance this is a practical question, rather than a theoretical one: he is not your future self. He may be a long lost twin, or perhaps a person with extremely good disguise skills, but that's it. Get the shotgun.
posted by davejay at 7:15 PM on April 26, 2006

If future me didn't bring future my-partner with him, I'd want to know why not. But not until we'd had the discussion about future futures markets (the one that lets me make vast amounts of money so I can afford to lounge about inventing time machines).
posted by flabdablet at 7:21 PM on April 26, 2006

davejay wins.
posted by EarBucket at 7:21 PM on April 26, 2006

This is exactly why I'm diligently killing future me with self-destructive behavior.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:24 PM on April 26, 2006

Bugger that. Future self will arrive with a list of the next five years' World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, World Cup, Kentucky Derby etc. winners, plus a goodly share of his winnings from having bet these correctly, which I will then use to amass the fortune which he'll be sharing with me.

On preview, flabdablet beats me to it, so my future self first deals with flabdablet before heading my way
posted by hangashore at 7:26 PM on April 26, 2006

She'd undoubtedly want a threesome, and we'd probably oblige.
posted by skryche at 7:28 PM on April 26, 2006

Ignoring any possible interaction paradoxes and tears in the fabric of space-time and all that, here's my answer:

My present self would realize that in my future, my future self will get the opportunity to sleep with my present-self's partner, who is (assuming continuous monogamy) a younger and likely hotter version of future-self's partner. FS would kick PS in the groin for trying to deny both of us the pleasure (FS's current, PS's future) of sleeping with said hot young partner. So if my partner is down for it I would totally tell FS to have fun.

On the other hand, future-self's partner will nag FS constantly because FS doesn't think FSP is good enough anymore and actually went to the trouble of time-travelling back to hook up with PSP (aka HYP). This will begin roughly the morning after HYP hooks up with FS and realizes what it means about the feelings FS has for FSP, who is herself an older version of HYP. HYP will blame PS for the future actions of FS. Thus she will be able to bring up any wrongs committed by PS not just in the past or present, but also in the future, which will probably win any argument. (In the wonderfully circular logic of time-travel, this is also what is likely to cause FS to travel back to be with HYP before any of the relationship problems occurred.)

On yet another point, it is possible that HYP, the partner of PS, dies sometime between the scenario and the world of FS and FS just wants to be with HYP just one more time, for which I could hardly fault him. Of course, FS could not tell PS that this is why he returned, because it would create an alternate reality in which HYP perhaps does not die and thus FS will not have the opportunity to come back and prevent her death.

But if FSP is not the older version of HYP, i.e. we cannot assume continuous monogamy, then it's totally cheating by FS, but you have to hope FS can get away with it and let him go for it. Because rationally speaking, you are the same person, and you (PS) were involved with HYP when you (FS) had slept with her. And I'm almost positive that you as FS will not be regretting having too much sex.
posted by kyleg at 7:37 PM on April 26, 2006

Somewhat related: Spider Robinson's short story "...And Subsequent Construction" deals with a similar situation.
posted by ubernostrum at 7:55 PM on April 26, 2006


And if my partner didn't have a problem with it, I'd have to rethink the relationship. Cuz that's some weird shit right there.
posted by occhiblu at 7:59 PM on April 26, 2006

When I was a kid I left out a piece of paper on the window ledge, saying to myself that when I'd invented the time machine, I'd come back and write important notes to my junior self on it. Next morning it was blank, and I thought that meant I'd never invent the time machine.

Now I have invented it, I wish I could remember exactly which fucking date I left the bit of paper out on.
posted by bonaldi at 8:04 PM on April 26, 2006

... paper out on so I could write down some v. important girls' names and instructions.
posted by bonaldi at 8:05 PM on April 26, 2006

I'd at least want to watch, so yeah, future me gets the nod.
posted by mediareport at 8:32 PM on April 26, 2006

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