Relationship status: it’s complicated

It was not a relationship. Not one relationship. Rather, it was many relationships. And it was not a two person relationship; rather, it was many two persons in many relationships.

Time travel has a way to make these things rather complicated.

Things get easier if you have a starting point. The starting point is this: a couple, happily in love, romantically involved, all the good things. Then, quite by accident, they discovered practical time travel, and decided to apply it onto their relationship. Relationships take time, after all.

And time they made. Only, they both made it, at the same time, with the inevitable confusion of timelines. And the slightly less predictable upped levels of laziness and creativity.

It takes time to craft a perfect love letter. It also takes significant effort to time it perfectly. These are not things that happen by themselves, and while it is true that letters always arrive at their destination, the moment of arrival is a crucial component of its reception.

For instance: imagine that you could craft a letter such that it had the best possible effect at the beginning of the relationship. Given time travel, you’d have all the time in the world to write it, and the means to deliver it to the crucial early moment. Insights arrived at through years of pain and hard work (relationships are pain and hard work – make no mistake) could be arrived at at the instance of the letter, making for a better, healthier relationship.

Que the relationships.

As both partners pulled similar stunts and made similar improvements, the nature of the relationship became a complex web of interrelated timelines. Letter were used and reused, with lazy moments of simply returning to last week with a letter that worked wonders this week. Timelines were altered and realtered, and mutually recognized stable time loops were built into the foundation of the relationship. Until they vanished, due to alterations of earlier timelines.

It was not a relationship, as it were. It was a whole series of them, some remembered, most forgotten as they unhappened. And the lovers changed as well – such is the nature of these things.

How many relationships? How many partners?

It’s complicated.

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