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Your Universe or Mine?
A person from one universe (of The Multiverse) falls in love with someone from an alternate universe. Or a Time Traveller falls for someone in the period he's visiting, or vice versa. The dilemma for the Time Traveller or dimension-hopper is how far to pursue the relationship: Maintaining such a relationship often means that one of the parties involved will have to give up his own life in his own universe or timeline to fit into the other's.

May result in Star-Crossed Lovers. Compare Stay with the Aliens and Time Travel Romance. Contrast Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest, which avoids this happening by giving one of the lovers a convenient substitute for the other one, native to their own world/time.


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Examples

    Anime 
  • Fushigi Yuugi
  • Inuyasha. At the end, Kagome stays on the Sengoku Jidai to "get married", on the words of her present day's friends. Despite the fact that it's very likely Inuyasha would still be alive in the present day.
  • In Zero no Tsukaima Saito is summoned by Louise to alternate world. If not for the implication that one can return to Earth by flying toward a eclipse there would be no choice possible to make it this trope.
  • Vision of Escaflowne: At the end it looks like they both returned to their own worlds, but in the final scene, Van appears riding the Escaflowne on Earth. It ends there so it's up to the viewer to interpret what happens next.
  • Brigadoon: Marin and Melan ends with this choice. Frustratingly, the anime doesn't actually say whether Marin and Melan stay together, or in which world they might stay. In the manga, they go their separate ways.
  • In the Haruhi Suzumiya movie (and fourth Light Novel), Nagato's attraction to Kyon causes her to create an alternate universe (technically, she just modifies the existing one) in which, unlike in the old universe, it is possible for them to become a couple. She leaves the "which universe?" decision to Kyon, who decides to reset the world to its original state, partly due to his self-denied feelings for Haruhi. But the other option is not ignored.

    Comics 
  • Toyed with and ultimately discarded for the DC vs Marvel Universe crossover (the big one that lead to the Amalgam comics), where Jubilee and Tim Drake(Robin) struck up a rather sweet mini-romance that made them having to fight each other rather difficult. Due to the whole thing having since been quietly shuffled away, only a few remaining shippers remember what might have been.
  • Perhaps not quite the same thing, but in JLA/Avengers, the anthropomorphic representations of the DC and Marvel universes fall for each other only to be forced apart at the mini-series' end.
    • The comic had a straight example with Hawkeye, in an Alternate History, ditching his universe to be with Black Canary (a Shout-Out to the way Canary herself switched Earths in the Bronze Age, although she did that because she had lost, rather than gained, a lover).
  • This was the main tension in the relationship between Doctor Strange and Clea. He was Sorcerer Supreme of his dimension and she was a member of the royal house in hers — they never did find a way to solve the problem and eventually separated to their own worlds.
    Doctor Strange: You and I are one, Clea. Something more than either of us. Something more than a thousand mystic sages could fathom. Our spirits are wed forever.
    Clea: I know, Stephen. But it’s the commute, isn’t it?
  • This occurs in the Runaways. The kids accidentally end up in 1907. Victor falls in love with a girl and invites her to come back with them. She refuses because she's too scared to leave her own time.

    Fan Works 
  • In On a Cross and Arrow, both Fluttershy and Rarity end up falling in love with their male counterparts (Butterscotch and Elusive, respectively). Meanwhile, Applejack and Rainbow Dash seem to be sweet on each other's male counterparts, Rainbow Blitz and Applejack. There's also a hint of this with Celestia and her Rule 63-universe counterpart, Prince Solaris, at the end.
    • The sequence where Rainbow Dash and Rainbow Blitz are set up to "hoofwrestle" with the opposite dimension's version of Applejack can be read as them trying to encourage each other to confess their bisexuality and homosexual crush to their own dimension's version of Applejack.
  • In the JLA Watchtower universe, Starfire and Hugo. A bit of background: Watchtower was a spin-off of Livejournal roleplay Lunatic Cafe, which was a multiverse crossroads. One of the Watchtower players had a character for the Lunatic, a universe-displaced, alternate timeline version of Hugo Weaving who had been slated to die in a traffic accident, but was snatched to the Lunatic. In a plot that crossed both games, an injured Nightwing stumbled into the cafe after an incident on Watchtower. Hugo was the first to intervene and saved Nightwing's life. When Nightwing's friends from Watchtower came to take him home, that universe's version of Starfire took a fancy to Hugo. A whirlwind courtship later, "Hugo Wallace Anders" was set up with a new life and identity in Watchtower-verse.

    Films 
  • Somewhere In Time hinges on this.
  • Kate and Leopold depends on this as well.
  • It's key to Enchanted as well.
  • Doc Brown and Clara Clayton in Back to the Future Part III have something like this, but the fact that Clara was supposed to have died (and survived only through Doc's timely intervention) may help simplify matters.
    • In the end the seem to choose option C. Live sort of outside of time traveling through the past and future with their flying train.
      • Due to some other time-related shenanigans in The Game, Doc is left in charge of his father's estate (he wasn't in the "older" timelines) and, thus, the Browns take partial residence in Doc's house in the 1980s.
  • In fact, the same actress (Mary Steenburgen) faced a similar decision in Time After Time. Playing a modern woman who falls in love with H.G. Wells on his trip to the 20th century, she finally decides to return with him to the 1880s. "I'm not makin' any promises, but when we get back, I'm changin' my name to Susan B. Anthony".
  • The Film of the Book only of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has this between Caspian and Susan, who are from different worlds, but have no romance at all in the original books. Interestingly, the Pevensie siblings never married in all the years they ruled Narnia, despite all but forgetting they came from another world and despite The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe mentioning Susan and Lucy having many, many suitors (but the only one we ever meet personally is a haughty, evil prince).
  • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Dr. Gillian Taylor (the scientist responsible for taking care of the whales) chooses to go with Captain Kirk to his time - then promptly leaves him. Kudos to her for staying alive, though.
    • She seemed to have chosen to go to the future primarily to be with the whales rather than Kirk.
  • There is a short, but deep, version of this in the original Terminator. The time machine is only one way though, so it's not like the guy had much of a choice after he arrived and he dies anyway.

    Literature 
  • In Alan Dean Foster's The Time of the Transferrance, Spellsinger Jon-Tom must choose between returning to our world and remaining in the warmlands, where his wife, friends, and magical abilities are.
  • An issue for Lyra and Will in His Dark Materials, though subverted as one can't live in the universe of another for long and the doorways all have to be sealed.
    • Actually, one door can be left open, but Lyra and Will choose to stay apart so that the door opened in the world of the dead—so that the ghosts can disintegrate into the rest of the universe instead of just existing for the rest of eternity—can stay open.
  • In Nora Roberts' Circle trilogy, each set of lovers is either from a drastically different period of time from each other, or from two different worlds.
  • In Princes Nevermore by Dian Curtis Regan, Princess Quinn finds herself in the Human world- and there falls in love with a human boy. however, she is informed that she will not age like he will, and she only has three days to decide if she should go home in the end, she returns home, but she hopes one day to see him again, and he tells her he loves her
  • In the 1632 novel series, all relationships (romantic, platonic and political) between "up-timers" (from the US, year 2000) and "down-timers" (from 1630s Europe) are significantly affected by cultural differences.
  • In The Secret of the Unicorn Queen, Sheila and Darian try to tell each other how they feel, but She is returned to earth before they can say anything Later, When they are reunited, Sheila must decide if she can go back to her ordinary life, or if she should stay with him. she choses to return home but discovers she can SPEAK with him mind to mind!
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe novel Stargazer: Three, Andreas Nikolas is secretly infatuated with the Asmund twins. Unfortunately, Gerda and Idun were raised by Klingons (also, one of them is already in a relationship). The Stargazer's transporter then deposits an alternate universe counterpart to the twins named Gerda Idun Asmund on the ship. Unlike her duplicates, she was raised by humans and is much more friendly. He instantly falls for her, and she returns his affections. Unfortunately, she is an agent from the Mirror Universe, send to steal the ship's chief engineer as a last-ditch effort to save the Terran Empire from The Alliance. When her subterfuge is discovered, she tells Nikolas that, in her universe, they were lovers until he was killed in battle. He lets her return to her universe but wants to join her. She leaves alone but breaks down into tears on the other side. The next novel shows that this has had a tremendous impact on Nikolas and he eventually resigns.
  • In Barbara Hambly's The Windrose Chronicles, Antryg Windrose, wizard, ends up fleeing an order of execution in the Empire of Ferryth, and crossing the Void to stay with his lover, Joanna Sherton, in 1980s Los Angelos. He quickly finds work as a bartender and fortune teller, despite not thinking to omit 'wizard' from his resume.
    • This turns out to be something of a problem, because Earth has no magic. The implications of a very powerful mage living in a magicless world are further explored in Dog Wizard and the short story Firemaggot.
    • The magic situation becomes even more of a problem at the end of Dog Wizard, when it's revealed that the Master-Spells have fallen to Antryg, making him Archmage of the Council of Wizards back in Ferryth.
  • In Time and Again the hero thinks that the heroine will prefer his more equal-opportunities time. She's a little freaked out by it, so he moves to hers with Unfortunate Implications.

    Live Action TV 
  • Sliders had this come up more than once.
    • In an early episode, a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Mrs. Fields fell in love with Quinn in a universe which was dangerously short on men. Quinn slid off and left her pregnant.
    • In another, the one with the Malthusian lottery, both Rembrandt and Wade get involved with people in that universe. (Or rather, someone from that universe gets involved with Wade.) Rembrandt's interest would rather die (she's looking forward to it) than slide off, and is looking forward to his joining her; Wade's interest helps rescue them and slides off with them — though, since this was a Season Finale, he is dropped with only a Handwave at the beginning of the next season.
    • And in the third season, Maggie gives up an adopted universe, and Quinn gives up a short trip to his home universe, for each other.
  • In Farscape, John has to choose between Earth and Aeryn. He chooses Aeryn.
    John: There's no wormhole. There's no home. There's only you...
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise," (an Alternate Universe version of) Tasha Yar returns to the past with Lt. Richard Castillo on the Enterprise-C.
  • At the end of SyFy's Alice Alice and Hatter have an awkward goodbye where they lightly suggest one of them could sometime visit the other one's world. It doesn't take long for Hatter to show up at Alice's door.
  • In Neverwhere, Richard Mayhew is offered the choice between his normal life in London Above and his new life in London Below twice. The first time, he doesn't really understand the choice and stays in London Below. The second, he returns to his normal life... and ends up hating it so much he returns to London Below, and to the Lady Door.
  • In Life on Mars, Sam abandons the team and wakes up only to change his mind and commit suicide to get back, save everyone and kiss Annie
  • Also slightly subverted in Ashes to Ashes it isn't really much of a choice for Alex; she wants Gene, but wants to go home to her daughter more however she realises this is impossible when she discovers she is in fact dead. So she chooses to stay with Gene, but then that's thrown out the window too as he insists she goes to heaven instead.
  • The ending of Lost in Austen sees Amanda staying inside the world of Pride and Prejudice to be with Darcy — after having systematically burned all her bridges there because she was planning on returning to the 21st century.
  • Fringe plays with it a bit in the second season finale. Olivia kisses Peter to convince him to return to her universe from the one he is originally from, and seemingly succeeds. However, she is then replaced by her alternate universe counterpart, who goes back with Peter and Walter to spy on them, while our Olivia is imprisoned and tortured.
    • Generally subverted as the series progresses and the alt-Olivia situation is resolved. Peter had spent most of his life thinking that he's from our side anyways, so neither seems to particularly care that they're technically from different universes.
    • Played straight near the end of the 4th season when the universes need to be walled off and Lincoln decides to leave his universe behind to be with the alternate Olivia.

    Theater 

    Video Games 
  • In Star Ocean: The Second Story, some of the recruitable heroes weren't born on Expel, coming from other planets and space-faring cultures. Depending on your Relationship Values, this can lead to one side of a given pairing choosing to stay on Expel to be with their loved one, or the other member deciding to accompany them into space, leaving behind their old life in the process.
    • Same in the third installment: Fayt can stay on Elicoor with Albel or Nel, travel to Klaus with Cliff or Mirage, or head off to some as-yet-unknown place with Maria.
  • Iron Man when placed opposite of any female, humanoid character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. This ranges from Crimson Viper to Tron Bonne to Hsien-Ko to Morrigan. The only exception? Amaterasu, who is a dog.

    Web Comics 
  • Torg has had this a couple times in Sluggy Freelance. First when he time-traveled to medieval Europe and met Valerie before she became a vampire. At first he tries to pursue a relationship with her, but backs out upon discovering that the Unresolved Sexual Tension he'd had with vampire Val in his modern world was only because he looks like (and may be the reincarnation of) her dead husband. Later, when he spends a long stretch of time in the Dimension of Lame, he hooks up with that universe's version of Zoe. However, she dies before they have a chance to decide between breaking off their relationship or continuing it indefinitely in a dimension that one of them will find nearly unbearable. After that, Torg realizes that Alt-Zoe was also just using him to replace a dead husband, namely her own dimension's version of Torg. He also realizes that she's still not the same as the Zoe from his dimension, the one he's really in love with. Pete Abrams just does not seem to want Torg to get any extra-dimensional love.
  • In this Supernormal Step Van discourages Akela from pursuing a relationship with Fiona because of this trope.
  • Brunhilda in The KAMics is dating Bobby (Life) from Life And Death.
  • Dark Eyes from Magical Misfits got pregnant by Brian from Prismatic Vodka.
  • In Homestuck, at least a third of the extra-dimensional aliens have fallen for various human characters, and vice versa. They seem to be taking a third option, and creating a new universe entirely for all of them to live in.

    Western Animation 
  • Happens in the second Jimmy Neutron/Fairly Oddparents crossover entitled "Jimmy Timmy Power Hour 2: When Nerds Collide". The obvious solution, since both shows run off the Twin Rules, is to throw an interdimensional dance party.

    Real Life 
  • This trope is of course based on the very real situation which lovers from different cities/countries face. Rarely played fully straight today, as most will keep some form of contact with their friends and families going, or at least have that option if they wish. In older times though, a sailor or a merchant on the silk route might have well decided to settle somewhere, with no more contact with his family back home than a few letters, half of which don't even arrive. Some trading companies went as far as shipping young women out to their trade posts as brides for the men there. The women hadn't met any of those men before deciding they were probably worth moving to the other end of the world for. This practice was often quickly abandoned, as finding a local woman turned out to be a lot more practical.

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