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Title pretty much sums it up. Woman getting ready for her first date with a guy she doesn't know and the guy's future self arrives through time travel and tries to talk her out of going. She believes what the guy is saying but she keeps asking questions. She finds out they have children and a life and yeah things went kind of bad marriage wise. Then they guy from the future has to go back to the future and he leaves her there.

She thinks about what happened and what she had been told. She now knows the future of this first date. She finishes putting on her make up and is waiting for the "first date" to arrive.

Hope I am making sense. Not exactly my most sober post and time travel is confusing.

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  • This is a very common trope. Can you offer any more details about where and when you read it, why the guy was so keen to break them up, what their names were, any specific dialogue you can remember?
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 8:31
  • I just read one like this; it's very recent. If I can dig it out....
    – Spencer
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 10:26
  • If you told us the story's length and what form it appeared in, that might help.
    – Spencer
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 11:23
  • Maybe this will help. I read the story in an Anthology containing science fiction love stories. I remember 2 of the other stories. One was another time travel. A woman found a like bracelet or something in front of her door. She held onto the token for a long time and wore it all the time and she was given a chance to make a short back trip in time and she used it to find out who had left it for her. Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 19:58
  • She was the one who left it. The bracelet had no origin in any timeline. The other was about a kid who lives in New England and gets a fever and starts communicating with a girl from the 1600s. There is a rock that looks like a bear. The kid digs up some dirt and sends some info back to the girl to discredit the guy who wants to burn her as a witch. Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 20:16

1 Answer 1

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It was the third story mentioned in the follow-up comment that helped solve some of this. I had also wanted to find it for years.

Identifying the story helped find a possible anthology.

“A Message From Charity” was a Twilight Zone episode.

It was based on a short story, "A Message from Charity" by William M. Lee.

The other was about a kid who lives in New England and gets a fever and starts communicating with a girl from the 1600s. There is a rock that looks like a bear. The kid digs up some dirt and sends some info back to the girl to discredit the guy who wants to burn her as a witch.

A girl nearly fatally ill from cholera and a teenage boy nearly fatally ill from typhoid become telepathically linked. The boy, who is an exceptional student who loves science fiction, would like to verify this link with any kind of real-world correspondence. This is impossible, as he is experiencing the fever and telepathic impressions in 1965, and she is experiencing the same in the year 1700.

They live in the same town, called Annes Towne in Puritan New England in 1700, which becomes Anniston by 1965.

The link is mostly sensory perceptions unexplainable in each person’s experience. The girl sees visions of highways, and the boy has impressions of a forest across the typhoid-polluted stream, which is not a memory even his parents have of the town.

There is mention, in the written story, of a boulder by the stream that is shaped like a bear’s head.

Both the television episode and the story have the boy saying “How about a glass of orange juice?”, the feverish girl repeating the same, and the people surrounding the girl saying that she is talking nonsense.

Talking about telepathy and the past could get someone labeled as a kook in 1965. But talking about telepathy and the future could get one tortured and killed as a “witch” in 1700.

The arrest and abuse of the young girl happened: ordering her to disrobe to search her for “witch marks”. There being no such process as a fair trial when sentencing someone as a “witch”, her fighting off the judge's advancements doomed her to condemnation at his hands,

The boy’s access to the few historical records allowed him to find a posthumous murder sentence on the judge.

Since the judge is accusing the girl of second sight to make the case for witchcraft anyway, she claims having second sight, into a murder, and describes enough specifics from our history books for the judge to recognize his own crimes.

The judge's motives in sentencing her were possible rape of the girl, and taking her father’s land. The village doctor affirmed that the animal birth defects were probably poison the the food and water, not witchcraft. The judge, hoping to hide any further disclosure of his own murder crimes, pronounced her innocent -- and gained the hate of the villagers who had wanted a torture spectacle.

The girl thanked the boy and withdrew her telepathic contact, except for one final time, to tell him to look on a spot on the bear-shaped rock, for a love note she carved, that lasted the centuries for him to see.

Maybe this will help. I read the story in an Anthology containing science fiction love stories.

That made solving this case possible. Finding the third story helped, and that description fits one of the anthologies that include it.

Although I am unfamiliar with the other two stories so far, it has a good chance of being the anthology "Love 3000" edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Charles Waugh.

I’m still unfamiliar with, and can’t remember or find, a story that exactly matches

Story about a woman about to go on her first date with a guy and his future self arrives to talk her out of it

As comments mention, this is a common trope, and the above anthology is an anthology of science fiction love stories. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t contain a story about a future person warning a past self or past partner to to stay away, but it does have several stories with the “My Future Self/Partner and Me” theme.

One of its stories, “Child By Chronos” by Charles L. Harness, is a similar “All You Zombies” style of story in which a young woman goes through time to become her own mother. And, of course, her own daughter.

Then they guy from the future has to go back to the future and he leaves her there.

There is animosity between the two women, and the desire of one woman to thwart anything her "mother" does. Though it doesn't have a future man warning a present-time woman to avoid him, the man does go back in time and leaves the "daughter" in the future.

He is is the husband/father to "both" women in two timelines -- the "missing before I was born" father to the daughter, the lover to the "mother", and the husband to the grown future "daughter".

(Are you confused yet?) Maybe it is the story in the question, remembered somewhat differently.

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    {slow clap} I don't know if it's the answer, but it seems like a good start, at the least, and it's an extensive answer. You have my upvote.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 23, 2023 at 16:17

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