After the evil Cynndor aliens destroyed our ability to naturally reproduce, scientists perfected cloning techniques. But for some scientific reason, you can only reproduce with a clone of yourself of the opposite sex. The last generation of natural born humans is dying and lawyers need to create a new marriage system for the future cloned generations. How much different will marriage and romantic relationships be in a society where you date yourself?

PS : Scientist already solved genetic diversity problems. They add synthetic DNA to stabilize genome in clones. Gene material for clones is from the 3 major ethnicities.

The clones live in a very big city with 4 sectors or states,No repeated clones in the same sector to avoid problems.The city is bigger than New york.The brain of the clones is like a blank HDD so they have different personalities and memories.

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    $\begingroup$ Why do you need marriage laws to reproduce with someone? You don't currently need to be married to do so. Further more it isn't entirely clear what you're asking. It could be a good idea to clarify. $\endgroup$
    – AngelPray
    Mar 7, 2017 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ Why do you need to be married to offer emotional support to someone? You can live with anyone you like without being married. $\endgroup$
    – AngelPray
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ The Cynndor came through, destroyed our habitat to the point where we cannot reproduce, and yet left all the lawyers to quibble over what's left? They really are evil. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ Can you clarify what "a clone of yourself of the opposite sex" means? Does my man-clone have all of my DNA, except one chromosome swapped? Where does this chromosome come from? $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2017 at 18:22
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    $\begingroup$ There are a few science-y problems with this. 1. If you 'clone' yourself but swap the sex, you aren't really a clone at all. 2. There isn't really a good scientific reason to be unable to reproduce except with a clone of yourself. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:23

4 Answers 4


For the purposes of this answer, I'm assuming that "a clone of yourself of the opposite sex" just means a clone who shares your genetic material, except that one of your sex chromosomes is swapped for a "synthetic" one.

In this scenario, people don't "date themselves."

Identical twins have identical DNA1, but they're different people with different personalities. Your opposite-sex clone has an entire chromosome that you don't have, and doesn't have one that you have. Realistically (ha), my man-clone is not going to be that similar to me. At best/worst, people are marrying people with similar personalities--which is already something that happens all the time.

Marriage and family law

Option 1

Leave the law pretty much as it is. In most countries, people can contract legal marriages without passing any kind of fertility test, let alone a "will your fiancé(e) save you from clinical depression?" test. Why should clones be any different?

Option 2

The government decides people should only be allowed to marry people they can have children with. Fine, so pass that law/issue that royal decree/certify that bureaucratic regulation.

Then you need some kind of system that allows people to find the people they're allowed to marry. This could be based on a government clone-registry, if such a thing exists. You could even turn it into a dating app! In our dating apps, you can set it to only display men or only display women. Building an app that only shows you people you're genetically compatible with won't be hard.

If each person only has one clone, then you're looking at a society of mass arranged marriage. This is not without precedent, and generally means a society that doesn't strongly associate marriage with shmoopy-doopy romantic feelings. You get married because that's your role--to run a household and raise a family together, not because you're in wuv fowevuh. Just like we don't expect to be BFFs with everyone at work, but still decide to get along and do our jobs, these people and their clones will get along and do their jobs of raising families.

This can be facilitated by clearly delineated gender roles. For example, if it's understood that women are in charge of childrearing, then it's not an issue if your arranged husband has a different philosophy of sleep-training than you, because it's not his domain.

1 Well, almost--they have slight genetic differences due to random in-utero mutations, but it's likely that clones would experience the same mutations. Even if not, the genetic differences between twins are less than an entire chromosome. Insofar as personality is determined by genetics, the chromosome swap outweighs the non-mutation.


What you described is a very dystopian society. People have basically only one other person to choose as a partner.

But if the rules of your society are lax, and law pertains only to procreation, people can have normal (sort of) lives. They can date anyone and live with anyone. Only when it comes to having babies, they can have an IV pregnancy with a clone that lives somewhere and probably happy with someone else.

Also, your clone will not be "yourself". Even identical twins are different. Here we are talking about a clone of different gender (by the way, where Y-chromosomes will come from in case of female to male cloning?), a clone that may have had a totally different upbringing.

  • $\begingroup$ The synthetic DNA . $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2017 at 18:26

Dating yourself. With links to sources for these points for why that's a bad idea.

[- Never Leaving Your Comfort Zone Becomes The Norm

  • You Are The Enabler To Each Other’s Faults]1
  • You will never learn anything new

[- You'll fight all the time or not at all

  • Rivals don't always make the best partners]2

The point of "You are an enabler to each other's faults" is actually very relevant, given that in the comments you say: "Clones suffer from clinic depression by many factors." While they may come from different environments, their genetic similarity will mean that they likely react to depression in the same way--which might mean that they harmful to each other rather than helpful. Yes, they will be able to empathize with their own clone, but when it comes to depression, empathy is not always the best medicine. This will depend on the individual, certainly, but may lead to double suicides if they are both depressed at the same time--who knows!

This really depends on what level of cloning you are talking about. Do they have the same MIND? Were they raised separately? Do they compete with each other professionally because they have the same skill-set or because they, like twins just gravitate towards the same things?

How much does their life influence their personalities? How many sets of clones are there? Would they work to differentiate themselves from their EXACT copies?

Say that there's a Fred clone (female version Fredricka). How many Freds are out there? What kind of society do they form and where do they find work? How do they interact and what do they do to differentiate themselves from each other? Would it be like Orphan Black except that they know about each other? You must first understand the society you are building before you can even get into specific personal relationships.

EDIT: According to new info from the poster of this question, there's only 4 clones of the same gender in each city, and only 1 per sector in the very large city. With this in mind--got to say, that changes everything if people are FORCED to ONLY marry those, and that's your only option. That's very dystopia indeed. Since you were asking about "dating yourself" I assume that this is the case. This huge factor would make relationships more like...an arranged marriage than say, anything resembling a standard Western-style dating situation. Otherwise, with relationship options THAT limited, I would think a great many people would choose NOT to marry, if, indeed, their only options were no marriage or marrying a clone.

If the people can marry whomever they like, they will not always marry their opposite sex clone, but they may contact them in order to reproduce. There may be a disconnect between romantic relationships and reproductive ones. I can also see people living communally to raise children, possibly. I think there could be all kinds of arrangements and configurations of households, if there is any kind of freedom in this society.

Also, it's actually scientifically impossible to have a male version of a female clone. You may have solved the many problems created by this, but you know, it's worth examining closely as you handwave...

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    $\begingroup$ Arrrggh! Links to Quora from SE?!?! But we're bitter rivals! $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:40
  • $\begingroup$ The clones live in a very big city with 4 sectors or states,No repeated clones in the same sector to avoid problems.The city is bigger than New york.The brain of the clones is like a blank HDD so they have different personalities and memories. $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2017 at 18:45
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexDarkshine That detail should likely go into your question. $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2017 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexDarkshine I edited it to reflect this. $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2017 at 19:24

"But for some scientific reason you can only reproduce with a clone of yourself of the opposite sex"

This poses a HUGE long term problem:

Incest. its not nice because essentially for every generation where you have children with a relative, you drastically increase the chance of becoming sterile. everyone has a faulty gene of some sort, if you keep doing it with yourself, these faults will add up and within 3 generations of clones doing it, you have a tiny chance of producing a viable offspring.

On a slightly separate note: what on earth is your reason for not being able to mate with anyone other than a clone of yourself???

  • $\begingroup$ "PS : Scientist already solved genetic diversity problems,They add synthetic dna to stabilize genome in clones.Gene material for clones is from he 3 major ethnicities." $\endgroup$
    – AngelPray
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:07

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