Timer Screenshot
Image via FilmSchoolRejects.com

If a company claimed it could not only identify who your soul mate is but also the exact moment you will meet, would you pony up the dough to pay for their services? That’s the concept behind the 2009 movie TiMER in which a company by the same name essentially installs stopwatches on its clientele’s wrists to count down to the exact moment they are to meet their soul mates.

Faulty science aside (their usage of the chemical oxytocin to explain how the TiMERs work misrepresents the true science behind how/why humans release oxytocin), it’s an interesting concept. After all, no matter how much we try to fool ourselves into believing we can live with a completely “que sera, sera” kind of attitude, we’re all looking for some sort of security in our lives. A guarantee, even. But is a guarantee all it’s cracked up to be?

One Chance — Forever?

I used to be a firm believer in the concept of soul mates, but as I got older I realized there are a lot of flaws to the idea that we’re only meant for one person for the rest of our lives. The concept of soul mates creates a lot of unnecessary pressure to guarantee you’ve found “the one.” Oftentimes this causes the opposite effect intended: our eyes wander endlessly, wondering if we’re really with our soul mate or if we’ve somehow missed them while wasting our time with the person we’re with. If we maintain the soul mate belief, there will always be a nagging doubt, even if it’s just a tiny whisper in the back of our minds.

The “one chance” concept also robs us of permission to find happiness in the event a spouse dies (which will happen eventually). There are some people who choose not to find love again, but I find it unfair to think we are not meant for love a second time around. You get one shot, then you’re on your own for the rest of your life (however long that may be)?

You’re Guaranteed to Meet, But it’s Late in Life

What if your TiMER indicates you will not meet your soul mate until you are middle-aged or older as it does with one of the characters in the movie? Do you disregard all potential partners because they aren’t your “one”? Do you spend your life alone, waiting for the day you and your soul mate meet? Will you even know how to be in a healthy relationship by that time since you’ve spent your whole life waiting?

The movie presents several options in the event of this scenario, but these are the two most prominent: one character chooses to wait by avoiding committed relationships and having one-night stands, while the other chooses to wait by writing off any man TiMER proves not to be a match, no matter how she feels for them. Either way, the message that’s drilled home is that the guarantee is the only thing that matters.

Did You See Your Life As It Zoomed By?

One character says to the movie’s protagonist, “You’re sweating your future, though, right? It’s a shame ’cause you could have a much more exciting present if you really wanted.” To me that’s really the crux of it. We don’t have guarantees in real life, but oftentimes we make relationship decisions that are so based on the desire for a guarantee that we let these two simple words get in the way of enjoying life: “what if?”

What if things don’t work out? What if we get tired of each other? What if we fall out of love? What if you’re really not “the one”?

Let me throw one more “what if” out there: what if you’re happy? Relationship deal-breakers (like religion, kids, etc.) aside, do you give up enjoying the short time we call life because of a “what if”?

If we spent our lives frozen in “what if’s,” we’ll miss the “what is,” and to me that’s a guaranteed shame.


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