A Guaranteed Soulmate

I just finished watching a really interesting romantic comedy with a slight sci-fi twist (keep reading–it’s very slight!) that posed some great questions that I will now pose for you. And myself. Because I write this blog.

The movie, TiMer, presents the idea that (a) every person has exactly one soulmate, (b) every pair of soulmates will meet at some point in their lives, and (c) science can predict the exact moment when you meet via a device that is permanently stamped onto your wrist.

The interesting thing is that TiMer is a business. This isn’t some government mandate. People can get the device, or they can choose not to. If you choose to abstain and your soulmate gets his/her TiMer device, it will remain blank (until you get yours).

Interesting concept, and a huge thanks to reader Katie for recommending it in the comments a while back.

So here’s my question: Assuming (a), (b), and (c) are true for the sake of this discussion, would you get a TiMer? And if you got your TiMer, what would you do between now and the time you meet your soulmate (it could be years)?

I think I know my answers, but it’s really hard to say since I’m not in that situation. But what I think is true is that I would most certainly get a TiMer, because I like how straightforward it is. No more wasted time doubting that I’m with the right person–I know for sure whether or not I’m with the right person.

However, I would continue to date while my clock ticked down until those doubts started to creep in. I’ve learned so much about myself and women and relationships through dating–I would still want those experiences so I could be ready when I meet The One. And I hope I could be equally instrumental for those non-soulmates.

But honestly, it’s really tough to say how I’d act if I actually had a ticking love clock stuck to my wrist. Wouldn’t that kind of certainty take the wonder and healthy tension out of the relationship?

One other question for those of you who are already married: If the TiMer device was released tomorrow, would you get it? I think the answer would have to be “No,” but maybe I’m wrong. I’m not in that situation.

5 thoughts on “A Guaranteed Soulmate”

  1. Interesting scenario. I think one of the key unstated reasons for continuing to date even if you got your TiMer would be the chance that you’d meet someone awesome who didn’t have a TiMer. You could then S/he could be your soulmate, and you could marry/settle down assuming that you’d found the one. If you didn’t date, your TiMer might just never beep.

    As an already married person, I would not get one of these things (assuming it only beeps the first time you meet your soulmate).

    If TiMer were a reality, I could see it leading to all kinds of interesting TV and movies–a person who’s TiMer beeps when he’s in a crowd, a comedy about a lady who’s TiMer beeps every time someone gets too close with their cell phone, a mind-blowing movie about a guy who’s TiMer goes off once (and he marries that person) and then mysteriously goes off 10 years later (and the drama this brings to his life), another comedy about the TiMer version of “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner” or “The Odd Couple”…I think I could make billions off of this thing (and cause mass paranoia in the whole system) almost instantly if the TiMer was a reality.

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  2. I’ve never even heard of this film, but I do find the concept fascinating; especially given the fact that if you decide not to get the device, then your soulmate has no chance of spoiling it for you! This pretty much means that I would not get the device. I’m afraid the device would lead me to nip some potential relationships in the bud. It would drive me insane since my every waking thoughts would be consumed with how much time was left. Besides, I’m of the belief that people are able to have more than one soulmate. What if I were to meet a perfect match before meeting the supposed soulmate?
    Like T-Mac said above, I could see problems erupting if the device, hellbent on identifying every perfect match, went off again after you’ve met your soulmate. Lord, the drama. The indecisiveness. It’s like going back to square one. But even if my theory about multiple soulmates is wrong, would I really want to know who my true soulmate was? Nope. I think it would lead to both of us either trying too hard in order not to lose the soulmate; or not trying hard enough because, well, I got you now babe and you have nobody else to run off to.
    You know what? I’m going to see this film. The concept really asks some interesting questions.

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  3. That is a really fascinating concept, but like all precognitive fictions, it begs questioning. Predestiny theoretically frees someone from most normal concerns. If you see how you’re going to die with perfect accuracy, you can charge forward with a lot more recklessness because you know that whatever else happens, that’s not going to kill you. That having been said, I wonder if it deals with the idea that knowing that you will meet that someone and the way your behaviors change with that knowledge (which they most certainly would) would influence who that person was. Maybe you buy the device and it knows, but as you continue going through your life and changing fundamentally as a person, does the device take this into consideration? Or does it lock in on the soulmate at time of purchase? The man I was 6 years ago wouldn’t recognize the man I am today.

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  4. Awww, thanks Jamey. I’m glad you found the movie interesting enough to write about it. It’s not perfect by any means, but the concept it so intriguing that it’s definitely worth a view.

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I’ll answer a few questions and ask a few more.

    1. There’s only one soulmate for each person, according to the movie–no chance for it to keep going off. But that’s an interesting spin!

    2. When you see the person, both of your timers will beep, so you know right away who they are, even if you’re in a crowd.

    3. If you’ve already met your soulmate, the moment you both get timers, they will go off right away. One of the opening scenes is the main character dragging her timer-less boyfriend in so he can get one and they can determine if they’re each other’s soulmate. Hers has been blank up to that point, so she knows that wherever he is, he still doesn’t have one.

    4. You could meet your soulmate at the grocery store, at a party, or just walking down the street, so dating isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to finding The One. In fact, it would seem this would make it more likely that you didn’t have to date. You know you will meet your soulmate at a predetermined time, no matter how many (or how few) dates you go on.

    I think the film does a really good job at exploring several of the potential issues. As mentioned, the main character is kind of tortured in a way because her timer is always blank. In a world where almost everyone else knows their destiny, hers is still uncertain. One character has, like 17 years left on their timer (gah!). Another character gets a timer and has a matter of days left, but they’re nowhere near ready to enter into that type of commitment. What do you do then?

    I think it would be very, very hard to have any semblance of a real relationship with someone when I knew for certain that it wouldn’t last. How can you put all of yourself into a relationship knowing that it is bound to end? Surely that would affect the way you behave.

    BTW, I love Teddy’s comment that some people might stop trying once they found their soulmate, because “I got you now babe and you have nobody else to run off to.” This movie has made me think a lot, but I’d never considered that angle!

    All said, I think I would still get one. If I had the opportunity to find out, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to say no.

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  5. Lots of interesting points here, and Katie, I appreciate you clarifying some of those specifics I left out. The movie hints at the idea of the “self-fulfilling prophecy”–if you have some official device telling you that you’ve found your soulmate, you’ll treat them like your soulmate even if they’re not a great fit (although the movie doesn’t linger on that idea, because it operates in a world where you really do have a soulmate and you really are going to meet them someday at the right time).

    At the same time, Teddy has a good point–if a device tells you that you’ve found your soulmate, would you work as hard at that relationship as you would in an uncertain relationship? Probably not.

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