Last night I was in the mood for a cup of chamomile tea, a blanket and a hopeless romantic movie. While perusing Netflix I stumbled across the movie, TiMER, which Wikipedia described as a science-fiction romantic comedy released in 2009. It stars John Patrick Amedori, Emma Caulfield and rambunctious Michelle Borth. The move’s line was, “[i]f a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate, would you want to know?” It got me thinking…would I want to know? Do I believe in soul mates? Would I be crushed if somehow Dan and I weren’t “soul mates” if we were to get these “timers?” [I’m going to warn all my readers, there are spoilers in here for the movie so if you’re interested in seeing the movie and don’t want me to ruin it for you I would suggest skipping over the third paragraph (counting this paragraph) and jumping in again at the fourth paragraph. :)]
The basic premise behind TiMER is that people can get these devices called timers embedded on their wrist, and it is 100% scientifically accurate in predicting when you will meet your soul mate. The timer begins to count down immediately once implanted. Once your timer zeros out it beeps, and within that next 24 hours you will lock eyes with your “soul mate,” and the timer beeps again and there you have it. At that point you know for sure that you’ve found the one. It’s like a fail-proof guarantee, and it virtually eliminates heartbreak (or at least minimizes it). There’s a catch though: the timer only begins to count down if your soul mate match also has a timer. So, there is a chance you could get a timer and it wouldn’t start counting down. There’s also the devastating reality that you won’t meet your soul mate until you’re very old or you allow yourself to fall in love with someone who you know is not your soul mate. Also, you can get the timer removed but you can never get another timer because you damage the sensory area under the skin. The movie never really answers questions like, “what happens if your soul mate dies tragically?” or “can people have more than one soul mate?”
TiMER revolves around Oona O’Leary (Emma Caulfield) who received a timer when she was young but her timer has not started to count down yet, which, in her circumstance, means that her “one” has not also received a timer. So, for the first 20 or so minutes of the movie she tries to scope out men who don’t have timers to convince them to get timers so she can eliminate the men who are not the one…or in the alternative: find her one. After finding out the guy she had recently been dating wasn’t her one she goes to pick up some groceries, and an unassuming but absolutely adorable cashier by the name of Mikey (John Patrick Amedori) catches her attention when he makes small talk with her while ringing up her groceries. After sort of shaking off the small talk Oona winds up at the bar her step-sister, Steph (Michelle Borth), bartends at, and guess who the drummer is in the band playing on stage? Oh yes, it was Mikey. I died at the way his face lit up when he made eye contact with Oona. It turns out that Mikey’s timer, which showed that he was supposed to meet his “soul mate” in 4 months and some change, was actually a fake timer, but Oona didn’t find out about this until later. After Oona and Mikey meet at the bar, they begin a relationship of puppy love, sex and laughter. I should also note that Oona was around 8 years older than Mikey so you can imagine the obvious disconnect between a young man who wasn’t in a hurry for “true love” and an older women who so desperately wanted to know who her one was. During the few months they dated, Oona let go of her obsession over the future and it appeared as if she was falling in love with Mikey. Once Oona found out that Mikey’s timer was fake, however, it changed everything. Just as Oona was about to give up on her timer it began to count down at pretty much the worst possible moment. The horribly sad thing is that Oona’s “one” was not Mikey. I was pretty devastated over this. At the end of the movie it became very clear that she was not “in love” with Mikey though but Mikey was very much in love with her. I was of course tearing up on the couch when Oona walked away from Mikey. I just found Mikey so endearing and genuine. Check out the trailer below:
TiMER presents that unknowable question: do we have soul mates and do we have more than one soul mate? It may or may not come as a surprise to you when I say that I don’t believe in soul mates. I use the term loosely, but I don’t believe in the overall concept of soul mates. There are too many people in the world for us to conclude that whoever we end up with is our true, blue soul counterpart. There are millions of stories about people losing their significant others and then falling in love again. There are also stories about people falling in love, marrying, and then falling out of love. Just because it doesn’t work out does that mean that person you married wasn’t your soul mate or was the falling out just a product of bad circumstance? Love is complicated, and most of the time it knows no boundaries. It can strike at the most inopportune moments or it can hit at exactly the right moment. I think falling in love has a lot to do with compatibility, of course, but I also think it has a lot to do with timing. At the age of 15 I fell in love for the first time, and it wasn’t with Dan. To this day I know for certain that what I felt for this young man was love, but the timing was all wrong. I was insecure, young, and lost. He was carefree, young, and adventurous. Our personalities melded well, and we had a lot in common. We were as compatible as two young people could be at that point in their lives. I was drawn to his carefree spirit because I wasn’t afraid of taking chances. I was drawn to his adventurousness because I was a wild bird at heart. We spent 2 years growing up together. But we fell apart. We fell apart in the worst way. At the end of it all I didn’t trust him anymore, and he didn’t understand me. But, we also fell apart because we were at starkly different parts of our lives. The timing was all wrong. We were wrong for each other. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love him. I still remember the nights I spent crying over the horribly painful reality that my first time falling in love was not working out. It’s true what they say: you never quite forget your first love.
I don’t think two people can match up completely. Honestly, how boring would that be? I think a relationship should have depth and differences. Perfect compatibility should not be the aim. Love is about fighting for each other, always forgiving, and always growing. If me and my first love had met at a different part of our lives, would it have been different? I can’t know for certain. What I do know is that Dan walked into my life at the most unbelievably perfect time. It didn’t seem like it at first, but I realize now there was a very real possibility that I would not have ever met Dan. We literally missed the reality of never meeting by a month. If it weren’t for my first love and the stark discernment that my first love was falling apart; there would have been no room to realize that I could fall in love again. Dan is my second love. He picked me up from the very bottom when I had almost no hope in love. Do I believe we are soul mates just because we work so well together? No, I don’t. Do I believe we are meant to be together? Yes, but I think this is a different concept than soul mates. Could there be someone else out that that I work just as well with? Of course. It’s funny because me and Dan talked briefly about the concept of soul mates, and he doesn’t believe in soul mates either. Dan and I are pretty different from each other, but what keeps us strong is that we continue to fight for each other. We have a foundation of ups and downs of failures of successes…together. We met at the perfect time, and we have worked to allow our love to grow deep roots. It’s not to say that we don’t have struggles; that we each have our own internal struggles. I’m imperfect. He’s imperfect. We’re imperfect. But love is a silly thing. Love is unpredictable.
This topic also reminds me of the sweet movie, Love Actually, when Mark walks up to Juliet’s house with the sign: “[t]o me you are perfect.” In the movie, Juliet is newly married to Mark’s best friend and she finds out that Mark is in love with her, which explains Mark’s distance. Juliet runs after Mark and gives him a kiss after he confesses his love and knowledge that he knows it can never be. Ugh, how heartbreaking! Could someone fall in love with more than one person? Oh yes. Most definitely. That’s why we must guard our hearts. It’s important to remember, too, that lust often disguises itself as love, but if your heart is unguarded there is always danger.
Soul mates is a complicated subject. To me, soul mates means there is only one person in the entire world that was created just for you. The reality of it is that, as I said above, we can never meet everyone living on Earth. We can never know for absolutely certain that we’ve fallen in love with our “one.” That’s impossible. We have to allow ourselves to fall in love, but relationships all take work. Love and life are about taking chances. What may seem like a relationship of soul mates can fall apart quicker than a strike of lightning if we allow the love to fade; if we fail to work on differences; if we stop loving. So, now that you’ve heard my take….do you believe in soul mates?