The present article aims to provide evidence to advance in the comprehension of the multiple relationships between temporality and wellbeing by exploring the relationship between time perspectives and subjective wellbeing in Chile. In so doing, it presents a critical stand of the current operationalisations of the ‘balanced time perspective’ (BTP). This article supports the theoretical premise that individuals’ time perspectives possess a contextual nature and that the BTP is socially relative. As a result, the article proposes a novel method to define and operationalise BTP. Using data from the United Nations Development Programme’s 2011 Human Development Survey for Chile (N = 2,535), an empirical analysis is carried out on the relationship between time perspectives and vital satisfaction, positive affects, negative affects and depressive symptomatology scales. The results show that in Chile a negative orientation towards the past exerts the most significant effect on subjective wellbeing and malaise, and the time perspective which most favours subjective wellbeing in Chilean society is that in which there is a low orientation towards Present and Past-Negative, a high orientation towards Past-Positive, and a medium orientation towards Future. This relationship between time perspectives and subjective wellbeing constitutes an advance in the study of the subjective dimension of temporality in Chile, and contributes to the theoretical and methodological discussions on time perspectives on an international level.