I recently saw the Netflix special Jigsaw by Daniel Sloss and it has become one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time, so I wanted to share something that I thought would resonate with most people. He presented the concept of life as our own individual jigsaw puzzle, which as we go through life we are putting together bit by bit, based on experiences and lessons we’ve learned until we get the best picture. However, because we have lost the box for the puzzle and we don’t know what the image we are trying to make is, so we are just guessing. We start from the outside, the sides, and the four corners- family, friends, hobbies/ interests, job. As you go through life, some of those things change- sometimes we make new friends and lose contact with old ones; sometimes we get a certain job and can’t do certain hobbies anymore. Okay, but what about the main image of the puzzle. What’s in the middle? That’s where the partner piece fits. Or at least that’s what society has ingrained in us. You want this perfect person, who you’ve never met before to come out of nowhere, fit your life perfectly, and make you whole. While this idea is sweet, what it manifests into our brain is that if you are not with someone you are broken and incomplete. I think that this is something that our society has especially projected onto young people. From a young age, you see that every Disney princess has a prince, every prince has a princess, every television show or movie always has a character in it that doesn’t want to be in a relationship. They are happy with who they are, but by the end of the series, they find someone, because they realize that everyone needs someone. Growing up, I found divorce is such a taboo topic, something you don’t talk about, uncomfortable because every relationship from the outside is perfect and when you raise children in that world that puts love as the ultimate achievement and everything is perfect on the outside, when we become adults for the first time in our early 20’s, we are so terrified and trying to be adults, that some of us take the wrong person, the wrong jigsaw piece and try to fit them into our puzzle anyway, denying that they don’t fit. We’ll move other pieces out of the way, even if they are important, only to push this person into our picture because we’d rather have something than nothing. It’s something I’ve seen again and again with some of my friends, who’ve gotten and have stayed in relationships, which they even recognize are wrong for them, but continue to try and make it work, just because they are the “relationship” type. Five years later, you are stood looking at a jigsaw you don’t even recognize.
Maybe you do meet the perfect person, but what you come to realize is that they are not a jigsaw piece. They have their own jigsaw puzzle, which they have been working on for their entire life, the same way you’ve been. You can’t suddenly expect them to give up everything they’ve achieved to fit into yours, just as you’d be pissed off if they asked you to sacrifice everything you’ve done to fit into theirs. But because you are in love, you try to make a jigsaw together. You can spend five or more years with someone and only then you look at the jigsaw and realize, you are both working towards very different images. You realize you want very different things. Do you admit the last five years of your life have been a waste? Do you waste the rest of your life? 55% of marriages end in divorce. 90% of relationships that started before they were 30 end. Our generation is more in love with the idea of love than with the person they are with. I’ve been asking myself why I’m happier when I’m alone? I mean, the centerpiece of the jigsaw that is supposed to make you whole is the partner right? Wrong. It’s happiness. Find something that makes you happy. Make it the center of your life. And then everything else will naturally fit around it. And yes, for some people, their happiness piece and partner piece are the same piece. But if you are one of those single people or you are in a relationship just because it’s easier, you have to learn to love yourself before you allow someone to love you as well. That’s it. There’s nothing wrong with being single. There’s nothing wrong with being alone. There’s nothing wrong with taking time for yourself to work out who you are before you go out there in the dating world, because how can you offer who you are if you don’t know who you are?