I don’t think anything has better changed my perspective on love than Daniel Sloss’s Jigsaw analogy. Sloss is a Scottish comedian with two Netflix specials: Dark and Jigsaw. Dark focuses more on his “darker” humor, he uses his sense of humor to cope with losing his sister at a young age due to cerebral palsy. Instead of spoiling many of the good skits of his show, I want to focus on his jigsaw analogy.
So, what is the meaning of life?
Sloss answers this with an example his dad told him when he was younger. Just imagine, every single person has their own jigsaw puzzle. And as we grow, we are constantly piecing it together. The only problem is that no one knows what the final puzzle will look like.
Each corner represents a different foundation, family, friends, hobbies/interests and job. In his father’s explanation, the center was the partner piece. This is where Sloss disagrees. He argues that the center isn’t the partner piece but instead is happiness. For his dad those two happen to be the same.
Yet it continues this idea that you can never be complete without being with someone. Every movie and show pushes the idea that without someone we are sad, incomplete or empty. There isn’t happiness until the princess gets the prince.
“My generation has become so obsessed with starting the rest of their lives that they’re willing to give up the one they are currently living. We have romanticized the idea of romance and it is cancerous. People are more in love with the idea of love than the person they are with.”
I think this description resonates so well because from a young age, we have this plan that we need to settle down and start a family. So, in their early twenties, when people are just desperately trying to be an adult, they might force themselves to love someone because they would rather be with someone than alone.
Now this doesn’t mean that love doesn’t exist. I think it means more that instead of looking for someone else to love you, you need to love yourself first. If you don’t love yourself 100% you will allow people to love you less than that. I know that sounds very cliché, but how can we work on our jigsaws, when we never even gave ourselves the time to work on it alone?
He also emphasizes that the secret to a healthy relationship just doesn’t exist: “If you do not love 100% of who I am, you do not love me. You love an idea of me, which you have falsely fabricated in your head.”
I have found myself putting unrealistic standards on people in hopes that they will love me the way I didn’t. Not only did this comedy special make me laugh, but it affirmed to me that my relationship with myself should always come first.
You may love someone unconditionally, but after a couple of months or years, you can find that both of you are working towards two completely different images. And then you’re left with a question: Do I admit that the last five years of my life were a waste? Or do I waste the rest of my life?
Now, this may sound cynical, but statistically, 55% of marriages end in divorce. Divorces are common, sometimes you may not know that you two are heading in two different directions until you’re married and have kids. Sometimes other things get in the way and life plans change.
Due to his live show, he successfully ended 72 relationships, “144 lives saved,” he jokes. Even more now that show is on Netflix.
In all seriousness, remember that no one is a jigsaw piece; every person is just as complex and an individual person as you. Do not allow yourself to lessen or change because of someone else. They may not be your soulmate, and that’s ok. You should be your first love.
I recommend you watch his special and tweet us @VALLEYmag if this somehow speaks to you in any way.