The Tiptoe Method


WORDS BY | Shadi Bozorg

The word ‘commitment’ used to stand for security and assurance, but now it’s often associated with deep rooted anxiety. Fair enough. When the options seem endless how could a concept as cementing as commitment come naturally to us? Thanks to rapidly evolving technology, we’ve come to a point where there’s always something else out there. Something better, shinier, newer, more compatible. It’s hard to settle down when an abundance of choices are available right at your fingertips. How do you commit to one if you haven’t experienced the rest? Jobs, apartments, phones, outfits, plans, and people. Everything has become effortlessly replaceable.

This never-ending supply we’ve found, no, created for ourselves, has caused us to seek shelter under a shield of avoidance when the time comes to actually decide what the fuck it is we want. We tiptoe around it, avoiding the ultimatum that this kind of thing brings us to. Am I done looking for the next best thing? Is this the one I want to stick to? Am I sure? Will I ever be?

It’s often a subject we prefer to leave unspoken. There’s no hard feelings if it’s never discussed, no stress, just keep moving along. Avoiding it means we don’t have to answer any questions. In dating, it’s easier to just assume we’re all open for business until you have “the talk”. When the time comes to talk about it, it kind of feels like the walls are sinking in. It’s time to decide, it’s time to actually commit to one thing. Instead, we all keep fucking around for a while longer, avoiding the issue, sweeping all our responsibilities under the rug to deal with later.

And yet, we’re only human, despite how close we’re getting to becoming half machine. Having feelings for someone does still come naturally, that part is unavoidable. It’s just the entire process afterwards that we all seem to be running from. Even if you think you have feelings for someone, you keep seeking out your options. Keep swiping. Keep going to clubs. Keep running through partners and having meaningless sex just because we aren’t sure when the time will ever be right, when just one person will ever be enough, who will ever be worth fighting for. People have become replaceable and therefore disposable. It’s as easy as a swipe of a finger.

It’s probably also vital to recognize that we are dubbed the “me” generation. We put ourselves first, which isn’t a bad thing to me for the most part. It’s driven me in my career and also taken me out of many shitty situations with people I knew better than to stay in. But the “finding yourself” excuse eventually wears out. When do you stop finding yourself? Never, I hope. I hope I continue to learn new things about myself until the day I die. I think that’s the beauty of life. The issue seems to be that we’re afraid to grow with just one person.  Is it just a defence mechanism to avoid someone seeing you in a place of vulnerability or is it purely selfish?

Of course, there’s also the fact that past relationships have fucked us up, as they do. People who you may have given your heart to that tore it to shreds. Relationships that you may have tried fighting for that just never seemed to work. We’re all scarred and that has led us to become kind of petrified to dive in again. Save a headache. We often sidestep from actually getting into anything serious because we have post traumatic stress from events prior.

Personally, I stay open with how I process my feelings. If they exist, you should know about them. I wasn’t always this way. I’ve been fucked over, used, I’ve hurt others, I’ve shut off my emotions, I’ve drowned my issues in substances and meaningless sex. But none of that was satisfying to me. I decided at some point that I wouldn’t conceal the way I felt because that would be lying not only to myself, but the person I was with. I’ve experienced different reactions to this. Some react in fear, some in the classic “she’s crazy”, and some go for it because it’s right to them too. The best relationships I’ve been in were built around this communication. And although they ultimately resulted in breakups, they were amicable and with people I still consider friends. That’s because there was nothing hidden, and therefore no feelings seriously hurt. I didn’t tiptoe then, and because of it I never fell over and hurt myself.

Those experiences had me set on continuing to stay open, but recently I’ve found myself tiptoeing around too. Maybe it’s because I’m in a new city, maybe it’s because I’m not ready, or maybe it’s just because tiptoeing causes me less grief. But I learned that the tiptoeing thing is what actually makes me act crazy. It’s what makes me have assumptions and conceal my feelings and therefore not communicate properly – the opposite of where I want to be.

What I’m saying is that the tiptoe method is bullshit. It’s built on a foundation of bullshit and it will continue to cause our generation to dive even deeper into the bullshit dating scene we’ve created for ourselves. Yeah, we have fun. Yeah, we’re wild. Yeah, date and sleep with whoever the hell you want, but don’t deny that it all gets old and it can leave you empty. It’s important to have fun and be single and empower yourself, but denying yourself of the things you truly want just because that’s where society is at is, you guessed it, bullshit.

Being afraid to jump into something will cause you to deprive yourself from an experience you could have had. We keep saying ‘everything happens for a reason the way it should’, but if you’re gonna cliche, you better double up- life is also what you make of it. We lose out when we cower away from each other. We miss something so big. Something, that in my opinion is the entire meaning of life. In all this hoopla and craziness that our world is comprised of, it’s the only thing that really makes it all worth it. Ask yourself, while you’re working and building and creating and growing and living and finding yourself, do you have magic in your life? Do you want it? Is it missing?

That tiny, giant L-word. Four letters that either make no sense whatsoever or make all the sense in the world, depending on where you’re at. But love is all this is about, in the end anyway. You miss a big part of life when you avoid it. Love is a pool on a uncomfortably scorching day and we tiptoe around it, looking at it, wondering when we’ll be ready to jump into it while we stay burning under the sun in the process. We all want it, but some people never jump in. Some people fear they’re gonna drown. Some just hate swimming because they never learned to do it right. But eventually your feet get tired from the tiptoeing and only once you’re laying down by yourself you realize that you may have given up something you really wanted.

If you’ve been in love and you’ve been hurt, you know that you’ll never fully be sure of anything again- until you actually try it. The unknown is okay. The unknown is actually the best part. I say dive in. Life is too short. Time is fleeting. Fear is helpless. Be a little reckless with your decision making, and give your feet a rest.

WORDS BY | Shadi Bozorg |