Insecure raises important questions about just when a relationship turns into too much hard work.
A lot of people have come to expect a romantically-fuelled TV show to end on two “will they won’t they” characters finally coupling up. On Sex and The City it was Carrie and Big. On Friends it was Rachel and Ross. On Insecure it’s Issa and… Issa.
Although the show is not over yet and there will still be a Season 4 in our midst (because God is good), it’s nice to at least see a season end with a character making the choice to celebrate self love while also making note of the fact that being alone doesn’t mean being lonely.
The season ends with (spoiler alert) Issa rejecting her ghosting naked pool man, Nathan. Although she has been obsessing over him because of his thirst for adventure and the fact that he makes Issa feel like “less like a fuck up”, she still has the self-respect, in the end, to realise that crawling into his arms would be settling.
In fact, Issa sets her standards high multiple times throughout the season. When Daniel makes her feel inadequate, she chooses to let the relationship go. Despite their bubbling chemistry and affection for each other, Issa ultimately decides that this is not enough if he is willing to make her feel small.
“Issa sets her standards high multiple times throughout the season”
The same thing happens with Lawrence. Despite the budding friendship between Issa and her ex, no coffee dates or raisinets could make up for the lack of effort he put into the relationship back when they were together. She is finally getting over him because she knows there is someone out there more compatible for her.
With Nathan, it’s hard to say he did anything terribly wrong – especially in this day and age when “ghosting” someone is all too common and, in the words of Lawrence’s father, kids these days just don’t want to put any work into their relationships. Despite Nathan’s actions conforming to the casualties of modern dating, Issa chooses that his excuses for his one-month hiatus are not good enough for her – so she tells him she’d rather be alone.
Issa’s actions, in a way, have a direct correlation with Lawrence’s father’s belief that young people of today’s day and age don’t want to put any hard work into their relationships. One could view Issa’s decisions to let go of all her past romances as her not willing to put in any serious effort for a lasting connection, while others see her actions as empowering simply due to the fact that she is determined to never settle.
Issa choosing to be alone is in direct contrast with the belief that you must put in an effort for the ones you love, which brings up a solid question. How much pain do you have to endure in a relationship at the price of “hard work’ before it is considered harmful to one’s self? Is it really that people nowadays are not willing to put in the hard work, or are we just letting ourselves have higher standards?