Issa Struggle: What To Do If You’re Dating a Lawrence

You might be asking yourself, “Who TF is Lawrence?”

Well, for you unfortunate TV watchers, Lawrence is a character on the hit HBO show Insecure, starring Issa Rae. During their first season, Lawrence was unemployed and consistently trying to find a job that aligned with his career, while trying to also maintain his long-term relationship with Issa. And since Season 2 of Insecure is right around the corner, it’s only right we talk about the struggles of dating a Lawrence.

So, what is a Lawrence? A Lawrence is a man who is down on his luck. A man at a point in life where he knows his potential is not equal to his actual reality. He may be unemployed, financially struggling, may have just suffered a heartbreaking loss or life has him questioning himself, and dating a guy like this can be difficult, but by the end of this article, you’ll understand and know how to handle dating a Lawrence.

Throughout the first season, his girlfriend would question his ambition, his love for her and commitment to the relationship. Based on his actions and what she saw from her perspective, she had every right to question him. When dating a guy like Lawrence, it can be very difficult for the partner. You are now dating a man who doesn’t resemble the person you originally fell for. I have witnessed a lot of women struggle with this dilemma. You may find yourself asking these questions, “Is this what I really signed up for? How long do I have to put up with this version of him? I want to help, but how can I? Am I a bad person for leaving?”

Being in a relationship already has its challenges. Yet, when a man becomes a Lawrence, it greatly increases the built-in stresses of dating. The mood of Lawrence may be intolerable at times. It’s similar to being around a bitter and depressed person. His attitude is reminiscent of that star high school football player who was just told that he could never play football again. You are now seeing the shell of a confused man. The same man you believed was strong, protective and willing to fight any challenge, is no longer there. At times, you feel like you’re dating a stranger.

But actually being a Lawrence is tough, too. I should know. I was one to my girlfriend.

I quit a job where I was making enough money to enjoy everyday life. At first, I was fine embarking on a new dream, ready to grab life by the horns, because I have always been a confident person. Yet when the money I had saved started running low, it began affecting my daily mood. I started feeling inadequate in other areas and it showed. Romantically, I wasn’t as engaged because I was unhappy with my current status.

I began having mood swings. I started wondering if I am as talented and smart as I believed myself to be. I was showing the traits of a depressed person.

I felt hopeless and helpless. I got to a point where I just wanted to give up and became a disappointment to everyone who believed in me. I started feeling like a burden to those I talked to. I had loved ones who cared for me, but I did not want to add to the problems they were currently experiencing, and what hurt me the most was how it affected my relationship with my girlfriend.

Being a Lawrence is tough when you love your significant other. I felt like my girlfriend no longer looked at me with that same gleam in her eye. Imagine being a hero to someone you love and now you feel as if they just tolerate you. I felt at times that she was there because of an inherent feeling of obligation and responsibility, not because she wanted to be there. I know she contemplated if the time invested was worth her staying in the relationship. Was she there because she truly wanted too? I was so lost and thought so negatively of myself, I believed she wanted to be somewhere else. Just seeing her made my life hurt even more because of my guilt.

I also believed she no longer trusted me. I started thinking she wouldn’t confide in me because she no longer trusted my character. Why would she trust me? The Lawrence version she is dating now wasn’t the man she knew. She would find ways to stay away from me, because it hurt her to see me in that shape. That’s when you know her love is burning low. My self-pity started causing me to be so insecure with our relationship, that I started feeling like I did not deserve her anymore.

When dealing with a Lawrence there are only three options:

1) Play the patient game hoping he returns to being himself. Remember there isn’t a guarantee with this option.

2) You can leave the relationship and support him from a distance. Sometimes losing your significant other can lead to you realizing there are personal things you need to work on or seek help for.

3) Inform Lawrence he has a time period to get himself in order. If not, you are leaving the relationship.

All of these options are extremely difficult if you truly care for your significant other.

My girlfriend chose option 3. I was very fortunate that she chose to push me to be better. She encouraged me by telling and showing me she believed that I wasn’t this guy I started to believe I was. She assisted me with different projects I was working on, and whenever I felt depressed, she reminded me of the man she fell in love with. Her words of affirmation helped me recover to being the man I once was. I know it was her love and support that helped me become myself again. I understand that I was blessed to have been given that opportunity, even though I was not deserving of it.

To every person reading this article, I want you to know it takes a very patient and tolerable woman to take the challenge of staying in a relationship with a Lawrence. Most men aren’t deserving of having someone stand by your side while being a broken and confused man. Some women are taught you should stick it out and always be there for him. However, no one should be judged for leaving during this period unless you have taken the vows that state “for better or for worse.”

At the end of the day, it is not the partner’s responsibility to feel miserable in the relationship while Lawrence is trying to figure himself out. You did not engage in this relationship with these expectations of your partner. Patience can only last so long before it takes a toll on your happiness. So, if you are not consistently happy in a relationship, know that it is OK to move on and leave Lawrence behind.

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