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Where Do You Draw The Line Between Relationships & Work-Life Balance? 7 ‘Insecure’ Fans Sound Off

Molly and Andrew's latest relationship pickle is relatable AF.

Culture & Entertainment

We may be on day 2,987 of quarantine, but we're only up to episode four of Insecure, "Lowkey Losin' It", and it was anything but lowkey.

Previously, we asked fans "Could YOU be friends with your ex's new bae?" after Issa's throuple (as Molly puts it) with Lawrence and Condola got complicated. There were multiple storylines going on this latest episode, but Molly and Andrew's brought up an all-new relationship pickle that's relatable AF.

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Here's what you missed if you missed it, so brace yourself for spoilers…

Workaholic Molly kept putting her dates with Andrew on the back burner when it came to her work at the law firm. Late nights at the office and late nights on her laptop at home came before spending quality time with him.

To be fair, her relationship with Asian Bae is fairly new and Molly's super passionate about her career where she constantly needs to be on her A game. All in all, the couple was able to move forward after talking it out. #MollyAndAsianBae4Ever

It's no secret relationship and work-life balance can be tough, especially those with demanding careers. But after watching this episode, my friends and I discussed exactly how we handle this. I can relate to this all too well. I've definitely blown off plans with friends and family because of a deadline or job function. I've also been the girlfriend spending quality time with my guy watching an awards show while simultaneously reporting on it from my laptop. It just is what is what is. Like Molly, not only am I perfectionist when it comes to what I do for a living, but it's my passion. Of course, there has to be balance for any relationship to work, but ideally I'd like to be with someone who understands my work, and possibly is in the same industry or related field.

That sounds like I'm asking a lot, and maybe I am, but it's much easier for someone to get it when they can relate. At, the very least having a partner who is equally passionate about their work, whatever it may be, is always helpful (not to mention, attractive). Andrew isn't a lawyer like Molly, but I'm sure his work in the entertainment industry will bring up limitations to his free time at some point and Molly will have to show him the same understanding he showed her.

But different strokes for different folks, am I right? So, I reached out to Insecure fans to ask them:

Where do you draw the line between work relationship and work-life balance? Would you have stuck around like Andrew did with Molly?

Quality Time Over Money  

"[Being an entrepreneur, my situation is] unique in that I truly own my time. With that being said, I find nothing more important than time with loved ones. So, for me, I couldn't be putting my partner on the back burner for a check, no time with a company is worth more time with my woman. But I worked hard to put myself in a position where I won my time and my income isn't dependent on hours but on value." –Jeffrey Derose, Founder, Startup Advisory Group

Relationships Take Empathy and Understanding

"It is not realistic to have a personality like Molly's and disregard your work obligations. She would also only similarly be attracted to someone who takes their work seriously. There is no real way to build a partnership otherwise. We have watched her cycle through many partners and, for some of them, an obstacle was their career limitations. It is very easy to dismiss Black women as overly committed to success and not to relationships, but it is also understandable why Molly would behave that way.

"Work never lets you down. It is a very simple system. You work hard and you get paid. It's very simple. In relationships, things are infinitely more complicated."

"Being with Andrew requires more energy and vulnerability than she can just deflect at work. It is a big step that she recognized where she was being unfair and decided to apologize. I think relationships take empathy and understanding and you know when someone is being genuine or not. I think Andrew knew Molly was trying her best and therefore made an allowance for her. It's mature on both of their parts." –Danielle Prescod, Style Director, BET Networks

It's the Little Things

"My last relationship basically ended because of this. When you are passionate about your career, it almost feels like cheating when you have to step away from the computer to go on a date. Especially in a new relationship, it's hard to shift gears and make a new commitment to this person. I've come to the conclusion that being driven and independent is great, but your partner wants to feel like a priority too; they want to feel needed. So, it's important to keep things interesting with spontaneous little actions that show you're always thinking of them.

"My ex would love when I FaceTimed him randomly, or when I made plans that had to do with things he was into. I also learned to invite them into your world as much as possible, and volunteer to help them when things got busy on their end. As soon as things feel one-sided, someone isn't feeling appreciated, or someone doesn't feel like a priority... it's hard to reel it back in. I think Molly got lucky with her boo because he's always busy too, so though he felt a type of way, he gets it." –Hala Maroc, Personality/Wellness Advocate TheBadassBootcamp.com

Drive and Ambition Are Two Attractive Qualities In A Spouse

"I'd say this is something that can be worked out smoothly. It's all about prioritizing your time; Molly is extremely ambitious, and she should be allowed to have a great career and relationship. For me, I've made sure to carve out time during the weekend and certain times out of the work week for my spouse. While keeping in mind some down time for myself.

"I'd never stand in the way of my spouse's goals and would likely be as calm about the situation as Andrew was. It's all about BALANCE. Drive and ambition are two attractive qualities in a spouse. I see nothing wrong with openly communicating if things ever feel off-balanced. Balance, communication and trust are the building blocks for a long-lasting relationship. In short, I'm rooting for Molly and Asian bae all the way!" –India Douglas, Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

Set A Personal/Work-Life Standard

"When you are in a relationship, work/business intertwines with life/personal. This was one of my New Year's Resolution: 'Do not bring work life home; do not talk about work at the dinner table; PTO does not mean check your work email.' This was important to me because there wasn't a balance and setting a goal for myself made me realize, life is NOT all about work.

"Andrew felt neglected by Molly, and when your main priority is work, whether it is discussing a meeting that happened/conflict with your coworkers or constantly working late at night or on the weekends, it takes a toll on the relationship. But for Andrew and Molly to discuss their issues shows how much they are committed to the relationship. Adapting to change, learning, balancing personal/work life, and growing as a unit is all about being in a relationship." –Kateri Fischer, On-Air Scheduling Coordinator, BET Networks

If It’s Important to Me I Make Time for It

"I've never had trouble balancing work and my love life. If it's important to me, I make time for it. If I'm feeling the person, I would stick around like Andrew did and discuss my feelings and thoughts like he did." –Amiyah Deziire, Author, Midnight Confessions

What You Accept, Will Always Be What You Get

"At the end of the day, it's not so much our profession that keep us consumed, so much as it is our perfectionism. Working in entertainment journalism, especially as it pertains to the competitive blogging space, will have you thinking that every bit of celeb news is 'breaking.' [I recall a first date with a new guy] who revealed that he had plans for a waterfront dinner at a marina about 40 minutes away from where I lived in NY. This made me a bit anxious since I didn't want to be too far from home and my laptop. So, I suggested just going to a diner nearby which he found strange since I pretty much trumped his romantic efforts, but he went along with it.

"Everything was going great, until my then-boss messaged me asking to put up a post. I began to draft a response asking her if I could write it on my phone and send it to her instead. In that moment, my priority was still to get the work done, no matter what. When I looked up at my date, he seemed so lost. Not frustrated. Just, lost. I could tell he still liked me but was probably conflicted on whether to knock my hustle. I was being so apologetic about the interruptions, that it delayed damage, and softened the blow. Still, I hated that I was losing his interest. In that moment, I decided to call my boss, and reluctantly tell her I was on a date. She immediately said, 'Girl, why didn't you tell me? Go enjoy your date. I'll get another person to post it. Don't worry!'

"I realized we create our own boundaries. What you accept, will always be what you get. A boss is never going to stop a worker bee from buzzing, especially when you're a 'bee' like me who takes pride in her hive (aka my job). But if you don't speak up, no one will say 'no' for you either."

"And at the end of the day, unless you're a doctor or performing life-saving services, you are in the position to say 'no,' more often than you think." –Soraya "Sojo," Digital Director + Personality

Featured image via Insecure/HBO

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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