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All The Things Nathan Did Right With Issa

September 3rd, 2018

It’s only been one episode, but in episode 4 of Insecure, something amazing happened. Issa went on a date with a guy who wasn’t as polarizing as Lawrence or Daniel. Suspicious, yes, that’s an accurate way to describe the character named Nathan. He does after all have what many women say is the don’t-trust-him-face — fair-skinned, green eyes — and by the end of the episode we don’t know very much about what he does for a living or what he did in his past. But as the season goes on, I’m sure we’ll learn more about Nathan. For now, what I can appreciate about our new guy is how perfect he played his position when he runs into Issa while she’s on her lunch break.

Some of you may want to believe that what happened in last night’s episode of Insecure is something only Hollywood could make happen. But even the most cynical people should be ready for kismet to strike at any moment and seize the moment much like Nathan did. This is why I found it important to break down all the things Nathan did to position himself as the hero Issa may not deserve but probably needs.

 

GIVE HER A NICKNAME

A lot of us already have a tendency to do this when we’re talking with friends about a new person we’re dating. Instead of referring to this person by their actual name, we’ll give them a nickname. Maybe it’s their profession (lawyer-girl) or where we met them (Starbucks-woman). Nathan flipped it a little by using the name he probably used when he talked about Issa with his boys on Issa herself.

I promise you, the moment this happened, I was mad I only had two thumbs I can throw up because I wanted to give more for this move. Nathan not only skipped the awkward formality of a re-introduction, he also quickly established familiarity with Issa by making the nickname call back to the first time they met in Issa’s Lyft. We still don’t know anything about Nathan at this point, but I knew at that point my man had some mack in him.

PUT THE BALL IN HER COURT

In most first-date scenarios, I would highly recommend a man have a plan. But not all dates happen when two people are ready for them. Sometimes, you have to roll with whatever comes your way, and when that’s the case, it’s important to work together. Nathan already did his part when he decided not to be a stranger to Issa and yelled out for her, then buying her the taco she dropped from him surprising her. Now it was Issa’s turn to set the course as they waited for the tacos and Nathan knew it.

ADD A SPLASH OF COMPETITION

Sometimes the best game a man can run on a woman is an actual game. After Issa dares Nathan to yell out a line from Training Day as they’re walking through an L.A. hood, Nathan flips it on Issa and challenges her to a game of Truth or Dare. Aggressive for a first date that wasn’t even planned? For sure. But does it keep things interesting? Absolutely, especially because it demands that participants get comfortable with each other real quick.

GO FOR A HEAT CHECK

For the non-basketball fans, a heat check is when a player who is making all of his shots decides to throw up a crazy one just to see how hot he is. By the time Issa takes Nathan to her childhood home and dares him to take his clothes off and jump in the pool, Nathan knows he’s hot. But instead of using that as a reason to get aggressive, Nathan goes for a much smoother heat check. After Issa reveals to Nathan that she sometimes raps to herself in a mirror and used to have a rap journal, Nathan asks if she’s going to write a rap about the two of them. Issa deflects with a smile, but she knew and he knew, she’s about to have some bars for him.

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DON’T CALL IT A DATE JUST MAKE IT FEEL LIKE ONE 

When Issa suggests that Nathan come over so they can heat up their tacos in her microwave, it’s all too easy to assume they’re going to end up heating up and eating more than tacos. As they’re kissing, they’re interrupted by one of the residents in Issa’s building, thus ending the night prematurely but probably right on time. Nathan knew what time it was and gathered his stuff up to leave, but not before he thanked Issa for the good time they had in a way that helped deepen the intimacy between them. Calling it an “L.A. day” was his way of keeping things as casual in the end as they were when they started. But anyone who saw last night’s episode knows that wasn’t just some day of frolicking in the city, that was a date, and even if Nathan and Issa don’t go out again, they discovered one of dating’s hidden truths. The best dates we go on never feel like an actual date.

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