In "I Get Ideas," Hannah, the self-proclaimed color-blind liberal, gets back to her apartment and claims she broke up with the Republican Sandy because, “Your rights happened and your rights happened,” (as she points to Marnie and her gay roommate, Elijah). But that’s not really getting at why she dumped Sandy. Sandy was responsible, clean, charming, genuinely engaged, and pretty hot (again, Donald Glover). The real reason Hannah couldn’t continue to date the dude had a lot to do with the fact that a Grade-A solipsist can’t get down with someone who doesn’t want to applaud her every creative blip.

We choose the extent to which we conflate our creative and personal lives.

When you hand over your writing, or anything you’ve created, to someone you’re sleeping with, they're invariable computing the implications their criticism will have on your relationship. Whether or not they respond honestly is a different matter, but you know they're thinking it. And that's a problem, because those implications aren't on our partners, they're on us: we choose the extent to which we conflate our creative and personal lives. The people we’re fucking don’t need to enjoy our work to enjoy us as individuals. Hannah’s quick rejection of Sandy and her “But he was a Republican,” cover-up dismisses the necessary fact that in both art and relationships, "understanding" and "enjoying" are two completely different monsters.

Relationships can push you creatively. Sometimes a lover takes your work down a notch because they’re interested in an honest, artistic symbiosis, not because they want to pull you off your self-built pedestal. Hannah ignores that and, in turn, misses out on both potentially career-altering criticism and some really great sex. Sharing a creative work, whatever its nature, with a partner, will reveal something about your partner’s understanding of you, sure. But your reaction to praise or criticism much more obviously reveals something about yourself and your expectations about the relationship. If you’re not willing to stay with someone who won’t cradle your every brain-child, you might not be ready for any type of criticism — personal or public. And if you’re unable to separate yourself from your art, but still insist the people you're dating engage with it, you might be setting yourself up for a life alone in bed, jerking off to your own short stories.


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