Living with your friends can be wonderful, but, as Zoey and Ana figure out quickly on grown-ish, it can also be eye-opening as to the habits of your new roommates. One that they notice quite quickly is that Nomi has a different girl in her bed every night — or day, or, as Zoey points out, afternoon — and they are, er, loud about it. And while Nomi is open to keeping her lovemaking on the quieter side, she’s not thrilled with her roommate’s assertion that her constantly hooking up with straight girls makes her a misogynist. But Nomi’s grown-ish hookups eventually force her to take a step back and figure out what she wants and why she does what she does.
Nomi’s pattern is that she finds a hot straight girl to sleep with, seduces her, and then hooks up with her, only to never call her ever again. Nomi sees nothing wrong with burning through women, but there is a deep, underlying reason that Nomi picks only straight women to have sex with — it can’t go anywhere. She won’t get into a relationship, develop feelings, and then have to bring a girlfriend home to mom and dad. Because while Nomi’s bisexuality isn’t a secret with her friends, her parents have no idea, and that is a conversation that Nomi doesn’t to know how to have with herself or her family. Nomi eventually realizes that she's holding back from true experiences because she is afraid of giving her heart away and admitting who she is.
While Ana and Nomi are very, very different people, Ana isn’t an innocent from this type of behavior, either. She won’t even eat pineapple on pizza because she doesn’t think she’ll like it. She doesn’t scoot on scooters, wear turtlenecks (that one is an interesting aversion), or do anything different than what she’s used to. It makes Ana look like a stick in the mud, but this rigid attitude has a lot in common with Nomi’s free-love nights and weekends — Ana is also scared about looking silly or losing her heart, so she also pretends that she doesn’t care and that what she’s doing is the right way of going about things.
Nomi’s numerous lovers and Ana’s icy personality are two sides of the same coin — they both act as coping mechanisms for women who are nervous and trying to figure out their way. Nomi’s parents don’t know she is bisexual, and she’s afraid to tell them. Ana has been raised in a certain way, and she’s afraid to stray from that because she doesn’t know what to expect. But both women are doing such a disservice to themselves by not saying the words: I’m scared AF.
Only when one admits their own fear can that fear be squashed. That’s because fear is irrational, and while it can actually be quite easy to overcome, it's way easier to feed. It doesn’t matter that Nomi is having casual sex or that Ana doesn’t like fruit on her pizza. What matters is that they both make rules for themselves in order to cover up whom they really are. It’s easy to be fearful of the future, and it’s hard to look in the mirror. Only with Nomi realizing her feelings and Ana loosening up (hope that Aaron kiss at the end of the episode helped) will they both be able to find their true grown-ish selves.