Every law student learns IRAC: Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion. Little did I know that my legal schooling would help me talk to boys.
Maybe "boys" isn't exactly correct. I mostly mean boyfriend. As I've mentioned, Taer is very much a guy's guy. He's into sports. He only drinks things that aren't pink. He smokes cigars at weddings with the other guys. I imagine his nights out with the boys involving a lot of grunting and arguing about who has the biggest Y chromosome among them. He's awfully practical and terribly logical. He's not emotional.
I am very much a girl. Mind you, I'm not that prissy, squealing type who prances around in heels and only talks about shopping. But I do enjoy wearing said heels and the click, click they make as I strut. I like making myself up. And watching romantic comedies. I always fawn over babies and puppies. I am a hair flipper. I admit it all. I'm reasonably practical and quite logical, but I am emotional.
So we're different. I try my darndest to communicate with Taer in ways I think he'll understand me best. He's been so good at attempting sensitivity and validating my feelings that I don't pull the whole, "You should just know!" pouting silent treatment thing on him. I never read that Venus/Mars book, but I don't need it. I have IRAC.
Here's the Cliff's Notes summary:
[Issue] You don't think you should have to tell me you think I'm pretty?
[Rule] Boyfriends should tell their girlfriends they're beautiful.
[Analysis] When you tell me I'm pretty, that makes me happy. When I am happy, you are happy too.
[Conclusion] You should tell me I'm beautiful; we will both be happy.
That's the super short version, but basically, I explain each and every element of my thoughts in a step-by-step, logical, almost mathematical way. I try to provide analogies with things that already make sense to Taer. Even if I think he should understand my feelings, I still spell it all out. Here's the longer version of our discussion (also from early in our relationship):
T: I never understood why these insecure girls before always wanted me to tell them they were pretty all the time. If I was with them, they should've known I thought that. I shouldn't have had to say it. I'm glad you're comfortable with yourself, and you don't need me tell you you're pretty.
me: Uh... You're right, I am comfortable with myself, and I don't need you to tell me I'm pretty. I didn't grow up as the "pretty girl," so I don't value my self-worth based on my looks. But every girl likes to hear it. And it's not necessarily about insecurity. Think about it this way. When I make dinner for you, you always say thank you. You're so good about that. That's because you know that I've spent a long time preparing and cooking, and you want to make sure I feel appreciated. That's really sweet of you.
When we go out, if you know I've spent a lot of time getting ready, a big part of that is because I'm trying to look nice for you. You know I don't just roll out of bed looking like that. It's nice to feel appreciated in that instance also, to know that you've noticed my efforts. Your compliment is like a thank you.
And it shouldn't just be because I've dolled myself up. Not everything has to be practical. I don't need anything from you, really. But we're not in this relationship because of needs, and it's certainly not out of convenience. You make me happy, and I hope I make you happy. This is just one other thing that can add to my happiness, even if it's just a little bit. You don't have to keep telling me I'm pretty, and I promise I won't get upset if you don't. But I will like it if you do.
(Taer has always made me feel beautiful, both inside and out. And it's not just because of his words. But in case you're wondering... he does tell me, so IRAC works!)