Now that we’ve had some time to think about our fight this morning, I wanted to talk. I know we both said some things that we regret, but you told me that I have communication issues, which is simply incorrect. Actually, to be honest it’s empirically false. I can’t have communication issues because I have a master’s in communications.

So when you told me that all the problems with our relationship stem from my communication issues, you’ll understand how I was confused. Had one of the oldest communications studies programs in the United States thought that I had “communication issues,” then I highly doubt that their distinguished faculty would have awarded me with my Master of Science degree.

I am particularly dumbfounded because I talk with you all the time about my transformative experience studying under Professor Erik Jakobson, the godfather of modern discourse analysis. You’re obviously very aware that in the eyes of the University of Illinois School of Communications, I am a master of communication. Just the other day you said, jokingly: “All you ever do is talk about your degree, you never ask me about my day.” So this clearly isn't about a lack of effort on my part.

You never hear me questioning your engineering degree, acting like you don’t know anything about engines.

Maybe you don’t fully comprehend the breadth of my education, which is perfectly understandable. Communications is a noble yet complex discipline. Are you aware that one of my master’s level courses was advanced interpersonal communication? Interpersonal means between individuals, like between you and I. Or between my ex-girlfriend and my mom, who still keep in touch.

In CMN 542, I studied the major processes involved in an individual’s adjustment to the communication situations of everyday life. So when you tell me that it seems like I’m never listening, it’s quite the opposite. I’m listening with the acutely trained ear of a masters-level communications scholar, analyzing how social perception, trust, and social context are factors in influencing your interpersonal messages with me.

I’m paying much deeper attention to your story about how Margo is interviewing for a new job. Or was it Becca? And was she the interviewer? Whatever, I hate your friends.

I know that you think that we’re constantly fighting but I would disagree. I prefer to think of it as an exercise in argumentation, one of the hallmarks of communication theory. It’s fun! Like the other day when you were talking about how you felt like your grandmother was up in heaven looking out for you, I of course had to say something. There’s nothing more thrilling than arguing over the existence of God! Especially with your significant other. You make such a cute face whenever I identify fallacies in your burden of proof.

Here’s a tip for next time: try to not base your premise so heavily on emotion. Loving your grandmother and wanting her to be in a “better place” is just not going to hold water in a debate.

There is one area where I know you are pleased with my graduate level knowledge of formal communication studies and that is, of course, in the bedroom. There are three types of communication: verbal, written, and nonverbal. When we’re about to shake the sheets, I’m all about the latter two, baby.

I’m sure, like me, you’re always thinking about my master’s degree when we’re doing it. What other areas of studies offer a course like CMN 324: Sexual Communications? Granted, most of that class was us talking about sexual harassment and the commodification of female sexuality, but I did pick up a couple of tricks along the way. Like how I stare into your eyes the entire time, every time. Or how I write my requests for you on a notepad. That’s the sort of love you can only get from a communications major, and I almost graduated cum laude.

So if we can, let’s move forward. I just wish you would respect my degree in the way that I respect yours. You never hear me questioning your engineering degree, acting like you don’t know anything about engines.

My master’s degree in communications is an essential part of me. I am a Magister Scientiae, having earned my degree from the fifth best communication studies graduate program in the country, the list being: University of Southern California, Northwestern University, Michigan State, Princeton University, University of Illinois Urbana/Campaign.

Could you please just treat me like the master of advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics that I am? Then I think our whole relationship will run a little smoother.

And yes, I’m sorry for how I responded to your use of the word “love.” What I meant was that though I’m not ready to say it back now, maybe one day I could come to love you. We will just have to wait and see.

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