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The swamp

There is an unmarked territory within each relationship that sometimes can feel like walking in a swamp; sticky and dirty. That’s a path paved with good intentions but occasionally built on the “muddy” frustrations of ego. I am writing about communication in a relationship.

Communication is key for a relationship to flourish and to prevail over challenges humans meet or bring along the way. However, unclear or lack of communication can put a relationship into crisis or even end it.

Almost everyone I know seems to have gone through this puzzlement in one point of their relationship: “When it comes to communicating, how can we avoid a “muddy”-slippery situation without falling apart?” To my understanding, there is a simple truth that if we were to accept, it would help us change perspective: women and men come from worlds apart and are “made of a different fabric”, thus making real communication challenging, in the best case scenario, or an illusion in the worst.

One of the elements that give rise to this communication “gap” is the different mental structures and our upbringing. Women are raised and destined to be the “care-givers” while men the “care-takers”. Please mind the nuance. When you grow up with different “settings” it comes naturally to understand things differently, thus communicate differently, no? Women’s innate instinct and rich emotional capacity tends more towards complex structures of conceptualising and analysing situations, compared to men’s simplistic logic (sensitivies not excluded). A guy-friend of mine told me the other day: “I can’t even begin getting you” (you girls). The idea though is not to “get” us. To me, the idea has to do more with “rolling along”, having an open-heart and an open-mind, be willing to make a relationship work, a conviction of mine based on another universal truth : the need we all have to love and to be loved in return.

So, when it comes to communicating with your partner, keep in mind that relationships are complex by nature and communication as a vital part of them, requests compassion and selflessness. It all boils down to knowing yourself and what you are willing to offer in a relationship, therefore communicating your wants and needs clearly with honesty and respect. It is not just sharing information it is about engaging in a dialogue while staying open to what there is. Communication in a relationship implies an intentional attentive action (speaking and listening carefully) and only as such works; it is the effort to “clear that muddy pathway” on equal terms and on both sides that will get you off that swamp and into the stable foundations of your togetherness.


Chryssa Panou

Born in the city, raised in the countryside: vibrant urban rythms mixted with nature's colours run in my blood. A citizen of the world, a devoted European and a proud Greek, this multicultural aspect of life fascinates me and broadens my horizons. A city encouranges me to respect our differences but empowers me to believe in equality for all. My personal "journey to Ithaka" is finding my place in the universe and its place in me. My motto: "Life is Love and Love is You".