Advice on Relationships From Wisconsin's Odyssey Community

10 Of The Best Pieces Of Relationship Advice From Wisco's Odyssey Community

"Protect a piece of your heart for yourself."

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When our Odyssey team and community was asked to share the best relationship advice that we've ever gotten, everyone had their own great advice which they had been given by family and friends. Relationships can be very rewarding and fun, but they can also be very stressful. When wondering about the quality or status of our relationship, we often lean on family, friends, and online articles to determine if we are with the right person, and what we should look for in a person. Hopefully, this article can give you some helpful tips on what to look for in a relationship.

1. "Marry the kind of man you want you son to be like." -Natalie 

When looking for a man, he should resemble the type of man that you hope your son would grow up to be. Caring, respectful, loving, goal-oriented, etc. If you wouldn't want your son to be like the man you are dating, then there's a problem there.

2. "Date your best friend." -Jülide 

When you think of best friends, you think of people who spend a lot of time together, are basically a part of each other's families, share similar interests, and accept each others' differences. In a relationship, the person you're dating should be your best friend. The person who you want to tell your good news to, who you go to for emotional comfort, who you know you can depend on and trust.

3. "Find someone who makes you laugh." -Gianna 

Relationships are not always about romantic gestures and going on dates. You should be with someone who you can be you whole, complete self. When you're stressed, or sad, having someone who can make you laugh without taking away from what you're going through is important. Life is too short to be serious all the time. You don't want someone who never lets loose or tells you stupid jokes. In my opinion, if in a relationship we can't be goofy and ugly laugh with each other, then I don't want it.

4. "Trust your gut!" -Gianna 

Sometimes you have to learn to trust your gut the hard way. In my experience, my gut has been right every. single. time. I've tried to deny it and then ended up hurt. If you feel uneasy in something, or completely confident, understand that often your body can sense other people's true intentions better than your mind can. With your head, you tend to overthink and are capable of making things appear better or worse than they are, but with your body there are no "what ifs." Listen to your gut.

5. "Don't stay in relationships that are unhealthy..." -Gianna

"...Don't stay in relationships you are unhappy in because you're afraid you won't find someone else or you're afraid to be lonely." You are often unable to leave an unhealthy relationship for many reasons. One, you know the person so well, they know you, and you don't want to have to get to know a brand new person. Two, you are scared that you won't find another person who loves you as much as we love them. Three, you don't want to be alone. See getting to know someone new as exciting and a fresh start. You will find someone, and chances are a new relationship will be better than the unhealthy one you're currently in. Don't be afraid to be on your own, you are great company.

6. "One day someone is going to break your heart, and it will hurt bad, but don't take it out on the next someone. -Will Smith." -Trentyn 

Heartbreak is inevitable. Whether it's a broken relationship or even, friendship, it's going to hurt. Knowing that someone doesn't want to be with you is painful. After being hurt, you may think that love isn't real, that the person is suddenly a bad person, or that everyone else you meet is going to hurt you. The hardest, but most crucial, part of a break up is letting it hurt and then not letting that hurt affect your future endeavors.

7. "Protect a piece of your heart for yourself." -Hunter

Do not let all of your heart be consumed in the person you are dating. Your self-love is just as important as your love for that person. Tuck away a piece of your heart so that if things don't work out, you know that you are still loved, by you. Most importantly, remember that you don't need anyone to complete you, because you are already whole.

8. "When the right person comes along you will be enough for them and won't have to do anything to 'keep' them." -Me 

Listen, when someone truly wants to be with you, they will be. When someone is truly into you, you will know. When someone truly cares, you will feel it. Dating isn't supposed to be so complicated, but sometimes we make it that way because we make excuses for the person we're interested in. When someone is right for you, they will stay because you're you. So don't worry about keeping anyone, because if they don't want to stay they can't be kept.

9. "Love will find you when you're not looking for it." -Maggie

You never know when you'll find someone. It could be in a coffee shop, a bookstore, a sporting event, one of your classes, at a restaurant. For me, I find it really exciting that the person who I end up loving and sharing a life with is out there, somewhere. It makes life more interesting. It makes each day a day of possibility. Let people find you, it'll happen. Stop searching, live your life, enjoy where you are right now.

Like Taylor, a writer on our Odyssey team, says, "It happens unexpectedly!"

10. "Never settle." -Anon 

If you think that you always need to be with someone, you're missing out on being with you. When you find someone you want to date, make sure that they are truly who you want to be with, and not just someone to fill a hole.

The overall message from these pieces of advice is that in order to have the best relationship, whoever you're with should have good character, should know your worth, and should be someone who you feel comfortable with in any situation. You don't need to actively search for this person. Love happens unexpectedly, no need to rush it. If your relationship doesn't work out, you don't need to become bitter or cold. Keep your mind and heart open-- one day it will be worth it.

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To The Sweet Girl With A Broken Heart

Words of wisdom for every girl...

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To the sweet girl with a broken heart,

Do you feel like you're stuck in this hole, six feet under, with absolutely no way to get out? You are not alone, and I promise you there is a ladder just waiting for you to climb it. I know your heart feels like it's been shot, and your gut feels like it's been punched one hundred times.

This feeling is just temporary, and I can tell you that because I've experienced it first hand. I know you feel alone, and like you're the only person who has ever felt this much heartache. I can promise you that you are never alone, and there are so many girls that can relate to you in ways you never thought possible. Don't let one guy dictate your way of life. Don't let one guy dull your sparkle.

Don't let one guy change your heart, or your remarkable personality. Sounds really silly when you read it back doesn't it? All of this hurt, tears, and confusion over one guy! Don't get me wrong, I know that this one guy was your world, you truly thought he was going to be in your life forever.

Up until this point, you didn't see a life without him in it. Girlfriend, look at yourself in the mirror. You are doing this whole breakup thing all on your own, and you're doing a great job at it. You picked up the pieces, and are carrying on all by yourself. You have been through the most extreme roller coaster of emotions, and you road it solo.

That says something, something really special. That says that you are stronger than you ever thought you were. Realize that! This is God's plan for you, to show you just how amazing you are. That you can conquer all things, and handle them in the most graceful way possible.

You are special. You are beautiful. You are unique. You are you! And that's one hell of a thing to be because you are the only you on this planet!

Lift your chin up, hold your head high, and show the world exactly who you are. Never change for anybody. Ever! Heck, get back to that girl you were before him. Strong, independent, confident, selfish. I know the word selfish seems so, well, selfish. But It's okay to be selfish sometimes, especially when it comes to defending your own heart.

Take that vacation, dress up just because, do your makeup and take selfies just because you want to, go to the gym, get that tan, go to that party, spend time with your greatest friends, hug your mom!

Do all of these things carelessly, do them because you deserve it, and because you can! And at first you may be doing them as a distraction from all that you've been through, but soon enough you'll find that you're doing them not because you need to, but because you want to!

Simply because this really is the new and improved you. Learn from this pain. Learn to love yourself again without him, without constantly feeling like you need to be reminded by him that you are loved. Instead, love yourself and I assure you when other people see that, they'll love you even more.

Girls, when we love someone, we love deeply, we love wholeheartedly, and that person never has to question our love for them. You deserve that same exact love in return. There are plenty of other guys out there just waiting to take care of your heart, and love you unconditionally. You deserve nothing but that!

Do not stop until you find that guy. You can change the world just by being a kind hearted human being. Don't get revenge, don't force yourself to move on as quickly as he did, don't torture yourself with remembering "the old him," and definitely don't change. I know it's hard to see him changing in the worst way, to the point where you don't even recognize him anymore. To the point where he feels like a complete stranger to you.

Do not stoop to his level. Trust me, one day, he will look back on his life and probably regret losing you. Of course, I know all you're wishing is that he'd be able to see that right now, but that just isn't God's plan. Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself the time to grieve, and hurt, and be upset.

Those are all good things.

That is what is going to allow you to heal, and move on to become a better, stronger, happier, and more mature you! I promise you, that a year from now all that you're stressing about will not mean a thing. This is our one and only chance at life, we can not let one person take away all the happiness that we deserve.

The right guy will never leave, even when times get tough he will always fight for you. I saw something on twitter that said, "take sex away and you'll come to realize that not many individuals have much to offer. This generation is so pressed for the physicality that ya'll forget mentality creates the bond and forms longevity."

That hit extremely close to home for me and is something that everyone needs to remember.

Fall in love with somebody's heart, mind, and soul. Go beyond their looks, go beyond the attraction, dig deeper. Don't be that shallow girl, who doesn't know how to love the right way. You are so much better than that. To every single broken hearted girl, I am so proud of you! I am always here for you, you have so much love and support. I've realized that myself. As I write this, I feel relief, no longer sad or dwelling on the past. What is coming is always better than what is gone. Now get that beautiful smile back on your face because you are too pretty to be sad.

P.S. To the "other girl" (if there is one).

How dare you take him away from me? You knew exactly what you were doing. You knew my whole heart was on the line. Women need to start respecting other women. Think before you act. Would you want to be in my position? I sure as hell hope not, and now that you have him I hope you're thinking about how you hurt me. And if you're not, then you have a lot to learn about life hunny.

It's kinda weird because I can't hate either of you. Simply because I want nothing but the best for him. It's crazy how someone can break your heart into a million pieces, but you still have such a special place in your shattered heart for them. Besides that, take good care of him. I hope he can learn from you, and love you in all the ways he couldn't love me or any of his other ex's. Every relationship is a lesson, and there is always something to learn. So thank you for teaching me mine.

P.S- To "the guy who did this" Imagine you have a daughter someday, and some boy breaks her heart the way you did mine. I hope you think back to this, and remember me. Maybe by that time, you'll feel sorry.

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Being A Military Wife Is Not The Same As Serving In Active Duty

It's about balance, and it's hard to find a happy medium between serving and supporting your spouse.

yahairas
yahairas
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I enlisted into the United States Air Force as a fresh-faced 18-year-old. I had just graduated high school and never experienced life on my own, away from what I knew and my loved ones and friends. The military was my first legitimate job. Thankfully, I knew independence since I had parents that ensured I knew how to handle myself. That does not mean I joined knowing everything there was to know. Far from it, actually, but that's OK.

My first and only duty station was Malmstrom Air Force Base. Before you think that Malmstrom is some exotic and foreign land, it's definitely not. My first base was in Montana. A very cold and unpredictable climate where you could experience beautiful summer sunshine one day and the next, find yourself running back up to your room to escape from the unexpected blizzard.

I was stationed in Montana as a security forces member (military police) for six very long years. During this time, I met some wonderful people as well as some people I know I would not mind never seeing again. I did a lot of my growing up at this location.

There were hard lessons that needed to be learned and experiences that I had to have in order to know what and what not to do in the future. Security forces is not the easiest or best job in the military. There are more challenges as a security forces member than most careers in the Air Force. There is the very likely chance of deployment into hostile locations where the member will face life and death challenges and have to make quick and ugly decisions and the schedule and duties are not ideal.

However, the good often outweighs the bad. The rewards for surpassing these challenges that seemed insurmountable at the time are some of the best in the world. I can say that the life lessons during my time in the service, no matter how uncomfortable it was at the time, is an experience of a lifetime. These challenges are unknown to the military spouse.

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Not long after separating from the military, I got married. We met while I was still in the military. My husband is still active duty in the Air Force, turning me into a military wife and dependent. It was a different role to take, knowing how many people in the military viewed military spouses. I found myself in a different bracket or tier than a lot of people. I was a military wife that was prior military. I understand the challenges my husband still undergoes in his enlistment because I knew the military life at one point. I did not have to be introduced into the military and the way it works blindly.

Throughout my enlistment, there were stories and jokes regarding military spouses, with emphasis on the military wife. Even now that I am no longer in the service, I still see memes on social media where military wives serve as a running joke. The jokes involving weight, attractiveness, infidelity or wives wearing the rank of their military spouse while attempting to utilize what power that rank may hold. Due to the stories I heard while I was in, I had a pre-conceived idea of what to expect as a military spouse. Some of the stories and jokes came from a center of truth. However, the stigma for a military wife would follow any and all military wives no matter the validity or lack thereof.

Photo of Yahaira Seawright at her Airman Leadership school graduation Yahaira Seawright

When I became a military wife, I wanted to make sure I did not fall under that stereotype. Becoming the dependent gave me something else to consider. It gave me the unheard side of those military spouses. There are so many challenges that we also face while being married to the military.

For example, we pick up and go at a moment's notice and often leave our careers behind if our spouses get moved. This makes it really hard to make friends and connections with other people. Plus, there's the reality that our spouses could lose their lives serving for our country.

A lot of the time, we become a single parent when our spouses are deployed. If we do go with, finding employment is really competitive and hard to do at all. It's hard on both of us because neither party will ever truly understand why things are done a certain way. Some things just aren't fair and that's a hard reality to deal with.

So, yes, the service of the military member is the military member's service, not ours. That fact does not mean we do not have our own sacrifices we made when we decided to marry into the military family.

The experience of the military member and the military spouse are two different sides, but they're both equally important.

yahairas
yahairas

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