Sydney Yogi played volleyball at the University of Texas, as is currently getting her Master’s in Accounting. Because she is still in school, her and her boyfriend, Erik Shoji (currently playing professional volleyball in Innsbruck, Austria and on the USA Men’s Indoor National Team) have had to do quite a bit of long distance. Whenever she has time off from school, she has made every effort to go overseas and spend time with him. Knowing she has experience with both long distance as well as living overseas with her boyfriend, Sydney shared some advice for couples going through the same situation. Sydney and Erik are a perfect example to look to in making a relationship work with this lifestyle.
Advice for long distance couples:
1. Keep the relationship fresh…For my boyfriend and I, we learned we couldn’t skype every single day because mostly our days were exactly the same and the convos seemed to drag on. Skype became more special when we set skype date nights because I would be excited to tell him all about my week.
2. When there are fights or issues, deal with it. It’s too easy to just put your phone away and not answer a text when you’re in the middle of a text fight, but dealing with it helps not only solve the problem, but helps your communication so so much. Since communication over text or skype is really the only way to keep in touch, if your communication is bad, the relationship will be hard to maintain.
Advice for living overseas as a significant other:
1. Understand that this is your bf/gf’s JOB. They are making a living for themselves and probably you while you’re there visiting them. This means that they are not going to want to go out every night and hit the town, and they are going to want to nap in between practices. It’s ok and they love that you are there to support them. It’s a tough role to have, but helping to do some laundry or make dinner while they are at practice will help relieve their stress.
2. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out….Living in a foreign country can be scary, but how cool is it that you have an opportunity to hang out in a foreign country for a couple of months?! Enjoy it! Walk and explore the town, try to learn the language even if you make a fool of yourself, try to make some friends! Wives/gfs of your bfs teammates are a good place to start.
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