George Brown student Allison Jokinen, shares her story of long distance relationships
People in long term relationships have to ask themselves: Does it feel right? Is it with the right person? Do I want to lose everything because of small things?
“So Gabriel and I were together for one year before he moved back to Panama,” said Allison Jokinen, a student in the special events planning program, about her her boyfriend Gabriel.
The couple met in 2012 at a club in Toronto. A club was the last place she ever thought she would meet someone. “He was just so charming and sweet,” said Jokinen.
Falling in love shortly afterward, they were inseparable until he moved back to Panama City in August 2013, where he now lives with his family.
“Being in a long distance relationship, at first was really hard, it is still really hard but we have a good routine and we understand that the other person may be busy at times but it doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking of you,” said Jokinen.
One of the most important parts is that Jokinen and Gabriel are goal oriented both as individuals and as a couple.
“Communication is key. Gabriel and I are in constant communication all day every day and I am so grateful for FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp and social media that helps keep us connected,” said Jokinen, on what keeps their relationship strong. “I couldn’t imagine being in a long distance relationship without him being at the tip of my fingers.”
Jokinen said she feels best when she is busy—keeping her mind off the distance—and when she gets home from a busy day, the first thing she wants to do is call Gabriel and tell him everything she’s accomplished knowing he will do the same.
“When we know the exact date of when we will see each other next I will always have a countdown set on my phone and every day that passes is just another day closer,” said Jokinen. “It is really important to encourage the other person in their personal lives to do their best in work and school and to still go out and have fun with their friends.”
With him not being here physically during stressful times, she says he is still there supporting her, knowing she can always count on him to be her rock through every situation.
“He mentally guides me through every single bump in the road,” said Jokinen. “As much as I wish he could just be here to hug me or give me a kiss on the head when I am down, his words are always enough and he always knows just what to say.”
The couples’ next goal is for Jokinen to take a trip to Panama in January, during her study break. She’s already set the countdown on her phone and keeps checking how many days left.
Next year the couple hopes to live together at the same place, permanently and believes that “a relationship should be a support system of trust and encouragement. If you focus on those things, the rest isn’t so hard.”