Wednesday, May 23, 2012

There Are Worse Things ....

                                        picture from here

.... than being single.

Remember when I wrote this post about what happened at Camp Widow East?  I remember.  It ended up being a very important night for me.
It was about saying goodbye to Jim and turning to face my future .... and the person who I thought was in my future.

Well, color me stupid.
I should have known that something wasn't quite right when he was the ONLY person who didn't comment on that post.
I wrote it on my personal blog that same day and many, many people contacted me.  Especially friends who had known Jim and me for a long time.  They were all very happy for me.  I heard/read a lot of comments about that post.
Except from one person.
One very important person.
At the time.

I guess the two of us have different definitions of love.
And I'm ok with that.
Because there are much worse things than being single.
Being with someone with a different definition is worse.
Being with someone who can't truly love is worse.

Being widowed has never been a walk in the park.
In fact, it sucks.
But I am grateful for what I had .... with Jim .... for as long as I had it .... and him.

I know what love is.
I know what love looks like.
I know what love sounds like.
And I know how love responds.

Thank God I haven't forgotten.
Because there are worse things than being single.
Being with the wrong person would be worse.
"Settling" and hoping things will work out would be worse.
Being with someone who keeps a record of wrongs (imaginary wrongs at that!), rather than a record of his love for me would be far worse.

I have been loved too well to settle for less.
And I have too much love to give to deserve less.

So I will not settle.
And I will remember what love truly is .... and that I deserve it.

Because there are worse things .... than being single.


  1. Yes, you do truly deserve love. You know it. Nothing less will be good enough.

  2. When people show you, in the beginning, who they really are, Janine,,believe them! Sometimes, all the the counseling in the world can't permanently change a person. Maybe for just a little bit, but then it becomes way too much work for them to "pretend" on a nearly full time basis! You are a beautiful lady, and you knew, and still do know, what true love is,,,,,,,,,,,,,,DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS...EVER! "Single" is not a dirty word,,,don't feel the need to replace it with "settle"!


    1. Jacquelyn, That was the point of the post. "Single" isn't bad at all, in fact, it can be pretty great. I'm loving it. And I also wrote that I will NOT settle. Yes, I gave him a second chance, but only with the knowledge that if something happened again, I would leave and not come back. I do believe a person can change, but only if they want to and want to do a lot of hard work. Most do not.
      So I am single and doing great. Because ..... there are WORSE things than being single!! :)

    2. There are WONDERFUL things in being single!! It takes far more courage to walk away from something you aren't sure of than it does to settle for something you think will work itself out. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the FIRST TIME." I put emphasis on "first time" bc the times that WILL follow do more damage to you & especially to your kids. There is no perfect human being. We all know that. There may be a person "perfect" for you're emotional needs but in reality, logistics should be the foundation. You made a decision based on both. Bravo. If your lives together don't make logical sense, that will eventually wear down the emotional connection. There are WONDERFUL things in being single! Here's to you and your new peace of mind! ...Amanda

  3. Absolutely! It is wonderful to have had it so we know what it is,
    The experience (while painful) gave you such clarity about this new relationship.
    I have always loved the Maya Angelou quote something like "when someone shows you who they are - listen!".
    He showed his true self. Now you know. That is a gift. No more wasted time, no more wishing for things to change, no more future with someone who does not also see himself there. You deserve better!
    You deserve to be someone's "one and only" and to have that kind of love.
    How brave you were to make that leap.
    I say leap again and trust the wisdom of your heart. It will find you the soft landing. I think the love we had with our lost loves will help us find our way,

    1. Anon,
      I like that quote, too. Yep, he showed his true self and now I know it really is his true self. And you're right, that was a gift. No more wondering, and definitely no more wasted time. I'm very happy and ready for the next thing. :)

    2. Janine, if I may ask - when you did the glass-heart-in-the-ocean-thing at Camp Widow, were you really ready to say "goodbye" to Jim in that way, or was it a gesture for the boyfriend, to show him you wanted to "move forward" with him? When I read your original post about it, I remember feeling like you really didn't want to do it. Although at some level I understand the symbolism of the glass-heart-throwing, and I'm sure it was helpful to some, I couldn't relate to it for me. I don't want to say goodbye to my husband. After 3 years, I still get angry when I am told by friends/family that I have to "move on". I can't and don't want to move forward and leave him behind. This site has been very helpful to me, and I know we are all different in how we deal with things. I guess I've figured out that my personal goal is not to "move forward" with a new life or love, but to just learn how to cope with the reality of the life I have now. Sometimes it seems like I'm the only one who feels this way. I'm 59, so I do know it's different for me than much younger widows. Thanks to Janine and everyone who share their stories; they help me figure out what I want my goals to be.

  4. Thank you for this post. One of my fears is that when I am ready to date again I will make a poor decision because I SO dislike being a single parent. I'll try to follow your example instead.

  5. Janine, you are so brave! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I appreciate your honesty. Blessings!

  6. Oh, yeah, I agree, there are way worse things than being single...

  7. Janine, you are an incredibly brave women who writes what she feels and today was no exception. I have a great friend who is also a widow and we have both begun to date. The issue of "settling" always comes up! I agree with your assessment, single is okay, but settling is not okay!

  8. Being a widow now for 14 years I can relate to there are worse things than being single. I'm tired of people who tell me I'm too picky and should just find someone so that I'm not alone. Having been truly loved like you I will never settle either.

  9. We all know what those worse things are, we have been through them and survived. I guess we can survive being single should that be our fate. You are wise, Janine, thank you for continuing to share your life with us, the ups and the downs. When I don't think I can take another day, I come here, and read everyone's posts, and that puts things in perspective for me to go on. Just knowing others have trials and go on keeps me going on too. Thank you to all.

  10. Oh Janine! I have said the exact same things about knowing what love is. My ex-fiance does not have a clue! It hurt really bad to lose him, but of course not as bad as losing my sweet husband, who loved me more than anything. I so wanted to have that kind of relationship again, but I am beginning to think it is not in the cards for me. There are so many great things about this single life! But, make no mistake, it is still a thorn in the side to not have a companion to share my life with. I make the best of it, just like the rest of us. Your posts always strike a chord with me! Thank you for your honesty!!

  11. Oh, Janine, you write what I've been thinking! I'm 17 months out and I am thinking about dating. Of course, I miss my husband, but like you, I'm not willing to settle for less than I had before. I'm fine on my own. I'd like to have a companion but I'm okay alone until I find someone who makes me feel as special and as loved as my LH did. I deserve it and I'm not settling for anything less!

  12. I have also walked away from a relationship where it just was not going to be right for me. He was a lovely man, but I refused to get caught up in his family issues which he was unwilling to sort out and I felt that I had to walk away fro my sake. I had a special and wonderful love and was not going to settle for second best with anyone. Thanks Janine for putting it so well. It has made me see that I did do the right thing for me even though it hurt and like you the definitions of love were too different.

    Being single is not that bad and I am doing this, slowly, but surely I am getting used to being single and enjoying the advantages. Thank you for you insight into our everyday ups and downs.

    I will never settle for anything less than being first in someones heart. If they love then they love with a whole heart.