You don't have to be happy every day. It's OK to be sad; trust yourself that you'll feel happier soon. It comes in ups and down. There's also not always a reason. Feelings can be like wisps of cloud drifting through the streets, suddenly deciding for no discernible reason to rush into you. Just because a feeling rushes into you, though, doesn't mean you have to suffer it. You can just step aside and show it to the door.
Its messed up for me because I give Slyphy gifts all the time! And she only said she loved me once! Every time I wake up in the morning I wake-up to being alone... I beat the game, and to me it looks like I can't get any further in the relationship, should I date someone else? (I already accidentally broke Fana's heart, don't want to do that again)
Which would you prefer, compassionate or committed? Don’t you love those questions? I’ve been thinking about this because I’ve been revisiting Psalm 103. So, if you’ll turn there just for a minute. Psalm 103. If you’re using a seat Bible, it’s page 502 in one of the Bibles near you in the seat. What’s happening in Psalm 103 is really a sermon to self. It’s a model of preaching to yourself. And in one sense, it’s almost like a personal soul workout plan.
3This lack of critical attention paid to the romance novel in general and its material characteristics in particular may be a consequence of the widespread cultural prejudice that all romance novels are essentially the same. Although academics are generally taught to be critical of cultural stereotypes, in the case of the popular romance novel the academy seems to overwhelmingly buy into – and frequently even be at the origin of – the ingrained stereotypes of conventionality, formula and simplicity that surround the genre. As a result, the popular romance genre is largely ignored by academics, who deem books that are supposedly all the same unworthy of their critical attention. Somewhat surprisingly, a similar mechanism plays out within the developing field of popular romance studies with regard to the genre’s materiality.2 Underlying this disregard is, I believe, the tacit assumption that the romance novel’s materiality, which even more than other aspects of the genre is imbued with stereotypes and conventions, is a relatively simplistic and straightforward aspect of the genre that is free of the interpretative complexities romance scholars now regularly (and, notably, against the cultural grain) uncover in the genre’s texts.
38Such a manifest material performance of the novel’s generic identity is functionally important not only to the vast public of non-readers, but also to the book’s target audience of self-identified category romance readers. Like the public, the romance reader recognizes the stereotype-driven public code as signaling the romance generic identity. This generic identification of the novel triggers, as has been established by Janice Radway’s seminal study of romance readers, a set of generic expectations on the part of the reader. When the text meets these generic expectations – as the strongly conventional, editorially carefully controlled category romance specifically aims to do – the reader is satisfied. This interplay between the creation of generic expectations, the fulfilling of these expectations and the resulting reader satisfaction is of vital commercial importance to the category romance novel, as it provides the core impetus for the reader to want to repeat the reading experience by reading – that is, buying – other category romance novels.
It’s natural to trust your current likes and dislikes when you think that will make you feel happy. But now you know that they’re based on accidents of experience rather than complete information. Your accidental circuits cause the threatened feeling you get when you depart from the road you know. If you avoid the threatened feeling by sticking to the old road, you miss out on a universe of potential happiness. You can learn to enjoy the challenge of embarking on a new road to feel good.
It was hard to imagine loneliness here. Just as it was impossible to imagine where in this crowded domestic arrangement you might find the happier twin sister of loneliness: privacy. Mai and her mother lived in constant closeness with so many people. I was struck—not for the first time in my years of travel—by how isolating contemporary American society can seem by comparison. Where I come from, we have shriveled down the notion of what constitutes “a family unit” to such a tiny scale that it would probably be unrecognizable as a family to anybody in one of these big, loose, enveloping Hmong clans. You almost need an electron microscope to study the modern Western family these days. What you’ve got are two, possibly three, or maybe sometimes four people rattling around together in a giant space, each person with her own private physical and psychological domain, each person spending large amounts of the day completely separated from the others.
Donating your time can have the same effect. In a recent review of 40 studies done over the last 20 years, researchers found that volunteering was one of the most successful ways to boost psychological health. Volunteering was found to be linked with a reduced risk of depression, a higher amount of overall satisfaction, and even a reduced risk of death from of a physical illness as a consequence of mental distress.
It may sound trite, but try to reel yourself back to the present—especially if your thoughts have the tendency to get away from you, like mine do. “Even if you’re weeping and crying, ask yourself: Can I just be with this?” Flake says. And remind yourself that you are safe and sound: “If you’re sitting in your car, for example, feel the back of your leg touching the seat. Feel your bracelet on your arm. Feel the cool air conditioning blowing on you,” she suggests. “This helps remind your brain in a language it understands in sensations that everything is OK — that you can find some peace, no matter what else is going on.”
The second story, “The Farmer’s Wife” shows how a 21-year-old wife must adapt to living with her 36-year-old husband. The third story, “Misguided Heart” introduces us to June, a factory worker who chooses as her true love her co-worker over the self-entitled son of the factory owner. The fourth story (not drawn by Simon or Kirby), “The Plight of the Suspicious Bride Groom,” focuses on a bellhop who breaks up engagements for fun and the bride groom that stops him. Finally, the fifth story is a typical boy from the wrong side of the tracks tale entitled “Summer Song.”

I was born into a late-twentieth-century American middle-class family. Like untold millions of other people in the contemporary world born into similar circumstances, I was raised to believe that I was special. My parents (who were neither hippies nor radicals; who in fact voted for Ronald Reagan twice) simply believed that their children had particular gifts and dreams that set them apart from other people’s children. My “me-ness” was always prized, and was moreover recognized as being different from my sister’s “her-ness,” my friends’ “themness,” and everyone else’s “everyone-else-ness.” Though I was certainly not spoiled, my parents believed that my personal happiness was of some importance, and that I should learn to shape my life’s journey in such a way that would support and reflect my individual search for contentment.


33These exemplary analyses of three aspects of the category romance’s material packaging indicate the systematic manner in which a double codification of this materiality is created. The potential for a double interpretation is a semiotic pattern that is present in nearly every aspect of these material conditions and that is implemented in a coherent and coordinated way. This suggests that far from being a random or coincidental effect, this semiotic pattern is a deliberate strategy on the part of the category romance novel’s producers, who seek to influence the reception and interpretation of the text.
I was born into a late-twentieth-century American middle-class family. Like untold millions of other people in the contemporary world born into similar circumstances, I was raised to believe that I was special. My parents (who were neither hippies nor radicals; who in fact voted for Ronald Reagan twice) simply believed that their children had particular gifts and dreams that set them apart from other people’s children. My “me-ness” was always prized, and was moreover recognized as being different from my sister’s “her-ness,” my friends’ “themness,” and everyone else’s “everyone-else-ness.” Though I was certainly not spoiled, my parents believed that my personal happiness was of some importance, and that I should learn to shape my life’s journey in such a way that would support and reflect my individual search for contentment.
…recent experimental findings have demonstrated that performing a cognitive task can take the edge off negative emotional responses and help people put things into a more neutral perspective ( Morrow & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1990; Van Dillen & Koole, 2007)… The idea is straightforward: stuff your head with numbers, instead of irrational ideas about getting back together with your ex.
Despite Burton's erotic conquests, his AIM Sniffer is still buggy. He once IM'd the wrong person in a café. A woman opened her laptop at the same time as a man, and Burton mistakenly wrote a flirty message to the guy. "He got really angry and threatened to call the cops, until I explained to him what I was doing," Burton recalls. "Then he got into it and started IMing me about all the cute girls in the café he wanted to meet."

It was hard to imagine loneliness here. Just as it was impossible to imagine where in this crowded domestic arrangement you might find the happier twin sister of loneliness: privacy. Mai and her mother lived in constant closeness with so many people. I was struck—not for the first time in my years of travel—by how isolating contemporary American society can seem by comparison. Where I come from, we have shriveled down the notion of what constitutes “a family unit” to such a tiny scale that it would probably be unrecognizable as a family to anybody in one of these big, loose, enveloping Hmong clans. You almost need an electron microscope to study the modern Western family these days. What you’ve got are two, possibly three, or maybe sometimes four people rattling around together in a giant space, each person with her own private physical and psychological domain, each person spending large amounts of the day completely separated from the others.


So I hope by now you know whether you are in a committed love relationship or just a romantic one. Every relationship is beautiful as long as you know what your heart really feels. So analyze the aspects of your relationship to understand what it really is and where it’s headed. Once the butterflies in your tummy settle down, only then will you be able to think clearly! So enjoy the love you have and let the love take you higher…

It is a mistake to think that love comics are read only by adolescent and older children. They are read by very young children as well. An eight-year-old girl living in a very comfortable environment on Long Island said, “I have lots of friends and we buy about one comic book a week and then we exchange. I can read about ten a day. I like to read the comic books about love because when I go to sleep at night I love to dream about love.”
But things would change when Jacob Kurtzberg and Joe Simon returned home from World War II. Kurtzberg had previously worked in comics under a variety of pen names, including Jack Curtiss, Curt Davis, Lance Kirby, Ted Grey, Charles Nicholas, Fred Sande, and Teddy, before ultimately settling on the name Jack Kirby. Before the war, Kirby had collaborated with Joe Simon to create memorable superheroes for both Timely (Marvel) and DC comics; most notably, the star-spangled avenger known as Captain America, who debuted in 1940. But as superhero comics lost popularity after the end of World War II, Simon and Kirby were forced to explore and produce comics in other genres such as humor, horror, and crime comics.
Think more positively. The easiest way to become happier is to make an effort to be a more optimistic person. You may think that some people are more negative than others, but this is lazy thinking that can keep you from being happier than you are today. Your personal situation may not be in your control, but you can always control your perspective, and making the effort to look at the bright side of any situation instead of focusing on all of the negative aspects you see will make you be a happier person.
Although Young Romance was released by Prize comics, it should be noted that there was some resistance on the part of the publishers. Kirby tells, Evenier, “Mike [Bleiet] and Teddy [Epstein, the people who ran Prize] didn’t have much faith in Young Romance.” As a result, Simon and Kirby agreed to forgo upfront payment and were paid on the back end only if the book was a success. Of course, Simon was also able to negotiate for 50% of the profits from the book (and its follow up, Young Love). Simon explained to Evanier:
8. Act toward other people the way you wish they’d act toward you. If you wish your friends would help you find someone to date, see if you can fix up a friend. If you wish people would help you find a job, see if you can help someone else find a job. If you can’t think of a way to help someone you know, do something generous in a more impersonal way. For instance: commit to being an organ donor! When you’re feeling very low, it can be hard to muster the energy to help someone else, but you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. Do good, feel good; it really works.
There’s a reason why people always talk about faking it ‘til you make it: “When we smile, the muscles in our face send signals to our brain that help create — biologically — a better mood than when we frown,” said positive psychologist Barbara Holstein, EdD, who has a private practice in Long Branch, N.J. It might sound silly, but Holstein encourages people to sit for a minute and just grin. Or better yet, smile at someone. This helps establish immediate connection — another key to feeling upbeat.
Its messed up for me because I give Slyphy gifts all the time! And she only said she loved me once! Every time I wake up in the morning I wake-up to being alone... I beat the game, and to me it looks like I can't get any further in the relationship, should I date someone else? (I already accidentally broke Fana's heart, don't want to do that again)
London is one of the most populous cities in England. It is also the capital of England. Most popular landmarks are The Big Ben, The London Eye, and The Buckingham Place. London has a lot of great destinations to visit. However, the main character in this game, Cardia, is isolated in an abandoned mansion in London. The mansion has a design from the 19th-century Victorian era. Cardia is a monster to the Local because she possesses a deadly poison that melts everything she touches. Her father’s will to her is never to fall in love with someone. However, she meets the Arsène Lupin. Now, the two people joined forces to find the answer for her mysterious condition.
Umbrella-related questions thereby resolved, the grandmother went on to explain the traditional Hmong marital custom of kidnapping. This is an ancient custom, she said, though it is much less in practice these days than it was in the past. Still, it does exist. Brides— who are sometimes consulted beforehand about their kidnapping and sometimes not—are abducted by their potential grooms, who carry them by pony to their own families’ homes. This is all strictly organized and is permitted only on certain nights of the year, at celebrations after certain market days. (You can’t just kidnap a bride any old time you want. There are rules.) The kidnapped girl is given three days to live in the home of her captor, with his family, in order to decide whether or not she would like to marry this fellow. Most of the time, the grandmother reported, the marriage proceeds with the girl’s consent. On the rare occasion that the kidnapped potential bride doesn’t embrace her captor, she is allowed to return home to her own family at the end of the three days, and the whole business is forgotten. Which sounded reasonable enough to me, as far as kidnappings go.

The second story, “The Farmer’s Wife” shows how a 21-year-old wife must adapt to living with her 36-year-old husband. The third story, “Misguided Heart” introduces us to June, a factory worker who chooses as her true love her co-worker over the self-entitled son of the factory owner. The fourth story (not drawn by Simon or Kirby), “The Plight of the Suspicious Bride Groom,” focuses on a bellhop who breaks up engagements for fun and the bride groom that stops him. Finally, the fifth story is a typical boy from the wrong side of the tracks tale entitled “Summer Song.”

8One of the consequences of this system is that category romances are highly conventional. All category romance novels share the overall conventions of the romance genre,6 but within this encompassing generic framework each category romance also incorporates the conglomerate of conventions that characterize the line in which it is published. As a result, conventionality is pivotal to nearly every aspect of the category romance story and text. These conventions are, moreover, strongly enforced by editors and publishers, who act as gatekeepers guarding the genre and line profiles. Narratives that do not incorporate the various conventions are simply not published in the category romance system.7 The strong conventionality that consequently marks the category romance novel is often interpreted as a characteristic that renders the category romance an aesthetically inferior form, and it is frequently cited as one of the main reasons for the format’s low cultural status.8
Despite Burton's erotic conquests, his AIM Sniffer is still buggy. He once IM'd the wrong person in a café. A woman opened her laptop at the same time as a man, and Burton mistakenly wrote a flirty message to the guy. "He got really angry and threatened to call the cops, until I explained to him what I was doing," Burton recalls. "Then he got into it and started IMing me about all the cute girls in the café he wanted to meet."
The answer depends upon the definition of happiness, just as what being healthy means depends upon how we define health. Before the advent of modern medicine, many disabilities now considered curable were commonplace. What was once healthy for a forty-year-old is the standard of healthy for a sixty-year-old. Public health and modern medicine have led society to redefine what it means to be healthy.
It is in this particular area that I feel my most powerful impact. To say that my marriage was unconventional and that it was difficult is an understatement. But, I would do it all over again because my journey with Jeff provided me the opportunity to discover my own true definition of love. For in those twenty-five years, I was able to find my core, my strength, my faith, my hope, and my true understanding that I was chosen to love him. I was chosen to stay with him. And I was chosen to be able to watch him become the stranger in my bed due to the horrific devastation that his virus brought. To this day, I remain in my heart, Jeff’s wife, friend, caregiver, and devoted partner. My hope is that with this book, others may gather up the strength and fortitude to commit to their marriage vows before God first and then, commit to their marriage. May this book give you the understanding of how remarkably strong you can be and how capable you truly are when “Committed to Love.”
As a matter of fact, it’s already happening. Now that young girls like my twelve-year-old friend Mai are being exposed to modern Western women like me through crowds of tourists, they’re experiencing those first critical moments of cultural hesitation. I call this the “Wait-a-Minute Moment”—that pivotal instant when girls from traditional cultures start pondering what’s in it for them, exactly, to be getting married at the age of thirteen and starting to have babies not long after. They start wondering if they might prefer to make different choices for themselves, or any choices, for that matter. Once girls from closed societies start thinking such thoughts, all hell breaks loose. Mai- trilingual, bright, and observant- had already glimpsed another set of options for life. It wouldn’t be long before she was making demands of her own. In other words: It might be too late for even the Hmong to be Hmong anymore.
The BPS Research Digest explores another study 4 that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task over the course of a day, the researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive late in the day to negative emotions like fear and anger.
A great confidence and commitment builder in a relationship is a shared, positive experience with the person you love. Think of the identity of your relationship — how you and your partner perceive it to be. I bet that inside-joke you share with your partner came from that first date at the baseball game, or that awkward moment at the restaurant when your boyfriend forgot his wallet. Oops! Now, he’s eternally grilled for that mishap!
At first, it might feel silly to look for reasons to pat yourself on the back, and the reasons you come up with might make you uncomfortable. Still, commit to doing this whether or not it feels good. You can decide to be worthy of your own applause and enjoy the feeling, even if just for a split second. If it feels fake or forced, that’s normal, because the circuits that berate your accomplishments feel strong and true.
42Indeed, the core interpretative mechanism uncovered in the material analyses in this paper – the notion that generically initiated readers interpret conventionality differently from readers who are not familiar with the genre’s codes and conventions – has the potential to shed new light on the broader discussion of the role of conventionality in the popular romance genre specifically and other kinds of genre fiction more generally. It stands to reason that the dynamics uncovered in the category romance’s materiality also apply to the text this materiality encloses and represents. Indeed, if we consider this materiality to be a physical manifestation and performative representation of the identity and characteristic traits of the text (as I have implicitly done throughout this discussion), the implications for the role of conventionality in the category romance narrative are potentially far-reaching and call for a renewed examination of the poetic functioning of both romance and other kinds of popular fiction.

On average, men were happier if they received confessions of love before a relationship turned sexual, while women were happier if first declarations of love came after sexual intimacy in the relationship. It seems that, consciously or unconsciously, guys take a pre-sex "I love you" to mean "I'm ready to sleep with you," while women worry it's a move to get them into bed.


One of the biggest attractions of dating is falling in love, and many people have sought long and hard to find a partner they can love forever. Life has a way of changing how people feel and perceive the world, and love is not immune to this phenomenon. Many couples are shocked to discover that their love may fade over time, but they still feel committed to their partner. That is because love and commitment are very different from each other.
For forty-five days, notice your status frustrations and remind yourself of the hidden advantages of wherever you are as a way to boost serotonin and a way to feel better. Your status will always be going up and down in small ways. Your mammal brain will always keep track of it, as much as you wish it wouldn’t. If you fret over your position, the fretting will never end. You can focus on the positives instead, which will train your brain to feel happier. Once you create this thought habit, you will always have a way to make peace with your mammal brain.
For forty-five days, give up control instead of trying to control the world in your accustomed ways. Don’t quit your day job to beg with a rice bowl and think that will be a way to feel good. Just stop checking the weather report, buying lottery tickets, and expecting the world to work according to your rules. Choose one habit you have for feeling in control, and do without it. If you can’t give up your control ritual completely, commit to giving it up for a certain time each day. You will learn how to feel happy and safe in the world despite your inability to control it.
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Focus on yourself and your own life. Forget men for a moment to figure yourself out. He's not the only man in the world and if things are meant to be, they will be in their own time. Take this time to look at your patterns, why you make the decisions you make, and to process past hurts that may still be there. Nothing will be gained by making fear-based decisions. If you can access Jane's help or that of a therapist, do that! Finding a hand that walks along with you in the process is extremely helpful.
Stop comparing yourself to others. If you learn to look at your life on its own terms instead of wishing you had as much money, as many friends, or the same amazing body as the person next to you, then you’ll be able to let go of bitterness and jealousy. Remind yourself that each and every person has his own struggles and strong suits, and that you can’t have everything – and neither can anyone else. Focus on doing your own thing instead of looking around you and you’ll quickly feel happier for it.
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