To this day, I admit, I’m not entirely sure how to use this information. I cannot quite bring myself to make an official motto out of “Ask for less!” Nor can I imagine advising a young woman on the eve of her marriage to lower her expectations in life in order to be happy. Such thinking runs contrary to every modern teaching I’ve ever absorbed. Also, I’ve seen this tactic backfire. I had a friend from college who deliberately narrowed down her life’s options, as though to vaccinate herself against overly ambitious expectations. She skipped a career and ignored the lure of travel to instead move back home and marry her high school sweetheart. With unwavering confidence, she announced that she would become “only” a wife and mother. The simplicity of this arrangement felt utterly safe to her—certainly compared to the convulsions of indecision that so many of her more ambitious peers (myself included) were suffering. But when her husband left her twelve years later for a younger woman, my friend’s rage and sense of betrayal were as ferocious as anything I’ve ever seen. She virtually imploded with resentment—not so much against her husband, but against the universe, which she perceived to have broken a sacred contract with her.
No, I don’t mean you need to be a sacrificing person all the time, but this is something that starts to happen naturally. When the needs of your partner start becoming your priority, you know you are in a serious love commitment. It does not make you feel any lesser nor does it make you feel like you are losing out on something; in fact it gives you great joy and satisfaction.
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.
So you want to know if your relationship is a committed one. These days it’s not enough to assume that traditional labels of “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” or even “partner” are enough to confirm your exclusivity status. Besides the more obvious actions of living together and becoming engaged, there are some things that never change, and chances are if your relationship has any of the following 11 characteristics, there’s a strong possibility that you’re in a committed one.
Do nice things for others. One study shows that people who were given a cash bonus at work were happiest when they spent a significant amount of it on other people. This doesn’t mean that you should spend all of your cash on your best friend, but it does mean that you should make a more concerted effort to do nice things for others, whether you’re helping a friend cope with her breakup just by being there or you’re volunteering at a homeless shelter. No act is 100% selfless, and it’s okay to help others while helping yourself feel happier, too.[8]
To build this new circuit and train your brain with how to feel happier, notice your usual strategy for feeling “on top of things,” and do the opposite. For example, if you are a person who tries to bake the perfect soufflé, spend forty-five days cooking without recipes. Conversely, if you are a person who likes to just throw things into a pot, spend forty-five days following recipes.

Sounds silly? It’s not. Consider creating them with friends or family members to see if their perception of you holds any weight in your plans for the future. Friends and family members can act as a mirror for ourselves at times. Seeing them surprised by your interest in different things may cause you to either think twice about that decision or pursue it with more vigor.
And Lord, we get to watch that.  And I pray that as we hear these testimonies, as we see these baptisms that there will be many, many thanksgivings rising up to you from our hearts as we bless your name for your glory. And for those who don’t know what it’s like to be loved in a committed, compassionate way, may you draw our hearts to you today. May there be some in here who put their faith in Jesus Christ for your glory. Amen.
Explaining the differences between the sexes, this book looks at the basic division between men and women. The author argues that men are, in actual fact, more violent when angry than women who tend to be more verbal. The book offers new insights into the reasons a wife is more likely to nurture a relationship, even though her husband doesn't carry the instinctive awarenes ...more
The rationale: Models give us templates for how to be better people. When we seek success and happiness, it’s best to look at how others have achieved the same thing. As Jim Rohn often said, “Success breeds clues.” If someone is repeatedly successful, it’s not just luck. Watch your role model work, see how they do it and then replicate to achieve the same result. The same rationale can be applied to happiness.
15This double semiotic codification – and its concomitant potential for divergent interpretations – is present in nearly every aspect of the category romance novel’s materiality. To illustrate how the dual semiotic decoding of these properties may work, I will focus on three illustrative examples in the rest of this paper. These analyses focus on three standard elements of the category romance’s paratexts : the front cover iconography, the line template in the design of the category romance’s material packaging and the preview scene that is routinely printed on the first page of a category romance novel.
The aftermath of the Love Glut was like nothing that had ever occurred in American comic book publishing. Unlike the demise of horror and crime titles in the mid-1950s, the near simultaneous disappearance or suspension of more than 100 romance titles in 1950 did not involve censorship or the excessive outcries of outraged parents, teachers and librarians. It was simply a classic example of too much supply and too little demand, not to mention too little space on the racks.
 Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.

[i] e.g., Wieselquist, J., Rusbult, C. E., Foster, C. A., & Agnew, C. R. (1999). Commitment, pro-relationship behavior, and trust in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 942-966.; Stanley, S. M., Whitton, S. W., Low, S. M., Clements, M. L., & Markman, H. J. (2006). Sacrifice as a predictor of marital outcomes. Family Process, 45, 289-303.
Love isn’t rational. It can’t be controlled. If you allow a feeling that is so emotional and malleable dictate your behaviour, you’ll realise quickly that it only pans out when things are up, not when they’re down. Commitment on the other hand, will guide you through both. Commitment is not dependant on the heartstrings, it’s dependant on a conscious choice you make – and that, is something you have complete control over.
His idea is as simple - and as simplistic - as HTML. The lovelorn use Vuong's trademarked Identification Coding System to convert their every physical, intellectual, and psychological attribute into a string of characters. Then they post the code on their Web sites. SocialGridsters can surf Google for their ideal mate by typing in their most-wanted combination of codes. They can customize their searches to locate people of a particular height, religion, educational background, even level of risk tolerance. In Vuong's world humans become fully searchable, utterly logical, machine-readable data. It's an eccentric courtship strategy but it suits Vuong perfectly. "My ideal date is to go somewhere with our laptops and do work," he says with a grin.
Which is exactly how I’ve felt lately. I know my life is full of good things—I have wonderful friends, wonderful parents, and I love what I do. But, as someone who tends to overthink things, I’ve been feeling a little let down about some things in my life that aren’t working out as well as I’d hoped—like a recent breakup, uncertainty about my career path, and not exactly loving where I live.
I don’t mean to imply that the Hmong don’t believe their children matter; on the contrary, they are famous in anthropological circles for building some of the world’s most exceptionally loving families. But this was clearly not a society that worshiped at the Altar of Individual Choice. As in most traditional societies, Hmong family dogma might effectively be summed up not as “You matter” but as “Your role matters.” For, as everyone in this village seemed to know, there are tasks at hand in life—some tasks that men must do and some tasks that women must do—and everyone must contribute to the best of his or her abilities. If you perform your tasks reasonably well, you can go to sleep at night knowing that you are a good man or a good woman, and you need not expect much more out of life or out of relationships than that.
35That the public codification of the category romance novel’s materiality revolves around a generic interpretation is no surprise given the commercial character of popular fiction. As scholars such as John Cawelti and Ken Gelder have argued, the field of popular fiction is much more preoccupied with the notion of genre than that of literary fiction :

Pride is a rudder that helps you navigate opportunities to get social recognition. It helps you steer between the opposite extremes of constant approval-seeking and cynical dejection, which actually can help you feel quite happy and content. Taking pride in yourself means more than just thinking it silently. It means daring to say, “Look what I did!” to another living soul. Asking others to respect your accomplishment is risky because you may be disappointed. People often protect themselves by insisting that social respect doesn’t matter or that it’s hopelessly unfair. But these rationales don’t help you feel better because they don’t soothe the mammal brain’s longing for the sense of security that social respect brings.
17The clinch image carries a double semiotic code and has the potential to be interpreted differently by the public and the romance reader. To the public at large, the clinch image likely signifies simply the genre identity of the popular romance. This interpretation is based on the strong semantic connection between this image and the popular romance genre that exists in our culture as a result of the incessant reformulation of this type of image on the front cover of category romance novels since the 1970s.10 As a visually striking and instantly recognizable image with only a limited range of potential variations, the clinch quickly attained an iconic status and has become the cover design shorthand par excellence for popular romance. Although the constant reformulations of the image on a seemingly endless string of category romance front covers reinforce and perpetuate a number of cultural stereotypes about the romance genre, including interpretations of the genre as formulaic, overly sexualized and more than a little ridiculous, the category romance is steadfast in its love for the clinch cover.11
In her research, Lyubomirsky has asked men and women to imagine that this month is the last month they’re going to live in their hometown.”People really change,” she said. “They change what activities they do — they savor their friends and their neighbors.” What might you embrace, or what nearby adventures might you finally prioritize if you were moving soon?
“When you exercise, chemicals are released in the brain that cause happiness,” explained Nancy Mramor, Ph.D., a psychologist with a private practice in Pittsburgh, Pa. “Fifteen to 20 minutes of walking and the chemicals start kicking in, and the more you do it, the stronger that reaction in the brain becomes.” For a double-whammy, take your walk in nature (or at least, in relatively fresh air and sunlight if you’re a city person). Studies show that putting one foot in front of the other outdoors ... even for just a few minutes ... can help boost mood.
A team of psychologists recently studied brain scans of volunteers who wrote about an emotional experience for 20 minutes a day for four sessions. They compared the scans to those of volunteers who wrote down a neutral experience for the same amount of time. The brain scans of the first group showed neural activity in a part of the brain responsible for dampening strong emotional feelings, suggesting that the act of recording their experience calmed them. This same activity was absent in the volunteers who recorded a neutral experience.
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