It can also make you feel like you have a dope roommate. You’ll have great conversations, laugh at corny inside jokes, and be mad if they decide to watch an episode of your favorite TV series without you. And even with all that friendship, you’ll start to wonder if you’re meant to stay together in this loving, but romantically depleted relationship for the rest of your life.
At first, Fran wants to go to the police, but Wayde convinces her to keep quiet and the rewards will be theirs to reap. She agrees, but is shaken when the agency auditor finds severe and purposeful errors on their tax returns. Wayde tries to smooth things over, but Fran insists they give the scheme up. Wayde promises they only need to do a few more jobs.
Relationships, even committed and loving ones, aren't always easy. While you'll have your fair share of ups, you can also expect some downs as well. Expecting the intense passion instant love or infatuation brings to stick around may let you down in the long run. A committed relationship requires both partners to move through the good and the bad parts of the romance. Staying together when you're arguing, and not just when you're gleefully head over heals about each other, shows that the two of you have a strong commitment.
28As we can see in these examples, these scenes are marked by a strong sense of conventionality. This is no coincidence ; indeed, scenes that are selected as preview scenes usually depict a narrative moment that is instantly recognizable as a conventional part of a traditional romance plot. These scenes frequently zoom in onfeelings of sexual attraction and/or romantic conflict between the protagonists and depict events such as the erotically charged moments preceding the characters’ first kiss or their first time making love. Invariably ending on an (erotic) cliffhanger, the preview scene is often a kind of narrative equivalent of the clinch image and is charged with the same sense of expectation, (sexual) tension and narrative determinism that marks the clinch. Like the clinch, the preview scene also represents a stereotypical image of the romance genre, not only because it depicts a very clichéd moment in the romance narrative, but also because this representation is rendered in a highly conventionalized, even hackneyed discourse.
While we laugh at this story, it is a great illustration of what we are focused on this month – committed love. The difference here between the pig and the chicken, as illustrated, is that for one the donation was a contribution and for the other it was a commitment. This story aids our understanding of the difference between committed love and a love “contribution.” We are not called to contribute love to others, we are called to be committed to loving others.
But maybe it would be useful for me to at least acknowledge to myself now, on the eve of my second marriage, that I, too, ask for an awful lot. Of course I do. It’s the emblem of our times. I have been allowed to expect great things in life. I have been permitted to expect far more out of the experience of love and living than most other women in history were ever permitted to ask. When it comes to questions of intimacy, I want many things from my man, and I want them all simultaneously. It reminds me of a story my sister once told me, about an Englishwoman who visited the United States in the winter of 1919 and who, scandalized, reported back home in a letter that there were people in this curious country of America who actually lived with the expectation that every part of their bodies should be warm at the same time! My afternoon spent discussing marriage with the Hmong made me wonder if I, in matters of the heart, had also become such a person—a woman who believed that my lover should magically be able to keep every part of my emotional being warm at the same time.
But also, and this is something that I think about that isn’t specifically outlined in Scripture but (this part is) when a person is under the water, there is a picture of washing and cleansing. But I love to think of that water as expressing, picturing the tears of God. The One who is acquainted with our grief, carried our sorrows is washing away, not just our sin, but is moving toward our sorrow, is bearing our burdens. You can’t love someone sacrificially without, in a sense, absorbing upon yourself their grief, their sadness, their sorrow. And God, the Creator of all things, has moved toward us in that way, not only in a way that pays for our sin, that sets us free from the bondage to the devil, but also because Jesus has a Father who dearly loves his people.
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.
“Soul, bless the Lord. All that is within me. We’re all in, and let’s repeat. Soul, let’s not forget his benefits. And now into the routine part. Let’s rehearse some of these benefits,” and he starts going through them. What kind of benefits are you talking about? Well, he actually forgives all your iniquities. He forgives all your iniquities, now and tomorrow and forever. He heals all your diseases. He sometimes miraculously heals you the moment you ask, sometimes over time, but ultimately all your diseases are going to be healed. He heals all your diseases.
Felipe and I had arrived in this particular village after an overnight journey from Hanoi on a loud, dirty, Soviet-era train. I can’t rightly remember now why we went to this specific town, but I think some young Danish backpackers had recommended it to us. In any case, after the loud, dirty train journey, there had been a long, loud, dirty bus ride. The bus had finally dropped us off in a staggeringly beautiful place that teetered on the border with China—remote and verdant and wild. We found a hotel and when I stepped out alone to explore the town, to try to shake the stiffness of travel out of my legs, the little girl approached me.
It's because of our culture, our programming, the double-standard that we feel even as we know, as you say, Kate, that he could have been doing the same thing as well! The messages for women - and the labels attached to them - are so strong! It's why I always get such resistance when I suggest dating (not sleeping with) a few men at a time. And yet, it's doing exactly this that keeps everything in balance and keeps you from jumping too far ahead with anyone before they've shown you that they're truly worthy of you!
2. Remember your body. Take a twenty-minute walk outside to boost your energy and dissolve stress. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Get enough sleep. Manage pain. When you’re anxious, it’s easy to stay up late and eat ice cream -- and that’s going to make you feel worse in the long run. It's very tempting to run yourself ragged trying to deal with a crisis, but in the long run, you just wear yourself out.
I stumbled upon Deborah Geary whilst browsing the kindle store and I am so happy that I did. All of her books are well written' thought out and thoroughly enjoyable. They envelope you in family, love and kindness and are a great way to escape for a while, it's a shame that Witch Central doesn't exist :) I would recommend anyone to pick up her first book and start from the beginning (kind of) as her most recent book takes us back to Nell and Daniel's beginning. However you need to read the others first. Enjoy.

“Soul, bless the Lord. All that is within me. We’re all in, and let’s repeat. Soul, let’s not forget his benefits. And now into the routine part. Let’s rehearse some of these benefits,” and he starts going through them. What kind of benefits are you talking about? Well, he actually forgives all your iniquities. He forgives all your iniquities, now and tomorrow and forever. He heals all your diseases. He sometimes miraculously heals you the moment you ask, sometimes over time, but ultimately all your diseases are going to be healed. He heals all your diseases.
By sacrifice, I don’t really mean some extraordinary feat of self-sacrifice. Of course that would matter, but I really mean small, day-to-day indicators that a person is willing to put their partner or relationship first. And I mean mutual: A healthy relationship includes two givers, who each give to each other and the relationship in small ways that matter.  
The comics industry took into account many of the criticisms leveled against romance comics when it enacted the Comics Code Authority in 1954. The Comics Code was implemented to help stave off the backlash against comics and is credited with destroying much of the comic industry and curtailing free speech and creativity for decades. Several specific provisions were directly leveled at romance comics and the advertisements found in them.
Correctly “reading” the signs of commitment in a potential long-term partner is crucial. This is most important earlier on, of course, prior to “settling down” with someone, particularly when one partner wants to know if the relationship has a future. You can press for this information too soon, but you can also wait too long to get the big question clarified: Is this person as into me as I am into them? Can this relationship turn into a commitment? When you don’t get solid information about commitment as things progress, you can miss important signs of unequal commitment. That’s a lousy place to land.
If you’ve caught yourself spending too much time in the past or the future, read the 4th Pathway of Ken Keyes: “I always remember I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by demands and expectations based on the dead past or the imagined future.” Remind yourself you have food, clothing, shelter, mobility, vision, hearing and basic necessities. Many people don’t.You needn’t try to convince yourself that everything in your life is fine; just know that right here and right now, if you aren’t stuck in “how awful it is,” you can calm yourself and change your negative thoughts to accepting what is so now. That doesn’t mean you won’t do anything about your situation; it just means that what you are and have right now can be dealt with, minus panic and fear.
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.”
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You may steer clear of evidence that would run counter to this worldview, which would mean that you don’t try that hard to socialize with people in the workplace, and instead keep your guard up. You may turn down invitations to happy hour, and instead stick to your familiar mantra that you can’t trust anyone and you wouldn’t have enjoyed hanging out with those people anyway.
The risk of romantic love being our definition of real love (common for people who see real love as a “feeling” rather than a “choice”), is that it cannot be sustained for anyone. If we saw it this way, then we may always be chasing it, never staying with someone long enough to move into “committed love”, and never really being satisfied in a relationship. Plus all of that intensity gets exhausting after awhile! Those fantasies are also quite a burden for the other person to carry, and how disappointed we can be when they don’t live up to those earlier visions! “You’re not the person I fell in love with”. And why does this happen with a specific person? That’s also for another post.
12 In her 1984 study on the popular romance genre, Margaret Ann Jensen suggests that the category romance cover is composed according to a very strict code in order to indicate the narrative’s level of sensuality: “The position of the hero and heroine on the books’ cover is a good indication of how much sex there is in the romance. If they are not touching at all, the story does not have any sex scenes. If they are touching, the degree of sexuality escalates, with different touching positions symbolizing the amount of sexual involvement: “hands above waist=innocent frolic; hand below the waist or on the breast = sexual; prone positions=keep this in a locked drawer” (Kolb, “Checking Out The Categories” 41). The pictures also tell the readers how sexually responsive and aggressive the heroine is, as there are two types of embrace – the “hesitant heroine’s” and the “cognizant heroine’s”: “The first kind is the more traditional portrayal of female sexuality and indicates that the hero pursues the heroine, who resists and perhaps capitulates, against her better judgment. The second kind of embrace is a departure from traditional sexual encounters and indicates that the heroine is responsive and probably even active in the pursuit of romantic-sexual gratification” (Kolb, “The Books You Judge By Their Covers” 62-63). Although Jensen’s and Kolb’s observations might have been accurate in the late 1970s and early 1980s, category romance novel covers are no longer composed according to such strict rules. Still, the observation is indicative of the highly coded nature of the romance novel cover.
In the weeks to come, as I replayed this conversation over in my mind, I was forced to hatch my own theory about what had made me and my hosts so foreign and incomprehensible to each other on the subject of marriage. And here’s my theory: Neither the grandmother nor any other woman in that room was placing her marriage at the center of her emotional biography in any way that was remotely familiar to me. In the modern industrialized Western world, where I come from, the person whom you choose to marry is perhaps the single most vivid representation of your own personality. Your spouse becomes the most gleaming possible mirror through which your emotional individualism is reflected back to the world. There is no choice more intensely personal, after all, than whom you choose to marry; that choice tells us, to a large extent, who you are. So if you ask any typical modern Western woman how she met her husband, when she met her husband, and why she fell in love with her husband, you can be plenty sure that you will be told a complete, complex, and deeply personal narrative which that woman has not only spun carefully around the entire experience, but which she has memorized, internalized, and scrutinized for clues as to her own selfhood. Moreover, she will more than likely share this story with you quite openly—even if you are a perfect stranger. In fact, I have found over the years that the question “How did you meet your husband?” is one of the best conversational icebreakers ever invented. In my experience, it doesn’t even matter whether that woman’s marriage has been happy or a disaster: It will still be relayed to you as a vitally important story about her emotional being—perhaps even the most vitally important story about her emotional being. Whoever that modern Western woman is, I can promise you that her story will concern two people—herself and her spouse—who, like characters in a novel or movie, are presumed to have been on some kind of personal life’s journeys before meeting each other, and whose journeys then intersected at a fateful moment. (For instance: “I was living in San Francisco that summer, and I had no intention of staying much longer—until I met Jim at that party.”) The story will probably have drama and suspense (“He thought I was dating the guy I was there with, but that was just my gay friend Larry!”). The story will have doubts (“He wasn’t really my type; I normally go for guys who are more intellectual”). Critically, the story will end either with salvation (“Now I can’t imagine my life without him!”), or—if things have turned sour— with recriminating second-guesses (“Why didn’t I admit to myself right away that he was an alcoholic and a liar?”). Whatever the details, you can be certain that the modern Western woman’s love story will have been examined by her from every possible angle, and that, over the years, her narrative will have been either hammered into a golden epic myth or embalmed into a bitter cautionary tale.

"If you always think about the future and the past, you don't spend time in the moment very much," Müller said. "I have may clients who are either living totally in the past — like all the things they've done that were wrong, that didn't go well ... Or in the future — all the things that could go wrong, all the things that could happen to them, and how they could lose the things they 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.

23However, the impact of the line template extends far beyond the front cover. The back cover is designed in a very similar fashion, which makes for books that look altogether very similar (see figure 4). Indeed, as we can see in these examples, it is hardly possible to visually distinguish these individual books from each other. The imposing visual similarity seems to effectively stifle any claim to a more singularized interpretation that the book’s back cover traditionally develops. The same compositional principle also applies to the materiality inside the book, which, much like its outside cover, is designed on the basis of the line template. Category romances published in the same line consequently share the same font, font size, composition of the title page, foreword, etc. In other words, they all look quite similar.


I must add here that all my friends and relatives were raised with varying degrees of this same belief. With the possible exception of the very most conservative families among us, or the very most recently immigrated families among us, everyone I knew—at some basic level—shared this assumed cultural respect for the individual. Whatever our religion, whatever our economic class, we all at least somewhat embraced the same dogma, which I would describe as being very historically recent and very definitely Western and which can effectively be summed up as: “You matter.”
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The risk of romantic love being our definition of real love (common for people who see real love as a “feeling” rather than a “choice”), is that it cannot be sustained for anyone. If we saw it this way, then we may always be chasing it, never staying with someone long enough to move into “committed love”, and never really being satisfied in a relationship. Plus all of that intensity gets exhausting after awhile! Those fantasies are also quite a burden for the other person to carry, and how disappointed we can be when they don’t live up to those earlier visions! “You’re not the person I fell in love with”. And why does this happen with a specific person? That’s also for another post.
Jungian psychoanalysts take this idea further, and see romantic love as a “projection” of a key part of one’s inner world onto someone else. Basically when we meet someone new who “sparkles” for us, we use them as a canvas for us to place all kinds of wonderful things from our imagination onto them. This basically inflates the reality of that person into god or goddess-like status. The “perfect” person.
Figuring out how to feel happy is no easy task. Do you find yourself in a depressed state, wondering what you’re missing? Are you thinking that there must be something else that you should be doing? Are you unsure how to feel happy and fulfilled? Or maybe times are tough, and you don’t know what to do to make it through the challenges you’re currently facing.
You have some success every day, so commit to finding it and say, “I did it!” You will not conduct a symphony at Carnegie Hall every day. You will not lead starving hordes into the Promised Land every day. To feel good regularly, adjust your expectations so you can be pleased with something you actually do. This doesn’t mean you are lowering your expectations, or “full of yourself,” or losing touch with reality. It means you are lingering on your gains the way you already linger on your losses (which I’m sure you can imagine is not a key for how to feel better).
I used to be such a starry-eyed believer of love. I thought that love conquered all - and that as long as you shared that feeling with someone, it meant that the relationship would last. In the theory of fairytales and movies, this may be the case, but in North American reality - not quite. Instead, love is only one of the many ingredients needed for a long-lasting partnership. But the concerning issue is - people put so much weight on the feeling of love, a feeling that inevitably changes, takes different forms and can get blinded easily.

I had no problem with any of this, by the way. I had long ago learned that when you are the giant, alien visitor to a remote and foreign culture it is sort of your job to become an object of ridicule. It’s the least you can do, really, as a polite guest. Soon more women—neighbors and relations—poured into the house. They also showed me their weavings, stuck their hats on my head, crammed my arms full of their babies, pointed at me, and laughed.
Multimedia pioneer Marc Canter's fledgling Friendster-esque social networking site, People Aggregator, is built on FOAF. The beauty of the system, he says, is that personal data can be searched and assembled as easily as blog entries are now. "You can't break down relationships to the ultimate granularity," Filkins admits, but you can keep up with who's looking for a hookup.
Interestingly, while many people charge the Comics Code with the destruction of the romance comics genre, the truth of the matter is that sales had begun decreasing long before the Code was implemented. Romance comics may have been queen, but her reign was limited. By the beginning of 1951, the number of romance comics titles had decreased by over 60%. According to the Kirby Museum, by 1951 there were only 45 romance comics on the racks. Of course, this was still a respectable number, but far fewer from the high of 148 in 1950. Quite simply, the market was oversaturated.
Because he's had such a hard time finding someone, Filkins spins out endless scenarios for dating hyper-personalization. "I would design the initial set of questions that people answer to create their FOAF file," he says. "Then there would be a system available to build new ones. If, for example, transsexuals wanted to use the protocol, they could come up with their own particular set of questions to ask."

Never having written a review before, I felt I needed to say something about this book and this series. This book, the meeting, dating and romance and love of Nell and Daniel was entertaining, funny, understandably nerve-wracking, and oh so real. I love these people. As a female computer scientist, going to school in the 70's, it did not surprise me that Daniel would not take Nell's coding skills seriously. Nor was I surprised by how this hacker-jock would be tied in knots by Nell the women. But, the getting from meeting to marrying was as real (and happy and sad) as any I have known. The book was a joy. The series is so much more.
If you’ve caught yourself spending too much time in the past or the future, read the 4th Pathway of Ken Keyes: “I always remember I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by demands and expectations based on the dead past or the imagined future.” Remind yourself you have food, clothing, shelter, mobility, vision, hearing and basic necessities. Many people don’t.You needn’t try to convince yourself that everything in your life is fine; just know that right here and right now, if you aren’t stuck in “how awful it is,” you can calm yourself and change your negative thoughts to accepting what is so now. That doesn’t mean you won’t do anything about your situation; it just means that what you are and have right now can be dealt with, minus panic and fear.
While happiness is experienced inwardly, its sources are mainly external and found in relationships that sustain us. These relationships are not confined to family but include how we relate to work, our communities and the environment. When we treat them well, the likelihood that our deep and abiding interest in being loved and cared for is increased.
Laughing stimulates endorphin as it spontaneously convulses your innards. Find out what makes you laugh, and make time for it. This is one of the best and easiest ways to feel happy. A big ha-ha laugh is necessary to trigger endorphin—sneering at people you disdain doesn’t do it. Nor does laughing on the outside, although that might prime the pump. It can be hard to find what triggers your laughs, but you can commit to keep sampling comedy until you get your daily laugh.
Endorphin is also stimulated when you stretch. Everyone can add stretching to their daily routine, because you can do it while you’re watching TV, waiting in line, or talking on the phone. Mild stretching brings circulation into constricted areas. Stop before you feel pain. Just because a little is good doesn’t mean a lot is better, nor is it needed to start feeling happier. If you stretch every day for forty-five days, you will not only feel good but also come to enjoy it so much that you will look forward to doing it every day.
40The apparent simplicity of the category romance novel’s materiality conceals a complex semiotic system of double encoding. The strong conventionality that marks the material packaging of the novel functions in a complex way that defies the stereotypes of simplicity, formula and repetition that surround the genre even as, on its surface level, it reinforces and perpetuates these same stereotypes. Whereas the mass public relies on this stereotype-confirming surface level to simplistically interpret the book as a formulaic instance of genre fiction, understanding – decoding – the hidden complexities of the underlying secondary semiotic layer requires the romance reader’s extensive knowledge of both the romance genre’s overall conventions and those that are specific to the category romance format. Only on the basis of such generic knowledge can this seemingly overwhelming conventionality be perceived and recognized as markers of variation and deviation instead of repetition and similarity.

6 Although it falls outside the scope of this paper to give a complete overview of the romance genre’s conventions, the most important of these have to do with the basic plot of the romance narrative. An authoritative account of this plot is articulated by romance scholar Pamela Regis, who claims the romance narrative has eight conventional elements: “a definition of society, always corrupt, that the romance novel will reform; the meeting between the heroine and the hero; an account of their attraction for each other; the barrier between them; the point of ritual death; the recognition the fells the barrier; the declaration of heroine and hero that they love each other; and their betrothal” (Regis, A Natural History of the Popular Romance Novel 14).

Compulsive comparing, of course, only leads to debilitating cases of what Nietzsche called Lebensneid, or “life envy”: the certainty that somebody else is much luckier than you, and that if only you had her body, her husband, her children, her job, everything would be easy and wonderful and happy. (A therapist friend of mine defines this problem simply as “the condition by which all of my single patients secretly long to be married, and all of my married patients secretly long to be single.”) With certainty so difficult to achieve, everyone’s decisions become an indictment of everyone else’s decisions, and because there is no universal model anymore for what makes “a good man” or “a good woman,” one must almost earn a personal merit badge in emotional orientation and navigation in order to find one’s way through life anymore.
Commitment is about being with another person in a relationship, but love is not always necessary. A person may want to be with someone else because they have affection for them, or it may just be a feeling of comfort that motivates them. Being at ease with another person is part of a relationship, and this may suffice for someone to remain with their partner. If formal vows have been taken by the couple, a person may feel responsible for staying together. This does not necessarily signify love or caring, but it does form the basis of their commitment.
Never before and never again, did a single genre of the comic book — an original American commercial concept — explode in such an orgy of financial opportunism. . . . Some historians have theorized that the demise of the pulp magazines had something to do with the frenzy for love . . . . No, the answer — if there is a rational answer — is that it was just time for love.  Teenage American girls — for it was they that read the majority of romance comics — were ready for romance. No young miss could possibly avoid spotting love on the racks when it was that freely available. And more love begat even more love.
Fix anything that’s broken. Another way to feel happier is to take a good, long look at your life and to change whatever you can change to make yourself feel happier. Though you may not be able to make dramatic changes, like changing your career all of a sudden, there are small things you can do that can make a big difference. If something’s not working for you, then fixing it will definitely make you happier.
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