I’m not saying that these women don’t love their husbands, or that they never had loved them, or that they never could. That would be a ridiculous thing to infer, because people everywhere love each other and always have. Romantic love is a universal human experience. Evidence of passion exists in all corners of this world. All human cultures have love songs and love charms and love prayers. People’s hearts get broken across every possible social, religious, gender, age, and cultural boundary. (In India, just so you know, May 3 is National Broken Hearts Day. And in Papua New Guinea, there exists a tribe whose men write mournful love songs called namai, which tell the tragic stories of marriages which never came to pass but should have.) My friend Kate once went to a concert of Mongolian throat singers who were traveling through New York City on a rare world tour. Although she couldn’t understand the words to their songs, she found the music almost unbearably sad. After the concert, Kate approached the lead Mongolian singer and asked, “What are your songs about?” He replied, “Our songs are about the same things that everyone else’s songs are about: lost love, and somebody stole your fastest horse.”
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9 While the clinch image is the most common image on the front cover of the category romance novel, other types of images include an image of a single person (most frequently a man) or a more domestic image of a couple with children or pets. For a (non-academic) discussion of these other types of romance front cover iconography, see Wendell and Tan 176-177.
Marissa gazed up at Kyle and slowly shook her head. “I can’t. What kind of matchmaker would swoop in and take the prize catch for herself ? No client would ever trust me again.” Upping his game, Kyle raised a finger to her face and sketched a soft stroke down the length of her throat. Her eyelids fluttered, her lips parting of their own accord. “What are we doing ?” she whispered helplessly, clutching his shoulder as if she were hanging on for dear life. “Being impulsive.” He licked his way into the curve of her shoulder and she shivered. “Isn’t it the best ?” “I’m not impulsive,” she said, even as she arched her neck to give him more room to work. He ran his tongue along the same spot over and over until she trembled. “You are now.” (Rock 1)
Some recent work in neuroscience as examined the brains of people in romantic love. They found that the brain areas involved with making judgments and with sense of self. What this means is that when we are in romantic love, out ability to make judgments about situations and the other person is actually impaired, and we lose our sense of individuality and over-identify with the other (Xu, et al, 2010).

Oxytocin works both ways. When other people trust you, it feels good whether or not you trust them. You can enjoy more oxytocin by creating opportunities for people to trust you. Handle this strategy with care—you do not want to be the rescuer of everyone you know forty-five days from now. Your goal is simply to feel the pleasure of another person’s trust for a moment each day as a way to feel happier in your daily life. Of course, you can’t force other people to trust you, and it may take more than a moment to extend yourself in ways that build trust. Do not spend a lot of time seeking approval. Simply honor your commitments, and then pause to enjoy being a person who honors her commitments. It may sound self-important, but the circuit it builds is the foundation of future trust. So plan to honor your commitments scrupulously for forty-five days. This is how to feel good simply by increasing trust with yourself and others.
Humans have this insatiable need to live for something greater than themselves. Take the time to appreciate and trust that your life is being guided by something greater than yourself. Understand that every stage of your life is part of a stunning master plan that will work for the greater good of those around you. How can you not feel beyond happy when you embrace the idea you are contributing to the greater good?!
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Gary Smalley was one of the country's best-known authors and speakers on family relationships. He was the award-winning, best-selling author or coauthor of sixteen books, as well as several popular films and videos. The Blessing and The Two Sides of Love have won Gold Medallions, The Language of Love won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life, and his other titles have received Si ...more
If this sounds like a foreign or crazy notion, remember that it wasn’t so long ago that people in Western culture held these same sorts of unromantic views about matrimony. Arranged marriage has never been a prominent feature of American life, of course—much less bridal kidnapping—but certainly pragmatic marriages were routine at certain levels of our society until fairly recently. By “pragmatic marriage,” I mean any union where the interests of the larger community are considered above the interests of the two individuals involved; such marriages were a feature of American agricultural society, for instance, for many, many generations.
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.
When I describe this to a lot of my clients they say “that sounds so boring!” I think if it is seen at the wrong level (that our relationships should be a constant source of excitement rather than a place to demonstrate care and “loving” for someone), then yes, it is boring. The solution I try to pass along is that people can have a stable relationship and an exciting life together.” Rather than have a long interpersonal drama, go on vacation, take up new activities, explore new sexual practices, etc. Many people also get concerned when they move from romantic into committed love, and think something is “wrong” with the relationship, or that they have “fallen out of love”, and they often miss the opportunity for a sustainable loving relationship.
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.
Amy is a relationship columnist for the 24 Hours Newspaper and a blogger for The Huffington Post and The Vancouver Sun. She has been featured in FASHION Magazine, The Georgia Straight, Ming Pao Magazine and her essay “The Infinite Chase” was published in a book to support ‘End Sex Trafficking Day’ along with notable authors such as Seth Godin and Danielle LaPorte. Most recently was shortlisted as a nominee for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.
Filkins wants to wed online dating to open source software to create the first dating service with a peer-to-peer type of architecture. The idea is a little like Vuong's SocialGrid, but far more sophisticated. And, Filkins hastens to add, a lot more private. "If I'm married and want to screw around on the side, I wouldn't want to post that on Google," he says. "I've perused all the dating sites, and what people want most is privacy."
All I can say is Wow! I absolutely couldn't put this book down. I have read all of Debora's books so far and I absolutely love the characters. The stories Debora writes are so enthralling, and she keeps you on the edge of her seat, wondering what will happen next. I laughed out loud at parts, and also cried at parts of the story. What a wonderful story, and of course, no surprise to me, since I didn't expect anything less! My only wish is that I could have these marvelous people in my neighborhood - or in my family!
A partnership is not just about the emotions and feelings of love. A partnership is about commitment, and being responsible to that commitment regardless of what the external variables of the time are. It’s about the commitment to choosing decisions that will serve the relationship even when it would “feel” better to not. Married or not married, when you decide to enter into a partnership with another, commitment means you act with integrity, respect and care –even when your emotions are telling you otherwise.
20The relative state of dress or undress of the cover models is another coded element of the clinch. Although in the past this code seems to have been stricter than it is today,12 as a rule of thumb we can still assume that the more flesh is visible on the cover, the more sexually explicit the love scenes in the narrative are. The style in which the clinch image is drawn or photographed as well as the fashion and hairstyle worn by the cover models – all of which are cover elements that have been subjected to significant evolutions over the course of last three decades – are yet other coded parameters of the clinch that provide the experienced romance reader with additional information about the individual characteristics of the narrative – in this case, the date of publication. All of these parameters – time of publication, level of sensuality and subgenre – in fact serve to specify and singularize the text in the eyes of the romance reader. They function as important parameters of (narrative) differentiation within the romance genre’s system and thus give the romance reader significant information about the particular qualities of the text.
Feeling a physical attraction or crush-like infatuation isn't the same relationship reality as having a true, committed love. Making a commitment means agreeing to stay together, as partners, for now and in the future, according to the article "Love and Romance" on the TeensHealth website. Understanding what committed love is can help you to distinguish between a real relationship and a casual fling.
By day, Christopher Filkins works as a webmaster and site designer for specialty condom distributor Condomania. By night, he's Filchyboy, publisher of a much-read blog. He delivers a running shtick about the futility of dating in Los Angeles. He's tried them all: Match.com, Spring Street Networks, Yahoo! Personals. "I joined a lot of online dating services," he recalls, "but I wound up just dissecting how the sites were put together, which I tend to do with a lot of things."
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.
This type of love is a much different story. It doesn’t sparkle but for a moment here and there. Our culture does a terrible job of ever showing this except for fleeting moments like “cute old people holding hands” or in the rare example of a healthy couple on television like the Taylor’s on Friday Night Lights (my personal favorite). Maybe we don’t see it because there isn’t much to see. Committed love is about sharing normal life together. It is about being supportive, affectionate, kind, caring, committed, responsive, and loyal. This is the stuff of the healthiest long-term couples, and can be thought of as “standing in 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.
30Although the romance reader is obviously aware of the scene’s strong conventionality and, like the public, interprets it as another element inscribing the novel in the popular romance genre, as a member of the romance genre’s interpretative community she also has the ability to develop a different interpretation of this scene. In fact, when the romance reader reads this scene as a romance reader – that is, using the interpretative strategies particular to the genre – she is able to gain crucial new knowledge about the text and its specific, individual poetic properties. This is due to the fact that in the eyes of the experienced category romance reader the preview scene functions as a conceptual prefiguration of the creative interplay between conventionality and variation that is pivotal to the category romance’s poetic functioning. This creative dynamic goes unnoticed by the public (and most of the genre’s critics) because of their one-dimensional assessment of the genre’s strong conventionality as only creating a pervasive sense of repetition and similarity between individual romance texts. However, this interpretation of conventionality fails to recognize how the web of conventions also creates a context in which every minute variation upon the convention stands out.14 This kind of variation – the brief deviation from the norm, the minor adaptation of the convention – represents a fundamental pillar of the category romance’s poetic functioning and of the aesthetic pleasure the romance offers its readers. This particular creative dynamic is prefigured in the strongly conventional preview scene, which illustrates for the romance reader precisely how the author deals with the central creative task of the category format of fusing various sets of conventions with the appropriate amount of creative variation. Since a thorough knowledge of the genre’s (and the line’s) conventions is necessary to develop this interpretation, only generically initiated romance readers pick up on this dynamic and read the preview scene as something other than a pure reconfirmation of the novel’s clichéd generic identity.
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.
I thought I was ready for the C word, but came to realize I'm afraid. I've been hurt time and time again, and I finally found someone that was willing to put me first. I met this great guy online, who lived 13hrs away, only thing is; we had nothing in common. We started a long distance relationship. He wanted everything I wanted. After a few months of dating he wanted to take it further, he started looking at rings- I panicked. How can we take that step and we barely knew anything about each other? I didn't want to make the biggest mistake of my life, for the rest of my life. We did the back and forth to see each other, but our incompatibility started getting to me. He was night, I was day and I found myself being mean and distant. I eventually broke it off, because I didn't like who I was with him. It broke him. I maintained contact with the promise of rekindling the relationship once we established a friendship, during this time he was still attentive and never skipped a beat. About 2 weeks ago he became distant, then he told me he's seeing someone; I am crushed to say the least. Did I sabotage this relationship? Why did I run, when I got almost everything I asked for? Am I crushed because I care or is it my ego and I will get over it? I am so confused, I don't know what to do. I want to call him and beg him to give me another chance, but I'm afraid my feelings will betray me and I will hurt him all over again. I don't want to be selfish, but I can't help but think I'm possibly letting my future go. What should I do?

At the end of her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. The couple swore eternal love, but also swore (as skittish divorce survivors) never to marry. However, providence intervened in the form of a U.S. government ultimatum: get married, or Felipe could never enter America again. Told with Gilbert's trademark humor and intelligence, this fascinating meditation on compatibility and fidelity chronicles Gilbert's complex and sometimes frightening journey into second marriage, and will enthrall the millions of readers who made Eat, Pray, Love a number one bestseller.


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.

Smile more. Studies show that smiling more actually does make people feel happier. Even if you don’t feel like you have anything to smile about, trying to smile more than usual will trick your mind into feeling happier. Smiling at the people around you will make them smile back, and being around people who are smiling will also make you feel happier. So, smiling is a win-win situation, even if you feel like frowning instead.[7]
Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine. In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”
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.

Multiple studies suggest that meditating — focusing intently and quietly on the present for set periods of time — can help lessen feelings of depression and anxiety. Research in long term meditators (Buddhist monks, for example) shows that these peoples' brains are well developed in areas that could be linked to heightened awareness and emotional control.

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