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.
Apart from brightening up a room, flowers can also brighten up your mood. A floral fixture may reduce feelings of pain and anxiety while boosting positive emotions. One study also shows that looking at flowers first thing in the morning leads to increased happiness and energy and decreased anxiety. Not only that, but being surrounded by blooms can also positively affect your 9-to-5—it’s been shown to boost creativity and make workspaces feel more pleasant.
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.
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.
All these choices and all this longing can create a weird kind of haunting in our lives—as though the ghosts of all our other, unchosen, possibilities linger forever in a shadow world around us, continuously asking, “Are you certain this is what you really wanted?” And nowhere does that question risk haunting us more than in our marriages, precisely because the emotional stakes of that most intensely personal choice have become so huge.
Love commitment might be just another phrase, but it has a deep meaning. Any and every relationship requires commitment to cement it and make it strong. But what is commitment? Is it just a promise, or much more? What is committed love? Is it any different from ‘just’ love? Now that’s a question I’ve heard many people ask and ponder over. So let’s take a look at some points that show what is committed love.
In words, express your love and tell your boyfriend or wife that you care. Most importantly, show that you care. Actions will always speak louder than words, but that doesn’t mean words and thoughts don’t matter. Those are what contribute to your actions. So go ahead — get your boyfriend tickets to the basketball game. Get your wife flowers. Tell your partner you love them. Let them know they’re the most important person in your life.
As Mai explained, her whole family—almost a dozen of them in total—lived in this one-room home. Everyone slept on the floor together. The kitchen was on one side and the wood stove for winter was on the other side. Rice and corn were stored in a loft above the kitchen, while pigs, chickens, and water buffalo were kept close by at all times. There was only one private space in the whole house and it wasn’t much bigger than a broom closet. This, as I learned later in my reading, was where the newest bride and groom in any family were allowed to sleep alone together for the first few months of their marriage in order to get their sexual explorations out of the way in private. After that initial experience of privacy, though, the young couple joins the rest of the family again, sleeping with everyone else on the floor for the rest of their lives.
1For the last few decades romance has been the popular genre par excellence in the English-speaking world. With sales figures that average around $ 1.36 billion a year, a readership of nearly 75 million people in the U.S. alone and a 13.4 % share of the American consumer book market in 2011, the popular romance novel is by far the best-selling genre in America (“About the Romance Genre”). In 2010 a staggering 8,240 new romance titles were released in the U.S., and 469 of these novels became national or international bestsellers. Harlequin, the most important romance publisher in the world, “publishes over 110 titles a month in 31 languages in 111 international markets on six continents” (“About Harlequin”). On average, the company sells about 130 million books a year (“Over Ons”) ; since its inception in the mid-twentieth century an astounding total of over 6 billion popular romance novels have been sold by this publisher alone (“About Harlequin”).
Because love isn't enough. Let me clarify, love, in the way most of us define it, isn't enough. Love isn't what makes you decide to not act out your desires when someone attractive starts showing you attention (and you haven't had sex in months). Love is not what makes you apologize and give your partner a hug after an argument (even though inside you know you're 100% right). Love is not what makes you weather the storm when disaster strikes (which it will). Love is not what makes you decide to treat each other with kindness, respect and empathy during a breakup or divorce (you'd be surprised how quickly love can feel like hate at that time). No, it's not love. It's commitment. It's the responsibility to keeping your commitment. Not just to the other person, but to yourself.
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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.
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.
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.
To be in a sustainable relationship, you need other things too, and many of them are outside of your control. Love is something you own within, along with your decision to commit to your partner. Other parts of the partnership, however, are very much independent of you. External forces, such as careers, sickness, money, family issues. Your partner’s commitment to you. Your partner’s ability to deal with stress. You can’t control that.
Commitment is marriage. Anything less is a verbal pact. Its is a want. Maybe even a desire. Dating is the introduction to the plan (engagement) of commitment (marriage). I think people also confuse marriage with wedding. The fact that two people can be married without actually being committed is an example of a wedding participant. They like the look but not the effort. Being married is the act of being committed and choosing this day after day. It's the embodiment of dedication and affection and patience... this is commitment. Friends with benefits... well... that's just putting a "free" sign on your personal energy. Sex isn't commitment... and you may find out years into a marriage that you don't have sex anymore, but you are intimate in deeper ways. Being fully committed is just that. There are no degrees to full. A full glass of water is a full glass of water. It's 100%. A half glass is a half glass. When you start to add half full or half empty, the confusion strikes. Fully committed via not half effort. I have a boyfriend that is very sweet, I love him. He loves me. He lives an hour away and his kids live close to him. We will not move forward until everyone is ready. In reality that could mean we never do. He says he's committed so we don't need marriage. I am not hell bent on marriage, but I will not commit myself to someone who doesn't see me worthy of that sort of outward commitment. If it's no big deal, and you don't believe it will make a difference, then why not do it? We are in fact, exclusive. Because dedicated to making it work requires 100% effort on both sides. He has self inflicted restrictions on his end... and I have legal restrictions on my end. (I have kids too) I'm all about making it work... I am dedicated. But not at my own expense. Beacuse of that, we are not committed.
The experts had said that what the children need is aggression, not affection — crime, not love. But suddenly the industry converted from blood to kisses. They tooled up the industry for a kind of comic book that hardly existed before, the love-confession type. They began to turn them out quickly and plentifully before their own experts had time to retool for the new production line and write scientific papers proving that what children really needed and wanted — what their psychological development really called for — was after all not murder, but love!
People seem to have a pretty good understanding of what love feels like, and we do a good job respecting love as an important feeling. But our culture sends a pretty contradictory message about what commitment is. We say marriage requires love and commitment, and yet somehow “love is all you need” prevails as a logical sentiment. Our collective divorce rate speaks for our confusion.
Here we’ll cover the five principles to make you thrive, not just survive. You’ll learn how to feel happier, as well as become more focused and energized. In fact, you’ll likely find that as you work toward becoming a more joyful version of yourself, your efforts will quickly spill over into all aspects of your life, making you happier and more fulfilled overall:
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).
The first story is the longest and most mature of the issue. “I Was a Pick-Up” tells the story of Toni, a sheltered 17-year-old who makes a dress and goes on the town. During her adventures, Toni takes a ride from a convertible-driving rich boy named Bob, who later abandons her at roadhouse when the place is raided. Luckily, bad boy Stanley rescues her. Sadly, Stanley leaves Toni with a note that says she is better off without him. However, two pages later, Toni has barely escaped another yet another lout, when she meets a reformed and now-successful Stanley in a gas station. They live happily ever after.
4 For more on the global distribution and consumption of category romances in different linguistic and cultural contexts, see Eva Hemmungs Wirtén’s “They Seek it Here, They Seek it There, They Seek it Everywhere: Looking for the ‘Global’ Book,” Peter Darbyshire, “Romancing the World: Harlequin Romances, the Capitalist Dream, and the Conquest of Europe and Asia,” George Paizis’ “Category Romance in the Era of Globalization: The Story of Harlequin” and An Goris’ “Romance the World Over.”
“‘Flow’ refers to activities that you get involved in, where you forget time and place,” Mramor said. “That can happen with writing, with music, with cooking. There have even been books written about how knitting causes happiness because it causes ‘flow.’” As long as you’re not throwing yourself into your chosen activity to distract yourself from other problems in your life, tapping into that feeling can produce big happiness gains. So get dancing, painting ... fill-in-the-blank.
“Hangry” people are not happy people, and sometimes the simplest mood-upping-fix is a quick nosh on something relatively healthy, Mramor said. “Dark chocolate, in moderation, is a good thing,” she added. “Eat a balanced snack with proteins, carbs and fats, which balances blood sugar and improves mood.” Maybe grab an apple with some cheddar cheese or peanut butter, spread an avocado on toast or dip into a greek yogurt with whatever fruit topping suits your fancy.
The first one is “hesed,” which is God’s covenantal, loyal love. You could you could describe that as commitment love, committed love. He crowns us, he surrounds us. He exalts us to a place of living in his committed, loyal, durable, enduring, steadfast love. The kind of love that does not fluctuate with feelings. The kind of love that does not change whether you have a good day or a bad day or you wake up feeling like a Christian or a pagan. It’s a steadfast, loyal love. He surrounds us with that loyal love.
And so I might have gone on blithely assuming, except that my encounter with the Hmong had knocked me off course in one critical regard: For the first time in my life, it occurred to me that perhaps I was asking too much of love. Or, at least, perhaps I was asking too much of marriage. Perhaps I was loading a far heavier cargo of expectation onto the creaky old boat of matrimony than that strange vessel had ever been built to accommodate in the first place.
To be in a state of Happi-ness there has to be a complete absence of ego. Ego being a state of mind (identity) - acquired from the past - which continuously seeks to connect with an uncertain future ( and remains forever fearful of the outcome). So, when the chaotic mind is free of incessant and noisy thoughts (the ego) and becomes quiet and aware(conscious) of a calm... then, and ONLY then does Happi-ness prevail.
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.
“…early-stage romantic love is a developed form of a mammalian drive to pursue preferred mates. (Previous research has) concluded that it was a goal-oriented motivational state (rather than an emotion) that uses subcortical mammalian reward/survival systems, helping to explain why early-stage romantic love affects behavior so profoundly.” (Fisher et al, 2010, p.51).
The app sent alerts asking people how happy they felt — on an 11-point scale from "not at all" to "extremely" — throughout the day. By analyzing over 3 million submissions from more than 50,000 volunteers, the researchers discovered that on average, people experienced an 8% increase in happiness when they were with friends, compared to a 1.4% increase with parents, and just a 0.7% increase when they were with their children.