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.
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.
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.
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.

A main contributor to happiness is social contact. For the biggest emotional payoff, think beyond Facebook or Twitter acquaintances and get in touch with someone you’re genuinely close to. “It can be e-mail — it doesn’t have to be face-to-face — but it has to be with someone you know in order for that to really work,” Mramor said. Here’s an idea: combine two happiness hacks and call a friend while you take a walk outside? Or go meet a friend for an hour or two at the end of the day, even if you’re tired or feel like you have too much else to do. It’s truly good for your health.
In this age of media mayhem, it’s no surprise that one of the first signs of commitment tends to be a public announcement on some form of social media. You’ve seen them: the infamous couple’s selfie, the heartfelt note for all to see, and the hashtags like “me and my baby.” These public displays are usually a pretty good sign that things are going well and that you’re both comfortable enough to broadcast your affection to the world. Such public displays can only mean “we’re committed and we want everyone to know.”
Like many other things in the golden age of comics, romance comics find their roots in other popular fiction and literature. Romance novels were released as early as 1740 with Samuel Richardson’s Pamela (also titled Virtue Rewarded). Of course, Jane Austin popularized the genre with the success of books like Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. These classical literary roots gave rise to more mainstream books as the pulp market gained popularity in the early twentieth century. In fact, romance magazines were one of the top three most popular genres of the pulps (along with westerns and detective stories). When you factor in all the romantic stories that also appeared in the “more respectable” weekly magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, McCalls, and Redbook, it becomes clear that love permeated the popular culture consciousness of the time.
“…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).
We all want to revel in the Romantic Love Stage of our relationships. We crave that passionate, intense energy because it feeds us and makes us feel alive. This is how we identify love. We fear that we have fallen out of love when that energy fades. Believe it or not, the fire felt during the Romantic Love Stage is the result of chemicals in your brain. Your body releases hormones and brain chemicals, endorphins that make you feel high and promote attachment to your partner.
“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.
Ah, commitment. I’m a living, breathing example of this study. Much of my 20s was defined by a lack of commitment to a partner. I stumbled around in different relationships, while all along, the relationship I needed to most get right was the one with myself. You have to be right with yourself before you can truthfully expect to commit to someone else.
She was twelve years old, I would learn later, but tinier than any American twelve-year-old I’d ever met. She was exceptionally beautiful. Her skin was dark and healthy, her hair glossy and braided, her compact body all sturdy and confident in a short woolen tunic. Though it was summertime and the days were sultry, her calves were wrapped in brightly colored wool leggings. Her feet tapped restlessly in plastic Chinese sandals. She had been hanging around our hotel for some time—I had spotted her when we were checking in—and now, when I stepped
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.
Do as Burkeman suggests in The Antidote: Happiness for Those Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. He believes people work too hard on some goals. For him, life is about being comfortable with uncertainty. What may support you in that awareness is to pull up some examples from your and others’ lives of when you made it through tough times. It could relate to financial, romantic, career, or other situations. For me, when I added a very large amount to what I’d owe on my mortgage for a real estate investment in 2008 which lost money, I remember my fears about possibly losing my own home. I remind myself even now when financial concerns come up that I made it through that difficulty. I do have a larger mortgage payment now, and I am able to pay that with rent from my six housemates. I see no value in spending time thinking about what bad things could happen. I don’t mean to ignore what’s going on. I do mean to remember that, right now, you are probably managing the best you can, and you can’t expect more than that, from yourself or from others.
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?
Get enough sleep. Making a habit of sleeping at least 7 or 8 hours each night will definitely make you feel happier. You’d be surprised by how much a good night’s sleep can improve your mood – and by how much a bad night’s sleep can make you think that you hate everybody and that the world is a terrible place. Happier people make taking care of their minds and bodies a priority, and this is something you should prioritize if you want to feel happier, as well.[5]
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.
[T]he public is not the totality of the sum of readers.… For a book…it seems to me that the public is nominally an entity more far-flung than the sum of its readers because that entity includes, sometimes in a very active way, people who do not necessarily read the book (or at least not in its entirety) but who participate in its dissemination and in its “reception”.… The reader as conceived by the author…is, to the contrary,…a person who reads the text in toto.… The public as defined here, therefore, extends well and often actively beyond the sum total of readers. (74-75)
Part of being a good world citizen is caring for other human beings, which may include going out of your way sometimes. But when going out of your way for your beloved is less effort and more this-is-just-how-we-behave, you’ve got yourself a keeper and you’re definitely committed. Examples of going out of your way might look like taking your lunch break to run an errand for them, rearranging your travel plans to make sure they get can get the time off to join you, or giving up your car to make sure they make it to that meeting on time (and vice versa, of course). Anything less and there’s no guarantee that you’re relationship is actually a committed one.

Duh...It was personal...very personal. Above all things I want you to THINK not just do. My heart goes out to women around the world because NO One teaches us the things we REALLY NEED TO KNOW. If I think I can help, I will toss out an idea so we will begin to think before we do. I am soo happy about the decision you made Cathy. Don't date men who know each other, all they do is get together and talk about you. If you have men friends you find they are bigger gossips than women.
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.
It's so funny....just this morning when I woke up I was wondering what "exclusive" meant and then I checked my email and Wow! There it was! Thank you, Jane for your insights on stages of commitment and the difference between exclusive and commitment. It was so eye opening. The guy who I have been dating(I will call him "Matt") for a little over a month is out of town for a few days and I went out to a local place where they have live music on Thursday nights to relax after work.

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!


This is the type of love that is the stuff of countless poems, songs, films, and fantasies. The all-consuming, heart-skips-a-beat, shooting stars in the sky during a kiss, can’t wait until he/she calls, crazy kind of love. Most committed partnerships start here (romantic love usually doesn’t last more than a year), in the phase of intensity, “connection”, longing, focus, and feeling that is hard to describe and feels special. What a ride this can be! This is the stage where people generally describe being “in love” or “falling in love”, and is the stage of courting and being in a state of “fusion”.
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.”
I had a friend who confessed to me that she realized she was in a committed relationship the day she found herself in line at the grocery store with more items in her shopping cart for her partner than for herself — and they weren’t even living together. Such acts of thoughtfulness may be small and seemingly insignificant or as extravagant as buying matching jewelry. Whatever the purchase, when you keep each other in mind to the point where you’re considering them in your regular purchases, you’re probably in a committed relationship.
“The Pew Research Center reports that millennials are significantly less likely to be married than previous generations in their 20s. And a recent Gallup poll found that the percentage of 18 to 29-year-olds who say they are single and not living with a partner rose from 52 percent in 2004 to 64 percent in 2014. Marriage among 30-somethings also dropped 10 percentage points during that decade, while the percentage living together rose from 7 to 13 percent.” Source
One day last summer, I missed the bus to the train station, and when I asked a cyclist for directions, he offered to carry me to the station. How nice! How many examples of happy things in your life can you list, that you did or someone did for you? Take ten minutes: the first five to think of something nice to do, and the last five to do it. Life has nothing to offer if not optimism, and if you honestly think about it, you realize there are a lot of happy things people do for each other. You don't need to be optimistic about life, it is better to realize that life is optimistic, whether you are or not.
So of course the Hmong fall in love. Of course they feel preference for one person over another person, or miss a beloved one who has died, or find that they inexplicably adore somebody’s particular smell, or laugh. But perhaps they don’t believe that any of that romantic love business has very much to do with the actual reasons for marriage. Perhaps they do not assume that those two distinct entities (love and marriage) must necessarily intersect—either at the beginning of the relationship or maybe ever at all. Perhaps they believe that marriage is about something else altogether.
One day last summer, I missed the bus to the train station, and when I asked a cyclist for directions, he offered to carry me to the station. How nice! How many examples of happy things in your life can you list, that you did or someone did for you? Take ten minutes: the first five to think of something nice to do, and the last five to do it. Life has nothing to offer if not optimism, and if you honestly think about it, you realize there are a lot of happy things people do for each other. You don't need to be optimistic about life, it is better to realize that life is optimistic, whether you are or not.

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.

Live in the moment. Another trick to being happier is to learn to embrace the present moment instead of feeling regret for the past or dreading the future. Learn to enjoy the conversations you have, instead of thinking about where you’re going to go next or worrying about that thing you said twenty minutes ago. Learn to appreciate the things in front of you, the good time you’re having, and to cast away all thoughts of anything outside of your immediate experience. Obviously, this takes a lot of dedication, but you’ll see your happiness level rise dramatically once you get the hang of it.[2]

A main contributor to happiness is social contact. For the biggest emotional payoff, think beyond Facebook or Twitter acquaintances and get in touch with someone you’re genuinely close to. “It can be e-mail — it doesn’t have to be face-to-face — but it has to be with someone you know in order for that to really work,” Mramor said. Here’s an idea: combine two happiness hacks and call a friend while you take a walk outside? Or go meet a friend for an hour or two at the end of the day, even if you’re tired or feel like you have too much else to do. It’s truly good for your health.
Although some Romance languages like Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese are national languages and spoken around the world, others are languages (or "dialects") spoken in different European countries which are related to the national languages, but with distinct grammars and cultural identities. These include Catalan and Galician from Spain, Occitan and Provençal from France, Walloon from Belgium, Rhaeto-Romance from Switzerland and Sardinian from Italy. See the complete Romance Language list below for moe details.
But what about that consistency we all crave, which comes only from true commitment? That’s a lot harder. But absolutely possible. Commitment begins with desire. Each person has to want it and be willing to sacrifice for the other. It takes shifting the way we view ourselves and giving up something, in order to give to someone else. Thing is, it’s not as hard as you might think.
“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.
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

I'm so glad, Daphne, thank you. 🙂 Choose you, don't make him the center of your universe, allow him to be himself and you be yourself and watch and observe if you can live with that. And always remember there is all the support in the world for you, even if it doesn't feel that way. What if it is and we just don't see it? What if it was always there but we've never known where to look? You can't change him, but you can change you. And by making some subtle shifts within ourselves in how and what we see, there's a ripple effect that will affect him too. It always reveals more of the truth of what's underneath. Don't be afraid of change; it's often the only way we see what we're meant to see, and where we're meant to be!

18Of course the clinch image is, much like the narrative it so strikingly represents, a generic type. Each individual execution of the type is slightly different but essentially – typically – the same. This typicality functions as the basis of the public’s interpretation of the clinch image. That is, the public perceives the type of image and interprets this image as signaling a stereotypical kind of romance genre identity ; this interpretation is based on the widespread cultural codes that regulate the semiotic functioning of cover iconography, which hold that a clinch image equals the generic identity “romance”. In this interpretative act, the public overlooks the individual execution of this type – an execution that, for all its typicality, still has individual traits. These traits are, however, precisely the focal point of the romance reader’s semiotic decoding of the image and suggest to her a somewhat different interpretation of the text’s identity. They do not simply individuate the image, but do so according to a set of (generic) codes shared by the novel’s producers and its target audience of romance readers. On the basis of these codes, the romance reader is able to learn more about the novel’s specific characteristics.


Make time for “me time.” If you want to feel happier, then you have to spend more time thinking about yourself. This doesn’t mean you should be completely selfish, but it does mean that you should schedule times when you can just be alone with your own thoughts, ideas, and favorite activities. Your life may be hectic, but there’s always time to squeeze in a half hour or an hour here and there just to be by yourself, whether you’re taking a walk, writing in a journal, or just reflecting on the week.
Avoidance is when you refuse to confront and deal with a challenge. Accommodation is when you seek to accommodate others’ wishes and desires, even at the exclusion of your own needs and preferences. Compromise is when each side offer and accepts mutual concessions, and collaboration occurs when both parties seek a win-win arrangement versus a win-at-all-costs one.
A main contributor to happiness is social contact. For the biggest emotional payoff, think beyond Facebook or Twitter acquaintances and get in touch with someone you’re genuinely close to. “It can be e-mail — it doesn’t have to be face-to-face — but it has to be with someone you know in order for that to really work,” Mramor said. Here’s an idea: combine two happiness hacks and call a friend while you take a walk outside? Or go meet a friend for an hour or two at the end of the day, even if you’re tired or feel like you have too much else to do. It’s truly good for your health.

I think it’s fair to say that going into a major contract (other than marriage) with someone, such as buying property or a car, is a sign that things are pretty serious between you and your boo. The reason why contracts are such a big deal is that they’re generally much harder to get out of than they are to get into, so most people take care when signing on the dotted line and expect to be committed for a long time.
Commitments to yourself can be difficult to enforce but will ultimately feel good. For example, I made the commitment to bring reusable bags with me when I buy food, but I kept forgetting them. So I added the commitment to go back to my car and get them if I forgot. The next time I found myself at the supermarket without the bags, I thought “I’m too busy to go back to the car.” Then I realized that I will always be busy, and I am a powerless person if I can’t even honor a commitment to myself. So I went back to the car to get the bags, and I never forgot them again because I didn’t want to waste time going back to my car. You will not want to waste time starting over with Day One. You will want to honor your commitments to yourself and thus enjoy a new happy habit.

When you wake up in the morning and your brain is everywhere and you feel distracted or pulled in a hundred different directions and you’re not really sure how to think about God or the day. Notice what David does here. He takes his soul in his hands and he talks to himself. Kind of scary. He’s not just listening to how he feels. He talks to himself and he says, (verse 1)

The rationale: Feeling happy comes down to where you direct your thoughts. What are you thinking about most often? To take control of your focus, you have to feed your mind. What you feed your mind is what you become. So to become the best possible you, you need to give your mind the most nutritious content possible. To put it another way, Jim Rohn said, “Every day, you have to stand guard at the door of your mind.” Why? Because the longer you hold things – ideas, thoughts, feelings – in there, the more you start to accept them unconsciously. And then you start to develop meanings that take over your life, likely in ways that won’t serve you.
So of course the Hmong fall in love. Of course they feel preference for one person over another person, or miss a beloved one who has died, or find that they inexplicably adore somebody’s particular smell, or laugh. But perhaps they don’t believe that any of that romantic love business has very much to do with the actual reasons for marriage. Perhaps they do not assume that those two distinct entities (love and marriage) must necessarily intersect—either at the beginning of the relationship or maybe ever at all. Perhaps they believe that marriage is about something else altogether.
I once worked with a colleague who was incredibly dismissive and known for not responding to emails, phone calls or text messages. In addition to being non-responsive, the team member was rude. I worked with him for years and deeply disliked his lack of accountability. At some point, our relationship reached a tipping point, and I actively prayed either he or I would find a new job.

The reason why, however, is still a mystery to scientists. Chances are, it's a combination of factors: One study in 2013 suggested that because older people are more experienced, they're therefore better at dealing with negative emotions like anger and anxiety. Another more recent study suggested the cause could be that older people are more trusting, which comes with a number of healthy psychological benefits that lead to happiness.
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