So, no, I’m not willing—or probably even able—to relinquish my life of individualistic yearnings, all of which are the birthright of my modernity. Like most human beings, once I’ve been shown the options, I will always opt for more choices for my life: expressive choices, individualistic choices, inscrutable and indefensible and sometimes risky choices, perhaps . . . but they will all be mine. In fact, the sheer number of choices that I’d already been offered in my life—an almost embarrassing cavalcade of options—would have made the eyes pop out of the head of my friend the Hmong grandmother. As a result of such personal freedoms, my life belongs to me and resembles me to an extent that would be unthinkable in the hills of northern Vietnam, even today. It’s almost as if I’m from an entirely new strain of woman (Homo limitlessness, you might call us). And while we of this brave new species do have possibilities that are vast and magnificent and almost infinate in scope, it’s important to remember that our choice-rich lives have the potential to breed their own brand of trouble. We are susceptible to emotional uncertainties and neuroses that are probably not very common among the Hmong, but that run rampant these days among my contemporaries in, say, Baltimore.


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.

It doesn’t take much time or money to step toward a goal. Just commit ten minutes a day and you will feel momentum instead of feeling stuck. Ten minutes is not enough to move mountains, but it’s enough to approach the mountain and see it accurately. Instead of dreaming about your goal from afar, you can gather the information you need to plan realistically. Your goals might change as your information grows. You might even learn that your fantasy goal would not make you feel happy. Those ten-minute investments can free you from unnecessary regret and help you find a hill you can actually climb and feel good in the process. Your ten-minute efforts can define manageable steps so you’re not just waiting for huge leaps that never come.


Do nice things for others. One study shows that people who were given a cash bonus at work were happiest when they spent a significant amount of it on other people. This doesn’t mean that you should spend all of your cash on your best friend, but it does mean that you should make a more concerted effort to do nice things for others, whether you’re helping a friend cope with her breakup just by being there or you’re volunteering at a homeless shelter. No act is 100% selfless, and it’s okay to help others while helping yourself feel happier, too.[8]
a zone not only of transition but also transaction : a privileged place of pragmatics and strategy, of an influence on the public, an influence that – whether well or poorly understood and achieved – is at the service of a better reception of the text and a more pertinent reader of it (more pertinent, of course, in the eyes of the author and his allies). (2)
Good feelings flow when the level of challenge you face is “just right.” If a basketball hoop is too low, you get no pleasure from scoring points. If it’s too high, you have no reason to try. Effort is fun when you expect a reward for your effort but it’s not certain. You can adjust the hoops in your life as one of the ways to feel happy and make things fun.

10 Images of embracing couples have in fact been appearing on the covers of popular romance novels since British publisher Mills & Boon developed the format in the 1930s and 1940s, so the semantic association between an embracing couple on the front cover and the generic identity romance is long-standing in our culture (McKnight-Trontz 40). Still, the more sexualized version of the embrace known as the clinch did not become commonplace in the popular romance genre until the 1970s, when the so-called “bodice ripper” romance started featuring more sensual embraces on the front cover (McKnight-Trontz 23-24).
a zone not only of transition but also transaction : a privileged place of pragmatics and strategy, of an influence on the public, an influence that – whether well or poorly understood and achieved – is at the service of a better reception of the text and a more pertinent reader of it (more pertinent, of course, in the eyes of the author and his allies). (2)
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.
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That guy who checked you out at the bar and asked for your number at your work happy hour? Forget it. Staying up late at night to check out that video your friend sent you on YouTube? A slow killer. Vices, temptations, minor distractions — these are the things that tear relationships apart. And most of the time, it’s not exactly the big-bang approach. It’s more the slow, gradual, pernicious path to destruction.
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.
ALT codes for heart symbols & romance symbols. Below is the complete list of Windows ALT key numeric pad codes for heart symbols & romance symbols, their corresponding HTML entity numeric character references and, when available, their corresponding HTML entity named character references. If you are new to ALT codes and need detailed instructions on how to use them, please read How to Use ALT Codes to Enter Special Characters.
A typical romance story was told in the first person, allegedly from a true account confided to a trusted comic book professional. They generally followed a predictable dramatic arc, with a fairly wide range of crises — unrequited love, class barriers, jealousy, career conflicts, haunted pasts, etc. — inevitably resolved with a monogamous happily-ever-after ending. “Well, darling, suddenly I don’t love you anymore! I can’t explain it — but I just don’t!” announces Tony at the outset of “Changes of Heart,” the lead story from the April 1965 issue of Young Romance (the longest-running title in the romance pantheon). He and Brenda had been so right for each other. Then — boom! The thrill is gone! Brenda doesn’t know how she’ll carry on. She dates, but can’t get Tony out of her head. One night the doorbell rings — “It’s Tony!” she thinks. But it isn’t Tony, it’s Tony’s old friend Bill Oliver. Tony’s blown town with no forwarding address, and Bill thought she might know where to find him. Brenda breaks down sobbing, spilling the whole story. Bill listens sympathetically, then admits that he, too, was recently dumped. They start hanging out, and suddenly realize they’ve fallen for each other. “There was no need for words — our love was strong because it had been born out of pain.”
Mix up your routine. If you want to feel happier, then all you may need is a little change. If you’re not happy, it may be because you feel like you’ve fallen into a rut and that you’re sick of doing the same old thing day after day. Try having something different for breakfast. Take that yoga class at night instead of in the morning. Hang out with a new friend instead of the same old ones. Walk to work instead of driving. All of these little things can add up and make you feel happier.
 Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.
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.
    The dialogue system is a little basic though, lacking even a way to view previous messages (so you're screwed if you skip over some dialogue). Also it lacks transitions which makes scene switches feel grating (like from class to cafeteria, and back). I guess it's excusable since this is made out of Unity - maybe I'm just too used to the comfort of RenPy based novels.

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!

“Committed to Love” is a deeply personal one. It details the many issues and experiences I had to confront and deal with in my twenty-five-year marriage to a bisexual man who succumbed to AIDS. The twenty-four chapters in this book range from his diagnosis on June 19, 1992, with AIDS related pneumonia to his death on August 17, 1994. Every aspect of my relationship with Dr. Jeffrey A. Mintz, both as my best friend of thirty-seven years and my husband of twenty-five is explored in explicit detail. The challenge of a marriage under these circumstances was to say the least, both chaotic yet most rewarding. My thoughts about love evoked images of champagne, roses, and chocolates. Yes, I had a lot of all of them in my marriage, but the reality and truth about my life with him was that the word love for me had always meant commitment, unconditional acceptance, and facing every problem with a solution even if I didn’t know what the solution would be.
Spend more time outside. Just going outside and breathing in fresh air and letting the sun fall on your face is guaranteed to make you feel happier. If you have something to do that you can do outside, change your plan to accommodate the sunshine. If you were just going to read a book in your dark, stuffy room, go read in the park instead. If you’re having lunch with a friend at a café, ask for outdoor seating. Being outside – provided that you’re not in the middle of a storm – is guaranteed to make you feel happier.
Notice, talk about, and write about what does feel good in your life today. It could be the pancakes for breakfast, the call to or from a dear friend, yoga at the gym, the flowers you saw on your walk, your good vision and hearing, the cleared desk or table, or anything that leads you to more peace and contentment. I sometimes read my list of gratitudes when I’m feeling grumpy or overextended. When I take a few moments to focus on what does feel good, I’m usually much more able to settle down and do what feels important to do.

 Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.

I 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.
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.
It’s Valentine’s Day, so love is in the air. What better time to talk about the history of romance comics? After the war, when the sales of the superhero and crime comics began to wane, romance comics filled the gap. Soon, the market was filled with hundred of “love” titles. Of course, it didn’t take long for this new genre to come under fire and fall prey to the backlash against comics.
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.

During this time (and unless you married your high school sweetheart, you’ve certainly experienced some iteration of it before), you want to minimize pain and discomfort. So it helps for both of you to understand that commitment is not a part of love. It’s not a requirement of love. Your love won’t end just because your commitment does. Your love will probably subside in a reasonable amount of time, into a manageable piece of your heart and mind, which might at times re-ignite, and also might not.

5. Look for meaning. Re-frame an event to see the positive along with the negative. Maybe getting fired will give you the push you need to move to the city where you’ve always wanted to live. Maybe your illness has strengthened your relationships with your family. You don’t need to be thankful that something bad has happened, but you can try to find positive consequences even in a catastrophic event.
10In other words, Genette suggests that the book’s materiality has two main functions : it is a zone in which the book’s producers and consumers negotiate the identity, meaning and interpretation of the text – a process that mainly consists of the producers’ attempts to direct the consumers’ reception of the text – and it serves to locate and reach the text’s primary target audience. These functions are the paratext’s main raison d’être ; indeed, as Genette remarks at the end of his study, functionality is “[t]he most essential of the paratext’s properties” :

There are two kinds of optimizers: those who write programs, and those who hack what other people have written. Kevin Burton is a perfect example of the latter. With his all-American look, Burton seems to have just stepped out of a Gap ad. But that doesn't mean he can meet women on his own. For that, he relies on a sneaky little program he invented called the AIM Sniffer.


For forty-five days, give up control instead of trying to control the world in your accustomed ways. Don’t quit your day job to beg with a rice bowl and think that will be a way to feel good. Just stop checking the weather report, buying lottery tickets, and expecting the world to work according to your rules. Choose one habit you have for feeling in control, and do without it. If you can’t give up your control ritual completely, commit to giving it up for a certain time each day. You will learn how to feel happy and safe in the world despite your inability to control it.
The gameplay is very approachable! I liked fixing small parts of the code by clicking through it to do different choices, even though I do have experience with programming. Manually typing code is a nightmare, but when I wanted to truly learn and understand the code (what is it about) there's a pretty useful and entertaining Dictionary that explains what a particular word of the code does what. It explains semicolons, curly brackets, arguments, class names (what is a class about?) to even mundane numbers! I spent a lot of time reading the code and the Dictionary and just understanding the code even though I knew the choices I made was correct at the time, and when I got it wrong because I didn't read properly, the characters talk out the problem and give further explanations about the code and what I had to do.
I had the Young Romance idea coming out of the service. I saw all these adults reading comic books and said, “Jeez, they’re all reading Disney and Donald Duck.” I got together a few pages of True Romance Confession and I thought the girls, the housewives that were reading comics, the housekeepers, the housemaids, everybody who was reading comics would really like to read some adult comics. I showed it to Jack and he loved it.
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."
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.
Much like yawning and a case of the giggles, happiness really is contagious. One study found that happiness has a waterfall effect among pals (and their pals… and their pals’ pals). When one person’s happy, it spreads to his or her friends and entire social network over the long term. Pretty much the most awesome way to influence other people, right?
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