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.
Today's Time Travel story "Nightmare Romance!" comes from 1951 -- before the comic book industry started to self-regulate with the Comics Magazine Association of America's Comics Code Authority. As such, this story from Avon's Romantic Love #7 (September/October 1951) with art by Marion Sitton, is quite scandalous! No slumber parties or football games here!

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.
By contrast, I had always been taught that the pursuit of happiness was my natural (even national) birthright. It is the emotional trademark of my culture to seek happiness. Not just any kind of happiness, either, but profound happiness, even soaring happiness. And what could possibly bring a person more soaring happiness than romantic love? I, for one, had always been taught by my culture that marriage ought to be a greenhouse in which romantic love can abundantly flourish. Insidethe somewhat rickety greenhouse of my first marriage, then, I had planted row after row of grand expectations. I was a veritable Johnny Appleseed of grand expectations, and all I reaped for my trouble was a harvest of bitter fruit.
The Websters’ marriage, therefore, clearly did not launch from a place of passionate, personal, and fevered love—no more than the Hmong grandmother’s marriage had. We might therefore assume, then, that such a union is “a loveless marriage.” But we have to be careful about drawing such assumptions. I know better, at least when it comes to the case of the Websters.
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.
Make a gratitude list. Reminding yourself of all of the things you have to be thankful for will instantly make you feel happier. Take a pen and paper into a quiet room and write down at least 10-15 things that you are grateful for. They can be as big as the friends and family in your life and as small as the new garden that was planted near your home. Think of anything that makes you smile and which makes your life a little happier. Having all of these things written down will help you see how much you have to be thankful for – and happy about.[1]
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.
Too often, we’re our own worst enemies. While it’s good to be aware of mistakes you’ve made and improvements you can make, beating yourself up on the regular is a surefire way to wind up singing the blues. In fact, experts believe that self-criticism can just make us more miserable. So instead of dwelling on your every failing, focus on how and why you value yourself. This shift will help make you stronger, more productive, less stressed, and, yes, happier.

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.
Whining is generally considered a bad thing—and yeah, it can get pretty annoying if you’re on the receiving end. Done effectively, however, it can actually benefit our mental health. So what exactly makes complaining effective? When voicing a concern leads to results, which in turn lead to a better mood and self-esteem andfeeling empowered, it’s effective. In other words, complaining done right involves identifying a problem and taking positive action to address it, not just getting stuck in a loop-de-loop of complaints.

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.
You may think it’s impossible to clean out closets or renegotiate relationships in ten-minute chunks. But if you wait for grand solutions, you will languish for quite a long time. Instead, go to that closet, pull out one chunk of mess, and sort it out for ten minutes. Go to that yucky relationship riddled with disappointment and plant goodwill for ten minutes. You might not feel happier right away, but don’t let a day go by without tackling another chunk. Keep it up for forty-five days and you will be comfortable tackling the annoyances that stand in the way of making your life feel better.
I don’t want to suggest here that everything about the shrunken modern family unit is necessarily bad. Certainly women’s lives and women’s health improve whenever they reduce the number of babies they have, which is a resounding strike against the lure of bustling clan culture. Also, sociologists have long known that incidences of incest and child molestation increase whenever so many relatives of different ages live together in such close proximity. In a crowd so big, it can become diffi cult to keep track of or defend individuals—not to mention individuality.
If there’s one trait that goes hand-in-hand with happiness, it’s optimism. People who think positively are less likely to feel depressed, more productive at work, and generally healthier than their doom-and-gloom counterparts. That said, it’s important to be both optimistic and realistic instead of just blindly positive. (In fact, forcing ourselves to feel over-the-top positive may do more harm than good, especially for those of us more prone to cynical thinking.) People with a healthy combination of optimism and realism don’t let unhappy thoughts bring them down, but they use their realistic outlook to make smart decisions and actions. Talk about the best of both worlds.

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.
Discover a world where sentient machines can't be stopped with weapons, only with humanity's best programmers. Join the Human Defense Department's last ditch effort to save the world: by teaching the brightest students in the nation how to hack and scramble the brains of the enemy. Follow the journey of Mina Lovelace as she seeks to prove herself worthy of following in her mother's footsteps, and tries not to embarrass herself in front of her childhood crush in the process! If you enjoy visual novels, problem solving, political intrigue and love stories, you'll love Code Romantic! Currently in Production.
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.
39However, this ostensibly homogeneous generic identity is thoroughly complicated in what I have called the secondary codification of the category’s materiality – a genre-specific code that only readers familiar with the genre detect and decipher. Via these coded elements, the category romance’s materiality suggests a more refined and singular interpretation of its text that is essentially designed to indicate how the novel is different from its generic colleagues. This hidden layer of the semiotic code not only enables the romance reader to develop a secondary set of textual expectations, but also thoroughly complicates the homogeneous image of the genre that is painted in the primary (public) layer of the book’s material codification. Instead of further supporting the stereotype-based public interpretation of generic standardization, this (hidden) secondary layer of the material code consistently signals ways in which the romance novel develops a more specific identity. As illustrated in the analyses above, the degree of specificity of this identity increases gradually. Whereas the front cover is often still concerned with suggesting shared identity traits, such as subgenre, level of sensuality and line identity, the first page inside the book resolutely focuses on the text’s singularity by showcasing the manifestation of authorial voice in the narrative text.
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.
8/6/10: Love, one of the most central components to human life, is such an amorphous concept that it is nearly impossible for people to completely agree on what it actually is or means. That is some of the beauty of love, but also some of the reasons we find ourselves confused. The following is a crash-course in what psychologists understand of “love”, and I hope that it may highlight new ideas, or name some things that can help you in your own journey of understanding it.
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.
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Well how does committed love differ? Committed love not only having the romantics that romantic love has, but it has so much more. A couple that has committed love don’t just focus on  the romantic part of the relationship, they support each other, they love each other beyond those who are romantically in love. Those that have committed love are looking at a better future for their relationship. When in love, there are actually a lot of chemicals help people feel the butterflies in their stomach, when they start to feel hot, their palms get sweaty. This is pure chemistry taking place.
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.
“Love” comics had suddenly become popular and so Marvel introduced My Romance in September 1948. Close behind it were Love Romances, Love Adventures, Love Tales, Love Dramas and a load of others, including My Love and Our Love. Again, Marvel was playing follow the leader, and again, some of the titles in this new genre would enjoy unusually long runs. The redundantly titled Love Romances, kept on chronicling the trials of the heartbroken until July, 1963.
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.
Meditation is called a practice because it takes time to become comfortable with sitting still and focusing for a long period of time. However, you will be happy to learn that the effects of meditation are immediate. Just taking five intentional deep breaths at your desk during a stressful day will help to lower your blood pressure and aid in regaining your mental focus and clarity to get you through your day.
8/6/10: Love, one of the most central components to human life, is such an amorphous concept that it is nearly impossible for people to completely agree on what it actually is or means. That is some of the beauty of love, but also some of the reasons we find ourselves confused. The following is a crash-course in what psychologists understand of “love”, and I hope that it may highlight new ideas, or name some things that can help you in your own journey of understanding it.
“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
Kirby: Joe and I were working for McFadden Publications at the time. McFadden had comics and in one of the books we did a feature called My Date. It suddenly occurred to me that McFadden was the biggest purveyor of romance in the world and was making millions at it, and we were sitting on top of the same thing, except that there were no romance stories in comics. My Date was a prelude.
[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)

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.


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.
9Category romance novels are marked by a very typical look ; their visual and material properties are instantly recognizable to almost everybody, romance readers and non-readers alike. Indeed, regardless of our interest in or knowledge of the genre, most of us are able to instantly recognize a category romance novel when we see one. The question arises why the genre consistently chooses to adopt such material uniformity. What are the functions and effects of this remarkable semiotic strategy ? That the visual and material design of a book is anything but a meaningless matter has been argued convincingly by the French theorist Gérard Genette. In his seminal study Paratexts he examines the role paratexts play in the reception and interpretation of a book. He argues that the paratext is
14This distinction between public and reader plays a crucial role in the category romance’s materiality. As a book that circulates in a large number of widely varying cultural and commercial spaces – from the grocery store to the independent book store, from the gas station to the airport newsstand – its materiality is encountered and interpreted by a huge audience that entails both (potential) readers and (a majority of) non-readers. In order to communicate with these two types of consumers the category romance novel’s materiality adopts a double semiotic code : one targeted at the public and one aimed at the (romance) reader. As the analyses in this paper illustrate, these two codes contain two different messages about the book’s identity and its desired interpretation. The public code consistently suggests a uniformly generic interpretation of the text as a popular romance novel. This interpretative suggestion is created by the repeated invocation of a number of stereotypical images of and associations with the genre, which in turn perpetuate the public image of the romance genre as homogeneous, formulaic and clichéd. The reader code, by contrast, advocates a more specific and even idiosyncratic interpretation of the text that aims to distinguish the individual text from the generic group in which it is situated.
24As the illustrations above show, the predominant effect of such an invasive design template is a very strong sense of standardization. It makes category romance novels look like uniform assembly-line products that lack the individuating and unique characteristics that we as a culture tend to value – particularly in art and literature. Instead, category romances all look the same and appear to be mutually interchangeable. This dominant impression of interchangeability is amplified by the fact that the elements that traditionally signify the book’s individual identity, such as its title, the name of the author and the summarizing blurb on the back cover, are also slipped into the line’s design template, which in effect almost completely mutes their message of idiosyncrasy. Instead, these elements appear to merely be (insignificant) variations upon an already-existing pattern that in effect appears to be more meaningful. In the public’s interpretation of the category romance’s design template, this message of standardization is likely dominant and the line template in effect serves as a code signifying extensive similarity and lack of singularity.

I’m not sure why Mai decided to help me that day. Curiosity? Boredom? The hope that I would pass her some cash? (Which, of course, I did.) But regardless of her motive, she did agree. Soon enough, after a steep march over a nearby hillside, we arrived at Mai’s stone house, which was tiny, soot-darkened, lit only by a few small windows, and nestled in one of the prettiest river valleys you could ever imagine. Mai led me inside and introduced me around to a group of women, all of them weaving, cooking, or cleaning. Of all the women, it was Mai’s grandmother whom I found most immediately intriguing. She was the laughingest, happiest, four-foot-tall toothless granny I’d ever seen in my life. What’s more, she thought me hilarious. Every single thing about me seemed to crack her up beyond measure. She put a tall Hmong hat on my head, pointed at me, and laughed. She stuck a tiny Hmong baby into my arms, pointed at me, and laughed. She draped me in a gorgeous Hmong textile, pointed at me, and laughed.
I so agree with Centaine, Karen , and Jane. Well said ladies! This has opened my mind to search deeper within and figure out what commitment means to me. I think it is very important to also build a friendship first and like they say "marry your best friend " I encourage all women who desire love and true commitment like me to keep the faith! We have to believe we will have it and that's the excitement and motivation for me each day, to know that I will soon find my best friend/partner . I recommend the book I started reading called "The Secret" it teaches about the law of attraction. I find it so helpful and inspirational for my daily living and feeling good about finally finding the commitment I want. Another great post Jane! <3

Despite Burton's erotic conquests, his AIM Sniffer is still buggy. He once IM'd the wrong person in a café. A woman opened her laptop at the same time as a man, and Burton mistakenly wrote a flirty message to the guy. "He got really angry and threatened to call the cops, until I explained to him what I was doing," Burton recalls. "Then he got into it and started IMing me about all the cute girls in the café he wanted to meet."
32These latter two interpretations of the preview scene require extensive familiarity with creative dynamics and codes that are specific to the category romance format and are hence only developed by readers initiated in the popular romance genre – in other words, the category romance’s target audience. For these readers, the preview scene functions not only as a code signifying the novel’s romance generic identity (as it does to the public) but also as a codification of the novel’s singularity. As with the clinch and the design template, these different interpretations of the category romance’s materiality are also fundamentally tied to the public’s and the reader’s respective degrees of knowledge of and experience with the particular codes of the popular romance genre. The romance reader is able to develop a more complex and layered interpretation of the category romance’s materiality than the public because her extensive knowledge of the genre’s conventions and codes enables her to see differentiation where the public only sees similarity.
“This is a little awkward, but I value our working relationship and I’d like to share something with you. I have noticed that you are routinely late for meetings. This interrupts my schedule, and it also leads me to believe you do not value our time together. Can we make an agreement that you will be on time for all meetings or that our meeting is canceled if you are more than eight to 10 minutes late?”
Catnaps, power naps, a full night’s sleep… no matter the method, a quality snooze session is vital for overall well-being and happiness. In fact, research shows that not sleeping enough (four hours per night) may lead to lower levels of optimism. And other studies show skimping on sleep can damage our on-the-job performance and academic performance. The cost of poor sleep: workplace productivity loss and associated costs. Rosekind MR, Gregory KB, Mallis MM. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2010, Apr.;52(1):1536-5948. Sleep and academic performance in undergraduates: a multi-measure, multi-predictor approach. Gomes AA, Tavares J, de Azevedo MH. Chronobiology international, 2012, Mar.;28(9):1525-6073. Your best bet: Load up on your vitamin Zzz’s for a healthier, happier life.
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