This is where a lot of those so-called committed relationships (that were really just an agreement of temporary exclusivity) break down and fall apart. This is where it starts to require some compromise. This is also where true commitment starts, because it means that you're both willing to work things out instead of just breaking up at the first sign of anything that doesn't resemble the fairy tale.
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.
You don't have to be happy every day. It's OK to be sad; trust yourself that you'll feel happier soon. It comes in ups and down. There's also not always a reason. Feelings can be like wisps of cloud drifting through the streets, suddenly deciding for no discernible reason to rush into you. Just because a feeling rushes into you, though, doesn't mean you have to suffer it. You can just step aside and show it to the door.
The philosopher Odo Marquard has noted a correlation in the German language between the word zwei, which means “two,” and the word zweifel, which means “doubt”—suggesting that two of anything brings the automatic possibility of uncertainty to our lives. Now imagine a life in which every day a person is presented with not two or even three but dozens of choices, and you can begin to grasp why the modern world has become, even with all its advantages, a neurosis-generating machine of the highest order. In a world of such abundant possibility, many of us simply go limp from indecision. Or we derail our life’s journey again and again, backing up to try the doors we neglected on the first round, desperate to get it right this time. Or we become compulsive comparers—always measuring our lives against some other person’s life, secretly wondering if we should have taken her path instead.
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.
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.”
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.
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29Even more so than other material aspects of the romance, the preview scene is marked by a double codification and is accordingly interpreted rather differently by the public and the romance reader. In the public’s interpretation, the extreme conventionality of the scene is the dominant feature and the scene is consequently interpreted as yet another code that signifies the novel’s popular romance identity. Because the scene explicitly evokes stereotypes of the genre that are particularly widespread in our culture – the first kiss, the typical tension between conflict and attraction that is widely associated with popular romances, the clichéd and euphemistic language describing sexual attraction, etc. – this interpretation is guaranteed irrespective of the reader’s profile. Indeed, even a reader who is only aware of the most basic cultural stereotypes surrounding popular romance recognizes in this scene the genre’s conventions and will correctly interpret it as a code for the narrative’s popular romance genre identity. In this process the preview scene not only invokes but also reinforces and perpetuates a number of the stereotypes already surrounding the genre, much like the clinch that is its visual equivalent.
Getting rid of the clock is a great way to experiment with control, because you can’t control time. We all have habits for managing the harsh reality of time. For some it’s chronic lateness and for others it’s constant clock-checking. You may think you can’t change your relationship with time, but here are three great ways to feel good by ignoring the clock and make friends with the passage of time:
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
He redeems your life from the pit. That word “redeem” has to do with buying back out of bondage, bondage to the pit of despair, the pit of sin, the pit of addiction. He buys you back. He pays your debt. He lifts you up out of the pit. Ultimately that’s pointing to the grave. There is no grave that can hold the one whom God loves. He redeems your life from the pit. And here’s the part I want us to focus on for a few minutes.
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.
I ran into a friend, who I have known for about 8 years ( he was actually a former teacher of mine at the University although he is younger than me. haha). Anyway, he invited me to sit with him and we had some fun conversation. He asked if he could walk me to my car when I was ready to leave and I said yes. Long story short, he kissed me. Honestly, I did not feel anything. It was almost like kissing my brother as they say. I felt a little guilty because I know he knows the guy who I am "dating". I felt like I did something wrong, yet I know Matt and I are not exclusive. I know he has active dating website accounts. Why do I feel so bad about this when for all I know could have kissed someone else last night as well?
Spinning his computer around, he invites me to try his Soul mate Calculator, an app he wrote to convince people that they need his SocialGrid technology. A page full of pulldown menus and checkboxes boots up: The calculator uses a simple script to crunch US census figures on age, gender, and geographic location to estimate how many people I'll have to meet before I find my soul mate. To fill the thing out I need to decide what my potential mate's ethnicity should be, and whether I want him or her to be in the top 10 percent of people in terms of facial attractiveness, optimism, or musical talent. Also, how compassionate do I want my soul mate to be? Top 50 percent? Top 1 percent?
36Genre is thus one of the most important organizational and interpretative pillars of the field of popular fiction, and it steers the mass communication that marks this field in the right direction. Given the industrial, commercial and communicative prominence of genre in popular fiction, it is in fact only logical that the category romance novel – one of the most (in)famous examples of genre fiction – emphasizes this generic identity in the public codification of its materiality.
5This paper focuses on a particular kind of romance novel, namely the so-called “category romance”. As the name implies, category romances are popular romance novels that are published in a category or series (also called line or imprint), which groups together similar types of romance stories.3 Examples of category romance lines include the Blaze series (featuring sensual romances), the Intrigue line (featuring romances with a suspense subplot) or the Medical Romance imprint (featuring romances set in a medical context). Series membership traditionally determines a large part of the category romance’s identity, which is reflected in the prominent place the series imprint takes up on the category romance’s front cover (see figure 1). The front cover is traditionally also dominated by the eye-catching image of a couple (often partially undressed) locked in a passionate embrace. This image, known within the romance community as the “clinch”, has become an iconic visual marker for popular romance in our culture and renders the novel’s generic identity unmistakable (McKnight-Trontz 17 ; Wendell and Tan 170).
Jungian psychoanalysts take this idea further, and see romantic love as a “projection” of a key part of one’s inner world onto someone else. Basically when we meet someone new who “sparkles” for us, we use them as a canvas for us to place all kinds of wonderful things from our imagination onto them. This basically inflates the reality of that person into god or goddess-like status. The “perfect” person.
I was born into a late-twentieth-century American middle-class family. Like untold millions of other people in the contemporary world born into similar circumstances, I was raised to believe that I was special. My parents (who were neither hippies nor radicals; who in fact voted for Ronald Reagan twice) simply believed that their children had particular gifts and dreams that set them apart from other people’s children. My “me-ness” was always prized, and was moreover recognized as being different from my sister’s “her-ness,” my friends’ “themness,” and everyone else’s “everyone-else-ness.” Though I was certainly not spoiled, my parents believed that my personal happiness was of some importance, and that I should learn to shape my life’s journey in such a way that would support and reflect my individual search for contentment.
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.
Then you have to look at whether you can realistically live with this difference in light of the rest of who he is and everything else that's good about your relationship, Ida. You don't have to, but if he's the one you want to be with and he's not willing to change on this point - and it's a big one- you have to look at the reality of what this means to you and how long you can accept his terms on this. Pretending you can when you can't never works out. Getting to the bottom of why you feel so strongly on your own point might. Sometimes the reasons we have to have something are more about our programming than our own reality. Hope this helps!
When I describe this to a lot of my clients they say “that sounds so boring!” I think if it is seen at the wrong level (that our relationships should be a constant source of excitement rather than a place to demonstrate care and “loving” for someone), then yes, it is boring. The solution I try to pass along is that people can have a stable relationship and an exciting life together.” Rather than have a long interpersonal drama, go on vacation, take up new activities, explore new sexual practices, etc. Many people also get concerned when they move from romantic into committed love, and think something is “wrong” with the relationship, or that they have “fallen out of love”, and they often miss the opportunity for a sustainable loving relationship.
These days with the limits on the amount of personal privacy any of us has, passwords and PIN numbers might mark the final frontier of the few things we have entire control over. So deciding to share this extremely private information is not to be taken lightly or with casual friendships. While experts admit that sharing passwords can strengthen relationships, this is a sign of commitment because it demonstrates ultimate trust. So unless you’re in a committed relationship, it’s still best practice to keep your passwords and PIN numbers private.
Adopting a hakuna matata outlook can boost overall happiness. Easier said than done, to be sure, but making a point to detach yourself from mistakes, worries, and regrets may lead to more lighthearted times. In fact, holding onto resentment and hurt feelings can tie you to the past and also marks a decision to continue suffering. Make the choice to be happy by forgiving people who hurt you and moving away from situations from your past that brought you down.