15This double semiotic codification – and its concomitant potential for divergent interpretations – is present in nearly every aspect of the category romance novel’s materiality. To illustrate how the dual semiotic decoding of these properties may work, I will focus on three illustrative examples in the rest of this paper. These analyses focus on three standard elements of the category romance’s paratexts : the front cover iconography, the line template in the design of the category romance’s material packaging and the preview scene that is routinely printed on the first page of a category romance novel.

Marissa gazed up at Kyle and slowly shook her head. “I can’t. What kind of matchmaker would swoop in and take the prize catch for herself ? No client would ever trust me again.” Upping his game, Kyle raised a finger to her face and sketched a soft stroke down the length of her throat. Her eyelids fluttered, her lips parting of their own accord. “What are we doing ?” she whispered helplessly, clutching his shoulder as if she were hanging on for dear life. “Being impulsive.” He licked his way into the curve of her shoulder and she shivered. “Isn’t it the best ?” “I’m not impulsive,” she said, even as she arched her neck to give him more room to work. He ran his tongue along the same spot over and over until she trembled. “You are now.” (Rock 1)
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”.
Love commitment might be just another phrase, but it has a deep meaning. Any and every relationship requires commitment to cement it and make it strong. But what is commitment? Is it just a promise, or much more? What is committed love? Is it any different from ‘just’ love? Now that’s a question I’ve heard many people ask and ponder over. So let’s take a look at some points that show what is committed love.

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.”


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.
When I arrive at the Condomania offices to meet Filkins, he's finishing up some business on the phone. I wander around his workspace while he talks, peering with mild trepidation into giant candy jars full of tricolor condoms and shiny plastic packets of lube. In one room, I discover a "condomenorah." Condoms of various hues and sizes are attached to nine PVC pipes arranged to resemble Hanukkah lights. Filkins joins me and grins as his colleague flips a switch, sending air through the pipes and allowing me to inspect the wares in their fully operational state.
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.
“He died,” she said coolly, and that settled it. Her father had died of death. The way people used to die, I suppose, before we knew very much about why or how. “When he died, we ate the water buffalo at his funeral.” At this memory, her face flashed a complicated array of emotions: sadness at the loss of her father, pleasure at the remembrance of how good the water buffalo had tasted.
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.
It bears repeating that you will not feel happy on Day One. Maintain realistic expectations. Nibbling on carrot sticks will not feel as good as licking an ice cream cone on Day One, and it may not seem that this could change with repetition. Doing homework will not feel as good as watching a movie on Day One, and it’s hard to imagine that changing either. Stick to your plan and you will connect carrot sticks or studying to your happy chemicals. You can learn how to feel good when you do what’s good for you.
Because he's had such a hard time finding someone, Filkins spins out endless scenarios for dating hyper-personalization. "I would design the initial set of questions that people answer to create their FOAF file," he says. "Then there would be a system available to build new ones. If, for example, transsexuals wanted to use the protocol, they could come up with their own particular set of questions to ask."

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.
Isn't it amazing there is no formal training or guidance for the most important relationship in your life? You only have those around you as examples of what life has to offer. Then you have to be strong enough (and make mistakes) to decide what it is you do and do not want. Commitment comes from both parties. You have to be able to communicate your wants and needs to each other and make sure you both understand. Sometimes one person says something and the other hears something different. Both people have to live their lives in a way that doesn't offend their partner. You have to have a good relationship and be able to enjoy each other. You have to learn to fight fair and not be vindictive. Your mate is your love not your enemy. Remember your mate is not a mind reader, and if they are doing something that needs to be discussed, speak up. You both need time to yourselves and have your own friends. You should be together because you want to be and not because you have to be. Make sure you spend quality time with each other. You both have to be strong enough to go home and jump your own mate when you encounter desirous people along the way. When you become committed you don't become blind. LOL I believe women control commitment. A man who wants you bad enough will ask YOU for a commitment if you stop giving away the store. Love is give and take. If you give too much or too fast, do too much, or are too available and predictable, commitment will never come. At that point there is no reason for it. They are already getting everything. Learn to love yourself and be good to you. Your mate will be good to also if you are good to yourself.
I had no problem with any of this, by the way. I had long ago learned that when you are the giant, alien visitor to a remote and foreign culture it is sort of your job to become an object of ridicule. It’s the least you can do, really, as a polite guest. Soon more women—neighbors and relations—poured into the house. They also showed me their weavings, stuck their hats on my head, crammed my arms full of their babies, pointed at me, and laughed.

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.
Falling in love with another person is a wonderful feeling, but it is not a permanent emotion. Love can be permanent, but it is different from falling in love because it is a mature aspect of the feeling. Love contains many different emotions that are expressed as ideals, and a few of these are caring, duty and compassion. Even if the love fades, aspects of these emotions may remain between the couple. Love might be ignited again as life continues to change, but it might also disappear completely.
No, I don’t mean you need to be a sacrificing person all the time, but this is something that starts to happen naturally. When the needs of your partner start becoming your priority, you know you are in a serious love commitment. It does not make you feel any lesser nor does it make you feel like you are losing out on something; in fact it gives you great joy and satisfaction.
A partnership is not just about the emotions and feelings of love. A partnership is about commitment, and being responsible to that commitment regardless of what the external variables of the time are. It's about the commitment to choosing decisions that will serve the relationship even when it would "feel" better to not. Married or not married, when you decide to enter into a partnership with another, commitment means you act with integrity, respect and care -even when your emotions are telling you otherwise.
The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent!
With yourself! Really, pack a little basket with some yummy strawberries, perhaps some chocolate, head over to the nearest park and take yourself on a picnic.  While sitting there, embrace the purity of the moment. Enjoy how the wind plays with your hair, and watch how dogs walk their owners. Take in all that is around you and feel grateful for the opportunity of being alive and having all your senses intact. Make a conscientious effort to choose happiness for your life at that very moment, own your feelings and emotions. Get high on life!
16The category romance’s front cover is visually dominated by an image that takes up a focal point in the cover composition (see figure 2). In the majority of cases this is an image of a (scantily clad) man and woman locked in a passionate embrace.9 This image, known in the romance jargon as the “clinch”, graces the front cover of an endless series of category romance novels in always changing but essentially similar variations. It appears to be a very apt visual representation of what the romance genre is all about. Depicting a man and a woman in an intimate and often explicitly passionate clinching embrace (hence the name), the image is made up of visual renderings of the nuclear elements of the conventional romance narrative : the hero, the heroine and their romantic (sexualized) interactions with each other. In a way it also offers a visual representation of what is arguably the core fantasy offered by the genre, namely that of an overwhelming and passionate romantic love focused absolutely on one other.

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 issue of gender is linked to violence in Wertham’s study, since women are generally victims in comic books. Wertham believed the blending of sensuality with cruelty was a particularly disturbing aspect of comic book ideology that had a great deal of resonance with the disdain for the opposite sex that young male readers often had. In many comic books, women were portrayed as objects to be abused or to be used as decoys in crime settings. Women who did not fall into the role of victim were generally cast as villains, often with masculine or witchlike powers. These plots suggested that men had to present a united front against such women. Wertham commented, “In these stories there are practically no decent, attractive, successful women” (191). Wertham also objected to the genre known as romance or love comics. Such comics moved from the realm of physical violence against women to psychological violence in which the main female character is often humiliated or shown to be inadequate in some way.

Look, I don’t want to risk romanticizing the oh-so-simple life of the picturesque rural peasant here. Let me make it clear that I had no desire to trade lives with any of the women that I met in that Hmong village in Vietnam. For the dental implications alone, I do not want their lives. It would be farcical and insulting, besides, for me to try adopting their worldview. In fact, the inexorable march of industrial progress suggests that the Hmong will be more likely to start adopting my worldview in the years to come.


In the past (i.e. in your grandmother's day) things were a bit more cut and dry – a commitment meant an engagement to be married, along with a ring on the left hand and a date set for the wedding. Many women would not even consider a partner to be exclusive unless they were officially engaged. Until that point, they were just "courting" and she (as well as he) could date/court as many others as they chose.
Interestingly, while many people charge the Comics Code with the destruction of the romance comics genre, the truth of the matter is that sales had begun decreasing long before the Code was implemented. Romance comics may have been queen, but her reign was limited. By the beginning of 1951, the number of romance comics titles had decreased by over 60%. According to the Kirby Museum, by 1951 there were only 45 romance comics on the racks. Of course, this was still a respectable number, but far fewer from the high of 148 in 1950. Quite simply, the market was oversaturated.
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.
This is a seemingly simple strategy, but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.
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.
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.
Love comics were not only good for the wallets of comic companies. They also helped alleviate some of the growing public concern against comics. The January 31, 1949, edition of The New York Times pronounced that the anti-comics drive was waning and that romance comics (called “love” type comics in the article) were replacing crime comics on the newsstands.

35That the public codification of the category romance novel’s materiality revolves around a generic interpretation is no surprise given the commercial character of popular fiction. As scholars such as John Cawelti and Ken Gelder have argued, the field of popular fiction is much more preoccupied with the notion of genre than that of literary fiction :
30Although the romance reader is obviously aware of the scene’s strong conventionality and, like the public, interprets it as another element inscribing the novel in the popular romance genre, as a member of the romance genre’s interpretative community she also has the ability to develop a different interpretation of this scene. In fact, when the romance reader reads this scene as a romance reader – that is, using the interpretative strategies particular to the genre – she is able to gain crucial new knowledge about the text and its specific, individual poetic properties. This is due to the fact that in the eyes of the experienced category romance reader the preview scene functions as a conceptual prefiguration of the creative interplay between conventionality and variation that is pivotal to the category romance’s poetic functioning. This creative dynamic goes unnoticed by the public (and most of the genre’s critics) because of their one-dimensional assessment of the genre’s strong conventionality as only creating a pervasive sense of repetition and similarity between individual romance texts. However, this interpretation of conventionality fails to recognize how the web of conventions also creates a context in which every minute variation upon the convention stands out.14 This kind of variation – the brief deviation from the norm, the minor adaptation of the convention – represents a fundamental pillar of the category romance’s poetic functioning and of the aesthetic pleasure the romance offers its readers. This particular creative dynamic is prefigured in the strongly conventional preview scene, which illustrates for the romance reader precisely how the author deals with the central creative task of the category format of fusing various sets of conventions with the appropriate amount of creative variation. Since a thorough knowledge of the genre’s (and the line’s) conventions is necessary to develop this interpretation, only generically initiated romance readers pick up on this dynamic and read the preview scene as something other than a pure reconfirmation of the novel’s clichéd generic identity.
28As we can see in these examples, these scenes are marked by a strong sense of conventionality. This is no coincidence ; indeed, scenes that are selected as preview scenes usually depict a narrative moment that is instantly recognizable as a conventional part of a traditional romance plot. These scenes frequently zoom in onfeelings of sexual attraction and/or romantic conflict between the protagonists and depict events such as the erotically charged moments preceding the characters’ first kiss or their first time making love. Invariably ending on an (erotic) cliffhanger, the preview scene is often a kind of narrative equivalent of the clinch image and is charged with the same sense of expectation, (sexual) tension and narrative determinism that marks the clinch. Like the clinch, the preview scene also represents a stereotypical image of the romance genre, not only because it depicts a very clichéd moment in the romance narrative, but also because this representation is rendered in a highly conventionalized, even hackneyed discourse.

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!
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.
Your body has three layers of muscles. When you vary your exercise, you give the neglected, constricted layers more attention. Since they’re weak, they have to work harder, so you stimulate development where it’s needed instead of going overboard on the parts you overuse. Chasing an endorphin high is not worth the risk of wearing out a part and needing a parts replacement. Variety is a great alternative and one of the best ways to feel better.
Still, with the Code restrictions in place, romance comics could not compete with the other mediums were aggressively vying for consumer dollars without censorship. First, there was the growing underground comix market, which featured unrestricted and uncensored writing and often contained graphic sex and nudity. Second, Harlequin Books began producing more and more novels, which enticed readers with their painted covers and flowery prose. Finally, romance comics simply couldn’t compete with the growing popularity and presence of television, specifically the soap opera, which featured many of the themes present in romance comics and provided free daily gratification. This is especially true when you factor in that comics were moving to the direct market, which focus on superhero comics.
The experts had said that what the children need is aggression, not affection — crime, not love. But suddenly the industry converted from blood to kisses. They tooled up the industry for a kind of comic book that hardly existed before, the love-confession type. They began to turn them out quickly and plentifully before their own experts had time to retool for the new production line and write scientific papers proving that what children really needed and wanted — what their psychological development really called for — was after all not murder, but love!

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.

So here’s my understanding of the nature of happiness: happiness is subjectively experienced but not everything that causes us to feel happy makes us happy over a lifetime. It is possible to feel happy for the moment but not be happy, as, for example, most alcoholics know. The opposite is also true. We can feel unhappy, at the loss of a loved one, but still be happy as we look on a life that has been filled with love.


I have read all of the Witch Central books multiple times and will continue to re-read the series in the future. With this book, we are introduced into the beginning of the story, and it makes the perfect introduction to the loving chaos. After I finished it, I went right into re-reading A Modern Witch for the fourth time and can't wait to read through the rest!!
7The system of lines defines the category romance format in many ways and is perhaps more intricate than it seems at first sight. Each category romance is published in a series or line that has a particular narrative profile. Although these profiles appear to be characterized by a single defining trait (Blaze novels are erotic, Intrigue novels feature a suspense storyline, Medical Romance novels are set in a medical context), they are in fact composite and are made up of a conglomerate of narrative features. For example, Blaze novels are not only characterized by a high level of sensuality, but are also always set in a contemporary (usually North American) setting, feature a heroine who is between twenty-five and thirty-three and a hero between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty-eight and have an average word count of 60,000 words (“Harlequin Blaze”).5 Each line is thus differentiated from others via this conglomerate of primary and secondary line-characteristics. Although the lines may appear simplistic to the outside world, the finely-tuned differentiation between lines is very important within the genre’s system, as the (commercial) viability of a line depends in part on the extent to which it can be differentiated from another line.
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.
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!
Vacations usually happen over the course of several days and can sometimes take several weeks, so if you’re going to take company along you’ll want to make sure you really like them. You’re also making memories that last for a lifetime. Generally speaking, people who take vacations together not only enjoy each other’s company, but are happy to make memories together, so if you take vacations together it’s a good sign that you and your love are truly committed.
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.
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.
All these choices and all this longing can create a weird kind of haunting in our lives—as though the ghosts of all our other, unchosen, possibilities linger forever in a shadow world around us, continuously asking, “Are you certain this is what you really wanted?” And nowhere does that question risk haunting us more than in our marriages, precisely because the emotional stakes of that most intensely personal choice have become so huge.
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.
As an example of just the opposite of sufficient commitment, I vividly recall a little scene of a young couple at an airport. I was on a layover when I overheard their argument. (I wasn’t eavesdropping as much as they were talking so loudly that I could not help but notice.) The tension was about her wanting to dress warmer for the flight and him wanting her to stay dressed just as she was. She was in quite short shorts and some type of sleeveless, very light shirt. She didn’t want to be cold on the flight. 
It's because of our culture, our programming, the double-standard that we feel even as we know, as you say, Kate, that he could have been doing the same thing as well! The messages for women - and the labels attached to them - are so strong! It's why I always get such resistance when I suggest dating (not sleeping with) a few men at a time. And yet, it's doing exactly this that keeps everything in balance and keeps you from jumping too far ahead with anyone before they've shown you that they're truly worthy of you!
8 This negative appreciation of strong (generic) conventionality is something that affects (the cultural status of) all so-called genre fiction, but that is particularly strongly associated with the popular romance genre, which is, as Ken Gelder has noted, often considered the most conventional and conservative genre of popular fiction (43). For more on the connections between genre, conventionality and popular fiction, see John Cawelti’s Adventure, Mystery, and Romance: Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture (particularly the first two chapters).
It's because of our culture, our programming, the double-standard that we feel even as we know, as you say, Kate, that he could have been doing the same thing as well! The messages for women - and the labels attached to them - are so strong! It's why I always get such resistance when I suggest dating (not sleeping with) a few men at a time. And yet, it's doing exactly this that keeps everything in balance and keeps you from jumping too far ahead with anyone before they've shown you that they're truly worthy of you!
“Everyone needs something to look forward to,” Holstein said, and while dreaming about a fantasy trip, or a job you’d love to have 5 or 10 years down the road can provide a boost (as can having fun right-this-minute), there’s value in putting something tangible on your calendar within the coming weeks or months. The anticipation of having a nice experience coming up not-too-far-down-the road — like dinner at a new restaurant or a day trip to the country — breeds joy.

Committed love offers rewards to couples who stay together. Some couples feel a commited love based on attraction. In this type of relationship your commitment comes from your desire to be with the other person or the romantic love that you feel, according to the article "Commitment in Healthy Relationships" on the North Carolina State University website. The rewards for true loves who commit to each other include regular support, affection and friendship.
The soft demand froze her in place. In that moment she registered that Constantine wasn’t just angry, he was furious. She had seen him furious only once before – the day they had broken up – but on that occasion he had been icily cool and detached. The fact was that his formidable control had finally slipped and he was clearly in danger of losing his temper ratcheted the tension up several notches. A heady sense of anticipation gripped her. She had the feeling that for the first time she was going to see the real Constantine and not the controlled tycoon who had a calculator in place of a heart. His gaze dropped to her mouth and she was suddenly unbearably aware that he intended to kiss her. (Brand)
The reason grudges are bad for your happiness is that the negative emotions associated with those feelings eventually give way to resentment and thoughts of revenge. This leaves little room in your emotional repertoire for anything else, like happiness, according to the Mayo Clinic. What's more, decades of research have linked the simple act of forgiveness to better overall heart health, less psychological stress, improved physical ability, and longer life.
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