As a matter of fact, it’s already happening. Now that young girls like my twelve-year-old friend Mai are being exposed to modern Western women like me through crowds of tourists, they’re experiencing those first critical moments of cultural hesitation. I call this the “Wait-a-Minute Moment”—that pivotal instant when girls from traditional cultures start pondering what’s in it for them, exactly, to be getting married at the age of thirteen and starting to have babies not long after. They start wondering if they might prefer to make different choices for themselves, or any choices, for that matter. Once girls from closed societies start thinking such thoughts, all hell breaks loose. Mai- trilingual, bright, and observant- had already glimpsed another set of options for life. It wouldn’t be long before she was making demands of her own. In other words: It might be too late for even the Hmong to be Hmong anymore.

21The same clinch image is – or at least has the potential to be – interpreted rather differently by the public and the romance reader. Whereas to the former it likely functions as a code that signifies a very stereotypical, internally homogeneous kind of popular romance generic identity, to the latter the same image signals various kinds of specifications within this generic identity and essentially provides a message of generic heterogeneity. This semiotic mechanism of one material element simultaneously containing two codes (or two layers of codification) that mean different things to different consumers (the public versus the reader) is essential to the semiotic functioning of the category romance novel’s materiality. It is a core principle that, as the rest of the analyses illustrate, underlies nearly every aspect of this materiality.


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!

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.


Now they all really did lose it. Even the grandmother was openly howling with laughter. Which was fine, right? As has already been established, I am always perfectly willing to be mocked in a foreign country for somebody else’s entertainment. But in this case, I must confess, all the hilarity was a bit unsettling on account of the fact that I really did not get the joke. All I could understand was that these Hmong ladies and I were clearly speaking an entirely different language here (I mean, above and beyond the fact that we were literally speaking an entirely different language here). But what was so specifically absurd to them about my questions?


31In a similar vein, the preview scene also allows the romance reader to get a first sense of what in the romance community is often referred to as the author’s voice. In this context, the term “voice” refers to the conglomerate of elements that characterize an individual’s writing (Goris, “Loving by the Book” 80). Voice is determined by both narrative and linguistic elements and includes such things as the rhythm of the text, the cadence of the dialogue, the pace of the story, the tone of the narrative, the development of the characters, etc. As I have pointed out elsewhere, voice is an important evaluation criterion in the popular romance genre and one that both editors and readers frequently cite as a potentially decisive factor in their evaluation of a particular romance novel.15 Although voice is a fluid and compound notion, the preview scene provides the romance reader with a first impression of the author’s voice, which in many ways functions as the primary parameter of singularity in the category romance novel. Given the importance of the voice in the reader’s enjoyment of the narrative, this impression is likely to factor into the reader’s decision to read (and buy) the novel, and it thus bestows a commercially important function on the preview scene.

That said, we have to be careful, too, not to assume that all arranged marriages across history, or all pragmatic marriages, or all marriages that begin with an act of kidnapping, necessarily resulted in years of contentment. The Websters were lucky, to an extent. (Though they also put a good deal of work into their marriage, one suspects.) But what Mr. Webster and the Hmong people perhaps have in common is a notion that the emotional place where a marriage begins is not nearly as important as the emotional place where a marriage finds itself toward the end, after many years of partnership. Moreover, they would likely agree that there is not one special person waiting for you somewhere in this world who will make your life magically complete, but that there are any number of people (right in your own community, probably) with whom you could seal a respectful bond. Then you could live and work alongside that person for years, with the hope that tenderness and affection would be the gradual outcome of your union.


One of the very first signs of commitment in a relationship is when two people spend lots of time together. Outside of normal working hours and with all the things you could be doing in a day, there usually isn’t much time left over to spare. And since time is one of the few commodities that none of us can get back, the fact that you and your significant other choose to make time for each other on a regular basis is a good sign that you’re both committed.
In her waning years, Mrs. Webster was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. For almost a decade, this once-powerful woman wasted away in a manner that was agonizing to watch for everyone in the community. Her husband—that pragmatic old Yankee farmer—took care of his wife at home the entire time she was dying. He bathed her, fed her, gave up freedoms in order to keep watch over her, and learned to endure the dreadful consequences of her decay. He tended to this woman long after she knew who he was anymore—even long after she knew who she herself was anymore. Every Sunday, Mr. Webster dressed his wife in nice clothing, put her in a wheelchair, and brought her to services at the same church where they had been married almost sixty years earlier. He did this because Lillian had always loved that church, and he knew she would’ve appreciated the gesture if only she had been conscious of it. Arthur would sit there in the pew beside his wife, Sunday after Sunday, holding her hand while she slowly ebbed away from him into oblivion.

The plan: Find someone who’s achieved what you want who shouldn’t have been able to do it. One of Tony’s major role models for how to master money is Sir John Templeton. He started with nothing and decided to save 50% of every dollar he earned. Since he started this practice young, it quickly became a streamlined habit. His life also showed Tony that the best time to make money – whether through investments, real estate or in business – are during pessimistic times. You can use this method in the pursuit of happiness, too. Think of someone you admire who is wildly happy. What mindsets or beliefs do they follow that allows them to be happy?
So true, Carolyn - and so telling! As a culture, we spend hours doing research and taking classes on so many other things that have little to do with our happiness - as if the things like buying a car or planning a vacation will bring us true happiness, but we "wing it" when it comes finding what we're looking for in relationships. We limit ourselves to such a great extent because of so much of what you say here - "you only have those around you as examples of what life has to offer." And if those around you are as confused about all this as everyone else, and don't question what the media and culture has taught them, what do you really have? Great comment, Carolyn. I appreciate your adding so much to this conversation.
1 The few studies of the popular romance novel that do consider the genre’s material conditions are Juliet Flesch’s From Australia with Love: The History of Australian Popular Romance Novels, Janice Radway’s Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature, Jayashree Kamble’s Uncovering and Recovering the Popular Romance Novel and Jennifer McKnight-Trontz’s The Look of Love: The Art of the Popular Romance Novel.
It may sound trite, but try to reel yourself back to the present—especially if your thoughts have the tendency to get away from you, like mine do. “Even if you’re weeping and crying, ask yourself: Can I just be with this?” Flake says. And remind yourself that you are safe and sound: “If you’re sitting in your car, for example, feel the back of your leg touching the seat. Feel your bracelet on your arm. Feel the cool air conditioning blowing on you,” she suggests. “This helps remind your brain in a language it understands in sensations that everything is OK — that you can find some peace, no matter what else is going on.”

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
Ah, commitment. I’m a living, breathing example of this study. Much of my 20s was defined by a lack of commitment to a partner. I stumbled around in different relationships, while all along, the relationship I needed to most get right was the one with myself. You have to be right with yourself before you can truthfully expect to commit to someone else.

a week to build up to a shared chuckle about traffic, and even that may stir up bad feelings that are curiously strong. But you will continue making neutral contact—neither venting anger nor rushing to please. In forty-five days, you will have built a new shared foundation upon which you both feel happier and better about. You may always need to limit your trust in this person, but you will be able to relax in his presence the way gazelles relax in a world full of lions.

This rite of committed relationship passage is so iconic that entire movie scenes and magazine articles have been dedicated to its discussion. If one or both of you have keys to the other’s house, you’re in! I mean, how many people have keys to your place? Chances are not many, but if they do and they’re not your parents, it’s a good sign you’re in a committed relationship.


Do something small and simple, like letting someone go ahead of you in line at the grocery store, Lyubomirsky suggested, or call your 85-year-old great aunt who loves to hear from you, Holstein said. Acts of kindness increase well-being because they’re concrete. Another idea? Focus on one person — a boyfriend or girlfriend, a parent — and for one week really think about what you could do to make them happier. Then do it.
I thought I was ready for the C word, but came to realize I'm afraid. I've been hurt time and time again, and I finally found someone that was willing to put me first. I met this great guy online, who lived 13hrs away, only thing is; we had nothing in common. We started a long distance relationship. He wanted everything I wanted. After a few months of dating he wanted to take it further, he started looking at rings- I panicked. How can we take that step and we barely knew anything about each other? I didn't want to make the biggest mistake of my life, for the rest of my life. We did the back and forth to see each other, but our incompatibility started getting to me. He was night, I was day and I found myself being mean and distant. I eventually broke it off, because I didn't like who I was with him. It broke him. I maintained contact with the promise of rekindling the relationship once we established a friendship, during this time he was still attentive and never skipped a beat. About 2 weeks ago he became distant, then he told me he's seeing someone; I am crushed to say the least. Did I sabotage this relationship? Why did I run, when I got almost everything I asked for? Am I crushed because I care or is it my ego and I will get over it? I am so confused, I don't know what to do. I want to call him and beg him to give me another chance, but I'm afraid my feelings will betray me and I will hurt him all over again. I don't want to be selfish, but I can't help but think I'm possibly letting my future go. What should I do?

I’ve never understood why people always consider Love as a separate entity from Commitment/Partnership/Companionship. I’ve always believed that Love goes beyond that butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling. My high school English teacher mentioned to us once that Love is a choice – much like the way that happiness is a state of mind (not pertaining to those who are clinically depressed, etc, of course). So it always upsets me when people tease the two concepts apart. Love IS Commitment. It’s a conscious process of choosing to be with someone. Anything less than that is lust of infatuation, and does not deserve to be called Love.

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)
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.
The BPS Research Digest explores another study 4 that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task over the course of a day, the researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive late in the day to negative emotions like fear and anger.
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.
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.
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 rationale: No matter how much you feed your mind, it’s difficult to make an actual change in your life if your body stays the same. Your mind and body are one unit. What is happening to one influences the other. Whether you feel uncertain or fantastic, your physiology changes. When you are feeling physically strong and powerful, your mind follows suit. Changing how your body works can change your mind and your general worldview.

“Generally if people compare themselves to those who are worse off, they’re going to feel better,” continues Bauer, now a research associate at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a clinical psychologist at Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Associates of Toronto. “When they compare themselves to people who are better off, it can make them feel worse.”
The cofounder of an Internet startup, Burton spends his days coding in Wi-Fi-enabled cafés and using his AIM Sniffer to keep an eye on all the data traveling over the cafés' networks. Between marathon Java-thrashing sessions, he often finds he wants to introduce himself to "a cute girl with a laptop" but is too shy to make an approach. That's where the Sniffer comes in handy. If a hottie fires up her AOL Instant Messenger client, Burton sees her login name and can send her an IM. "I've gotten several first dates that way," he says. "Women think it's cute when I can make a message pop on their machine as if by magic. Now that so many women are online, it's our chance as geeks to start getting more dates."
To be in a state of Happi-ness there has to be a complete absence of ego. Ego being a state of mind (identity) - acquired from the past - which continuously seeks to connect with an uncertain future ( and remains forever fearful of the outcome). So, when the chaotic mind is free of incessant and noisy thoughts (the ego) and becomes quiet and aware(conscious) of a calm... then, and ONLY then does Happi-ness prevail.
Amy is a relationship columnist for the 24 Hours Newspaper and a blogger for The Huffington Post and The Vancouver Sun. She has been featured in FASHION Magazine, The Georgia Straight, Ming Pao Magazine and her essay “The Infinite Chase” was published in a book to support ‘End Sex Trafficking Day’ along with notable authors such as Seth Godin and Danielle LaPorte. Most recently was shortlisted as a nominee for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.
Your mammal brain feels good about things it can control. Some people break traffic laws to enjoy a sense of control, while others feel their power by scolding those who break traffic laws. Whatever gives you a sense of power won’t work all the time, however. You will end up feeling weak and unimportant some of the time. That triggers cortisol, but you can learn to feel safe when you are not in control.
Well a pheromone are chemicals that is in sweat or a bodily fluid that attracts the other gender in a way.  They are natural chemicals substances that trigger a specific mating response from the opposite sex. All pheromones are specific to your species, a cat can only respond to another’s cats pheromone, so obviously only humans can respond to each others pheromone. Pheromones don’t have a specific odor, an organ that sends messages to the brain is what’s sensing all these chemicals.  Many mammals like dogs and cat deposit their chemicals at “their territory”. When these chemicals vaporize it’s like a signal to the other members in that species that its occupied. Not only do pheromones help you with falling in love, but their are various types of chemicals that help you fall in love.

It’s natural to trust your current likes and dislikes when you think that will make you feel happy. But now you know that they’re based on accidents of experience rather than complete information. Your accidental circuits cause the threatened feeling you get when you depart from the road you know. If you avoid the threatened feeling by sticking to the old road, you miss out on a universe of potential happiness. You can learn to enjoy the challenge of embarking on a new road to feel good.
The rationale: No matter how much you feed your mind, it’s difficult to make an actual change in your life if your body stays the same. Your mind and body are one unit. What is happening to one influences the other. Whether you feel uncertain or fantastic, your physiology changes. When you are feeling physically strong and powerful, your mind follows suit. Changing how your body works can change your mind and your general worldview.

“Generally if people compare themselves to those who are worse off, they’re going to feel better,” continues Bauer, now a research associate at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a clinical psychologist at Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Associates of Toronto. “When they compare themselves to people who are better off, it can make them feel worse.”

Like many other things in the golden age of comics, romance comics find their roots in other popular fiction and literature. Romance novels were released as early as 1740 with Samuel Richardson’s Pamela (also titled Virtue Rewarded). Of course, Jane Austin popularized the genre with the success of books like Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. These classical literary roots gave rise to more mainstream books as the pulp market gained popularity in the early twentieth century. In fact, romance magazines were one of the top three most popular genres of the pulps (along with westerns and detective stories). When you factor in all the romantic stories that also appeared in the “more respectable” weekly magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, McCalls, and Redbook, it becomes clear that love permeated the popular culture consciousness of the time.
As humans, we naturally seek out a connection with others and desire to feel as if we are needed. Finding a cause to get behind can help you to feel as if you are contributing to the common good. Whether it is a social justice issue or an environmental movement, there are many different opportunities to focus your time and energy to help you feel needed.
Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage 1, three groups of patients treated their depression with either medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The results of this study really surprised me. Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels to begin with, the follow up assessments proved to be radically different:
The second story, “The Farmer’s Wife” shows how a 21-year-old wife must adapt to living with her 36-year-old husband. The third story, “Misguided Heart” introduces us to June, a factory worker who chooses as her true love her co-worker over the self-entitled son of the factory owner. The fourth story (not drawn by Simon or Kirby), “The Plight of the Suspicious Bride Groom,” focuses on a bellhop who breaks up engagements for fun and the bride groom that stops him. Finally, the fifth story is a typical boy from the wrong side of the tracks tale entitled “Summer Song.”
One thing that hinders our understanding is that the English language is actually quite limited in describing different forms of love. We lump love for a spouse, a child, a pet, a job, a higher power, yourself, a good meal, and family members into one generic word. Other languages have specific words for different types of love, so the best we can do is make up some new ones. So this post is going to cover “romantic love” and “committed love“, two of the most often confused and discussed in my office.
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.
Your example is critical in developing this type of love in your child. It begins with how you show love to your family – spouse, children, parents, siblings, extended family. It will grow as they see you enact this “committed love” to your neighbors, your colleagues, and your church community. They will also learn more as they see you spontaneously love all you come in contact with.
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.
Not only is it mentally stimulating (not to mention fun), but challenging yourself to learn a new skill can lead to greater happiness, experts say. That’s thanks to the feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence that often come along with gaining new expertise. Consider this your cue to sign up for those French lessons you’ve always wanted to take, or pick up the ukulele—choose something that genuinely interests you, and run with it!
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