We’re obviously big fans of exercise in general, but making time for a regular fitness session does more than just sculpt a strong physique. While getting your sweat on may not cause happiness, it can certainly contribute to it. Physical activity helps our bodies produce disease-fighting proteins—called antibodies—and our brains release endorphins. While antibodies boost happiness by keeping illness at bay, endorphins are feel-good chemicals that improve your mood while promoting feelings of euphoria. To top it all off, research suggests that regular activity may lead to lasting happiness. Long-term association between leisure-time physical activity and changes in happiness: analysis of the Prospective National Population Health Survey. Wang F, Orpana HM, Morrison H. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2012, Nov.;176(12):1476-6256. So it’s safe to say your gym membership pays off—physically and mentally—in the long run.
2. Remember your body. Take a twenty-minute walk outside to boost your energy and dissolve stress. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Get enough sleep. Manage pain. When you’re anxious, it’s easy to stay up late and eat ice cream -- and that’s going to make you feel worse in the long run. It's very tempting to run yourself ragged trying to deal with a crisis, but in the long run, you just wear yourself out.
If I'm hearing my mom's white friends really mocking my dad's accent and really making it more effeminate throughout my childhood — especially after he passed away, and they felt safer that they could do that — that's going to affect me and that's of course going to affect my self-esteem. And if I hear friends from every race telling me pointblank, "I do not find Asian men attractive," there is going to be a point where yes my self-esteem will be effected.
Numerous studies have shown that gratitude is intimately connected with happiness, and there are lots of ways to find time for a few, focused moments of reflection daily. Give it some thought in the car, Lyubomirsky said, or on the subway on your way to work. To take it to the next level, write gratitude letters to a specific person (which you don’t even have to send), or try a gratitude journal — just don’t feel pressure to write in it every day. In her research, Lyubomirsky has found that writing just once a week may provide the most pronounced results, in part because it keeps it from feeling like a chore.
By committed, I mean someone who is faithful. Reliable. They’re there for you. The have your best interests in mind. Loyal love can, at times, not feel warm and fuzzy, but it is faithful and committed. Or compassionate love, where there’s a warmth, a feeling. There’s no question that they love you because you can feel their love. But it can be a little more come-and-go in expression.
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 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.”
That guy who checked you out at the bar and asked for your number at your work happy hour? Forget it. Staying up late at night to check out that video your friend sent you on YouTube? A slow killer. Vices, temptations, minor distractions — these are the things that tear relationships apart. And most of the time, it’s not exactly the big-bang approach. It’s more the slow, gradual, pernicious path to destruction.

Never before and never again, did a single genre of the comic book — an original American commercial concept — explode in such an orgy of financial opportunism. . . . Some historians have theorized that the demise of the pulp magazines had something to do with the frenzy for love . . . . No, the answer — if there is a rational answer — is that it was just time for love.  Teenage American girls — for it was they that read the majority of romance comics — were ready for romance. No young miss could possibly avoid spotting love on the racks when it was that freely available. And more love begat even more love.


“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.”
At some points in life, it's not possible -- or at least not easy -- to feel happy. However, even then, it's sometimes possible to feel happier. By taking whatever steps you can manage to give yourself whatever happiness boost is possible, you give yourself a deeper reservoir to deal with your happiness challenge. Here are some strategies to consider:
Another thought provoking post! Thank you for all you do.To me truthfulness and trust are the base for a long term relationship. Mutual respect is also a major component, and although theoretically both partners are supposed to work at making it , i think the man plays a more important role, in that if he is a responsible provider andis supportive and caring of his partners feelings, the relationship has much better chances of working out. The problem is how to find such a guy 🙂
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.
Suddenly, Officer Mary bursts onto the scene. Wayde produces a gun and tries to shoot the lady cop, but Fran flies in front of her and takes the shot. As Fran crumples to the ground, two other officers appear and shoot and kill Wayde. Gloria is carted off and Officer Mary is thankful that Fran saved her life. Relieved the ordeal is over, Fran is happy to repent for her sins of lust and passion. As she waits in the ambulance, Fran asks for God's forgiveness.

This type of love is a much different story. It doesn’t sparkle but for a moment here and there. Our culture does a terrible job of ever showing this except for fleeting moments like “cute old people holding hands” or in the rare example of a healthy couple on television like the Taylor’s on Friday Night Lights (my personal favorite). Maybe we don’t see it because there isn’t much to see. Committed love is about sharing normal life together. It is about being supportive, affectionate, kind, caring, committed, responsive, and loyal. This is the stuff of the healthiest long-term couples, and can be thought of as “standing in love”.
Love isn't rational. It can't be controlled. If you allow a feeling that is so emotional and malleable to dictate your behaviour, you'll realise quickly that it only pans out when things are up, not when they're down. Commitment on the other hand, will guide you through both. Commitment is not dependant on the heartstrings, it's dependant on a conscious choice you make - and that, is something you have complete control over.
19Various elements of the clinch image are subjected to this genre-internal system of secondary codification. For example, the attire worn by the cover models can function as a code for the novel’s subgenre. That models on the cover of historical category romances wear clothes that are instantly recognizable as period costumes comes as no big surprise and is a fairly obvious example of such a secondary codification of the clinch image. Other clothing-based codifications that are common in the romance genre are perhaps less obvious to the public at large. The relatively recent trend in paranormal romance to deck out cover models (particularly women) in leather clothing is probably not well-known outside the genre. Nonetheless, as romance bloggers Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan have observed, within the romance genre a female cover model dressed in leather or spandex-like clothing serves as a reliable semiotic sign that the novel in question features a paranormal storyline (178).
At the end of her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. The couple swore eternal love, but also swore (as skittish divorce survivors) never to marry. However, providence intervened in the form of a U.S. government ultimatum: get married, or Felipe could never enter America again. Told with Gilbert’s trademark humor and intelligence, this fascinating meditation on compatibility and fidelity chronicles Gilbert’s complex and sometimes frightening journey into second marriage, and will enthrall the millions of readers who made Eat, Pray, Love a number one bestseller.
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)
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.
By committed, I mean someone who is faithful. Reliable. They’re there for you. The have your best interests in mind. Loyal love can, at times, not feel warm and fuzzy, but it is faithful and committed. Or compassionate love, where there’s a warmth, a feeling. There’s no question that they love you because you can feel their love. But it can be a little more come-and-go in expression.
By sacrifice, I don’t really mean some extraordinary feat of self-sacrifice. Of course that would matter, but I really mean small, day-to-day indicators that a person is willing to put their partner or relationship first. And I mean mutual: A healthy relationship includes two givers, who each give to each other and the relationship in small ways that matter.  

And Lord, we get to watch that.  And I pray that as we hear these testimonies, as we see these baptisms that there will be many, many thanksgivings rising up to you from our hearts as we bless your name for your glory. And for those who don’t know what it’s like to be loved in a committed, compassionate way, may you draw our hearts to you today. May there be some in here who put their faith in Jesus Christ for your glory. Amen.
King of Code is edgy and complex, much like its characters and the coding that they do. Taylor Harden is the king of coding — he’s created what may be the most impenetrable system in the world, just in time for a coding convention where he will challenge coders of the world to try to hack into the system for $5 million … until someone hacks it and locks the system. Feeling frustrated and powerless, he hunts down the hacker and travels to a deteriorating town in the middle of nowhere called Barrington, where he meets Harper Barrington … who just so happens to be the one he’s looking for. Harper has her own motives for hacking him and bringing him down here, but while trying to get her to unlock it, he starts to fall in love with her. Suddenly, he’s faced with the responsibility of protecting her from his colleagues’ and investors’ ire, all the while scrambling to make sure he doesn’t lose his livelihood.
Whatever aesthetic intention may come into play as well, the main issue of the paratext is not to “look nice” around the text but rather to ensure for the text a destiny consistent with the author’s purpose. To this end, the paratext provides a kind of canal lock between the ideal and relatively immutable identity of the text and the empirical (sociohistorical) reality of the text’s public…the lock permitting the two to remain “level”. (407-408)
     "If a couple tells you that they are married, you know a lot about their commitment. That does not mean that all is perfect, of course. Likewise, if a couple tells you that they have clear, mutual plans to marry, you can infer that there is a lot of commitment. Even apart from marriage, I believe a couple that says they have a lifetime commitment together is telling you something important about a strong level of intention and commitment. Those things all signal commitment. Cohabitation, per se, often does not. (As a complex but important aside, I do think the socioeconomic context of some couples makes marriage nearly impossible; for some of these couples, I believe cohabitation can be a marker of a higher level of commitment.)"
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.
13 For the experienced romance reader the difference between these particular lines is in fact even more complex since the line that is now called Harlequin Desire used to be called Silhouette Desire and was published by Harlequin’s subsidiary Silhouette. This subsidiary had a somewhat different profile than Harlequin itself, which was the result of the complex institutional history of the category romance market. Silhouette was originally founded in the early 1980s as a separate publisher and one of the main competitors to Harlequin in the category romance market. This competition ended when Torstar, Harlequin’s parent company, acquired Silhouette in 1984. Although from then on the two publishers essentially belonged to the same business conglomerate, Silhouette continued to be developed as a separate brand name with a somewhat more modern, progressive and specifically American profile than the Canadian Harlequin. Over time the differences between the two brands became less and less pronounced, and in April 2011 the Silhouette brand was discontinued and the imprints published under this brand, such as the Silhouette Desire line, underwent a slight name change. The distinction between Harlequin and Silhouette (or between such lines as Harlequin Desire and Harlequin Blaze) may seem insignificant to readers who are unfamiliar with the category market and its complex institutional history, yet it is highly significant to experienced romance readers, as is indicated by the fact that the two brands existed side by side within one publisher for twenty-five years. For more on this complex institutional history of the genre, see Paul Grescoe’s The Merchants of Venus: Inside Harlequin and the Empire of Romance and Joseph McAleer’s Passion’s Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon.
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!

Meeting the Hmong women that day in Vietnam reminded me of an old adage: “Plant an expectation; reap a disappointment.” My friend the Hmong grandmother had never been taught to expect that her husband’s job was to make her abundantly happy. She had never been taught to expect that her task on earth was to become abundantly happy in the first place. Never having tasted such expectations to begin with, she had reaped no particular disenchantment from her marriage. Her marriage fulfilled its role, performed its necessary social task, became merely what it was, and that was fine.


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.


Avoidance is when you refuse to confront and deal with a challenge. Accommodation is when you seek to accommodate others’ wishes and desires, even at the exclusion of your own needs and preferences. Compromise is when each side offer and accepts mutual concessions, and collaboration occurs when both parties seek a win-win arrangement versus a win-at-all-costs one.

But also, and this is something that I think about that isn’t specifically outlined in Scripture but (this part is) when a person is under the water, there is a picture of washing and cleansing. But I love to think of that water as expressing, picturing the tears of God. The One who is acquainted with our grief, carried our sorrows is washing away, not just our sin, but is moving toward our sorrow, is bearing our burdens. You can’t love someone sacrificially without, in a sense, absorbing upon yourself their grief, their sadness, their sorrow. And God, the Creator of all things, has moved toward us in that way, not only in a way that pays for our sin, that sets us free from the bondage to the devil, but also because Jesus has a Father who dearly loves his people.
Correctly “reading” the signs of commitment in a potential long-term partner is crucial. This is most important earlier on, of course, prior to “settling down” with someone, particularly when one partner wants to know if the relationship has a future. You can press for this information too soon, but you can also wait too long to get the big question clarified: Is this person as into me as I am into them? Can this relationship turn into a commitment? When you don’t get solid information about commitment as things progress, you can miss important signs of unequal commitment. That’s a lousy place to land.
Never having written a review before, I felt I needed to say something about this book and this series. This book, the meeting, dating and romance and love of Nell and Daniel was entertaining, funny, understandably nerve-wracking, and oh so real. I love these people. As a female computer scientist, going to school in the 70's, it did not surprise me that Daniel would not take Nell's coding skills seriously. Nor was I surprised by how this hacker-jock would be tied in knots by Nell the women. But, the getting from meeting to marrying was as real (and happy and sad) as any I have known. The book was a joy. The series is so much more.
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.
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.
Visiting a museum or seeing a concert is yet another way to boost your mood. A study that examined 50,000 adults' levels of life satisfaction in Norway found that people who participated in more cultural activities reported lower levels of anxiety and depression. They also had a higher satisfaction with their overall quality of life. So go see a play or join a club!
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