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.”

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.


[i] e.g., Wieselquist, J., Rusbult, C. E., Foster, C. A., & Agnew, C. R. (1999). Commitment, pro-relationship behavior, and trust in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 942-966.; Stanley, S. M., Whitton, S. W., Low, S. M., Clements, M. L., & Markman, H. J. (2006). Sacrifice as a predictor of marital outcomes. Family Process, 45, 289-303.

Has your mate given up their favorite candy bar because of your peanut allergy (no kissing for you), or traded in that meat-lover’s pizza for your vegan one? Well, you can be sure that when they start making changes to their routines and behaviors based on your beliefs, situation, or circumstance there’s no doubt that they’re committed. I mean, who else does that?
If you consider that the average life expectancy is between 70 and 80 years of age and that a third of that time is spent sleeping, the fact that you and your sweetheart talk about how to spend the hours you have remaining together is significant. When you’re single you can make decisions based on your wants alone. In a committed relationship, however, it matters what the other person wants to do and where they see themselves in the future. So if you and your partner are making plans together, there’s a good likelihood that your relationship is in for the long haul.
33These exemplary analyses of three aspects of the category romance’s material packaging indicate the systematic manner in which a double codification of this materiality is created. The potential for a double interpretation is a semiotic pattern that is present in nearly every aspect of these material conditions and that is implemented in a coherent and coordinated way. This suggests that far from being a random or coincidental effect, this semiotic pattern is a deliberate strategy on the part of the category romance novel’s producers, who seek to influence the reception and interpretation of the text.

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.
Gary Smalley was one of the country's best-known authors and speakers on family relationships. He was the award-winning, best-selling author or coauthor of sixteen books, as well as several popular films and videos. The Blessing and The Two Sides of Love have won Gold Medallions, The Language of Love won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life, and his other titles have received Si ...more

Your dreaded task may miraculously resolve itself in less than forty-five days! If so, don’t stop. Find another painful mess so you keep going for forty-five more days. That’s what builds the habit of facing tough challenges in small increments instead of being intimidated by them. Remember to feel good about what you’ve done each day. Soon, you’ll have the habit of tackling obstacles and feeling rewarded by it, which is a great way to feel happy.
“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.
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.
Choosing committed love over casual dating means making the decision to be monogamous. Committing yourself completely to your partner, means loving her and only her. Instead of going out on dates with a different girl every night or having a few different girls who you are "talking to," commitment includes staying with only the one who you truly love. In this type of monogamous relationship, straying from your commitment -- or cheating -- isn't expected or acceptable. Infidelity can break the trust that your partner has in you, ruin the relationship and destroy your love.
Unfortunately, your brain cannot maintain this level of chemical production indefinitely. The hormones decrease and your brain chemistry gradually returns to normal. Once you lose this intense state of passion, or chemically-boosted love, you crave it again. When this happens, some people mistakenly believe that “love” has been lost and then turn away from their partners in search of a new partner who can provide this chemically-induced feeling of exuberance. But relationships progresses in stages.
a zone not only of transition but also transaction : a privileged place of pragmatics and strategy, of an influence on the public, an influence that – whether well or poorly understood and achieved – is at the service of a better reception of the text and a more pertinent reader of it (more pertinent, of course, in the eyes of the author and his allies). (2)
“Committed to Love” is a deeply personal one. It details the many issues and experiences I had to confront and deal with in my twenty-five-year marriage to a bisexual man who succumbed to AIDS. The twenty-four chapters in this book range from his diagnosis on June 19, 1992, with AIDS related pneumonia to his death on August 17, 1994. Every aspect of my relationship with Dr. Jeffrey A. Mintz, both as my best friend of thirty-seven years and my husband of twenty-five is explored in explicit detail. The challenge of a marriage under these circumstances was to say the least, both chaotic yet most rewarding. My thoughts about love evoked images of champagne, roses, and chocolates. Yes, I had a lot of all of them in my marriage, but the reality and truth about my life with him was that the word love for me had always meant commitment, unconditional acceptance, and facing every problem with a solution even if I didn’t know what the solution would be.
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.

“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.”
In my opinion I believe if someone wants to be inclusive, and says that they love you but you where included in their family events, then the ex see's you then the lies and manipulations begins. Either one strings the other one along while doing as they please either trying to keep everyone happy.....ie themselves living 2 or more lives, these individuals need to spotted out and called out.
And so I might have gone on blithely assuming, except that my encounter with the Hmong had knocked me off course in one critical regard: For the first time in my life, it occurred to me that perhaps I was asking too much of love. Or, at least, perhaps I was asking too much of marriage. Perhaps I was loading a far heavier cargo of expectation onto the creaky old boat of matrimony than that strange vessel had ever been built to accommodate in the first place.

Pride is a rudder that helps you navigate opportunities to get social recognition. It helps you steer between the opposite extremes of constant approval-seeking and cynical dejection, which actually can help you feel quite happy and content. Taking pride in yourself means more than just thinking it silently. It means daring to say, “Look what I did!” to another living soul. Asking others to respect your accomplishment is risky because you may be disappointed. People often protect themselves by insisting that social respect doesn’t matter or that it’s hopelessly unfair. But these rationales don’t help you feel better because they don’t soothe the mammal brain’s longing for the sense of security that social respect brings.


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.

×