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.
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.

If you think you can’t spare ten minutes a day, consider the time you already spend dreaming of what you’d rather be doing. You can use that time to research the necessary steps. You will get a dopamine feeling each day as those steps come into view. You will start to expect that dopamine feeling and look forward to it. You will learn to feel that it’s possible to transform a dream into reality with steady effort. When your ten minutes is over, go back to living in the present, which is another hack for how to feel good and happy. Do not make a habit of focusing constantly on the future.
12 In her 1984 study on the popular romance genre, Margaret Ann Jensen suggests that the category romance cover is composed according to a very strict code in order to indicate the narrative’s level of sensuality: “The position of the hero and heroine on the books’ cover is a good indication of how much sex there is in the romance. If they are not touching at all, the story does not have any sex scenes. If they are touching, the degree of sexuality escalates, with different touching positions symbolizing the amount of sexual involvement: “hands above waist=innocent frolic; hand below the waist or on the breast = sexual; prone positions=keep this in a locked drawer” (Kolb, “Checking Out The Categories” 41). The pictures also tell the readers how sexually responsive and aggressive the heroine is, as there are two types of embrace – the “hesitant heroine’s” and the “cognizant heroine’s”: “The first kind is the more traditional portrayal of female sexuality and indicates that the hero pursues the heroine, who resists and perhaps capitulates, against her better judgment. The second kind of embrace is a departure from traditional sexual encounters and indicates that the heroine is responsive and probably even active in the pursuit of romantic-sexual gratification” (Kolb, “The Books You Judge By Their Covers” 62-63). Although Jensen’s and Kolb’s observations might have been accurate in the late 1970s and early 1980s, category romance novel covers are no longer composed according to such strict rules. Still, the observation is indicative of the highly coded nature of the romance novel cover.
These days with the limits on the amount of personal privacy any of us has, passwords and PIN numbers might mark the final frontier of the few things we have entire control over. So deciding to share this extremely private information is not to be taken lightly or with casual friendships. While experts admit that sharing passwords can strengthen relationships, this is a sign of commitment because it demonstrates ultimate trust. So unless you’re in a committed relationship, it’s still best practice to keep your passwords and PIN numbers private.

There are two kinds of optimizers: those who write programs, and those who hack what other people have written. Kevin Burton is a perfect example of the latter. With his all-American look, Burton seems to have just stepped out of a Gap ad. But that doesn't mean he can meet women on his own. For that, he relies on a sneaky little program he invented called the AIM Sniffer.


So I hope by now you know whether you are in a committed love relationship or just a romantic one. Every relationship is beautiful as long as you know what your heart really feels. So analyze the aspects of your relationship to understand what it really is and where it’s headed. Once the butterflies in your tummy settle down, only then will you be able to think clearly! So enjoy the love you have and let the love take you higher…

So I hope by now you know whether you are in a committed love relationship or just a romantic one. Every relationship is beautiful as long as you know what your heart really feels. So analyze the aspects of your relationship to understand what it really is and where it’s headed. Once the butterflies in your tummy settle down, only then will you be able to think clearly! So enjoy the love you have and let the love take you higher…

“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.

6 Although it falls outside the scope of this paper to give a complete overview of the romance genre’s conventions, the most important of these have to do with the basic plot of the romance narrative. An authoritative account of this plot is articulated by romance scholar Pamela Regis, who claims the romance narrative has eight conventional elements: “a definition of society, always corrupt, that the romance novel will reform; the meeting between the heroine and the hero; an account of their attraction for each other; the barrier between them; the point of ritual death; the recognition the fells the barrier; the declaration of heroine and hero that they love each other; and their betrothal” (Regis, A Natural History of the Popular Romance Novel 14).

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.
14 This interpretation of the category romance’s poetic functioning is in line with suggestions made by literary scholar Thomas Roberts, who compares the often misconceived aesthetic mechanisms underlying popular fiction (which he refers to as “vernacular fiction”) to those at play in canonical poetry (such as the Spenserian stanza): “As suggested earlier, the pattern seems to play much the same role in vernacular fiction that the metrical scheme plays in a poem. In both cases, readers sense the formal scheme as the norm that permits them to appreciate the figural variations. The writers are like the jazz musicians who give us a familiar melody at the opening of the piece so that we understand the variations that follow. We do not listen for that melody. We listen for the variation” (165-166).

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 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.


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?
Where our conversation did turn peculiar for me—and for all of us in the room—was when I tried to get the grandmother to tell me the story of her own marriage, hoping to elicit from her any personal or emotional anecdotes about her own experience with matrimony. The confusion started immediately, when I asked the old woman, “What did you think of your husband, the first time you ever met him?”
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.”
Join the Human Defense Department's last ditch effort to save the world: by teaching the brightest students in the nation how to hack and scramble the brains of the enemy. Follow the journey of Mina Lovelace as she seeks to prove herself worthy of following in her mother's footsteps. And also tries not to embarrass herself in front of her childhood crush in the process!
Filkins wants to wed online dating to open source software to create the first dating service with a peer-to-peer type of architecture. The idea is a little like Vuong's SocialGrid, but far more sophisticated. And, Filkins hastens to add, a lot more private. "If I'm married and want to screw around on the side, I wouldn't want to post that on Google," he says. "I've perused all the dating sites, and what people want most is privacy."
These days with the limits on the amount of personal privacy any of us has, passwords and PIN numbers might mark the final frontier of the few things we have entire control over. So deciding to share this extremely private information is not to be taken lightly or with casual friendships. While experts admit that sharing passwords can strengthen relationships, this is a sign of commitment because it demonstrates ultimate trust. So unless you’re in a committed relationship, it’s still best practice to keep your passwords and PIN numbers private.

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.

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.
29Even more so than other material aspects of the romance, the preview scene is marked by a double codification and is accordingly interpreted rather differently by the public and the romance reader. In the public’s interpretation, the extreme conventionality of the scene is the dominant feature and the scene is consequently interpreted as yet another code that signifies the novel’s popular romance identity. Because the scene explicitly evokes stereotypes of the genre that are particularly widespread in our culture – the first kiss, the typical tension between conflict and attraction that is widely associated with popular romances, the clichéd and euphemistic language describing sexual attraction, etc. – this interpretation is guaranteed irrespective of the reader’s profile. Indeed, even a reader who is only aware of the most basic cultural stereotypes surrounding popular romance recognizes in this scene the genre’s conventions and will correctly interpret it as a code for the narrative’s popular romance genre identity. In this process the preview scene not only invokes but also reinforces and perpetuates a number of the stereotypes already surrounding the genre, much like the clinch that is its visual equivalent.
3. Do something fun. Temporarily distract yourself from the stress, and re-charge your battery, with an enjoyable activity. Watching a funny movie is a reliable way to give yourself a pleasant break, and listening to your favorite music is one of the quickest ways to change your mood. When my older daughter was in the intensive-care unit as a newborn, my husband dragged me off to a movie one afternoon -- and that few hours of distraction made me much better able to cope with the situation. Be careful, however, not to “treat” yourself by doing something that’s eventually going to make you feel worse (taking up smoking again, drinking too much, indulging in retail therapy). My comfort-food activity is reading children's literature.

Felipe and I had arrived in this particular village after an overnight journey from Hanoi on a loud, dirty, Soviet-era train. I can’t rightly remember now why we went to this specific town, but I think some young Danish backpackers had recommended it to us. In any case, after the loud, dirty train journey, there had been a long, loud, dirty bus ride. The bus had finally dropped us off in a staggeringly beautiful place that teetered on the border with China—remote and verdant and wild. We found a hotel and when I stepped out alone to explore the town, to try to shake the stiffness of travel out of my legs, the little girl approached me.


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.

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.
Exercise regularly. Regular exercise has been proven to make people feel happier and even just 30 minutes of exercise a day can have a significant impact on how happy you feel. You may not want to hit up the gym or go for a quick run when you’re feeling down in the dumps, but that’s precisely what will get you up. If exercising alone is too boring for you, then take a group yoga, dance, or barre class or join a team sport.[6]

Thank you for helping me see things in a new light. Even though "Matt" and I are not exclusive, I did let our mutual friend know that I am not interested in a romantic relationship with him today. I realized, with help from you, that it would just be too awkward and not right. My bad. Please forgive me. I am sure there are other guys in my town who I could date who are not in our circle, but I am not going to go looking.
At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both were survivors of previous bad divorces. Enough said.) But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government, which-after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing-gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving into this topic completely, trying with all her might to discover through historical research, interviews, and much personal reflection what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is. Told with Gilbert's trademark wit, intelligence and compassion, Committed attempts to "turn on all the lights" when it comes to matrimony, frankly examining questions of compatibility, infatuation, fidelity, family tradition, social expectations, divorce risks and humbling responsibilities. Gilbert's memoir is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.
If there’s one trait that goes hand-in-hand with happiness, it’s optimism. People who think positively are less likely to feel depressed, more productive at work, and generally healthier than their doom-and-gloom counterparts. That said, it’s important to be both optimistic and realistic instead of just blindly positive. (In fact, forcing ourselves to feel over-the-top positive may do more harm than good, especially for those of us more prone to cynical thinking.) People with a healthy combination of optimism and realism don’t let unhappy thoughts bring them down, but they use their realistic outlook to make smart decisions and actions. Talk about the best of both worlds.
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