I don’t want to suggest here that everything about the shrunken modern family unit is necessarily bad. Certainly women’s lives and women’s health improve whenever they reduce the number of babies they have, which is a resounding strike against the lure of bustling clan culture. Also, sociologists have long known that incidences of incest and child molestation increase whenever so many relatives of different ages live together in such close proximity. In a crowd so big, it can become diffi cult to keep track of or defend individuals—not to mention individuality.
We all want to revel in the Romantic Love Stage of our relationships. We crave that passionate, intense energy because it feeds us and makes us feel alive. This is how we identify love. We fear that we have fallen out of love when that energy fades. Believe it or not, the fire felt during the Romantic Love Stage is the result of chemicals in your brain. Your body releases hormones and brain chemicals, endorphins that make you feel high and promote attachment to your partner.
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.
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.

25Romance readers are, of course, not blind to the impression of similarity created by the line template, but they are nonetheless able to ascribe to it a different meaning. This interpretative difference is located in two aspects. First, whereas the public tends to connote the extensive visual and material similarity of the line template in a rather negative way (category romances are generally considered inferior forms of literature because they are – or at least materially appear to be – so similar), the category romance reader is inclined to interpret this similarity more positively as a code for the strong conventionality that is part and parcel of the category romance format and that its target reader appreciates. Second, the romance reader again, as in her reading of the clinch, detects a number of coded information parameters in the line template that in her eyes develop a more specific textual identity. For example, the template’s dominant color scheme is often a code for the tone or subgenre of the line, as red signifies sensual lines, purple is conventionally reserved for suspenseful lines, white is typical of medical lines, etc. The line number printed on the spine of each category romance further reinforces the public’s interpretation of the category romance novel as a standardized assembly-line product (Kamble 181), but to the romance reader this number denotes information about the line. The higher the number, the older the line is ; the older the line, the more likely it is to have proven its (commercial) success, but, by the same token, the more risk it runs of being outdated in the fast-changing, trend-sensitive popular romance genre.
You may think it’s impossible to clean out closets or renegotiate relationships in ten-minute chunks. But if you wait for grand solutions, you will languish for quite a long time. Instead, go to that closet, pull out one chunk of mess, and sort it out for ten minutes. Go to that yucky relationship riddled with disappointment and plant goodwill for ten minutes. You might not feel happier right away, but don’t let a day go by without tackling another chunk. Keep it up for forty-five days and you will be comfortable tackling the annoyances that stand in the way of making your life feel better.
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?”
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.

Figuring out how to feel happy is no easy task. Do you find yourself in a depressed state, wondering what you’re missing? Are you thinking that there must be something else that you should be doing? Are you unsure how to feel happy and fulfilled? Or maybe times are tough, and you don’t know what to do to make it through the challenges you’re currently facing.


It might be that you've started dating a guy and you want to know if he's going to want a committed relationship or if he's going to turn into a stringer (i.e. a guy who strings you along for years only to finally break it off), or maybe you've already been strung along for quite a long time and you want to know how to get him to finally make a commitment.

During this time (and unless you married your high school sweetheart, you’ve certainly experienced some iteration of it before), you want to minimize pain and discomfort. So it helps for both of you to understand that commitment is not a part of love. It’s not a requirement of love. Your love won’t end just because your commitment does. Your love will probably subside in a reasonable amount of time, into a manageable piece of your heart and mind, which might at times re-ignite, and also might not.
Scrolling through social media doesn’t count. Read biographies of great people who have achieved amazing things and endured massive challenges – they will help you put your own life into perspective and gain insight. Read books about science and history – they’ll put your mind to work generating ideas. Read about concepts you’re curious about or areas where you want to improve. You should be challenged and excited by what you’re consuming. Not much of a reader? Try audio books or even podcasts to provide the same level of brain nutrition. This will help immensely as you explore ways to be happy.
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.
9 While the clinch image is the most common image on the front cover of the category romance novel, other types of images include an image of a single person (most frequently a man) or a more domestic image of a couple with children or pets. For a (non-academic) discussion of these other types of romance front cover iconography, see Wendell and Tan 176-177.
By day, Christopher Filkins works as a webmaster and site designer for specialty condom distributor Condomania. By night, he's Filchyboy, publisher of a much-read blog. He delivers a running shtick about the futility of dating in Los Angeles. He's tried them all: Match.com, Spring Street Networks, Yahoo! Personals. "I joined a lot of online dating services," he recalls, "but I wound up just dissecting how the sites were put together, which I tend to do with a lot of things."

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.


It was hard to imagine loneliness here. Just as it was impossible to imagine where in this crowded domestic arrangement you might find the happier twin sister of loneliness: privacy. Mai and her mother lived in constant closeness with so many people. I was struck—not for the first time in my years of travel—by how isolating contemporary American society can seem by comparison. Where I come from, we have shriveled down the notion of what constitutes “a family unit” to such a tiny scale that it would probably be unrecognizable as a family to anybody in one of these big, loose, enveloping Hmong clans. You almost need an electron microscope to study the modern Western family these days. What you’ve got are two, possibly three, or maybe sometimes four people rattling around together in a giant space, each person with her own private physical and psychological domain, each person spending large amounts of the day completely separated from the others.
Here are the various types of chemicals that help you in the process of falling in love and also help trigger the feelings you have.  Oxytocin is the chemical that calms a couple down, it also it bonds them together as well. This chemical promotes intimacy, it’s when you’re kissing, hugging, touching each other that this chemical is released. Also this chemical is released when you’re a new mom and you start producing milk, it helps you bond with your child. A chemical that is said is mainly for men, can also be found in women. Testosterone is a sex hormone that is produced in the testes of men. This helps the development of male sex characteristics, for example their deep voice and growing facial hair. Having high levels are good for men’s health.  Dopamine being more of a pleasure chemical, it plays a very big role when one is gambling, while in the use of drugs and also when in love of course. When dopamine is released it makes couples feel energetic for each other. When with the person they love their dopamine system is now activated and that’s what triggers the certain behavior that the person they love is the only person in the world that matters.
However, put yourself consistently in environments that are larger than you’re used to playing in and something will rub off. Think of sports: If you play a game with someone who’s better than you, you’ll improve quickly. But if you play someone at your level or below, you never stretch yourself. No stretch, no improvement. If you hang around people who are consistently negative and only look at the downsides of life, chances are, you will, too. Opt to surround yourself with those who are abundantly grateful instead, and see how your attitude, and life, changes.
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.

Of course, as expected, some critics could not be swayed. Dr. Hilde Mosse told the Emerson School that romance comics presented a “distorted picture of love.” However, it was Dr. Mosse’s colleague and co-founder of the Lafargue Clinic in Harlem, Fredric Wertham, who posed the greatest threat against all genres of comics, including romance comics. As Amy Kiste Nyberg writes in Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code:

One of the most productive ways to think about popular fiction is in terms of genre, a term that simply means – in our case – the type or species of fiction being written. The entire field of popular fiction is written for, marketed and consumed generically : it provides the primary logic for popular fiction’s means of production, formal and industrial identification and critical evaluation. (Gelder 40)
3This lack of critical attention paid to the romance novel in general and its material characteristics in particular may be a consequence of the widespread cultural prejudice that all romance novels are essentially the same. Although academics are generally taught to be critical of cultural stereotypes, in the case of the popular romance novel the academy seems to overwhelmingly buy into – and frequently even be at the origin of – the ingrained stereotypes of conventionality, formula and simplicity that surround the genre. As a result, the popular romance genre is largely ignored by academics, who deem books that are supposedly all the same unworthy of their critical attention. Somewhat surprisingly, a similar mechanism plays out within the developing field of popular romance studies with regard to the genre’s materiality.2 Underlying this disregard is, I believe, the tacit assumption that the romance novel’s materiality, which even more than other aspects of the genre is imbued with stereotypes and conventions, is a relatively simplistic and straightforward aspect of the genre that is free of the interpretative complexities romance scholars now regularly (and, notably, against the cultural grain) uncover in the genre’s texts.
Committed love doesn't happen overnight. Although you can announce your intentions at any point -- even when the relationship is just beginning -- this type of love takes time. The building process includes revealing feelings, sharing emotions, listening to each other and supporting one another through thick and thin. As your relationship moves from a basic physical attraction and into a deeper sense of closeness, a loving form of commitment is likely to follow.
While we laugh at this story, it is a great illustration of what we are focused on this month – committed love. The difference here between the pig and the chicken, as illustrated, is that for one the donation was a contribution and for the other it was a commitment. This story aids our understanding of the difference between committed love and a love “contribution.” We are not called to contribute love to others, we are called to be committed to loving others.
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.
first. Spark your new trail each day whether or not you feel like it, and you will eventually pass it with ease, feeling happier and better as you go. You may not get the highs of your old happy habit, but you will learn to feel good without artificial highs and their inevitable side effects. You will be so pleased with your new habit that you will want to build another, and another.
27This brings me to what I call the preview scene, the third and final example of the double semiotic codification of the category romance’s materiality. The preview scene is a scene (or more often part of a scene) printed on the first page of the category romance novel. It is a brief piece of text (usually about five to ten lines) that is placed before the title page, colophon, foreword or any other kind of introductory page. Following immediately on the book’s front cover, the preview scene is usually the first page of the book the reader encounters. It consists of a partial scene that is extracted from the main narrative and that functions somewhat like a trailer for a film. Although the scene is presented without any explicit framing, its strategic placement at the beginning of the book sets up a metonymic interpretation of the scene as representative of the narrative from which it is extracted. The scene then functions to provide a first, very brief but supposedly representative taste of the narrative that follows a few pages later in the same volume.
How does this apply to dating and mating? Anything that constrains your options, or your partner’s, limits the information contained in the choices you make. That means that some people may routinely misinterpret the behavior of their partners and think that something may signal commitment when it does not. That also means that some couples that have been together a while, with an unclear future, and that also have the constraints that come from living together, may have difficulty reading clearly in each other what they want for the future.
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:
That example was tested on a group of 127 volunteers in a 2014 study. The first group was provided a series of specific goals like "increase recycling," while the second group had broader goals like "save the environment." Even though the second group completed the same tasks as the first group, the people in the second group reported feeling less satisfied with themselves than the first group. The people in the second group also reported a lower overall sense of personal happiness from completing their goal, the scientists reported.
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