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Christine B. Whelan :
214 article(s)

Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She and her husband, Peter, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purron, live in Pittsburgh. Her book "Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women" is available in stores or at the Halo Store.
March 24th, 2008
Is lying a way of life for women?

For three months I lied to my husband. I snuck around behind his back and I emailed and talked on the phone with first one—then up to a dozen—different men. I had more than 200 emails secreted away in a folder. When my husband would come into the room, I’d snap my computer shut, or click on a different screen quickly, so he wouldn’t see what I was doing. By the end, nearly every other sentence I uttered was a lie. And even though I was so nervous and jittery, my husband didn’t suspect a thing.
Are you horrified? You should be. Except…
All this was part of the planning for my husband’s surprise 30th birthday party in Las Vegas last month: When we walked into a Vegas nightclub, 10…

March 10th, 2008
Box, Wine and Love Letter

In the living room of my next-door neighbors’ house is a wooden crate. It’s nothing fancy, just pieces of plywood nailed together, but Kim and Matt keep the box in a place of honor by the fireplace as a constant reminder of their commitment to each other.
When Kim and Matt took their vows of marriage four years ago, they incorporated a new twist into their celebration: It’s called the box, wine and love-letter ceremony, and I wanted to share this beautiful idea with Busted Halo…® readers.
Kim and Matt found a strong wooden box to hold two bottles of wine and two wine glasses. Each of them wrote a love-letter to the other, expressing their feelings, why and how they fell in love and their hopes for

February 26th, 2008
Young Catholics might be more serious about marriage than they are about the Church

Catholic young adults place great importance on marriage but have turned away from church-based ideas of how to make it work, according to a study released last week by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

For Catholic members of the “millennial generation,” men and women born between 1982 and 1989, marriage is not to be undertaken lightly. Some 82% of these teens and 20-somethings report that they believe marriage is a lifelong commitment, compared with only 56% of Catholics age 47 to 64—approximately their parents’ generation. Moreover, 84% of these young Catholic adults report concern that “couples don’t take marriage seriously…

February 19th, 2008
A new survey reveals significant generational differences in Catholic attitudes toward marriage

Do you believe that your spouse should be your soul mate first and foremost? Do you agree that marriage should be whatever two people want it to be? Do you believe that living together decreases the chances of divorce? Depending on your age, you’ll probably have very different answers to these questions.
A new study released last week by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University found significant generational differences in attitudes about marriage, daily married life and the role of the Catholic Church in the sacrament of marriage.
Relationship Goldmine
All you regular readers of Pure Sex, Pure Love …know how I adore studies, surveys and statistics about what young-adults

February 4th, 2008
Men, women and sports

My husband isn’t speaking to me. He isn’t speaking to anyone, really. He’s crushed by the Patriots defeat in last night’s SuperBowl.

I’m not that chatty either, but not because I care one way or another about the Giants’ upset last night. I’m just exhausted from hosting a big SuperBowl party, after a weekend of traveling.
I got up at 4 a.m. to fly from New York City (where LaGuardia was all decked out in Giants banners) to Iowa City. A snowstorm was headed for us, but I couldn’t be delayed: We were hosting 25 people for a SuperBowl party.
Super Snow Storm
Crazy? Yes. I don’t recommend hosting a party on a day which you begin 1000 miles away. But as the saying goes,…

January 22nd, 2008
Third Wheel: Is the married vs. single dynamic causing a strain in your friendships?

Anita, 26, had two close friends in college. These were the girls she could always call for a chat, who would be interested in planning a fun trip, going shopping, or confiding secrets. But a few years after college, both women got married—and Anita felt left out in the cold.
“They’re really not my best friends anymore” she told me. “Their husbands have become their best friend and it has put distance between us.”
Anita said she feels pressure to find a guy and settle down so she can reestablish her friendship with these women, as part of a couple. “It’s like they’re part of this married club that they’re waiting for me to join in. But I’m not planning…

January 4th, 2008
or, how I almost committed election fraud

Caucusing can be confusing. But I was giddy all day about this opportunity to make a difference and shape national politics. I mean, how complicated can caucusing really be?
As a born-and-raised New Yorker, I’m new here, but I understand that Iowans have a big responsibility to serve as a screening instrument for the nation. So I was prepared: I learned about viability and I understood how delegates would be elected. I’d met many of the presidential candidates. I packed bottles of water and snacks in case things ran late.
Just know from the start I was prepared and taking things seriously, OK?
When I arrived at my caucus site—a local high school—I had to register to vote. I filled out my form, chatting…

January 3rd, 2008
Our intrepid reporter gets a birdseye look at the Iowa Caucus experience

I’m a born-and-raised New Yorker. I don’t make eye contact with strangers as I walk down the street. I lived in the same apartment building for decades, and couldn’t tell you my neighbors’ names. And when it came to voting, I’d usually cast an absentee ballot, in the privacy of my own home, and then refuse to disclose my vote to even my closest friends (and never to my parents).
This year, for reasons unfathomable to many of my city-slicker friends, I left New York City and moved to Iowa City. And all of a sudden, my life has become public…. Folks stop and say hi to me on the street, my neighbors organized a block party to welcome my husband and I, and tonight I’m going to stand in the cafeteria

December 10th, 2007
Fattily Ever After

Call it the “honeymoon handles” or “love blubber”: New studies find that newlyweds are more likely to report weight-gain than those who stay single.
Professors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined longitudinal data from nearly 8,000 men and women-following these men and women from teenagers through their young-adult years. Prof. Natalie The and Prof. Penny Gordon-Larsen wrote, “The results suggest that sharing a household environment with a romantic partner may predispose individuals to become at risk for obesity and obesity-promoting behaviors.” This follows a study from a few years ago that showed that both men and women report average…

November 26th, 2007
The Marriage Myth: Scaring women about their marriage prospects distracts us from truly urgent issues

Major news outlets are once again scaring smart, accomplished women into believing that they’re doomed to be old maids because they intimidate men. This old saw makes great headlines—but it’s dead wrong. It also distracts from the real problems facing the American family: Male or female, those with good educations and big paychecks do well in the marriage market—while those without degrees or career success are increasingly unlucky in love.

In 1970, women married around age 21; 68 women enrolled in college per 100 men—and the more education a woman had, the less likely she was to get married. Academic articles of the time routinely reported that women were more attracted to…

November 12th, 2007
The Florists Daughter beautifully captures a "relentlessly modest" life

As young-adults, we’re often used to reading books about ourselves and our own experiences. We’re interested in entertainment, a good story, or some advice about how to live our lives right now. Sometimes, though, it’s useful to read a book about what our future might be like—what issues may lie ahead for us, and how others have coped with the “big questions” of life.
Patricia Hampl’s new memoir, The Florist’s Daughter…, explores life in the middle—a lower-middle class family in the Midwest—and speaks to a generation of American women who struggle with responsibility and regrets as they assume the role as caretakers to their aging parents.

October 24th, 2007
A Pure Sex, Pure Love Special Edition

Ladies, it’s that time of year to let out your inner vixen and to live out your fantasies of being a naughty nun. Guys, it’s your time to sit back and gawk.
It’s Slutoween.
Go to any Halloween store and you’ll see that scary has been replaced by sexy: Women (and girls) will be dressing up as sexy kittens, sexy stewardesses, geishas, naughty rag dolls and the like. For the men, however, there are no parallel pool boy costumes or naughty fireman uniforms. (A new industry someone might want to start? But I digress.)
The articles about the slutification of Halloween are in full force again this year. Most people are upset about it — feminists decry that women are allowing themselves to be…

October 15th, 2007
The Challenges of Long-Distance Relationships

A few months ago I received a letter from Jeff Klein, a 32-year-old BustedHalo reader. He’d recently begun dating someone who lived seven hours away. Was it feasible to have a relationship? They both led busy, professional lives and had active social lives in their respective cities. What was my advice, Jeff asked. Was a long-distance relationship a good idea?
A long-distance relationship (LDR) is one in which partners reside in separate geographic locations for some reason (work, school, etc.) and reunite (each weekend, each month, a few times a year) for time together. According to academic research on LDRs—yes, academics study long-distance relationships!—voluntary LDRs are on…

October 1st, 2007
A Moral Theologian Answers Questions on Sin, Sex and the Sacraments

In the last column, I shared a letter I’d received from Laura, a 20-year-old reader struggling with her decision to have sex before marriage. She raised all sorts of good questions—including: Are all sins created equal? Is sex before marriage as bad as murder? Along with the help of moral theologian Fr. Dick Sparks, I answered her questions.
But as with any good question, there’s never a simple answer, and more questions always follow. Readers wrote in with their questions on sin, sex and the sacraments and Rev. Sparks—a Paulist priest and widely published author who holds a Ph.D. in ethics from Catholic University of America-stepped up to the plate again.
Take the Survey!

Long Distance…

September 17th, 2007
Sin, Sex and Sacrament: A candid discussion

When Laura was 13 she took a vow to remain chaste until marriage. She’s a pretty good Catholic: She attends Mass regularly and is thoughtful about acting in accordance with the Church’s teachings. For years, she kept her vow not to have sex before marriage—even when men tried to convince her otherwise: A few years ago a boyfriend left her because she refused to have sex with him. Looking back, she doesn’t regret that decision—she was too young, and he wasn’t right for her.
But now Laura is 20—and is seriously dating a man whom she loves. A few days ago, they had sex. She is conscious of the vow of chastity she took as a young teenager, and she’s wrestling with her decision…

September 4th, 2007
X-Games II: Should you invite your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend to your wedding?

In my last column, I asked the question: Can you be friends with your ex? Dozens of you shared your personal experiences and took our BustedHalo survey.
Among BustedHalo… respondents, 67% said after breaking up with someone whom you cared about deeply, it was best to take a break for six months and give yourself some time to heal; then, you can get back in touch if you can.
But what happens down the line? If you’re dating or married to someone else, can you still get together for coffee with your ex? Should your exes be invited to your wedding?
“Just Coffee?”
You’ve been seriously dating someone for a year. Your girl/boyfriend tells you that they have begun talking to their ex again and have plans

August 20th, 2007
X-Games: Can you be friends with your ex boyfriend/girlfriend?

Alysa and her boyfriend had been dating for nearly two years, and then broke up. The breakup was amicable, but painful for Alysa, who still loved her ex boyfriend very much. “There have been some REALLY difficult moments for me and am sometimes a little hurt to see that he has been able to deal with it so well,” she said.
During the relationship, the two were best friends. “He was the person I shared with the most about life and faith,” she said. Even after ending their romantic relationship, the two still shared a lot: They attend the same prayer group, they often spoke on the phone and kept in touch via email.
But it became awkward to negotiate the difference between “more than friends”…

August 6th, 2007
The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde: Our readers respond to Dr. Whelan's latest Pure Sex column on the challenges of cohabitation

In my last column, I wrote about Bonnie and Clyde, a couple who have been dating for three years and living together for the past year, with no plans for marriage. Bonnie was getting concerned that Clyde wasn’t ever going to propose and she wondered how she should proceed. Did he love her? Was this a longterm relationship? Click here to read the column.
Dozens of you shared your advice for Bonnie and Clyde—Here’s what the BustedHalo community has to say. Do you have any more advice? Write to me a puresex@bustedhalo.com and we’ll continue to add to this list.
Can You Be Friends With Your Ex? Take Our Survey
My next column is about friendships with exboyfriends and exgirlfriends. How close can…

July 23rd, 2007
The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde: The Challenges of Cohabitation

Recently I received a letter from a Pure Sex, Pure Love reader–we’ll call her Bonnie, to protect her privacy–and I thought it was such an important topic that I wanted to share it with the BustedHalo community.
Bonnie is in her early 30s and her boyfriend, let’s call him Clyde, is in his late 30s. They’ve been dating for more than three years and have lived together for the past year. Even though the two share the rent, make plans for the future and have joined their lives in a very intimate way, there’s been no discussion of marriage. In fact, Clyde hasn’t even said “I love you” yet. When Bonnie brought up marriage in a light-hearted way—for the first…

July 11th, 2007

Our readers sound off on Dr. Christine Whelan’s latest Pure Sex, Pure Love column
Readers responded from around the world with great passion to last week’s column on the notion of whether men are inferior to women. Below is a selection of their responses.
<<Read the original article here.
My father’s a frequent complainer about the way men, particularly fathers, are portrayed in the media—one of his personal bugbears is commercials which depict the dad as clueless about how to do laundry, make food, etc. However, he recently said to me of my new boyfriend “He’s lucky to have you—and I’m sure he gets reminded of that frequently.” Dad, we’ve…

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