busted halo annual campaign
Busted Halo
author archive
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.
July 9th, 2007
How different faith traditions help get couples ready for the days after the big day

From rings to registries and videographers to wedding planners, getting married is an estimated $161 billion industry in the U.S. But preparing for lifelong commitment often seems to fall by the wayside when couples are presented with the pressing concerns of party planning: Should the candy-coating on the dessert almonds be the same color as the dinner-menu cardstock?
This week, Hollywood takes the focus off of “bridezillas” and puts it on marriage preparation courses. In “License to Wed,” which opened Wednesday, Robin Williams plays the “Reverend Frank,” a clergyman of unspecified denomination who puts his charges through a series of tests-including an exercise…

July 2nd, 2007
Are men inferior to women?

As our June 16 wedding day approached, my fiancé got a lot of advice from married coworkers and friends about how to navigate his future relationship. It boiled down to two similar messages: “Do whatever she says” and “She’s always right.”
He smiled and nodded at these bits of “wisdom” but with a few weeks to go before we took our vows, he told me he was getting a little concerned. Was I going to change into some sort of bossy she-monster after our wedding day? Was he signing up for a life-sentence of being wrong and apologizing?
It’s the dead-man-walking trope that is so common in our modern discourse about relationships: Once a man gets married, he’s…

June 12th, 2007
Surviving your Catholic Wedding

Pop quiz: May a Catholic couple get married on the beach? May the bride boogie down the aisle to a modern tune?
Bemused? Things are changing fast in the wedding business.
From 1857 to 1957 American weddings would have looked fairly similar: Most couples got married with family and a few friends present, followed by a nice lunch afterward; grand weddings were reserved for the wealthy elite. But starting in the 1960s—and then really picking up steam in the 1980s—the wedding industry took on a life of its own. From rings to registries, videographers to wedding planners and welcome baskets to party favors, getting married is a $161 billion industry. Engaged couples, priests and wedding guests are struggling…

June 4th, 2007
The National Catholic Singles Conference

In just a few weeks, more than 500 Catholic singles will head to San Diego, California for a weekend of panel discussions, socializing and prayer about the vocation of singles and the search for a perfect match.
The National Catholic Singles Conference was founded in 2005 by Anastasia Northrop. There have been conferences in Denver, Chicago and now San Diego, and because of its popularity, there are plans for east, west and central U.S. conferences in coming years.
What happens at a single’s conference and why is it so popular? According to one of this year’s conference organizers, Michele Fleming, director of the Office for Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Diego, it’s an opportunity…

May 21st, 2007
What makes a date? What makes it great?

According to our recent BustedHalo survey, respondents said they went on their first date, on average, at age 16. But what if you’re in your college years and beyond and haven’t had a meaningful relationship experience? You’re worried that you don’t know the “rules” or that you’ll make a rookie mistake.
Often it’s the simple things that trip us up in the world of love and dating, especially for young adults who get into the dating game a bit later. Here are some basics – and no matter how old you are, or how many dates you’ve had, it never hurts to remember where things begin:
What Counts As A Date?
This seems like a simple question, but it’s one…

May 15th, 2007
A review of One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding

Planning an expensive and elaborate wedding has become part of the modern quest for happiness, and an ever-growing battalion of wedding professions is to blame for our misguided approach to marital satisfaction, Rebecca Mead argues in One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.
In the last three decades, simple family nuptials have been transformed into a $161 billion consumer bonanza. And the blushing bride has become Bridezilla— obsessed with the idea that the candy-coating on the dessert almonds must match the color of the menu cards.
One Perfect Day charts this evolution with chapters on wedding planners, bridal registries, destination weddings, gown sales and a separate section with…

May 7th, 2007
Do you lie about what you do on a first date?

Nina, a 27-year-old anesthesiology resident in New York City, met a man at a bar recently. After some flirtatious small-talk, he asked her what she did for work. “I told him I was a health professional, and he assumed I was a nurse. It’s so smooth when I tell guys that I’m a nurse. They smile and that’s the end of it,” she said. “And when I tell them I’m doing anesthesiology, they say, ‘Why aren’t you in pediatrics? Don’t you like kids?’”
Mark, a 32-year-old investment banker, said he is hesitant to tell women he first meets about his job. “I feel like they light up with dollar-signs in their eyes. I want to know that they are interested…

April 23rd, 2007
A Catholic engaged encounter weekend

If I could offer one piece of advice to a Catholic couple preparing for marriage it would be this: Sign up for a Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend right now.
Engaged Encounter is an intense weekend where you and your fiancé have the opportunity to question, examine and deepen your relationship with each other and with God. If a successful marriage is built on communication, the experience of Engaged Encounter weekend will be the cornerstone.
You think you know everything about the one you love? This weekend will take you to a whole new level. The workshop is divided into sections— Openness in Communication, Signs of a Closed Relationship, Decisions in Marriage, Married Sexual Intimacy and Forgiveness…

April 10th, 2007
Kiss and Run: An interview with the author of a new book on commitment-phobic women

We’ve all heard about men who are “afraid of commitment.” Self-help books warn women away from these men, saying that these guys will break a girl’s heart. But women are often terrified of commitment, too.
Do you find fault in everyone you date? Do you always think you can do better? Do you avoid relationships altogether because you’ve been hurt in the past? In her new book, Kiss and Run: The Single, Picky, and Indecisive Girl’s Guide to Overcoming Her Fear of Commitment, Elina Furman tackles this issue head-on.
Ladies, are you afraid of commitment? Guys, are you dating a commitment-phobe?

In this column, I write a lot about the challenges and benefits of relationships,…

March 26th, 2007
It's not just another four letter word

Five weeks ago I slipped and fell on the ice on my way home from the gym, fracturing my arm bone straight across the top, right at the shoulder. Your shoulder is connected to your chest, back and neck—a central point that controls the whole upper body—so for weeks, I couldn’t open the cereal box or a bottle of water or the very-necessary Tylenol. My fiancé, Peter, had to do just about everything for me: He was getting some of the “in sickness” parts of our wedding vows a bit sooner than he’d expected.
In the mornings, he’d come over to help me get my day started. At night, he’d cut my dinner up into bite-sized pieces. Mostly, he forced me to slow down by renting…

February 14th, 2007
Cupid takes aim for later marriage

When I was 16, I memorized the sheet music to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and gave my crush a Valentine’s Day concert. At 23, I baked heart-shaped brownies for my man of the moment—which he enjoyed, but asked why they were shaped funny.
Otherwise, I’ve spent most Feb. 14s by myself. It doesn’t feel terrific. And I know on that score, I am not alone.
But those of you who are moping around this Valentine’s Day, jealously eyeing happy couples, should relax. The sappy pink-and-red hearts in all the drug store windows may make you lose hope that you’ll ever find a partner, but the facts tell a different story: Cupid is still alive and well, no matter…

February 5th, 2007
When the one you love doesn't feel the same

It’s the subject of great literature from Don Quixote to The Great Gatsby. It’s the emotions behind ballads from the Eagles to Coldplay. Unrequited love is a love that isn’t reciprocated—and it’s something that most of us have experienced.
According to a recent BustedHalo online poll, more than 90% of respondents said that they have either had romantic feelings that have gone unreciprocated, or that they have had a friend who has had feelings for them that they did not share. It’s a torturous emotion: You just can’t get the object of your affection and desire to see you in the same way, or you feel deeply guilty about not wanting to be romantically involved with someone…

January 22nd, 2007
What women and men look for in a spouse has changed drastically in the last 60 years

Since the 1930s, researchers have been asking men and women what they want in a spouse. And my, how times have changed. Here’s a round-up of national preferences. Where do you stand?
What Men Want
While today’s young man ranks love and attraction as most important, a few generations ago it didn’t even make the top three. A dependable, sweet lady who had skills in the kitchen was the prized catch in the 1930s; these days, guys are looking for brains, beauty—and a sizeable paycheck seems to sweeten the deal.
Then…
Men who were in their 20s in the 1930s—the grandfathers or great-grandfathers of today’s young-adults—reported that, first and foremost, they were…

January 8th, 2007
10 New Years Tips for Meeting that Special Someone in 2007

You’ve made your New Year’s Resolution list. Perhaps you’ve resolved to go to the gym more often or to call your parents and grandparents regularly. Maybe you’ve decided this is the year that you are going to switch jobs or apply to grad school. We all want to improve something about ourselves, and we love the chance to start afresh to make it happen. But as I’ve spoken with young-adults about their New Year’s Resolutions list, I noticed something interesting:
Very few of us will say explicitly that we hope this is the year that we meet our life partners, that this is the year that God brings that special person into our lives. Yet to meet the right person and begin to build a life…

December 18th, 2006
Home for the Holidays... Seven Survival Tips for Couples

“Hi, I’m Christine,” I said, nervously announcing the obvious as I stepped into my fiancé’s aunt’s living room for Thanksgiving last month. Peter and I had gotten engaged over the summer and I was on center stage in this first meeting with his aunts, uncles and cousins. Was I dressed correctly? Should I hug or shake hands? Were there topics I shouldn’t talk about? Would they like me?
Joining to your significant other’s family can be fraught with all sorts of dramas. Here are some tips that I’ve compiled through my research and interviews—use it as a guide to navigating the pitfalls of the “home for the holidays” season.
1. Will you…

December 4th, 2006
The Bad News About Unwed Mothers

Keisha Castle-Hughes, the 16-year-old unmarried actress who plays the Virgin Mary in the new movie, The Nativity Story, is pregnant by her 19-year-old boyfriend. Last week CNN could talk about nothing else: Amazing the coincidence, the announcers said, of this woman getting pregnant when she was playing the role of the most famous unmarried mother in history. And would you believe, the commentators crooned, her boyfriend is even a carpenter, just like Joseph.
Listen. It takes a lot of anti-Catholic sentiment to rile me these days, but after two days of hearing about the “miracle” and “wondrous news” of this young actress’s pregnancy while playing the role of the Blessed Virgin;…

November 8th, 2006
Pure Sex, Pure Love

I’ve been really busy recently. I’ve been dashing into church 10 minutes late because I had to send “just one more email.” During Mass, I’ve been thinking about work rather than paying attention to the homilies. And back home in the evenings, I haven’t been writing in my journal—my most precious form of prayer—because I’m working up until the last possible moment when I have to finally go to sleep.
With good things happening in my career and personal life, this is one of the most exciting and successful times I’ve ever experienced. Yet I feel very far away from God.
Do prayer, meditation and conversation with God fall by the wayside as we go-go-go…

October 24th, 2006
Slicing the pie too thin?: How important is shared faith for high-achievers searching for love?

Shiena is an East Indian anesthesiology resident in New York City. Her parents want her to marry an Indian man for cultural and religious reasons. Instead, she’s been dating an Italian Catholic bodybuilder for the last two years. But since he’s not Hindu, she hasn’t yet told her parents about the relationship, even though the pair is practically inseparable. “Every slice narrows the pie. Education, race, religion—it’s a small pool,” she said.
For SWANS (Strong Women Achievers, No Spouse) finding a partner who shares their religious tradition sometimes seems like an unnecessary burden. There are so many other qualities to match up, successful men and women…

September 25th, 2006
Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women

Note to BustedHalo readers from Christine:
In February 2005 I wrote an article for BustedHalo under the title, “Overqualified for Love?” where I asked readers to share their thoughts on a pressing question for young-adults: Are smart, successful women at a disadvantage when looking for a spouse?

I wrote the article because I was concerned—both personally and professionally. I’d just finished my Ph.D., I was single, and I’d been reading about two studies that had been getting a lot of attention in the media, online and among my friends:
A University of Michigan study reported that college-educated men would prefer to marry a woman whom they considered subordinate—for…

September 11th, 2006
because religion isn't the only hot-button issue

My last Pure Sex, Pure Love column bemoaned the craziness of the Bridal Registry. Instead of wasting hours, days, even months, learning about thread count and why you need a hostess set of silver, I argued that there are more important discussions brides and grooms should have as they look forward to making a life together.
While this isn’t an earth-shattering argument, you’d be amazed by how many couples would prefer to debate over throw pillows rather than talk about the big-and potentially contentious issues: How many children would you like to have? How will faith be integrated into your family life? What are each spouse’s future goals and dreams? And, of course, finances.
Hot Button #2…

powered by the Paulists