Busted Halo

Most dating and relationships books, columns and shows won’t go near issues of faith. Author, professor and speaker Dr. Christine B. Whelan assumes faith has some role, and tackles even the toughest questions.

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May 5th, 2008
Stop Looking for Your Soul Mate!

The honeymoon is over, and being somebody’s “everything” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Catholics need to break up with the quest for “the one” in favor of a more realistic perspective on relationships.
Recently, my friend Angela called me in tears. Angela, 31, and her husband have been married for three years and they are very well-suited: They can spend hours at a time together talking and laughing, are attracted to each other, get along with each other’s friends and families, and are on the same page when it comes to faith, politics, and financial matters. But recently, she told me, the “glow” had worn off. The two were involved in their own…

April 28th, 2008
The Catholic Guide to Blind Dates

It only has to work once.
That’s what I told myself after every bad date in my 20s.
If we fell head over heels in love with everyone we met for coffee or dinner, we’d get ourselves into heaps of trouble. Being picky (up to a point) is a good thing. And this means that there are going to be some terrible dates.
Which is why I’ve always thought it’s interesting that blind dates—when your friend, coworker, family member or random neighbor down the block sets you up with someone you’ve never met before—strike such fear in our hearts. (And BustedHalo… readers had a lot to say on this topic!)
But let’s be brutally honest: Your success rate hasn’t been all that stellar,

April 28th, 2008
A new approach to New Year's resolutions

Did you make some New Year’s resolutions this year?
If so, you’re in the minority: A 2005 study found that only 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.
Did you make New Year’s resolutions last year—and did you keep them?
If so, you are really in the minority. Only 8 percent of Americans achieve their resolution goals, according to “Living on the Up Beat,” a publisher of self-help books. What’s more discouraging is that 22% of all New Year’s resolutions are broken in the first week, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology.…
With that in mind, here’s a new twist on
the New Year’s resolution racket:
1. Start small This year, a friend

April 15th, 2008
Blind Date!

Those two words strike fear in the hearts of singles everywhere. And if you’re single past your early 20s, odds are, you’ve been on one.

Blind Dates…
To Answer the Questionnaire, click here
Name (fake name is fine)
I would be willing to go on a blind date.
a) true
b) false
How many blind dates have you been on?
a) 0
b) 1-3
c) 4-6
d) 6-10
e) more than 10
My mother or father has set me up on a blind date.
a) true
b) false
I would insist upon seeing a photo before I agree to go out on a blind date with someone.
a) true
b) false
I would ask about the person’s religious background before I agree to go out on a blind date.
a) true
b) false
Women are more likely to agree to going on a blind date than men.

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 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…

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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