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 1st, 2005
Public displays of affection: Should a woman take her husband's name, and should a man wear a wedding ring?

Among the many decisions a couple makes on their way to the altar, two choices are very public—and tell us a lot about changing social norms: Will she take his last name and will he wear a wedding ring?
Today more women legally change their names and more men wear wedding bands than they did just 15 years ago. Why? And will these superficial, but very public, signs of commitment help us better live out our sacramental vows?
In 1975, about 4% of college graduate women kept their maiden names once married. That figure rose sharply in the late 1970s and 1980s, according to Harvard professor Claudia Goldin, as women increasingly “made a name” for themselves in higher education and the workplace before often-later…

April 20th, 2005
If it’s this difficult, can it really be love?

Over dinner recently, a close friend told me she was second-guessing her three-year relationship. While she and her boyfriend were very committed to each other, they had been living in different countries for the last year. Through her new church, she’d made many friends—and met a few new guys.
“I love my boyfriend, but it’s been so long since we’ve been together that I’m not sure if it’s right anymore,” she confessed over dinner recently. “We are really struggling. I keep asking myself: If it’s this hard, can it really be love?”
Those of us in our 20s and 30s will date for longer and get married later than our parents did. On average, we will date for two years before marriage (with fewer than…

April 10th, 2005
Pure Sex, Pure Love

Here’s a trick to try out on your next date: During dinner, start playing with something on your side of the table like the salt shaker or the candle. After a little while, gently push it over to the other side of the table. Now watch what happens: If your date pushes it back to your side of the table, s/he’s just not that into you. If they leave it, or play with it, it’s called mirroring—one of the many unconscious ways we display our interest in someone.
Welcome to the world of flirting where subtle body language speaks volumes and where first impressions are usually right. Are you aware of the signals you’re sending?
In his new book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell explores the power of first impressions.…

March 29th, 2005
When is the right time to bring up religion in a relationship?

Cindy and Peter met in January and they hit it off instantly. They were both into mystery novels and had long dinners debating politics. They started seeing each other twice or three times a week, had lots to talk about and great chemistry. And since they were both in their 30s, Cindy says things were moving pretty fast. About a month into the relationship, Peter invited Cindy to brunch on Sunday, and she said it would have to be a late brunch because she was doing a reading at the 11 a.m. Mass at her church. “He was shocked, and a whole big discussion came up,” Cindy told me over coffee recently. “It turned out that he’s not religious at all, and doesn’t have much respect for people who are.…

March 10th, 2005
Why Girls Watch Sex & the City: It's more than the shoes, boys

Last summer, my boyfriend broke up with me. It was one of those almost-perfect relationships where you are well matched in everything, but there’s just no spark. Immediately I sent out an email to a dozen girlfriends titled “Emergency Girls Drinks.” I’d been dumped, I said, and I needed some support. These were 12 busy women – junior ambassadors, business executives and new mothers – but they all cancelled their plans to meet me at a local bar. One ordered champagne to toast to my freedom. Another listed all the reasons why I was too fabulous for him anyway. And by the end of the night I was laughing, not crying.Now that Sex and the City is on basic cable, the dating traumas, frank discussions…

March 5th, 2005
BustedHalo's new column on dating, relationships and marriage

There are more than 4,000 dating and relationship self-help books in print. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus has sold 30 million copies worldwide. And last month, relationship guru Dr. Phil McGraw hosted a primetime special on CBS where he placed a hidden transmitter in some guy’s ear and coached him through a date.
Dating and relationships are tough?and apparently we’re all looking for some advice. As young Catholics, we face our own set of challenges, but most relationship advice books, columns and TV shows won’t come anywhere near issues of faith.
So that’s where I come in.
Welcome to a new column on BustedHalo devoted to questions about dating, relationships and marriage…

January 30th, 2005
Overqualified for Love: Are high achieving women at a disadvantage when looking for a spouse?

Emily is a tall 29-year-old blonde with great fashion sense who knows the bouncers at New York’s hippest clubs. She graduated from an Ivy-League university with high honors in economics and went to a prestigious business school for her MBA. Now she’s moving up the ranks at an investment bank. In her spare time, she’s a painter—and hopes to launch her first gallery opening this year. She’s beautiful, successful and has a full social life. She appears to be a woman who has everything. But her relationships just never work out. Men date her for a while, but then when things get serious, tell her she’s just not the type they are looking for. And she doesn’t see what she’s…

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