Christine Whelan discusses her new book, Marry Smart


Millions of singles made a New Year’s resolution to be more proactive about their love lives. Sound like you? If you want to find that special someone in 2009, it’s going to take some effort. (Amazingly enough, Mr. or Ms. Right will probably not intercept you between your car and your office, or jump into your path as you walk bleary-eyed for your morning coffee.)

While I know that the guys out there are looking for love, too, it’s usually women who spend the most time worrying about their odds of marriage, wondering if there’s something wrong with them. And it’s no wonder: Women read articles in the newspaper about how being too smart or too funny or earning too much money scares men off. That kind of nonsense is enough to drive anyone nuts!

On the book tour for my first book, Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women, I traveled all around the country speaking to groups of SWANS® — Strong Women Achievers, No Spouse — about the sociological trends that were making it possible, now more than ever, for a woman to have a rewarding career and a fulfilling personal life. Energetic, passionate, intelligent and honest women shared their experiences with me (including many on this website), and time after time, they asked me for my advice.

  • Where do you meet men who are interested in smart women?
  • How should we talk about our jobs when we first meet a guy?
  • What can I tell my mother to make her realize times have changed and being single at 30 isn’t so terrible?

As professor of sociology teaching courses on the American family, my students would often ask for my guidance about their futures, too:

  • Should I go to the prestigious graduate school program I got into, even though my boyfriend doesn’t want me to leave the state?
  • What kind of career can I have that will allow me the flexibility to have a family as well?

These were all excellent questions—but there has been no advice specifically geared toward smart women. Most self-help books on dating are nothing more than how-to-land-a-man guides, but SWANS® needed something more.

That’s why I wrote Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love. Marry Smart is the first guide to answer questions and dish out invaluable advice for smart women. It’s a guide for SWANS® who are looking for that perfect balance of career and relationship success.

Expanding on my research from Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women, Marry Smart teaches women to embrace their inner strength and be proud of their accomplishments, but it does this while anticipating the nagging questions on every smart single woman’s mind:

  • What are my odds of marriage? Marry Smart includes a marriage calculator that accurately predicts a woman’s chances of being married—based on her education, income and other demographic characteristics.
  • How do I talk about my accomplishments—without scaring guys away? Research from the American Journal of Sociology reports that “high-status and powerful women are rated as more attractive” … you’ve just got to learn how to communicate it without sounding like you’re bragging.
  • What are men’s biggest fears about smart women? With interviews and opinion polls, Dr. Whelan helps women anticipate—and overcome—their guys’ secret fears.
  • What do I say to my relatives who are constantly asking me when I’ll get married? From clever quips to heartfelt conversation starters, Marry Smart provides news-you-can-use data to put your relatives (and you!) at ease.
  • If I get married older, will I be able to have kids? In a chapter devoted to the 9 facts about SWANS and babies — and the 7 big choices SWANS should think about, Marry Smart provides detailed answers to these emotional questions.

Sound like a book that might help you in your quest for love this year? Buy the book online or at your local bookstore today. Want updates, or a place to post comments, questions and look for SWANS-related advice? Become a fan of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love on Facebook.

And as always, send your questions, ideas and comments to puresex@bustedhalo.com. I want this column to be about you—and the topics you care about—so tell me what you’re thinking! Happy New Year!