Valentine's Day press is heating up.

On February 10th, 2009

Today’s news roundup:

• “What we look for in a mate–then and now”: A story about my research in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

• “Goodbye, Mr. Niceguy”: More about our finings online at ScienceAGoGo.

• “12 Ways to Mend a Broken Heart”: A mention about some BustedHalo research in Therese Borchard’s fantastic column on BeliefNet.

• Valentine’s Day books video: Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women gets airtime in a Prairie Lights bookstore video about great Valentine’s Day books.

• Yesterday I did a spot for WHO Radio in Des Moines… but can’t find it online

• Tomorrow, I’ll be on “The Exchange” on Iowa Public Radio. (To listen to my most recent previous appearance, click here.)

More tomorrow…and stay tuned for your Weekly Relationship Tip (a Valentine’s Day special issue!)

Canadian press gives me some love…

On February 7th, 2009

The Canadians know how to write a headline:

Love Not Virginity Tops for Men and Women Looking for Mates

The article goes on to use my research and concludes that with Valentine’s Day just around the corner,

… what men most want is a woman who is smart and good-looking. Most women wouldn’t be surprised about men favoring an attractive face and figure, but being intelligent is something else. In 1939 it would scarcely have made a blip on the guy’s screen of I wants for their women. Now men want a woman to be able to do things that earn money and to be intellectual companions as well. So guys want an educated woman more than one who is chaste.

But my favorite part of the piece is the image of the FTD floral arrangement with the caption:

Men like to give bouquets on Valentines Day to smart, good-looking women who may or may not be virgins

Oh, Canada!

Read more here:

Front Page of the Des Moines Register

On February 6th, 2009

Want to know what happens after you do 20 interviews in a 24-hour period? You start saying things like this to newspaper reporters:

“As men increasingly want a woman who can bring home the bacon, women want a man who can fry it up,” Whelan said.

Read the whole piece here:

Sex & Money Make Headlines

On February 5th, 2009

Sex sells. Add a money angle and you’ve got front-page news, right? This Valentine’s Day, I’m hoping to make headlines not just for my new book, MARRY SMART, but for the exciting new mate preferences research I’m doing with University of Iowa graduate student Christie Boxer.

From the University of Iowa press release that went out today:

Men are increasingly interested in an educated woman who is a good financial prospect and less interested in chastity. Women are increasingly interested in a man who wants a family and less picky about whether he’s always Mr. Nice Guy.

That’s according to a study by University of Iowa sociologists Christine Whelan (photo, left) and Christie Boxer. They analyzed results of a 2008 survey of more than 1,100 undergraduates at the UI, the University of Washington, the University of Virginia and Penn State University, comparing the results to past mate-preference studies.

Since the 1930s, researchers have been asking college students to rank a list of 18 characteristics they’d prefer in a mate from “irrelevant” (0) to “essential” (3), allowing for a comparison of mate preferences dating back three generations. And my, how times have changed: Today’s young adults rank love and attraction as most important; a few generations ago it didn’t even make the top three.

Want to read more? Visit:

Conference Sex: Writing Nerds Get Some Love

On February 5th, 2009

It comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever attended an academic conference that there’s some fooling around behind all those closed hotel room doors. A paper presented at this year’s MLA conference, however, took this below-the-radar fact rather public.

According to an piece I just stumbled upon, sex is rampant at academic conferences–and these events are increasingly becoming places where monogamous couples (married or in long-term relationships) who have jobs at separate far-flung posts meet up to have some time to themselves.

Drouin noted that the academic job market is so tight these days that many academics can’t live in the same cities with their partners. While many colleges try to help dual career couples, this isn’t always possible, and is particularly difficult for gay and lesbian couples, since not every college will even take their couple status seriously enough to try to find jobs for partners. So these long distance academic couples, gay and straight, tenured and adjuncts, must take the best academic positions they can, and unite at academic conferences.

Talk about challenges for dual-career couples! Oh yes, and this conference talk was presented by a woman wearing a bathrobe.

To read more about it:

More Radio, More Speeches

On February 5th, 2009

This morning I was interviewed by Bulldog on the WOCM Ocean City morning show. I’m not entirely sure he’s the target audience for MARRY SMART, but hopefully some SWANS out there got some practical advice.

And last night I spoke at Prairie Lights: I signed lots of books, had some great conversations with SWANS and was taped so that my talk can be replayed on Iowa Public Radio whenever there’s a slow news cycle. Highlight of the evening? The Iowa Alumni Association provided heart-shaped cookies decorated with very yummy red and white frosting to match their Modern Love speakers series invitations!

Heard me on the radio today, perhaps?

On February 4th, 2009

heart2This morning I did a satellite radio tour, which means that I talked about my new bookMarry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love on 18 different radio stations nationwide.

I got up at 5:45 a.m. and padded downstairs in my PJs to make a cup of tea, and then spent the next four hours (oh yes, four hours!) offering dating and relationship advice for SWANS on ABC national radio, local stations in Ohio, Pennsylania, Washington, Illinois, Iowa, Virginia… you get the idea.

It’s exhausting to do 18 radio spots back to back, but what’s most odd is that you are repeating the same stories, the same anecdotes over and over again. It sounds repetitive to me, but it’s a whole new group of listeners, so perky perky!

And tonight I’ll be at Prairie Lights giving a talk to the University of Iowa alumni association. If you’re in town, come check it out.

Let’s get out some good news for SWANS this Valentine’s Day!


On February 4th, 2009

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for your mid-week relationship pick-me-up…

Today’s relationship tip:

Are you a smart women looking for love?

MARRY SMART is here to help.

I’m in full media blitz mode on my new book, Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, so today’s relationship advice is pretty simple … check it out!

This morning I did 18 radio shows nationwide (6 a.m. to 11 a.m. – phew!) and shared lots of great advice with morning talk show listeners. Here’s your daily dose:

MARRY SMART: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love is the first guide to answer questions and dish out invaluable advice for smart women. It’s a guide for SWANS® (Strong Women Achievers No Spouse) who are looking for that perfect balance of career and relationship success.

Expanding on my research from Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women, I teach women to embrace their inner strength and to be proud of their accomplishments – 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, I help women anticipate—and overcome—their guy’s secret fears.

• What do I say to my relatives who are constantly asking me when I’ll get married? From clever quips to heart-felt 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.

Packed with rock-solid research and practical advice, MARRY SMART provides the tools for women who are trying to meet the right match and stay true to themselves.

Bottom Line: Smart women are trying to do more than snag some guy. Deep down you know that before you can say ‘I love you’ you first need to learn to say the ‘I.’ Before you can share of yourself and meet the right match, you’ve got to know who you are—and how to carry yourself with confidence. This book takes you through the steps for success.

Buy your copy of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love today and it’ll arrive in time for Valentine’s Day — just the ticket to perk you up!

In the Meantime

On January 29th, 2009

It’s Thursday, and that means I’m a day late, but here it is… your mid-week relationship pick-me-up…

Today’s relationship tip:

Single? Stop Worrying and Start Enjoying

In my 20s, I really wanted to meet the right guy and get married. Life was going to be complete when I met the right guy and got married, I told myself. Sure, there would be tough times, but I would be part of a team and I’d feel like I had arrived into the “married person” club.

Being married is wonderful (and that team spirit is perhaps the best part.) But looking back a few years, I wish I had spent less time worrying about whether or not I was going to get married, and more time enjoying my single life: Going out with friends; meeting new people; feeling free to take a job assignment across the country for a few weeks; being excited over those first few dates.

As that dreaded Valentine’s Day approaches, the sense of impatience gets even stronger. I hated it when the “smug marrieds” in my life would tell me, “Don’t worry about it — you’ll meet someone and then you’ll wish you’d had more fun before you settled down.” It sounded so patronizing and empty. But, honestly, there’s some truth to it.

The Next Steps

In the meantime, here’s what to do:

  1. Busy girls don’t cry. Being single means that you have more time to devote to others — whether it’s going out with your single friends or babysitting the young children of your married friends or volunteering at your local church organization. Get out there and do things. Be out and about at least four evenings during the week. You’re more likely to meet people when you’re involved in your community — and you doing good in a meaningful way.
  2. Make time for yourself. Invest in yourself and take pleasure in your little personal rituals. Maybe it’s writing in your journal before you go to bed; or perhaps it’s a long, hot bath with a trashy magazine. During my 20s, I made time once a week to do my nails and give myself a facial — something I haven’t done much recently. It sounds silly, but the pace of life picks up dramatically when you’re taking care of someone else, so enjoy those moments.
  3. Take comfort in the statistics. The odds are that you are going to meet a great guy — and get married. Visit the website for my new book Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love to calculate your odds of being married over the next few years. (Sneak preview: If you’re a college-educated woman, you’ve got great odds!)
  4. Join (or start) a singles group in your area. Get involved! And if there’s no singles organization in your area, start one. By taking a leadership position, you get to meet everyone — and have an excuse to introduce yourself to the cute guy in the corner.
  5. Don’t rush to the altar. In previous generations, a woman who wasn’t married by a certain age might settle for a “he’ll do” kind of guy — someone she didn’t really love, but who was willing to marry her and came along at the right time. But today, the goal isn’t getting married, it’s having a happy marriage. It only has to work once, but don’t “settle” for the wrong reasons.

Dating a Banker: New York Times hoax?

On January 29th, 2009

Yesterday’s New York Times had a story about a group of women who have banded together for support during this time of financial crisis. Are they worried about losing their jobs? Or how to make ends meet? Nope. They are worried about how the stock market impacts their investment-banker boyfriends.

In addition to meeting once or twice weekly for brunch or drinks at a bar or restaurant, the group has a blog, billed as “free from the scrutiny of feminists,” that invites women to join “if your monthly Bergdorf’s allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but disappeared from your life.”

Theirs is not the typical 12-step program.

Step 1: Slip into a dress and heels. Step 2: Sip a cocktail and wait your turn to talk. Step 3: Pour your heart out. Repeat as needed.

Aside from the immediate “Wait, women work in the finance world, too!” argument, the flip and over-the-top nature of these comments made me skeptical:

On the blog, the objects of their affections — and disdain — are referred to as F.B.F.’s, for Financial-Guy Boyfriends. Financial news is conveyed via a color-coded daily warning system: red, when the Dow fell 300 points on Oct. 6 (“Good night to have dinner with your girlfriends and do laundry”); yellow, when Warren Buffet invested $3 billion in General Electric (“Good night to hang out with your F.B.F.”); green on Jan. 21, in honor of President Obama’s hope.

There are only about 30 women involved in this group. The blog ( doesn’t get a whole lot of traffic or comments — and there are no comments before January 2009.

From the New York Times

Plus a friend of mine did a bit of sleuthing to discover that the domain appears to have been registered only two weeks ago — and the homepage links to comedy blogs.

Did the venerable New York Times get hoaxed?

Blogs on NPR certainly seem to think so:

But Fashionista is reporting that these ladies have a book deal:


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