Help! I’m 16 and I haven’t found “The One!” (A Tani’s Top Five list!)

I’m surrounded by couples. Everywhere I look, my peers and my friends are pairing off, snuggling, holding hands in church, posting nauseating facebook photos, and generally behaving like sixteen-year-old newlyweds with that special someone that they didn’t even know existed a year ago. And, like every red-blooded female since the dawn of time, I too dream about what it would be like if that cute boy asked me out, or if I stumbled across “the one” while in the McDonalds parking lot. Of course, in these daydreams, he falls instantly in love with me and we ride his snow-white stallion off to his yacht where we dine on lobster and champagne and never grow old. Yay for imaginations, right?

But, in my precious moments of mental clarity, I pause, and think about what I’d really like in a guy. Things that are more important than horses or boats or fancy meals. While surrounded by relationships that will, without a doubt, fizzle out and die horribly in a few months, I’m planning for a love that will last a lifetime. So, here are my non-negotiables for Mr. “The One.”

1) Catholic!

I hear ya. Kinda a weird choice for a top quality. But I have never tried to hide my faith, and I want a guy who won’t as well. My Catholic faith is the most important thing in my life, and I want my husband to not only understand but to share in the love that I have toward my savior. I want to go to adoration with him. I want him to lead our family in prayers. I want him to be a proud and passionate papist, proclaiming his faith with zeal and joy! So, if a guy’s not a Catholic, even if he looks like Josh Friggin’ Halloway…. I won’t even date him.

Not even.

2) Courageous.

I am what I describe as a “cheerful pessimist.” My attitude to life is that yes, bad things are going to happen, but there’s still too much good in life to be sad about the bad. I cannot ever manage to feed negative emotions for longer than a few hours (though my usual time for getting over anger is about 10 minutes.) I want a guy who won’t stay angry at trivial things for long, but who will get angry over the things that are really important. I want someone who can smile even when life is hard. Who can make me and everyone else laugh, even if he doesn’t feel much like laughing himself. Who can poke fun at himself, and doesn’t take his ego too seriously. At the same time, I don’t want a sensitive wishy-washy emotional pansy, who won’t stand up for what he believes. I don’t want someone who lets me make the first move in our relationship- I want a guy who has the courage to fight for what he wants. Who has the courage to work above his own emotions and fears. That’s pretty danged attractive, in my opinion.

3) Self- Sacrificing

My dad is awesome. He wears holey socks and underwear, clothes that have been washed until they have no color left, and he eats the leftovers that nobody else wants. When he must buy new clothes, he only goes if there’s a massive sale, and even then he has pavement under his nails when we drag him in. He does this so that his family can always have the best. That’s amazing, to me, that he’d do that for us. I want a guy who puts the needs of his family above his own. Because, when you think about it, that’s kinda like what Jesus did. He sacrificed his all for the good of people who probably won’t ever fully appreciate it.

4) Creative and colorful

Down here, in Tucson, the mexican culture is everywhere. Bright colors, bright music, extreme emotions… hispanics make up most of our population, and it’s a fact that’s easy to see! Even us russians (though I’m 1/32th mexican) display colorful Oaxacan  (wuh-HAWK-an) animals and brightly stitched wall hangings in every room.

Oaxacan elephant- look at the designs!!

Though I’ll be fine if my husband isn’t a Da Vinci or a Yo Yo Ma, I need a guy who loves art and music like I do. I need a guy who likes bright colors, who can find the beauty in both a concerto and a guitar solo. I believe that God speaks to us through art and music, from all cultures and styles. I want my husband to think that too.

5) Good with Kids

Yes, at sixteen, it’s an odd thing. Most (OK, all) of my female friends are looking forward to a child-free marriage, or maybe one with two or three cute and quite kids. Me? I want a boatload of children. I want the noise and the drama and the personalities, the paint on the walls and the salt in the dressers, the sticky kisses and help with homework. My husband is going to have to be a guy who can put up with the hectic life of a big family, with the slight mess that never seems to clear up, the noise level that goes along with raising kids. Coming from a big family, I find these things familiar and almost comforting. My husband will be patient, just, and kind. He’ll know how to be a just and fair dad, who listens to his kids and can settle disputes. He’ll read books and snuggle, put up with having his hair done, change a lot of diapers, and lose a lot of sleep. But that’ll be ok, because he’ll understand that it’s all worth it in the end.

There are a few other things that are necessary, but a bit trivial to be honest. Things like I want to marry a redhead, or that he must be taller than me, or that he must like chickens. I know that a lot of you will say that this is too specific, and that it’ll be hard to find a guy like that. But I know that there’s one guy out there that God designed just for me. But, at sixteen, he’s not worth looking for. I’m not ready for marriage, which means i’m not ready for dating. And why would I want to date a guy who I know isn’t right? Yes, I have crushes on several guys. But that’s all they’ll ever be, because nobody has all of the qualities I’m looking for. Isaiah 55:2 says, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” Why should I waste my time on a relationship that, at sixteen, will go nowhere? Right now, I’m focusing on my relationship with God, who is all I need. When He decides to put someone in my life, I’ll be happy, but until then, I’m still just Daddy’s little girl.

Love to all!


P.S… I actually don’t like lobster. OR champagne. Can we dine on cheeseburgers and cream soda instead?

4 thoughts on “Help! I’m 16 and I haven’t found “The One!” (A Tani’s Top Five list!)

  1. Tatiana, this is a great list. I will tell you it is important to be specific, so go for it! I’ve met grown Christian women who have written similar lists and they got very specific. Guess what? It worked! One woman listed “likes to give back rubs”. She married a chiropractor. Another woman listed “must be taller than me” (she’s 5’11”) and “must love God”. She married a youth pastor that she met on a whim. She was 37 at the time and also included “has never been married before”. I told her that might be a little difficult. Guess what? He had never been married—and he was older than her! Sheesh. Who was I to doubt God?

    When I work with groups of girls (and guys) in middle school, we always seem to get to the topic of relationships (i.e. BOY/GIRLS). I make them write up their list for the perfect mate. It is so important to define what is important to you. If you, and they, don’t know your standards, you will fall for any guy who shows affection.

    My favorite line in your post? That he must love chickens. 🙂

    ❤ Aunt Jan


  2. I’m sure you’ll find the Perfect (well, almost) guy at some point! Great list….now I want a cheeseburger.

    Myself….I’d rather wait. I’m kind of a selfish being and am happy by myself. I want to gain some life experience before getting into a relationship. I just know that I want someone who respects me, doesn’t treat me like a child, and who agrees with me on religion and politics. Also, he hopefully will be calm and drama free, or else our marriage would quickly deteriorate into a disaster!


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