I was catching up on DVR'd TV shows today, and was struck by a scene on Boston Legal. Alan (James Spader's character) sees the "new girl," Vanessa (very attractive), in a yellow dress. The character is kind of a pervert, so at first you think it's just that.
Then she confronts him and asks what it was about. He describes an instance in his sophomore year of high school where he sees some pretty girl in a yellow dress. While contemplating asking her to dance, he realizes that she's gone, and he never sees her again.
He explains that, from that point on, everything he really hopes for in a woman is attached to the image, and the idea, of that girl. Seeing her appears to make him realize that in all of his less meaningful encounters, he's forgotten what he really wants and needs in a relationship.
Something about that, and the delivery of the scene, really made me think. I didn't relate exactly, because I've had no shortage of very meaningful relationships. Rather, I thought a lot about the concept of ideals in a partner. How do you figure out what you can compromise, and what you can't live without? It's such a strange balance, you know? If you can't meet those conditions, do you have the courage to break to keep looking?
I wish they issued a manual when you hit puberty for this stuff. :)