I held on to this concept despite many experiences that should have clearly debunked these notions, in fact quite often the very opposite behaviours were more evident (i.e of complete selfishness in particular). These negative experiences were accumulated from both family members and personal relationships. Confusing the issue - and perhaps causing a degree of resentment on my behalf - was that many women had the appearance of sweet angels, and even superficially acted as such, however, this nearly always (there were actually some exceptions) turned out to be deceptive.
Despite my disappointments I did not develop any hatred of these girls in particular, but I did grow rather bitter in relation to my expectations of the "fairer sex". However, for some inexplicable reason I held on to my dream of a person (a girl) as someone of pure love and selflessness. I think I now know why.
The idea of a pure person of gentle, tender love, an embodiment of patience, tenderness and caring for others is such an attractive idea, it seems I could not let it go. It stood in such contrast to much of the world around us, which was resentful in many ways. In my limited understanding at the time, it had to be a girl that encapsulated these ideals, as I was boy and was clearly aware that I had these qualities in very small measure, if at all, and I could not imagine myself, or any other man or boy, having these qualities (that may say something about the qualities of men I experienced while growing up, however).
But now the answer has struck me - in fact it stuck me intellectually quite some time ago, but the true implications and understanding of this have only recently sunk in. The answer hinges on the fact that God, in particular Jesus, identifies His own qualities as meekness, humility, gentleness, tender-heartedness, and selflessness. These are all the same qualities I imagined in my "perfect" girl. Thus I now believe that this longing for someone with these qualities was, at its source, a longing for God.
The fact that I did not identify these attributes with God speaks volumes I feel. It firstly speaks about about my faulty concepts of God. That I could not see or imagine Him as a such a person: tender, loving, caring - completely forgiving. But if anyone does have such qualities they must of course originate with God, as for a believer where else could they come from? How could God be bereft of these same qualities yet be capable of placing in them in His created beings?
It also revealed to me some errors of thinking, including a faulty understand of my own capabilities (only not just mine, everyone's). One error of thinking was to judge things by superficial (i.e worldy) appearances. Just because someone looks like an Angel, and superficially acts like one (until tested) does not make them such. I have since learnt that one must look deeper and not judge by outward appearances. Secondly, my concept of what men should be like is clearly way off track - as I suspect is most men's. If Jesus is the representation of the "perfect man" and as we are all called to be perfect as He is, then that is wildly different to images promoted - and imagined I believe - by many as to how they should be. Do you think many men aspire to meekness (or rather confidence/arrogance?). Do you think many men aspire to selflessness? (perhaps some). What about patience and gentleness? One suspects that influences of Hollywood have truly driven this desire away, rather perhaps many boys and men dream more of being powerful, and of being capable of getting their own way.
I also wonder how much this confusion of who both men and women should be, and how they should behave (using Jesus as the example for both) has led to problems in our society, including attitudes to women and domestic violence. Not to mention many other problems caused by people seeking to control others rather than operating in the gentle, humble and meek way that Jesus demonstrated.
(NB: some people may point to Jesus' actions in the temple as an example of violence and anger. My understanding is that this was not an act of anger at all, but rather one of mercy - as once something has become so unclean that even the broom that is supposed to clean it only makes it dirtier - then a cleansing from an external agent is a mercy, as without this forced cleansing the "temple - as an allegory - will remain forever filthy)