Sad but true, I actually met a man in real life that I thought was the man of my dreams, but he turned out to be a toad. There were a lot of blanks, but I filled them in with my assumptions: I assumed he was conservative because we met at an academic activity; I assumed he was mature and responsible because of how he presented himself (suit and tie, clean-cut haircut, take-charge attitude, great leadership skills).
Then the bits of reality started to shine through: he seemed to like the party life, he made an off-hand remark about going to a stripper bar ...time passed, and I didn't hear from him, and wondered why, as there seemed to be sparks.
So I decided to look him up. Well, he was nothing like the ideal I had built up in my head. I found out he was living with a girl, he probably had other girls on the side, he had posted a horrible photo of himself with a stripper on a vacation that he took with his girlfriend, he appeared to be having inappropriate conversations, and it was all downhill from there.
And all that time I spent wrapped up in waiting for him to call me and invite me to some sophisticated charity event or restaurant or whatever seemed like a total waste. This was definitely not the man who was going to marry me. He was no Prince Charming at all, and I was so very glad that I was not his girlfriend. In fact, I felt sorry for her. There is no substitute for getting to know someone as they are, and not how you dream them to be.