As a general rule, when we meet someone new that we find attractive, we tend to see their best possible traits first. These are often the traits we find comfortable and familiar, and that allows us to associate the individual with other positive people in our lives.
However, there are also times when we meet someone that has some of the traits we find appealing, but also some traits that may not be all that positive. In some cases, we may meet someone that is a complete opposite of our past positive relationships. However, we see a glimpse of what we think may be possible for that individual.
In all of these situations, to a greater or lesser extent, we are looking beyond what we are actually seeing to looking at the potential for the person. We dismiss the “bad boy” exterior and rationalize that some tender loving care and empathy is all that is needed to turn that person into the perfect partner. We are willing to look past the reality to the potential, with the associated thought that we are the missing link in bringing that full potential to light.