Beth’s fiancé Tom is in the Army and ships out for duty. Her former boyfriend John reappears and Beth remembers their good times together. Tom promises to come home on a weekend pass but cancels, so a bored Beth goes out with John. However, she realizes she only wants to be with Tom, so she goes home and Tom arrives.
Ruth’s husband is killed in the Korean War. Feeling depressed, she takes her doctor’s advice and goes to a cabin in Colorado for a vacation. Guide Paul is rude to her, but they are attracted to each other. Ruth discovers Paul was jilted by his fiancee: she tells him that he has to find happiness with someone else...like her.
Bea is snubbed by her high school friends when they enter college; she decides to stick to her own social class, the “town” people. When her boyfriend Randy quits his mechanic's job and enrolls in college, Bea opposes his plan. Now that Randy's a student, Bea fears she’s losing him, so she monopolizes his free time. The strain of study and romance causes Randy to collapse. Bea realizes she’s been unfair and tells Randy she no longer objects to his studies.
After Penny’s father dies, she and her mother are plunged into poverty. Penny grows up determined to be financially secure, and gets a job in an ad agency. Penny falls in love with her boss Tom and they get married. Tom says he wants to open his own agency, but it will require selling their house and using their savings. Penny leaves him. Her mother says love is greater than mere financial security, and Penny and Tom reconcile.