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My friend keeps convincing me to settle


Alex39
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My best friend and I chat a lot. I'm single, so I'll tell her if I had a date, how or went. I'll share with her my pitfalls and concerns about guys I meet. I'll ask advice sometimes. She's happily married. 

I need advice, am I crazy?

I'll mention to her how one guy doesn't have a good or solid career. Maybe a guy isn't goal oriented. Maybe the guy has financial issues, or lacks a solid place of his own. I mean we are 30.  And how that's a concern for me.

She'll make me feel bad telling me it isn't about money or a career, that it's about the person. And that I shouldn't think so materialistic. That it should be about them as a person and not what they have. And then she reminds me how when she met her now husband he wasn't working, he had no money, how they barely go out to eat or go on dates, even now.  They do free things together. They only go camping because it's cheap.  And how she accepted that he didn't have a lucrative career and never will. But that she accepts and loves him. 

She then tries to convince me to settle for these guys and then I'm not happy and it always ends. 

I feel so selfish that maybe I am materialistic as she says. 

But is it wrong to want more in life? I want more. 

I work really hard for my money, to afford my nice home, to take the occasional nice vacation- not in a tent. I want more for my future children. And I'm not unreasonable. I'm not looking for a guy who drives a Porche or something. Just someone who works hard and wants to have a good life, like myself. I'm not rich, but I want to be able to get my kids new school shoes, go on vacations, get them nice christmas presents. My parents worked so hard to do that for me. We weren't rich, but comfortable. 

I also find that when you meet someone, the lifestyle they are living is a good key indicator of the life you'll have with them.

If you meet a guy who is lazy, it's rare to see that he'll suddenly not be that way when you are together. 

Is my friend right? Are my standards too high?

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Your standards seem reasonable. 

She fell for a guy who was not so successful, but that's her life.  Not yours.

And no, we don't always choose who we fall for.  My first ex was an alcy ( but i didnt know at the time.  Second ex was irate with myself & kids in the end.. we just never know.  Yeah, they both worked & wanted kids.  One struggled a bit but the other was 'comfortable'.)

So, every relationship is different.

I do hope you come across someone you mesh with.  But, also remember, where they may be all good in one area, may be challenged in others.  Ya won't end up with mr perfect 😉 .

eg. a great guy you meet may have kids already  or not want any at all..... or another great guy may be a work aholic.... or some great guy with a bit of $$ and home may also be an alcy...right?  lol

So, it's fine that you're 'still searching'.  I am sure one day you will come to meet up with someone who catches your eye to the point you WILL consider something deep & meaningful with him.  (  A relationship is not based on one's income, no.. is much more than that).

 

 

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3 hours ago, Alex39 said:

And how she accepted that he didn't have a lucrative career and never will. But that she accepts and loves him. 

These are HER standards and she's set these for herself and the man she wants to be with. Nothing wrong with them, but this is what SHE would settle for and accept as this is also who she is.

YOU are different. You have a career, own a house, and are willing to put yourself out there to find the right man for you.

You know your worth, so yes stick to your standards. And, maybe accept that dating advice isn't the forte of your friend... Consider a dating book though. It'll give you some eye opening and empowering advice on how to approach dating and find the man for you.

Finding the right man can take time and effort. It's a thrilling journey!💚

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4 hours ago, Alex39 said:

 she reminds me how when she met her now husband he wasn't working, he had no money, how they barely go out to eat or go on dates, even now.  

She is sharing her point of view and experiences. Stop complaining to her then putting down her choices and lifestyle. Who you date and why is up to you.

If you're going to talk people's ears off about being perpetually single then turn your nose up to who they are and their experiences and choices, what's the point?

Make sure you're not prancing around thinking you're better than everyone else and therefore "deserve" better than they do. Why have friends who you look down on?

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5 hours ago, Alex39 said:

I feel so selfish that maybe I am materialistic as she says. 

 

Depends. Are you looking for somebody who is "hard working" or just somebody who earns more then you? There is nothing wrong with you not wanting to be your friend and settle for someone who cant even afford to book a proper vacation in hotel. She is happy with somebody like that, you would not be happy. Its important to you for a guy to work at least a decent job(which kinda questions why you even want your colleague son who doesnt even work) so that is OK. But if you are asking for a guy to earn more, yes, you are a bit materialistic. Which is also nothing wrong if the reality suits your standard. I have a rich friend that is, yes, materialistic. He married a dentist. But if it doesnt suit, then yes, you maybe should question that. 

But as far as standards go, I dont think that is what is wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to live poor, to not have money trouble and to afford at least decent stuff like a car and vacation. It starts being high if you demand, I dunno, vacation in 5 star hotel or a Porsche. But you dont do that so I think you are fine with holding your standard.

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4 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

Your standards are fine. 

Ignore her advice. You've already seen it doesn't work for you. 

I had a number of friends suggest or imply I settle when I was in my 30s and/or be a single mother by choice.  It's fine -most people mean well.  But it's your obligation to yourself to stick to your own standards and values.  Yes- if someone says something about your standards and you have an aha moment and realize they are actually silly  that's different -but if you remain solid in your perspective, stick to that. 

One of my musts was at least college educated. In fact I knew very few men in my wide social circles who weren't at least college educated and had only two or three men in real life ask me out and they weren't college educated and I otherwise didn't find those men attractive

. I had a number of people question this standard of mine with all the silly "but Bill Gates is a millionaire and he didn't......" or the like and I'd sometimes explain the underpinnings of my values about a college degree -and sometimes it wasn't worth it.  While of course they had their own standards but they were married, etc.  Beware of unsolicited advice about your standards.  Stop asking others to validate your standards.  Evaluate your own standards from time to time to see if they still make sense. 

For example in my 20s I didn't want to be set up with men who were overweight.  In my 30s not as much of an issue. Why? Not because I was settling but because the types of men I was attracted to were changing. I never wavered with insisting the man was enthusiastic about starting a family, did not use illegal drugs, did not smoke, did not drink excessively on any regular basis. 

I declined second dates with at least two men who told me on the first date they smoked pot recreationally (they were in their 30s) and declined dates with two men who lied about their age - and one friend ended up dating one of those men for 7 years on and off and another friend ended up marrying the other guy who lied.  In the first case he ended up being a jerk.  In the second case they seemed happy together and she accepted his reasons for lying.  No regrets on my end.  At all.  Follow your north star and do not settle or listen to those who suggest it's ok to settle. It's not IMO>

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I'm going to add this. You want to be a mother right? Guess what -parents get tons of pressure trying to "convince" them to parent in a certain way- especially around stuff like sleep training and breast feeding and eating solids, team sports, daycare v. SAHM.  All the darn time even from strangers.You must learn not to be a person who walks around telling herself "well she's trying to convince me" -get that out of your vocabulary. 

You and your spouse will be the parents.  The two of you make the parenting decisions.  You will seek advice and input of all kinds -but you will initiate that- not as a result of someone trying to "convince" you -especially your mother!  I love my mother and my mother didn't know the science of a particular safety issue with our son.  And she tried to undermine me in front of him when we visited in August. 

I love her but did not appreciate it because it created conflict with my teenage son on a safety risk I would never take. I stood my ground and told her please not to interfere. Yesterday we saw his doctor for his well check and now that safety issue is resolved.  She was happy for me -she got it. 

She saw me stick to my standards.  Get ready for that sort of push back and this is a great time to develop your skills so you don't tell yourself you're some empty receptacle for or victim of people trying to convince you

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

they weren't college educated and I otherwise didn't find those men attractive

Totally! It's your list and it must make sense to you only. OP, there will always be a couple of characteristics you look for in a partner that others with raise an eyebrow at... But you're the one who will live daily with that person, not them.

The writer in my dating book had 50 items (non-negotiable!) on her expectations/standards list. She married someone who met 49 out of 50 characteristics on her list! For years, people told her to just settle, but she refused.

She got happily married to a charming singer and she's now pregnant at the age of 40!

 @Alex39you do you!

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6 hours ago, Alex39 said:

But that she accepts and loves him. She then tries to convince me to settle for these guys and then I'm not happy and it always ends. 

She is not telling you who to date. She is explaining that she is happy with her choices even if her choices are not good enough for you. No one can tell you to date Mr. Nowhereman if you don't want to. Your work friend wanted to fix you up with him.

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choosing a spouse is more than just a major decision. It impacts your entire life.

Your probably means well but she's wrong. 

The fact that you try and end up unhappy is all the proof you need. 

It's better to stay single until someone great comes along. Then to settle and someone great comes along. 

People may think they are helping you but you are the one that has to live with your decisions. So always remember that.  

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I think it's OK to have standards when dating but it's just that the standards need to be realistic. It's perfectly understandable to want someone that has a job and can financially support themselves and your family. I think it depends though how high you're raising the bar and whether you may be expecting too much.

For example, you mentioned you don't want a guy who doesn't have a solid career or owns his own place. I understand you're 30 but not everyone owns their own house. For example, I don't and I'm 37. Also what kind of solid career do you expect the guy to have? Like, university educated job? Most people have a job and are supporting themselves but not everyone is well off and working in jobs like a doctor or lawyer.

I'm actually not trying to be rude but sometimes in life you need to be realistic about what you can actually get. Usually it's very hard to find the right person and especially as you get to 30 + years old. Often at this age people are already in relationships or married so there aren't as many single guys. If a woman is really attractive then yes she can probably get a guy with a great career and his own house a lot easier than your average woman. 

For example, my best friend is very slim and pretty and she had many guys with good jobs be into her from online dating. She went on dates with like 50 + guys and the majority of them actually wanted to keep seeing her! And let's be honest their initial interest in her was probably her appearance. I didn't have that experience with online dating because I'm overweight/chubby. I had some guys into me but it was probably about half interest and half rejection. 

And the thing is, I probably would rather have someone who really likes me for me and actually has a connection with me. When you marry someone it's "for life" so you want someone who is your best friend. Someone you can always talk to, have things in common with and just someone you feel really at ease with. Maybe it's someone who doesn't have a highly paid job but they could really be "the one". 

The problem with having standards that are too high is that you could be missing out on guys who could be good guys but you don't consider them good enough. I understand if you're just really not on the same level intellectually or don't have much in common, etc. But some people are not stupid or anything but they are just not passionate about those academic jobs. I knew a guy who was a nice and attractive guy and he was smart. He had a horticulture qualification and was a gardener because he actually enjoyed the work a lot. 

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I think it's a good idea to reevaluate standards especially those that are knee jerk reactions with little meaning.  For example a requirement that if you're in your 30s the man in question must be ok with a long engagement so you can plan a big party to celebrate a wedding.  Or that he have all his hair, etc.  Realistic for sure.  Settling -no -it's not an exact science and requires brutal self honesty and no rationalizing/settling.

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7 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

She is sharing her point of view and experiences. Stop complaining to her then putting down her choices and lifestyle. Who you date and why is up to you.

If you're going to talk people's ears off about being perpetually single then turn your nose up to who they are and their experiences and choices, what's the point?

Make sure you're not prancing around thinking you're better than everyone else and therefore "deserve" better than they do. Why have friends who you look down on?

I don't think I'm better than anyone. I just want more in my life. I have higher goals and its not all about money, but motivation. I'm very motivated. 

My friend and her husband are going through a lot of financial hardship. They live with his parents. I think she's almost trying to convince herself that it's all about Love, and that's all that matters, but deep down she knows that this hardship is a lot to do with her husband. I also feel that sometimes she's trying to convince me to settle just like she did. 

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6 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

Depends. Are you looking for somebody who is "hard working" or just somebody who earns more then you? There is nothing wrong with you not wanting to be your friend and settle for someone who cant even afford to book a proper vacation in hotel. She is happy with somebody like that, you would not be happy. Its important to you for a guy to work at least a decent job(which kinda questions why you even want your colleague son who doesnt even work) so that is OK. But if you are asking for a guy to earn more, yes, you are a bit materialistic. Which is also nothing wrong if the reality suits your standard. I have a rich friend that is, yes, materialistic. He married a dentist. But if it doesnt suit, then yes, you maybe should question that. 

But as far as standards go, I dont think that is what is wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to live poor, to not have money trouble and to afford at least decent stuff like a car and vacation. It starts being high if you demand, I dunno, vacation in 5 star hotel or a Porsche. But you dont do that so I think you are fine with holding your standard.

No, I don't want someone just rich. I'd be fine either soneone earning what I earn, a little less, a little more. Someone that works hard. I don't expect that 5 star. Just the ability to even take a trip is a fun luxury. I don't want to live poor. I don't think it's easy on a marriage or fair to have children brought into it. 

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1 minute ago, Alex39 said:

I don't think I'm better than anyone. I just want more in my life. I have higher goals and its not all about money, but motivation. I'm very motivated. 

My friend and her husband are going through a lot of financial hardship. They live with his parents. I think she's almost trying to convince herself that it's all about Love, and that's all that matters, but deep down she knows that this hardship is a lot to do with her husband. I also feel that sometimes she's trying to convince me to settle just like she did. 

Who cares what her motives are? You can't control that.  Why are you acting like some sort of passive recipient of unsolicited advice? Have normal boundaries and tell her "thanks for the input and let's just agree to disagree on how I approach finding a suitable match for myself."  My grandfather told me I'd never find a husband because I refuse to make him coffee one night late at night and he said that I needed to know how to make a good cup of coffee to find a husband (yes I am a coffee drinker).  I married a non-coffee drinker.......

 

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2 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

I don't think I'm better than anyone. I just want more in my life. I have higher goals and its not all about money, but motivation. I'm very motivated. 

My friend and her husband are going through a lot of financial hardship. They live with his parents. I think she's almost trying to convince herself that it's all about Love, and that's all that matters, but deep down she knows that this hardship is a lot to do with her husband. I also feel that sometimes she's trying to convince me to settle just like she did. 

Actually when people use the term "settle", they usually mean that they married or stayed with someone they don't really love and/ or are incompatible with. I don't think settle means that you found someone with a lesser job that you wanted or less money than you wanted. Your friend actually didn't settle because she loves her husband and she WANTED to marry him. Maybe she was trying to tell you to lower your standards regarding career and owning a house and to just find a guy you really like. That's not settling, it's finding someone you want to be with but overlooking some things because you actually want to choose that person.

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6 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

Depends. Are you looking for somebody who is "hard working" or just somebody who earns more then you? There is nothing wrong with you not wanting to be your friend and settle for someone who cant even afford to book a proper vacation in hotel. She is happy with somebody like that, you would not be happy. Its important to you for a guy to work at least a decent job(which kinda questions why you even want your colleague son who doesnt even work) so that is OK. But if you are asking for a guy to earn more, yes, you are a bit materialistic. Which is also nothing wrong if the reality suits your standard. I have a rich friend that is, yes, materialistic. He married a dentist. But if it doesnt suit, then yes, you maybe should question that. 

But as far as standards go, I dont think that is what is wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to live poor, to not have money trouble and to afford at least decent stuff like a car and vacation. It starts being high if you demand, I dunno, vacation in 5 star hotel or a Porsche. But you dont do that so I think you are fine with holding your standard.

My friend convinced me to ask friends son as a date to a wedding. He blew me off and acted like I never asked him. She convinced me that it's about his personality and not that he's jobless. Now I feel stupid. I am not okay with him not having a job. My friends husband only works 8 to 9 months out of the year sporadically,  so then he sits on his butt the other times doing nothing. I'm not okay with that. 

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1 minute ago, Alex39 said:

No, I don't want someone just rich. I'd be fine either soneone earning what I earn, a little less, a little more. Someone that works hard. I don't expect that 5 star. Just the ability to even take a trip is a fun luxury. I don't want to live poor. I don't think it's easy on a marriage or fair to have children brought into it. 

It's not easy to live poor.  But it can happen even with well-meaning and ambitious educated people - there are times of financial struggle in many families (not mine thank goodness but no guarantees).  It's for better or for worse. See what I wrote above about perhaps relaxing your goal of wanting a big party to celebrate a wedding.  As you get more into your 30s be prepared to meet men who simply don't want to go through all of that planning and spend all that $ particularly since older couples usually pay for all of it themselves.

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5 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I had a number of friends suggest or imply I settle when I was in my 30s and/or be a single mother by choice.  It's fine -most people mean well.  But it's your obligation to yourself to stick to your own standards and values.  Yes- if someone says something about your standards and you have an aha moment and realize they are actually silly  that's different -but if you remain solid in your perspective, stick to that. 

One of my musts was at least college educated. In fact I knew very few men in my wide social circles who weren't at least college educated and had only two or three men in real life ask me out and they weren't college educated and I otherwise didn't find those men attractive

. I had a number of people question this standard of mine with all the silly "but Bill Gates is a millionaire and he didn't......" or the like and I'd sometimes explain the underpinnings of my values about a college degree -and sometimes it wasn't worth it.  While of course they had their own standards but they were married, etc.  Beware of unsolicited advice about your standards.  Stop asking others to validate your standards.  Evaluate your own standards from time to time to see if they still make sense. 

For example in my 20s I didn't want to be set up with men who were overweight.  In my 30s not as much of an issue. Why? Not because I was settling but because the types of men I was attracted to were changing. I never wavered with insisting the man was enthusiastic about starting a family, did not use illegal drugs, did not smoke, did not drink excessively on any regular basis. 

I declined second dates with at least two men who told me on the first date they smoked pot recreationally (they were in their 30s) and declined dates with two men who lied about their age - and one friend ended up dating one of those men for 7 years on and off and another friend ended up marrying the other guy who lied.  In the first case he ended up being a jerk.  In the second case they seemed happy together and she accepted his reasons for lying.  No regrets on my end.  At all.  Follow your north star and do not settle or listen to those who suggest it's ok to settle. It's not IMO>

We have similar standards. I don't date guys who smoke, drink too much,use Marijuana, dont have a solid career, and I don't mind if they are a bit chubby. I want a guy who wants to get married in the next 5 years and who wants kids in the next 7 or so years. 

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4 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

No, I don't want someone just rich. I'd be fine either soneone earning what I earn, a little less, a little more. Someone that works hard. I don't expect that 5 star. Just the ability to even take a trip is a fun luxury. I don't want to live poor. I don't think it's easy on a marriage or fair to have children brought into it. 

Yes but sometimes from your posts it sounds like despite all that you might actually be jealous of your married friend and you resent being single. So you try to tell yourself that your friend isn't actually happy with her husband and she just settled. 

There are actually whole countries that are third world countries where people are very poor. They don't have much materially but they have their family, friends and kids and they are actually happy.

I think as Westerners we have a different mindset because we get brought up to value money and financial success. 

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53 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

I think it's OK to have standards when dating but it's just that the standards need to be realistic. It's perfectly understandable to want someone that has a job and can financially support themselves and your family. I think it depends though how high you're raising the bar and whether you may be expecting too much.

For example, you mentioned you don't want a gut who doesn't have a solid career or owns his own place. I understand you're 30 but not everyone owns their own house. For example, I don't and I'm 37. Also what kind of solid career do you expect the guy to have? Like, university educated job? Most people have a job and are supporting themselves but not everyone is well off and working in jobs like a doctor or lawyer.

I'm actually not trying to be rude but sometimes in life you need to be realistic about what you can actually get. Usually it's very hard to find the right person and especially as you get to 30 + years old. Often at this age people are already in relationships or married so there aren't as many single guys. If a woman is really attractive then yes she can probably get a guy with a great career and his own house a lot easier than your average woman. 

For example, my best friend is very slim and pretty and she had many guys with good jobs be into her from online dating. She went on dates with like 50 + guys and the majority of them actually wanted to keep seeing her! And let's be honest their initial interest in her was probably her appearance. I didn't have that experience with online dating because I'm overweight/chubby. I had some guys into me but it was probably about half interest and half rejection. 

And the thing is, I probably would rather have someone who really likes me for me and actually has a connection with me. The thing is, when you marry someone it's "for life" so you want someone who is your best friend. Someone you can always talk to, have things in common with and just someone you feel really at ease with. Maybe it's someone who doesn't have a highly paid job but they could really be "the one". 

The problem with having standards that are too high is that you could be missing out on guys who could be good guys but you don't consider them good enough. I understand if you're just really not on the same level intellectually or don't have much in common, etc. But some people are not stupid or anything but they are just not passionate about those academic jobs. I knew a guy who was a nice and attractive guy and he was smart. He had a horticulture qualification and was a gardener because he actually enjoyed the work a lot. 

No no, I didn't mean own their own home. But has the means to buy a home, rent an apartment,  etc. 

 

I expect the guy to have a regular income year round. Whether he's a plumber or an office worker. 

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6 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

My friend convinced me to ask friends son as a date to a wedding. He blew me off and acted like I never asked him. She convinced me that it's about his personality and not that he's jobless. Now I feel stupid. I am not okay with him not having a job. My friends husband only works 8 to 9 months out of the year sporadically,  so then he sits on his butt the other times doing nothing. I'm not okay with that. 

I think there's a difference though between having no job at all and having a middle or lower salary job.

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4 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

Yes but sometimes from your posts it sounds like despite all that you might actually be jealous of your married friend and you resent being single. So you try to tell yourself that your friend isn't actually happy with her husband and she just settled. 

There are actually whole countries that are third world countries where people are very poor. They don't have much materially but they have their family, friends and kids and they are actually happy.

I think as Westerners we have a different mindset because we get brought up to value money and financial success. 

I am not at all jealous of my friend. They are happy. I'm happy for her. And all my married friends. I was taken back by her almost saying I was materialistic. I don't think it's crazy to want a guy who works a steady job, makes 45k or more. Lives in a rental or house, but not a deal breaker if they live with parents. As long as they are independent and can live a good independent life with me. I don't care what their job is as long as it's reliable. Doesn't smoke, drink excessively,  or 

Stuff happens, people lose jobs. Money struggles, family stress, sickness. I want a good man by my side for all of it. A good, reliable, responsible man, who wants and can support our family together. 

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20 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

I think there's a difference though between having no job at all and having a middle or lower salary job.

My friends husband makes less than 20k a year. You cant live or raise children on that. I make almost 60k by myself. I don't think it's unreasonable to want a guy to make 45k or up. 

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