Is something wrong with me...?


#1

I bit the bullet and subscribed to Catholic Match last night and immediately sent a couple of messages to some girls who I am interested in. One of them instantly started chatting with me, and we chatted for a couple of hours. She is this really cute girl who, well, my immediate impression of her is that she’s sweet, kind, a bit of a romantic, very close to her family, but also lonely, kind of impatient, misled faithwise, and sort of desperate. My prime reservations about her already are where she is faithwise (she bought some New Age oracle cards yesterday - but I truly think this was done innocently since the cards are called “Messages From Your Angel” - without knowing that a) New Age is bad and b) New Age is bad) and I don’t want her to settle on me just because I complimented her and we managed to chat surface level for a few hours…but she kept being very explicit: “I’m looking for a guy on here, and I think I found one”; “I think you like me”; “Are you my Prince Charming?”. She got sad when I answered the last question by saying, “I doubt it. I’m no prince, but just a guy who thinks you look like a sweet girl.”

The thing is, I can’t stop thinking about her. All night, in my dreams, and this morning during my prayers, I’ve thought about her…and I don’t even *know *her. It’s like I already care for her! And I “care” for her because I know exactly how she feels, and that is actually making me tear up as I write this. And so, I think about all the things which we do share in common, things which she was glad we share in common, like cooking and baking, gardening and flowers, swimming, lying in the grass in looking up at the stars, bonfires…

This is stupid. I need to grow up.


#2

Blimey, sounds like you're a bit of a romantic who met someone you really like. So what's the problem? You don't have to make up your mind about the permanency of this relationship right now. Just go with the flow and enjoy it! :thumbsup:


#3

But beware of the false sense of intimacy you can get online. You're giving out text messages to her without the corresponding physical feedback you might have gotten in person. In some ways it's very honest, in that you're dealing with the person without external distractions. But in other ways it can be very deceptive, because someone can say anything and you aren't dealing with the "whole person."

See? A conundrum. Which explains your own confusion. No, nothing wrong with you... just you recognize that you might not be getting the whole picture about the girl and though you like what you saw on some level, you may have bonded too much intellectually too soon while lacking some other very important information. The perils of internet contact!


#4

Very well said. I don’t think anything is “wrong” with the OP, but as demonstrated in previous threads, he doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence and he gets attached to women he doesn’t really know.

Look my friend, I’ll admit I had a profile on CatholicMatch for awhile and I think it can sometimes work out. But if the girl is already sending New Agey stuff to you and asking you if you’re her Prince Charming in less than a day, you need to get out. As in, immediately cease all contact and put her on a block list if possible. Clearly she doesn’t have her head on straight. That’s a weird thing to say, and New Age stuff is weird too, especially for someone who is allegedly a good Catholic.

I know some people who’d say internet dating at all means you don’t have your head on straight, but I’m not that severe. After all, I rekindled a friendship with a girl I had know from my HS youth group through Facebook and now we’re married. But I do think online dating should be more about finding a way to contact someone and then quickly moving on to meeting them in person. Having an online “relationship” has all sorts of perils as Liberanosamalo has well pointed out. And it doesn’t help your attachment to the unknown situation either.

My advice is to just try and find people who have the same listed interests and same religious beliefs that live near you. Contact one and see if you can’t grab a coffee sometime. Then let it go from there. If it works out, great, see where it goes. If not, move on to the next girl and always keep your eyes open for prospects after Mass, in the library, at the grocery store, wherever. And, of course, pray for God to let you know what He wants from you, and ask him if it is that He wants you to find a girl, ask him to give you a little help in finding her. Be patient, but strident with both Him and yourself.


#5

Yes, I’m well aware of “the false sense of intimacy,” though I’m not sure that she and I shared any real intimate verbage. Maybe she thinks differently? What I am familiar with, though, is that the ease of discussions is not always carried out effectively in real life. Some people are, ironically, more comfortable in their own skin online than face-to face.

I do wonder, though: what if I had met her elsewhere, face-to-face, prior to this? Would things be the same? I seriously doubt they would because, as you say, the more intimate element is involved when dealing face-to-face.


#6

[quote="The_Bucket, post:4, topic:182011"]
Very well said. I don't think anything is "wrong" with the OP, but as demonstrated in previous threads, he doesn't have a lot of self-confidence and he gets attached to women he doesn't really know.

Look my friend, I'll admit I had a profile on CatholicMatch for awhile and I think it can sometimes work out. But if the girl is already sending New Agey stuff to you and asking you if you're her Prince Charming in less than a day, you need to get out. As in, immediately cease all contact and put her on a block list if possible. Clearly she doesn't have her head on straight. That's a weird thing to say, and New Age stuff is weird too, especially for someone who is allegedly a good Catholic.

My advice is to just try and find people who have the same listed interests and same religious beliefs that live near you. Contact one and see if you can't grab a coffee sometime. Then let it go from there. If it works out, great, see where it goes. If not, move on to the next girl and always keep your eyes open for prospects after Mass, in the library, at the grocery store, wherever. And, of course, pray for God to let you know what He wants from you, and ask him if it is that He wants you to find a girl, ask him to give you a little help in finding her. Be patient, but strident with both Him and yourself.

[/quote]

I agree with the statements above. I think some of the things the girl said are big red flags. Especially the 'prince charming' thing. It is waaaay too soon for something like that.

If you want to continue contact with her I suggest to do so cautiously.


#7

There is nothing wrong with you, this is how human beings work. Sometimes you just click really well with another person and feel instantly like you know them.

There are some people who aren’t capable of intense emotion, others are. I don’t see why you are viewing this experience as a negative.

Do you think also you are interpreting what she said too seriously? I mean, “I think you like me” and “Are you my Prince Charming” sounds like light flirting to me.

I guess you could interpret it as if she is desperate and thinks you’re “the one” after one conversation, but I don’t see why you would.

Just keep talking to her and see what happens, once you learn more about her you’ll be able to make a better decision.


#8

I think it's romantic! When you find someone you have so much in common with! Yes taking it slow is the best thing esp when online chatting... Just get to know each other better that way and keep a good friendship...If you'd like make sure she knows that you would like to be friends first hand so she doesn't make anymore comments like "prince charming" etc.. She's just probably romantic like you so you know every girl hopes the guy they meet whom they share so much in common is their prince charming! ;)

Just take it easy and talk more about things that interest you both and that don't interest you both so you can see where you stand with this girl...And see if her annoyances or her dislikes is something you could possibly live with or you know accept in the long run...

Good luck, GOD BLESS!


#9

I’ve picked a couple of points from your posts that I would like to address. Sorry if this sounds too formal or heavy, but I don’t at the moment have that much time on my hands. :slight_smile:

very close to her family, but also lonely, kind of impatient, misled faithwise, and sort of desperate

In keeping with the teachings of our esteemed friend Norseman, I need to point out that being desperate shouldn’t be overestimated. Some people very much desire marriage and perhaps so much that it prevents them to some extent from seeing a person. There is nothing wrong with being in love with a Christian institution, let alone a sacrament, but the person simply has to be noticed, accepted and, cautiously with this word, affirmed (this is not necessarily what secular psychologists mean when they say it). Mature conjugal love (or desire for it, some form of betrothed love or an even earlier stage) would not neglect the aspect of personality. On the other hand it must be noted that an overemphasis on the concrete person leads to some part of collective solipsism on the part of the couple together and suddenly they may find themselves not marrying but rather effectuating some kind of union supposedly designed especially for them and realising their unique destiny and so on. While no marriage is the same as every other marriage, marriage as an institution (at least some core essence of it and the ideals generally aspired to) is the same for everybody. And it was designed by the Creator, not by the parties. Similarly, unity and dissolubility bind because of marriage, not because of being a soulmate or simply being a John and Jane (obviously not disregarding the natural design as man and woman together with a natural desire for union).

As for lonely, it is similar to above. It would be a gross mistake to expect that a person will be perfectly un-lonely before marriage, that is somehow able to take care of all his social needs before marrying. The vocation to marriage naturally effects a dent in someone’s social fulfilment if it is not or cannot be fulfilled. It is some form of privation indeed, that one cannot achieve the unity and dissolubility with another person, in a union ordered to procreation and education of children–which in more romantic terms is perpetuation of their love and their joined selves (science here being quite romantic in showing the mixing of genes and taking half from here and half from there) united in that love, although again, without a selfish focus on themselves alone and inwardly only–and for the good of the spouses, and getting each other into heaven (not at all the least important aspect given that any sacrament is a means of grace and marriage is a sacrament, not just a canon law contract). A person strongly called to marriage (in so far as anyone can be more strongly called than some other person) has every right to feel lonely, even though the energy within should indeed be employed in some service to others. Not everyone is able to achieve this perfectly or even at all (myself being closer to the worse end of the spectrum here), but while this marks some imperfection, possibly even some failure of character, it is not a categorical defect that no one else does, nor a complete and utter, disqualifying failure. Moreover, there are definitely more troublesome qualities in a person than loneliness and those are somehow considered socially acceptable while loneliness is not.

Finally, loneliness may be indicative of broader problems at root, but a human person is not perfect from birth, not normally at a sagacious stage of development in his early twenties, nor is anyone in the world totally free from defects. We have all experienced the effects of the Fall. We are all challenged. Some more, some less. Some are more strongly tempted but in turn have stronger will. Some may experience weak temptations and have weak will, but in turn have other redeeming qualities, perhaps in terms of being charitable to other peple or some other such quality. In short, we cannot be categorised in any reasonable way on the basis of a (perception of a) single trait. Much less so when that trait is basically a state of mind which is justifiable in the light of the circumstances.

As for misled faithwise, well, I’m sure she’s no great theologian. Few of us are. I suppose few people have a perfectly formed conscience and greatly developed theological concepts in full agreement with the truth. Obviously, this is a far extreme and it can’t be used to deflect a simple statement that someone is rather clueless in matters of faith or, as you say, misled. But many of us, probably most, possibly all, are misled in this or that aspect. There is nothing wrong per se with a card saying, “messages from your angel,” (figuratively as if she were your angel or perhaps figuratively in some other way), there would be something troubling if you could point towards a real interest in New Age in her and mere interest in whatever concepts might not be so flawed in New Age still isn’t the same as embarking on some great heresy.


#10

Now, you are rather astute in saying, "I don't want her to settle on me just because I complimented her and we managed to chat surface level for a few hours..." That is precisely what it says and you capture it right, in my opinion. A couple of hours chatting on a surface level is not normally a sound basis for a relationship. Yes, some of us have the knowledge (psychological mostly) to detect a whole number of desirable or undesirable traits basing on how the subject observed handles surface-level conversations over the span of several hours. Others have experience or some kind of perceptiveness which point towards a high possibility of such a person being a desirable potential partner. But normally we won't know so early. Obviously, if the girl decided she were ready to marry you after several hours of surface-level conversation, then I would worry about her discretion of judgement, but so far, she seems to be at the stage of, "wow, he's my Prince Charming!"

Next, "I think you like me!" is an endearingly optimistic but at the same time perceptive observation by an apparently cheerful, courageous and open person. There is nothing wrong with it unless you have some reason to think it was said in an obsessive, compulsive or otherwise "wrong" sort of way.

On the other hand, "Are you my Prince Charming?" means that either she's a naive romantic or perhaps she was joking, exaggerating, flirting or allowing herself to enjoy the moment. I would obsess over it, particularly because "Prince Charming" is an obvious reference to a fairy tale concept that she can't possibly be taking without a degree of critical judgement. "Soulmate" could be worse.

Her worrying about your answer, "I doubt it. I'm no prince, but just a guy who thinks you look like a sweet girl," could of course mean that you clashed with some imaginary reality that was choking its hold on her, but it can mean also that she was worried because you apparently weren't so romantic or wouldn't play her game of words, wouldn't enjoy the moment with her and so on. I have to say I would lose faith in the interest in me of a woman who didn't pick up the game. However, I would have to blind not to notice the very strong possibility that she was falling hard and fast and was disappointed that it wasn't equally hard and fast on your part. So in this light, she would have expected a declaration alluding to at least potential for some great feeling and shared destiny, whereas you "only" informed her of a reasonable level of appreciation and sympathy.

Then you also say, "The thing is, I can't stop thinking about her." I wouldn't overestimate that. What we can or can't stop thinking about at one moment is not the same at another time and what else we have to do or think about also has some bearing on it. Furthermore, people with *nonstandard *personalities can be quite alluring. Note that many "charismatic" political leaders have been even insane, let alone riddled with personality issues. Those things can contribute to their personal magnetism. Perhaps the way the can compell others so powerfully is somehow reflective of the powerful forces acting or even clashing inside them. Not to overpaint the picture of someone who is simply a young and rather naive girl chatting at a computer, basically her despair might be the same thing which makes her so compelling and difficult to stop thinking about.

"It's like I already care for her!" Well, you're a romantic yourself, too. And there's nothing wrong with caring for someone. Just don't let it cloud your judgement the same way you think it did hers!

"And so, I think about all the things which we do share in common, things which she was glad we share in common, like cooking and baking, gardening and flowers, swimming, lying in the grass in looking up at the stars, bonfires..." Again, you're a romantic. And the things you mention are basically those things that make a personal bond between persons continue. It's not so much the specific things as the fact those are the small things that keep a love going. It's good to find them in someone else too. They are very important and while they shouldn't cloud your judgement (not as in you absolutely can't think because I doubt it would get there, but you could perhaps put too much emphasis on those things and not ponder carefully enough what it means to marry someone for life, including all the hardships and difficulties that could come), you definitely shouldn't ignore them altogether! In fact, it's good to see someone still care for all those small things without giving in to a wishy-washy commercialised idea either.


#11

All in all, I would be very cautious because whatever Liberanos says is right: via the Internet, you don’t see the whole person, let alone the person in his environment, so you can’t see how she acts, how she lives her everyday life (is she generally naive or is it just a cute manner of approaching romantic relationships?), how she acts around people (capable of normal interaction and generally sizing up people and situations or always living in a fantasy in her head?) and so you can’t form an accurate assessment. Well, neither can I. I can’t tell you what kind of person the girl is except that I’m inclined to see her as at least a naive (probably innocently naive) romantic, open, trusting, kind (the last three adjectives are guessing) who may have some idealistic visions of love or even life (not like that’s bad of itself–our reality is as good or bad as we are to the extent we can affect it, so e.g. two above-average loving and kind people have every chance to create an above-average loving and kind marriage). I would definitely say she appears to be emotional and sentimental, but I can’t tell incredibly much because I don’t know what kind of impression she made of you or how justified she was in it (e.g. maybe you’re a totally charming guy, so why not appraise you as one?). Being devoid of cynicism is an asset, not a liability and having a little faith and trust in the goodness of people is quite refreshing. Just make sure the girl doesn’t display signs of real dependence (there are some clues leading there) or a *disordered *inclination to fall too hard and fast (where it really can’t be justified by your impression of her, your actions, your compatibility with her expectations, taken from the perspective of her openness, naivete and giving you lots of benefit of doubt, her general kindness and openness).

So in short, I would be weary of any signs of serious personality problems, careful with what really looks unwarranted or abnormal, but I’d be light with what could seem as a mild case of this or that or simply lack of conformance with general standards and expectations, bearing in mind that even the less apparently disordered ideals and standards of the modern society aren’t necessarily firmly based on Christian values or are, but priorities are messed up (e.g. it certainly is not wrong or demeaning or improper to be a generally kind, open, cheerful and trusting person that invests herself a lot, which we are prepared to look at with a dose of “healthy” cynicism, inactivity or even plain inaertia because we expect people to be “reasonably” self-concerned and not very outgoing or giving and if someone’s excessively happy, then something *must *be wrong with him–see where I’m driving at?). I’m aware that I’ve given you a lot of considerations that might seem naive, but this is not to make you give up a firm grasp of reality, as much as to open you up to the idea that some of us are still young, cheerful, open, kind, trusting, not jaded, as some others among us (probably including you or me) tend to be as a result of negative experience or rather the way we deal with it. My personal preference in the same situation would still be to be very careful, if there weren’t other significant things that you would know about and I wouldn’t, such as some particular way in which she said particular things and the general feel of it all.


#12

I don’t think there is anything wrong with you. But I would say that you need to be aware that people who frequent Catholic sites are really no less likely to have an online persona that differs from the real person than are people who inhabit other internet sites.

If this girl REALLY is the way she projects herself to be then it seems to me that she IS way too desperate. If (and I think this more likely) that she is not really that way, then either she likes to flirt or she is projecting an image which is different from the way she truly is.

I think meeting people online can be a great idea for some people. But you do need to make sure that you guard yourself so you become attracted to real people and not computer avatars.


#13

As Harlan Ellison said, when dating, the other person can smell despairation "like panther sweat".

Don't come off as desparate or needy.


#14

[quote="chevalier, post:9, topic:182011"]
I've picked a couple of points from your posts that I would like to address. Sorry if this sounds too formal or heavy, but I don't at the moment have that much time on my hands. :)

...]

I can't tell you what kind of person the girl is except that I'm inclined to see her as at least a naive (probably innocently naive) romantic, open, trusting, kind (the last three adjectives are guessing) who may have some idealistic visions of love or even life (not like that's bad of itself--our reality is as good or bad as we are to the extent we can affect it, so e.g. two above-average loving and kind people have every chance to create an above-average loving and kind marriage). I would definitely say she appears to be emotional and sentimental, but I can't tell incredibly much because I don't know what kind of impression she made of you or how justified she was in it (e.g. maybe you're a totally charming guy, so why not appraise you as one?).

So in short, I would be weary of any signs of serious personality problems, careful with what really looks unwarranted or abnormal

[/quote]

I think you're right in appraising her as somewhat naive. I'm a rather intuitive person, and my intuition is often right (even though I rarely listen to it :o), especially as I've learned to appraise people based on a few facts both shared openly and gleaned more subtly, but given her hobbies, education, and manner of dictation, I'd say you're spot on in labelling her as naive, simple, sensitive and sentimental.

As for what you say about not overestimating her loneliness and desperation to find a partner, her statements about me liking her, her trying to find someone and me being the one, and me possibly being her Prince Charming didn't unsettle me at first, even though the nature of the conversation up to those individual comments lended itself to the idea that she's trying really hard to "find a guy"; however, when she said that she was "sad" because of my response to her Prince Charming question, we talked about why she was sad, and she said, "I can't find anyone on here to date," which later developed into, "I want a guy." It was at that point that I postulated that I would hate for this girl to settle on me simply because I've paid her a compliment and some attention. I think I'm a well-written individual and can express my ideas and emotions well in black-and-white type, so no doubt she was likely drawn into this aspect of me as I'm sure it indicated to her that I was indeed interested in talking to her.

The reason why I care for her as I already do is, as I said in my OP, is because I know how she feels, I can relate to her, and where I can relate to her is not only in our shared romantic behavior but also in the loneliness and desperation that we both feel; however, I don't know that I would ever express (READ: complain) to any girl I was remotely *interested in "I want a girlfriend!" To that girl, *or any girl, such a statement reads like, as my concern rightly expresses, whatever comes first is best.

The question which I find myself asking is if I should drop it, or keep chiseling away at conversation with her. Yes, she's thrown up some red flags (right or wrong, in my opinion), but I know that if I drop it prematurely only after one conversation, prior to addressing these issues and really getting into deeper conversation about some fundamentals, as I truly think we began to address last night when I asked her *why *she wanted a boyfriend, then something about that seems both unfair and unreasonable.

I *do *like her already, and I can't ignore that fact nor should I, in my opinion, because it means that for all the red flags, those flags still do not outweigh the intrigue I continue to feel. Only time will tell what happens. If nothing else, I continue to talk to her throughout this week and we meet in-person sometime this weekend and continue to gauge it from there


#15

Chev... you're only 26. For pete's sake... don't think there's something wrong with yourself that you haven't found the girl of your dreams yet.

:shrug:

As for the OP....

You are just dealing on the internet with the doubt that everyone who is at the threshold of deciding whether to make a perfect stranger something more finds themself dealing with. It happens face to face also.

The problem is... is the person we're talking to (typing to) the kind that falls in love with a person, or the kind that falls in love with being in love? (Any person of the right age, gender and presentation will do...) If your name were Joe or Bob would it be all the same to her? Is she looking for someone/anyone and you are just the first person who stumbled into her path and you'll do? Or did she find something in your answer that sparked hope in her lonely soul?

As Chev said, loneliness isn't a crime. We all can be lonely at some time or other for various reasons. I personally was never so lonely as when I was married, but that was a whole 'nuther kettle of fish.... but learn from my example that marriage is NOT a remedy for that if you're with the wrong person. It can actually make you feel worse because you're having to live with the person who should have prevented it in the first place.

But if loneliness leads people to grasp onto the wrong people or every person or any person at all... then loneliness becomes a problem. Most of us are discerning in our reaction to loneliness. We ladies have a phrase for preferring to stay home than go out with someone who we don't want to be the cure for solitude. "I have to wash my hair."

Desperation is something else. Why is she desperate? I'd spend a few conversations in the very near future asking about past relationships. While it may be rude in the real world... it's important to ask about it up front in these situations. It can tell you a lot. Is she alone because every guy dumped her? Or was she engaged before and he had a wife and kids she found out about somewhere? Or has she been engaged to a lot of guys that are now in prison? All would indicate she tends to leap before she looks and her enthusiasm for a relationship takes precedence before any enthusiasm for a person that is grounded in fact and reality.

In other words... does she spin a fantasy about someone out of thin air and then try and force a relationship on that flimsy framework? They fall in love with their idea of you, not the real you.

Do you do this too?

Everyone does that once or twice. When they're young and stupid. Eventually, one learns and becomes more cautious.

If she has never had a relationship with anyone yet.... or a real serious one... then that's another deal entirely. Proceed with caution. For her sake as well as yours.

You don't say how old she is. That has a lot to do with it. I sounded a lot more like her when I was 22 than I do now. (To be sure!)

You don't know enough about her to make any decisions now. But you know enough that she seems sensitive enough that she could be hurt even at this point. So proceed gently.


#16

[quote="chevalier, post:9, topic:182011"]
I've picked a couple of points from your posts that I would like to address. Sorry if this sounds too formal or heavy, but I don't at the moment have that much time on my hands. :)

.......

So in short, I would be weary of any signs of serious personality problems, careful with what really looks unwarranted or abnormal, but I'd be light with what could seem as a mild case of this or that or simply lack of conformance with general standards and expectations, bearing in mind that even the less apparently disordered ideals and standards of the modern society aren't necessarily firmly based on Christian values or are, but priorities are messed up (e.g. it certainly is not wrong or demeaning or improper to be a generally kind, open, cheerful and trusting person that invests herself a lot, which we are prepared to look at with a dose of "healthy" cynicism, inactivity or even plain inaertia because we expect people to be "reasonably" self-concerned and not very outgoing or giving and if someone's excessively happy, then something must be wrong with him--see where I'm driving at?)......

[/quote]

:D Chevalier, I am continually amazed with both your verbosity and your insight. :p


#17

As long as you are going into this with mentality love her as a sister in Christ first and a potential girlfriend second, there is nothing wrong with this.
The new age cards are a little worriesome, but many people are shaky on their beliefs and as long as she is not attached them it may just be a bad judgment call. Chances are she is on a Catholic dating site because she is seeking firm ground in a mate who is Catholic.
Meet her and see if the good conversation transfers over. Remember what JPII said, entrusted to every man is the dignigty of every women. As long as you have her dignity on your heart, meeting will be a positive experience even if you don't hit it off.


#18

[quote="MercyMia, post:17, topic:182011"]
As long as you are going into this with mentality love her as a sister in Christ first and a potential girlfriend second, there is nothing wrong with this.

Remember what JPII said, entrusted to every man is the dignigty of every women. As long as you have her dignity on your heart, meeting will be a positive experience even if you don't hit it off.

[/quote]

Thank you for this! And yes, as I lay in the bed last night thinking about our conversation, I thought about these very things, and I've been praying for her throughout the day that she may find the partner God has in store for her even if it isn't me.


#19

LEt me prephase this by saying that my dh and I met on the internet and it was partially due to meeting him that I converted. Now, that being said - we spoke on the net for a full month before we ever spoke on the phone. Once we spoke on the phone we were done. A year and a half later we were married. Did we have our issues. Yes. Have we gotten through them. Yes. Has it strengthened our faith. Yes.

Now, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are you infatuated with the girl or the idea of being in a relationship?

Enough said for now.


#20

I know that you personally aren’t looking for an answer to this question, and I will definitely keep pondering it as I proceed, but right now, I find that I think more about her (and her little rose garden) than what we’ll do/not do together…

I think what makes this confusing for me is that I think that I do like her, as I’ve said, but I don’t know if the feeling is mutual - meaning, I have my suspicions that she may be more infatuated at this stage with a relationship than with me. The problem is, I can’t ever really confront that, especially this early, because someone who is infatuated with the idea of being in a relationship will say anything to get into one.


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