Sunday, May 26, 2013

The "Three Mistake Minimum" Rule on Dates

I've had a lot of girls ask recently how they can be more "open," more authentic, more vulnerable. They recognize that these dispositions not only allow them to be their true feminine selves, but are also attractive to men in a non-sexual way. This post is for them. If you are the kind of girl who prides herself for "speaking her mind" on dates, this post is not for you. In fact, you probably need to shut up more.

When my friend and I used to go out in San Diego, we would sometimes make a rule at the beginning of the night: no one could go home until they'd approached and been rejected five times by girls. If you were successful and chose to leave the interaction or got a phone number, it didn't count towards the total. Sometimes we would aim for three rejections, other times five rejections, and on ambitious nights we'd shoot for ten. It made for some fun times. The way we saw it, if we weren't getting rejected often, it meant we weren't trying hard enough. More importantly, it made approaching easier. If we knew we had to get rejected ten times anyway, we'd think "might as well get started now." It always worked. What at first seemed like recklessness actually made us successful, because our indifference to rejection gave us the bearing we needed to communicate our confidence; and women ended up liking us more.

As I pointed out in a seemingly unrelated post, taking risks is something we all need to do in order to succeed. We tend to avoid risks because they lead to failure, but risk-taking is also a prerequisite for success. We have to embrace the chance of failure if we want to succeed. This applies to dating as much as every other aspect of our lives. While there are many things we can control to attract the opposite sex, experience shows us that not everything can be manipulated, and there is a point at which we need to let go and accept the limits of our influence.

A lot of women find first dates nerve-racking. Whether or not they realize or admit it, they are nervous because they see a first date as a time to perform, a single opportunity to show their best side to a man, a critical chance to impress him. They are self-conscious because they want to avoid doing something stupid or unattractive. If you are one of these women, you know exactly what I am talking about. It can be paralyzing.

When you are having a conversation on a first date, all kinds of thoughts and reminders are constantly passing through your mind. Some of them seem appropriate and you verbalize them, but many you veto because you aren't sure if he'll agree, or whether he'll be interested. These are things that you would say without a moments' hesitation in front of a work acquaintance or a friend; but you don't want to say something that will turn off your date, or make him think that your tastes or opinions differ too much from his. So you leave these things unsaid.
Example 1 - He mentions a boring, generic Hollywood movie he saw the other day and really liked, and asks what the most recent movie you've seen was. You tell him that it was A Separation. When he asks how you liked it, you balk. You thought it was incredible, the best movie you've seen in years; but you are hesitant to tell him so because you doubt he appreciates foreign (let alone Persian) films, and he might even think you are a little weird because of it. You tell him "It was good... different, but good" and change the subject.
Example 2 -  You met online and it's your first date. He invites you to dinner but doesn't tell you the name of the restaurant ahead of time. You've had a long day so you are hoping for someplace casual where you can just kick back and have a beer with him. When he picks you up he is a lot hotter in-person than you expected. He takes you to a fairly fancy place, and when the waitress comes, he orders a cocktail. You do too, even though you never drink anything other than Bud Light and think cocktails are kind of pretentious.
In both instances you lack authenticity. This kind of guarded, deferential mentality is preventing you from being your true self. More to the point here, it is preventing you from finding a man that is truly compatible with you. I've been on dates with girls that have been very open and genuine, and I've had absolutely no interest in them because of it. They showed their true colors, and I didn't like them. But these girls are far closer to finding a guy than the women I've dated several times without ever feeling like I knew who they were. A few of these girls gave me glimpses of their true selves occasionally, and I loved what I saw. But the glimpses were far too brief and fleeting for me to really know whether it was representative or not - in other words, whether or not it was worth hanging around for. So I didn't.

You probably assume this guarded mentality in order to prevent yourself from failing with men (looking stupid); but it is also preventing you from succeeding with them. The kind of guy who would like what you decided against saying will think less of you for your silence, while the guy who would think poorly of you for it probably isn't right for you anyway. Your attempt to make the date work by avoiding your natural inclinations is futile, because, although your instinct is right - it will prevent you from looking stupid - it will also prevent you from being attractive to the men you are most suited for.

So next time you are on a date, do the equivalent of what my friends and I used to do in the bars of San Diego: do not go home until you've made a conscious effort to push through your reservations and express the things you would say in non-date situations - at least three times. In other words, don't go home until you've made three "mistakes." Remind yourself of this just before meeting him for the date, and then anytime you are alone during it (e.g. when you go to the bathroom). If you want to get hyper-practical about it, set an alert on your phone, so that you get a little vibrate reminder part-way into the date. If you get to the end of the date and still haven't hit three, just ask him anything you want  to know about him but "isn't appropriate" to ask.


Related Posts
1. Self-Improvement Takes Time
2. Men Care About How You Talk
3. Texting Tip 3 - When Should You Reply?
4. Living Vulnerably
5. Femininity, Authenticity and Compatibility

90 comments:

  1. Nice post! Never thought about it in that way. I am closer to finding the man of my dreams I guess :) I always viewed this as being comfortable w myself and being unshamed of who I am and what things I enjoy in life. I kind of got to that point by realizing that I can only be myself and the people who were meant to be in my life will want me regardless of whether I am perfect or not, and even when I fuck up they will forgive me. ...on the other hand, I'm scared shitless of taking risks in terms of approaching men. I almost never do it, but usually get approached by men so meeting men isn't a problem, but I certainly appreciate the tough position men are in when they try approaching women.

    i'm dating someone right now, sort of, I guess, but there's a guy I am in lust with and I will see him in about a week. he is kind of dating someone, but i want to approach him and let him know I think he's hot. how does a girl accomplish that without him telling me to go fuck myself?? do I say, "hey...how are you? ...I just wanted to tell you how hot you look today." that's unambiguous, succinct and to the point...no? :)

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    1. if you are both kind of dating someone, trying to fuck someone else (which is what it sounds like you are trying to accomplish) is a bit disrespectful to both of those someones- though I don't know either of your situations.

      nonetheless, as to your question, i don't think you need to tell him "how hot" he looks that day. Being that forward seems too aggressive, imo. If you approach him at all, I'm pretty sure he'll take that as a sign that you are into him.

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  2. This is an amazing article Andrew! It's amazing how long it took me to learn this.

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  3. This is a very original, unconventional point to make and also an important one for first dates. Thinking back to my first date with my current boyfriend, I think we both really clicked quickly because we opened up about things that would be considered risque but revealed our personalities and tastes.

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  4. This is unrelated - but what's your take on guys with girlfriends putting their relationship status in social media as 'single'? Are they serious about their girl at all?

    Some argue that they don't want others to know, but then wouldn't you just hide the relationship status?

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    1. FYI - my life does not revolve around social media, nor do I take social media that seriously. I am just curious, that's all.

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    2. If he is using social media, he should not have a "single" status if he has a girlfriend. There is no reason to hide it other than the fact that he wants to remain single to other women. I've observed this many times. If he insists on staying "single", because "it's nobody's business", "I don't care" or "what's the difference" or any other silly excuse, get rid and move on.

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    3. it means he's not serious about you and you should date other people. it's also a sign tha you have issues and seek validation in other ways because your relationship is not what you want. sounds like you need to dump him and find someone else who will live up to what you want. don't try to make someone change to suit you. you have to find someone else, and the more time you invest in a relationship that isn't what you want, the worse off you'll be for deluding yourself. the man for you will post on fb that he's dating you without hesitation. FIND SOMEONE ELSE AND MOVE ON.

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    4. your question is symptomatic of other issues. sounds like you need to move on. when something's wrong, it's wrong. move on and don't look back. you'll be better off for it.

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    5. On the other hand, it's possible that he either forgot that his Facebook profile says he's single or doesn't care what it says, or can't figure out how to change the setting--sometimes FB makes it really hard to figure those things out.

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    6. Changing the relationship status is the easiest thing in the world, it's just under "edit" on your own profile page. Forgetting it would only happen if he doesn't use his profile AT ALL, which is easy to find out. If he has been active on it, and it's set to single, that is not an accident. She can confront him and ask. If he even hesitates to change it, run.

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  5. Andrew, though this article is great, there is one problem. Women don't really get rejected the way men do. Even if men don't necessarily desire to date us, they will stick around hoping we'd sleep with them. We rarely get rejected the first or second encounter, we usually just get cut off gradually. I was having lengthy conversations and really clicked with this one man who around our fourth meeting started fading away (and we didn't date nor do anything physical yet).

    Overall, men will agree with all our qualities in the beginning hoping for sex. I think women should be cautious and see if he is still as "agreeable" to your likings and traits weeks into it.

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    1. So true!! I completely agree. Guys will take what they can get, and like to keep their options open.

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    2. True, men sometimes stick around just for sex, but they are going to stick around regardless. The men you WANT to stick around are the ones most likely to bail because they don't see dating potential in you due to your timidity.

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    3. Have u seen Silver Linings Playbook? That girl made every mistake known to man and still got ole Bradley in the end...probably a terrible example tho cuz they were both nuts...and its a movie. But I loved it anyway

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    4. Andrew-ur comment makes no sense. They will stick around for sex but will stick around but then won't stick around because of timidity??? Maybe I am missing something...

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    5. lol Andrews comment confuses me too

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    6. I was confused as well but read it again and it makes sense now. I think he means that the guys who want to sleep with you but don't really like you will stick around whether or not youre shy. The ones who you do want to stick around are the ones primarily interested in dating you, not sleeping with you. Your shyness might make them not want to date you, hence they'll bail before the first type of guy

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    7. Andrew thanks for your reply, but your comment was extremely confusing! What do you mean? Who said anything about timidity?

      Elaborate? I would love to know this because this has always been my problem with men. I don't know if men truly fade because I wasn't putting out or because I wasn't dating potential.

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  6. Wow I fit into this category. I just got dumped last friday by a guy I dated for 2 months because I am the shy/afraid to speak my mind girl (at age 26 sigh..) As the time went on, I should've realized that I need to open up and talk more, yet I was afraid of screwing up. I thought we had a good thing going. I did a lot for him to make up for my lack of communication skills and in the end he said I have qualities he's looking for, but there are things that missing, so he can't see us as bf/gf.

    I was shocked. I gave it my all (cooking, trying new things, he was very sporty) Looking back I wish I could change this like if I had been more open and show my vulnerability, we would have been able to connect better. Therefore move forward onto the next level. In my defense, he wasn't really trying to have a conversation anyway. So my fears became true.
    I don't like myself for this for sure, I am forced to change. As my brother said: shy girls are a turn off. For The next guy who hopefully will want to date me, I will be different. I certainly learned, too bad I can't go back.

    Any thoughts people?

    Elisia

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    1. I think you probably did too much (cooking, trying new things). You gotta save that stuff for marriage lol. Guys like a little mystery. I mean, sure Andrew says to open up and be vulnerable, and I agree. But you also have to be a little unavailable and a lot more confident. Maybe read that book "why men love bitches". You sound like a nice girl so don't be discouraged by the title. There are got some great tips in there. I know rejection sucks, but try to look at it as a learning experience. Also, don't beat yourself up for being shy or quiet. There are a ton of guys out there who would love to be with a shy girl who isn't loud and obnoxious. Maybe there's a really talkative guy just around the corner. Just be you and shake the haters off. :-)

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    2. There it's a post on the blog POSTMASCULINE.COM titled the guide to strong boundaries (i think). Read that. I agree with the commenter above that vulnerability - though possible something you need to improve - is probably less of a problem than you making it a little too easy for him.

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    3. There it's a post on the blog POSTMASCULINE.COM titled the guide to strong boundaries (i think). Read that. I agree with the commenter above that vulnerability - though possible something you need to improve - is probably less of a problem than you making it a little too easy for him.

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    4. Thanks so much! Haha I actually have that book. Need to reread it. I don't mind doing a little something for a guy, as long as it is reciprocated in a way. Don't like selfish people. You're right about being a little unavailable and more confident. Good thing I learned though, maybe I'm on the right track

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    5. Oh thanks for feedback Andrew!
      Elisia

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    6. Elisia, I don't think it is anything that you did. The guy just wasn't into you as much as you thought/would have liked. Sometimes you think you really clicked when in actuality he was only playing along to either get sex (worst case scenario) or simply being nice/pleasant (best case scenario). YOu can be exactly the same person and one guy will think you're just fantastic while another will think you totally suck.

      The whole point of this post is not to pretend to be someone you are not. If you are naturally shy and reserved, it will only backfire if you try to act bold and sassy. It is just not you and it will only seem forced which men can detect and call you out on. Also, just how long can you keep this up.

      The main thing is that you keep meeting new people and going out on dates and you will eventually find someone you are really compatible with.

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    7. Thank you for your input! :) You really make a good point. He was playing along I know that now. I find that I need a little time to warm up to people and will never be the girl who talks alot and jumps from 1 topic to the next.
      I'll take your advice and move on to someone I'm compatible with

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    8. And then there's the Postmasculine post about Ava and Susie: http://postmasculine.com/the-power-of-the-woman-care-giver

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    9. Interesting article, although I think Andrew has mentioned in the past that waiting on a guy hand and foot is a bad strategy??

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    10. I've read the Sherry Argov book "Why men love bitches" along with "Why men marry bitches" and I'm still not quite resolved as to how I feel about them. I feel that if one is too pedantic, like I tend to be at times, one can completely mismanage or misapply the advice from those books.

      For instance, one advice that Sherry Argov stresses is to have very minimal verbal negotiations with the man you're dating and to make your disapproval of his behavior clear with limiting contact with him or withdrawing some. But I've found that this sometimes makes things too easy for the guy especially if he's the type who would rather keep resenting the relationship to a non-serious/casual phase. What are your thoughts on this, Andrew?

      I agree that setting and communicating strong boundaries are the way to go - which in many ways is the essence of what Sherry Argov tries to communicate.

      I read that postmasculine post some time ago and was inspired to buy the book he recommends, "The Six Pillars of Self Esteem" and I'm currently on page 75 and it has to be one of the most sincere, all-encompassing self help books I've encountered thus far.

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  7. Hi Andrew, this is a bit off-topic, but I wonder if you could explain this guys behavior?
    I met him on a night out and he asked for my number. He seemed really keen and excited about meeting up. I only had that weekend to meet up because I had finals at uni for 2 weeks after. However, he said he was feeling too ill and hungover to go out, and I could come to his place instead if I wanted. Hmmmm, I don't think so! So I declined.
    For the next 2 weeks, he was texting me asking if I had time to go out (not very chatty otherwise though), but I declined a few times because I take my studying seriously!
    Instead I let him know when I would be done, which was this past weekend. However, I haven't heard from him :( Is this a lost cause? He seemed so sweet.

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    1. Any guy who tries to get you over to his place without even as much as a first date is obviously only trying to sleep with you. Don't text him again and don't reply if he texts you. - A guy.

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    2. Thanks for the replies :) He did ask me on a proper date when I was busy, but yeah, he does sound dodgy!

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    3. Did you tell him that you would like to go out when you got through the studying? Or did you just tell him when you'd get through studying? If you only did the latter, he probably thinks you were just making excuses and aren't interested.

      I am not saying that he isn't just trying to get in your pants, but he might just be interested in getting to know you. After all the effort he's put in, I think it's safe to shoot him a quick single text telling him that your exams are over finally and that you'd like to hang out if he'd still like to.

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    4. Thanks for the reply Andrew, I thought I may have put him off. I'll give it a try ...

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    5. His first try was to get you to go over to his place. He was probably thinking let's see what kind of girl this is. You said no = very good. He thought "this is a good girl, maybe I can take her out". So he tried to set up dates with you but when you kept saying you were busy he lost interest .. he wasn't sure at this point what you wanted. You rejected both of his plans .. and so he possibly went out with someone else.

      Girls, if you meet someone you like, don't say no to the first date. I'm sure you could have afforded a quick coffee - a break from studying - and told him you actually are looking to take a quick break and it would be great to see him, then you say you appreciated the coffee but now you have to get back to studying.

      It's very easy. Just be feminine and spontaneous ;) Good luck x

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    6. If you have to say no to a date because you're busy, say "no but how about a rain check" and follow up with a specific time when you're available.

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  8. Delete his number! That way the next time he texts you, you can reply with a "who is this?" He sounds like a loser. Who tells a girl they are trying to impress that they are too ill and hungover to hang out? A loser. That's who.

    Andrew, sorry. I need to stay off your blog. I'm taking over, it's too easy.

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  9. Agree! He's a big loser & gave you a Hugh red flag.

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  10. Solid, solid advice. I am guilty of this. Oftentimes when I've gone on dates recently, I'm ashamed to admit that I've made somewhat of a deliberate and concerted effort to be "perfect." An effort to be the most pleasant lady and not say anything that may come off opinionated, controversial, or inappropriate and it worked for a while until it didn't and the guy who may have originally found me somewhat compelling in the beginning would ultimately find me to be too eager to please him/his sensibilities and would lose interest.

    I really need to get back to a point where I can allow my authenticity shine through. I guess the reason why I deviated from doing so is because I didn't think my authentic self was feminine enough. I thought I was too controversial in my opinions, too politically incorrect. Nut now that I think back on it - the men who've loved me in the past loved me very much for my atypical views and personality so I'm definitely going to give this method a go and stop trying to control every single outcome that comes out of my next first date.

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    1. can allow my authenticity to shine through*

      But now that I think back on it*

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  11. I am a 23 year old law student from London, currently studying for the Bar exams before doing a summer internship then a Masters' degree.

    Right now I am working part time at a local Sainsbury's supermarket three days a week while not studying.

    I look younger than my age, with most guessing that I am 16-20. There is a 19 year old British-Bulgarian guy at work who I currently have a crush on. When we first met he asked me how old I was and told me that I looked very young before I told him my age.

    I have read your post on dating younger men, but would it be so bad if I told him how I feel? He is the kind of man I wish I had dated when I was 16-19. However, I was far too young and shy to date men as a teenager. Indeed, I have never had a boyfriend before. I am very attractive, I would rate myself as an 8/9/10 - though I am not tall enough to be a model. I would feel bad for stealing someone's youth, though I am still a virgin so I believe he is more sexually experienced than me.

    Should I be dating older men instead? I am approached by older men/men my age, though no-one has caught my eye as much as this guy I work with as a supermarket check out assistant. He will be going to university to study law in September, and I will be leaving the supermarket at the end of June, so I am not sure where our relationship/friendship will go in terms of direction.

    He is absolutely adorable, has a charming personality, he is really masculine and caring and he is really receptive to my femininity. Does he have the upper hand? Could our relationship work or will it just be a summer fling.

    Next time I see him, I want to say: "you are my crush, I so wish I had dated a guy like you when I was 19". I don't want to scare him off though.

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    1. We always lock eyes, he smiles and waves at me and it's so intense. We have a "connection". We have both agreed that working a menial job is "not the one" but I don't want to give my number to him first, I want him to ask for it.

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    2. If he hasn't even started university yet, I think he is too young. Remember that in the UK the "uni experience" is really associated with parties and dating/sleeping around, especially for guys. Even if he is not "that type", he hasn't even started his era of fun and getting around. In fact, he is still a teenager, however mature he acts.
      I would rather find a guy a few years older than you, in law school or someone who's graduated. Go on a few dates and date a bit so you don't feel like you are too late in the game and that the older guys have "the upper hand".

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    3. It sounds like you really like him, so I say go for it. You know you will look back with regret in years to come if you don't...

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    4. Yes date him, 19 isn't that old (depending on his maturity) based on your account, I think he is worth the effort.

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    5. Thanks for your responses. I think I will tell him how I feel, the worst he could say is "you are beautiful, but no". I am done with being a damsel in distress and tired of being approached by aggressive guys with nothing to lose.

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  12. I loved the post, but I found it somewhat contradictory to your previous ones.
    I mean, what if:
    You absolutely love short haircuts
    You are an adventure - seeking girl
    You have a witty and/or opinionated nature
    You are a pioneer in your field
    While you put effort into your looks, you have no interest in keeping up with fashion
    While showing traits of this type a girl would sentence herself to a string of rejections or not being approached at all, according to your previous posts. That could very easily lead to her losing any dating confidence. I know this is contrary to what you believe, but as a woman myself I know that many women conceal their masculine traits when encountering men. Where would you draw a line between authenticity and "getting" men?

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    1. I think Andrew meant to say that that if it is not truly or totally against your nature to be soft and feminine, that certainly do try to act and look more feminine to attract a broader range of men.

      Of course if it is really stressful and unnatural for you to be a certain way, then certainly don't be that way, but realise that the pool of men you will attract will be smaller (but more inclined to like your authentic self). So in the latter case, it is more quality than quantity.

      If you realise that you possess traits that are not likely to be attractive to men, then you may have to come to terms with the fact that not many man will approach you and those who do may reject you at some stage. Understanding this will not lead you to lose "dating confidence".

      Losing "dating confidence" is when you truly can't understand why you keep getting rejected.

      If you try to be someone you are not, then eventually things will really blow up in your face and in that scenario, nobody wins.

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    2. However, having said this, I do want to emphasise that traits that you think are "masculine" can be quite attractive to men, depending on context and degree.
      - short haircut. If you have an absolutely pretty face that can carry a short haircut, not so much an issue. If you have a slight petite slender womanly figure, the short haircult will not "masculinise" yourself too much.
      - adventure and fun seeking - great when it benefits your man. Seek thrills WITH him and him alone, making sure you don't get too foolhardy and carried away to the point where he has to rescue you every single time the two of you go out adventuring together.
      - have a witty and opinionated nature - as long as you can keep him laughing and in stitches great. As long as his family and friends think you are funny and do not get offended or upset by your wit and opinionated nature, all is well.
      - you are a pioneer in your field - great as long as you don't make him feel incompetent and incapable.
      He likes a strong, intelligent and independent woman - who absolutely loves and adores HIM. Who will not make him feel bad and be totally loving and loyal. Those traits are not mutually exclusive.


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  13. Great article, Andrew! I have a question regarding openness/personality.

    How can I be open/friendly/bubbly without implying I want to jump into bed with someone? I am generally pretty bubbly and have been told I maintain good eye contact (and I am shy about explicitly sexual conversations), and it seems that most guys read this as "do me now."

    Any tips?

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    1. Hi there,

      I think you should take most of Andrew's posts with a pinch of salt (and not literally). Also a balance between being yourself and having game works too (when coming into contact with him for the first time/several times).

      It also depends on the types of men you are pursuing. If the guy is authentic, then its worth being yourself, if not-then move on (his probably a alpha-jerk).

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    2. "How can I be open/friendly/bubbly without implying I want to jump into bed with someone ?"

      You are definitely giving out signals without you realising it. A lot of touching maybe. Perhaps you are too close and within his personal space. You may not having sexually explicit conversations, but you may be engaging in sexual innuendo or double entendre. Or having conversations about male-female relations and emotions.

      Then again, maybe you are conscious of what you are doing, but only like the attention and attraction bit, but unwelcoming of that part where he keeps insisting and having to beat him off.

      If this is really a problem for you, you need to work out what the signs are that says a man is really attracted and is going to make a move. Most women instinctively know this (it is genetic I think since it is linked to female survival) but if you are one of those who are truly clueless, you need to start learning.
      Then when you see the signs as you are engaging in "bubbly" conversation with a guy, PULL BACK. Stop whatever it is you are doing. Excuse yourself somehow by saying you forgot you had an appointment or something. If you are better skilled at interperonal relations, then take the level of the conversation down a notch - more boring topics. Less eye contact, remove yourself further from his personal space. Less smiling. Keep doing this until his behaviour changes from interested to neutral and then you may end the conversation, but let the conversation go through its natural conclusion.

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    3. HI think a part of being bubbly is 'throwing someone a bone' i.e. saying 'you CAN approach me, I'll not turn you down'. According to the general belief men only give you attention if they want to sleep with you. So if you give a man some attention, he believes that you 'want some' by projecting his own expectations. I'm curious though what Andrew has to say about this.

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    4. There is nothing you can do to stop men from overestimating your interest in them. If a man finds you attractive he will try to find reason that the attraction is mutual.

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:COqQIT6cQAgJ:torontosnumber1datedoctor.com/blog/how-men-overestimate-womens-interest/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

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    5. Sure Sony, that may be true. But it does not mean women who have absolutely no interest in the man/men in question should encourage his/their delusions. Unfortunatly most women do, because it gives them an ego boost.

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    6. I disagree. Most women don't care about whether they are attractive to men that they are not attracted to back. They don't get an ego boost from a bold man who is fat and stinky hitting on them. If women are encouraging a man's delusion then there is a certain amount of attraction on her end.

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    7. "...If women are encouraging a man's delusion then there is a certain amount of attraction on her end"

      If this be the case, then the man is not entertaining any delusions after all. He is not deluded to think that the woman he is attracted to, is attracted to him back.

      No, women do not get an ego boost from attracting men that are very low on the SMV or MMV scale, unless they (the women) have serious self esteem problems. Generally women are flattered when men are attracted to them, men who have an acceptable level of SMV or MMV, but for whatever reason the women do not find attractive personally. And when this happens, yes, the women do "encourage" the man for an ego boost. How do you think the term "beta orbiter" came about in the manosphere ?

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    8. Also, your terminology of "encourage" could very well be different. If you mean a woman prancing around in her underwear and saying "Here's the key to my house, call by anytime". Sure that is not going to happen.

      However, by "encourage" I mean giving the man mixed signals - that she could be made to like him romantically eventually - saying things like "A girl will be really lucky to have you" or "You are so special I don't know why you don't already have a girlfriend". Saying things like that to keep a man around and hoping and hoping and hoping......yup, beta orbiter !

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    9. I agree that a "beta orbiter" do encourage men to hang around for their ego boost. But they only get an ego boost BECAUSE those betas have some attractive qualities. Those qualities are just enough to keep the betas in the friendzone. The orbiter can enjoy these betas without dating or having sex with them. She is having her cake and eating it too.

      This blog talks about how important it is to cut men out of your life when they are not satisfying your romantic needs. This rule applies to men as well. A "beta orbiter" female is just like a "commitment phobe" male. It would be dumb to add another notch to my belt and have a man enjoy my looks and youth without committing to me.

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  15. Sort of off topic but I had to third wheel with my friend and her boyfriend since I was supporting another friend's play recently.
    I see she turned up her femininity a couple of notches though it got the the point where her feigning weakness was just a bit ridiculous.

    I know you gave advice that being more feminine instead of outwardly independent and masculine is better but what's the difference between being naturally feminine and genuine to annoyingly girly and fake?

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    1. There is no difference if you are a really good actress. The fact that you called it could be due to the fact that you know your friend really well to know she is not normally like this. Or you may have called it because she could not pull off this fake feminity.
      Perhaps the question you are asking is where do you draw the line between what is naturally feminine and what is stupidly girly. Women can tell the difference, I am not so sure if men can. Maybe the older more experienced ones do. Then again, men don't care as long as the women make them feel good about themselves. What is annoying to women can be endearing to men. A stupid woman may annoy other women because she presents a bad example of womanhood. However, to a very very insecure man, she can be a heaven-sent.
      Women can't and should not deign to tell men what they should or should not be attracted to, just as men can't and should not condescend to tell women what women should and should not be attracted to.

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  16. Hi there!
    English is not my first language, so first please excuse me if I make any mistakes.
    I am almost 38 years old and it seems I am always single. Ths last relationship I had ended 2 years ago and the guy was a narcissist, just like described in psychology texts.
    I am flat chested and I used to have a large long nose until I was 18, when I had a nose job. However, I have smooth skin and a harmonious body (I am quite sporty and use to be a dancer). I also have smooth skin and fair hair, which is not common in the country where I live.
    The thing is, my mother is british and perhaps because of this I grew up to be a very independant woman and very intolerant towards macho cultures, a bit like there is in my own country. I get irritated when men ask me if I cook well, or if men are unpleasently surprised if my house in untidy.
    It's as if I don't like the idea of having to be sweet and soft and submissive, even though I am naturally quite feminine because I am slim and petite, and people use the words dinky and cute and shy to describe me.
    I still can't avoid men meeting me and 10 minutes later saying to me they have a girlfriend! I think most men tell me they have a girlfriend soon after they meet me because they sense I am desperate for a boyfriend - which is absolutely true! I love dating! I love sex! I love cuddles! But I never have this, so I become desperate...
    Also, I work at the local railways, which is full of "horrible" men, and on one hand I don't want to dress up because I feel they will eat me alive...but I suppose I need to attract as many men as I possibly can so that I like at least some of them.
    Just sharing my thoughts :)
    Thank you for all your posts, honesty and advice!

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    1. Have u tried any online dating? You could post your picture that way, they could decide if they're interested, and then they wouldn't use the girlfriend excuse...just a thought

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    2. ..."which is not common in the country where I live".

      Maybe that sums up your problem. You didn't mention where you live, but if it is outside of the "Anglosphere" or the "Eurosphere", the culture you are immersed in may be "traditional", one which takes a very very negative view of unmarried women past a certain age. Also, these cultures have certain expectations of women which you do not appear to conform with - ie cook well, keep house tidy....etc.
      Maybe you should consider moving back to the UK (if your mother was a citizen I can't imagine why you can't claim residency there based on matrimony/patrimony). Either that, or you look for an expat man or may simply have no option but to change to find a man in the country where you are living now.

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  17. Fabulous and eye-opening post as always. And this is absolutely true--the more open I became, the more men were interested.
    Side note: A Seperation IS my favourite film. Kudos to you for mentioning it, because it's freaking terrific.

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  18. What if you have emotional problems? How soon can you open up to someone about that? I struggle with depression and anxiety, and while it's gotten a lot better since I started seeking counseling, I feel like I have to 'hide' my insecurities. I think I scared off the last guy I dated by mentioning having low self-esteem very early on, before we got to know each other that well (ugh, I don't know what I was thinking. I don't remember what context that came up in). I think I missed out on something really good because of that.

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    1. I can relate to that because once you do open up, if you get rejected it makes it that much more of a struggle to open up to the next guy. I do think guys would see confessing low self-esteem early on as a red flag for sure.

      I agree with what Andrew says about being honest on dates, but no way would I tell a guy anything super personal until I felt like I could trust him. When you tell someone your personal business too soon, you are setting yourself up for failure, in my personal opinion...."Don't throw your pearls before swine."

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    2. Read the post titled "never tell a guy why he shouldn't want to date you."

      And no, it doesn't contradict what I'm saying you should do in this post.

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    3. Andrew, this post is great advice, thanks! I just read your post "never tell a guy why he shouldn't want to date you" though and have a question regarding that. Don't you think that it is important at some point to let a guy know about negative aspects of your life? For instance, what if you have a serious medical condition that creates hardship for you on a daily basis but isn't immediately recognizable on a date? Obviously you have to talk about those things at some point, right? When is a good time/should you ever talk about them?

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  19. Ha - I love the idea of going out with the purpose of getting rejected. Really puts a nice reframe on the whole 'approach' thing.

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  20. Andrew,

    I think your advice on this blog is awesome. I cite your posts often on other blogs :) I agree with your examples that the woman lacked authenticity and that would prevent her from find a compatible man.

    However, I disagree that one should make "three mistakes minimum" on a date "to push through your reservations and express the things you would say in non-date situations."

    Rather than considering "expressing her authenticity" as mistakes, I would suggest that the woman needs to really understand and accept herself, warts and all, such that she can freely express herself without judging herself or being afraid of giving the wrong impression.

    Date with a positive mindset. You know who you are; you know what you have to offer; you know your quirks...and that they aren't for everybody; you know your faults and accept them; you know what causes you to be insecure; but you know that your whole package is one-of-a-kind. Date with feminine grace--with smiles, warmth, radiance, laughter. Date with compassion and trust, that the guy is just a human being, not a potential jerk with a penis.

    The right mindset will help project the right attitude, and that "right attitude" is what most guys key on for gf-material, after they've qualified the woman as hot enough to date. LOL

    That said, if a woman is bitchy, whiney, fakey, whatever, she really needs to get rid of bad attitudes and work on improving her personality. If she's bitchy, learn to be non-bitchy, and not just hide it on dates, I mean really learn to be a sweet person. If she's whiny, fakey, whatever, she needs to get rid of those qualities. If she's insecure, she needs to learn to NOT EXPRESS those insecurities. Be self-aware so that she can self-improve.

    Because ultimately while bitchy, whiny, fakey, insecure people can end up in relationships, those relationships are neither long-lasting nor satisfying.

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  21. This was a very good post, which leads me to a recent situation that happened to me.

    I went out with a guy for drinks, and we really hit it off. We talked about so many topics from family to friends to travel to career and many more and I felt totally myself around this guy. There was definite physical and intellectual chemistry, lots of flirty brushing and touching. The guy admitted he was nervous to go out with me and how he took extra care in selecting a spot that he thought was chic and cool knowing I work in the fashion industry. He even told me how all of his roommates noticed his nerves when he came home from work before the date. I thought this was endearing that he admitted nervousness. We laughed a ton and after he paid (of course, I offered!) he walked me home which was coincidentally two blocks from the spot he chose. We chatted for a bit outside my door and as I hugged him goodbye, when I pulled away, we locked eyes and he kissed me. I pulled away and he went back for more. He made lots of comments about hanging out again and jokes about things we had talked about on the date that we could do together, and even said, "I'm not going anywhere, I'll be around". I wished him a goodnight and went to my apartment giddy and excited.

    About ten minutes later, or when he got home (he doesn't live too far), he texted me saying what a great time he had and that he was so glad we had met. I told him I had a great time as well, and he said that margaritas were his new favorite drink (the place we went to specializes in gourmet margaritas). I replied that my homemade ones could compete and he said "we'll have to see about that, I'll have to try them."

    Two days later he texted me to see what I was doing and if my friends and I wanted to come meet him and his friends out. I was out of town for the memorial day holiday so I made a joke about how all the normal people had left the city. He sent a few more responses but didn't text me for too long as at that point it was getting pretty late at night.

    I didn't hear from him for the rest of the weekend so on Monday night I texted him saying "hope you had a great holiday weekend :D". No response. Its now been almost two weeks since I've heard from him.

    What I can't figure out is what happened? He seemed very interested and then he disappears...I'm so confused. I am talking to other guys at this point so I'm not hung up on it, but I did think we hit it off and I'd like a guys opinion on what happened.

    He is only a year older than me (he's 23) and I know his ex-gf now has an internship in our city so who knows, they could have gotten back together? It is all just mysterious to me.

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    1. a man's interest can sometimes fade fast. They're like goldfish and they forget how originally cute and cool they thought the girl was if they hadn't seen her in a few days. he probably didn't want to invest a ton of time into texting someone he only went on a date with once, meaning he didn't see you as the woman he wants to marry. plus, he's young as helllll girl. not ready to settle yet.

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    2. I am not a guy, but a chick with a lot of dating/game experience so I feel the need to respond. I think he is definitely distracted by someone else at the moment, but he will be back. You are doing the right thing by talking to other guys. Just don't text or call him and he will be back if he thinks you are hot. This happened to me recently. I thought I would never hear from the guy again, and all of a sudden...bam! He was back. But yeah, I agree with the reply above. He's really young and you are probably just "out of sight, out mind" at the moment

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    3. So, you all were right. On Saturday he texted me "hey stranger, are you going out tonight" to which I told him my plans and he said he was planning to stay closer to his neighborhood. I said "we should all meet up later" (meaning our respective groups of friends). No response...agh, I'm just as confused as ever.

      Now I'm almost sure he will be back yet again. Ran into a guy I went out with a few times that things awkwardly ended (he was pretty awkward but he and I were cordial and he saw many other guys talking to me which is always good) and met three new guys this weekend (well two I vaguely knew, both of whom got my number), all of whom who have already texted me to make plans, but of course this is the main guy that I'd actually like to talk to since we hit it off so well.

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    4. just forget about him...don't text him.

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    5. And stop talking about him. And don't respond

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    6. @original poster,

      I'm assuming you live in NYC, since you said "everyone leaves the city for memorial day". I think you are 22. I am speaking from my own hard-learned experience: forget him. I don't like that he is texting you at a late hour "are you out tonight" - that screams booty call. If you are okay with that, then go for it...if you are looking for a relationship, scratch this man out of your life. I don't care how wonderful and fun the first date was and that he was nervous and he paid and picked a great spot. If he is interested in you for a real relationship, he will communicate with you constantly and plan to see you in advance, and you should develop feelings for a man who expresses his genuine interest in you - a great first date is not an indicator of anything. I have been on many a first date with the same story line as you - great date, good convo, good chemistry, guy seems VERY into me, texts, etc, but then never makes plans for a second date and then I get a late night text on a friday or saturday night. I'm only learning now: axe these men! (assuming you are looking for something meaningful).

      Andrew has several excellent posts about not initiating conversation, and how a woman of high value doesn't worry about any one suitor because she has several options - and weighs these options based on how they court her, versus texting her late on a Saturday night - read those and re-evaluate. Good luck!

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  22. Andrew,

    Is it possible to for a guy to remain just friends with his ex? If they broke up on mutual terms (she broke up with him), but he still stays friends with her.

    Does this means that he probably still has feelings for her? Or can he just truly remain friends with his ex. By friend, I mean talked to on a regular basic or commenting on each other Facebook, instead of acquaintance.

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  23. I think you will enjoy this site Andrew:

    http://www.masculinity-movies.com/articles/understanding-the-masculine-and-the-feminine

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  24. @Andrew and other posters

    I need some advice on whether I've messed things up with this dude. We went on a date on Tues. He asked me twice during the date whether I'd want to go on another one to which I replied positively. I then sent him an email that night thanking him for the lovely date, and he thanked me then asked me, "would you like a second one?". The next day I replied with:

    " Another date would be great. :) Even thought of a few ideas of what we could do based on what we talked about (haha not bungee jumping) so I think you know what I mean ;)."

    My male friend says that would have come on too strong to the guy, although it wasn't meant that way. Should I just wait for a reply? He is going on holiday tomorrow and I don't want him to lose interest. I want to leave him my phone number. But would that come across as chasing?

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    1. Message him before he leaves and tell him to have a good holiday, but don't say anything about a date. Just say something like, "Let me know when you're back!"

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    2. Thanks. I've done that. Here's hoping. Cheers for your advice. :)

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    3. Well since he asked me for date ideas, I replied with some. He got back to me this morning saying that he was cool with my idea but that his father had been to place I mentioned and that it wasn't that good. haha Anyway so he said "We can decide on something when I get back. Thanks for your number. Talk to you soon".

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    4. That sounds promising.

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    5. Thanks Joe. I guess I should wait and see if he gets in touch with me then, right? I think I am starting to get clued into what this blog says. :)

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  25. I would appreciate more posts on this topic, particularly how to balance authenticity with femininity. I love dressing up and I'm a definitely girls' girl, but I have some definitely more masculine qualities as well, such intense ambition and an adventurous spirit.

    I think my struggle with this may have been part of the reason I just got dumped on date 11. I have been dating a guy I really like during my school breaks -- he lives in the same city as my family. He really took initiative in pursuing me when we met in January, and we seemed to hit it off on our first few dates (in January and April), but during my current visit things have been a bit off. He was aware that I lived across the country when we met, and in April had suggested that we spend more time together during my June visit and then consider a long-distance relationship for the next two years while I finish school (with visits as frequently as possible.) Last night he told me that although he had fun with me, and would be interested in seeing me if I were in town again, he didn't think there was enough of a connection to try to make the distance work.

    At first I attributed his ambivalence to comparing me with a hot-but-crazy ex he recently bumped into (yes, that kind of bumped into -- ugh -- don't know why he told me) but now I'm wondering about my role in it. This was my first time dating someone I really liked since I broke things off with a boyfriend of six years about 8 months ago, and I feel like I tried so hard to make a good impression, I didn't let my authentic self shine through and that prevented us from really connecting (both emotionally and physically). On early dates, I downplayed some of my intense career passions (told him I'm studying to become a pediatrician when I'm really hoping to be a pediatric surgeon), my very liberal politics, and my sharp, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor. I tried to act a bit more demure than I usually would, but while it got him interested, it didn't seem to keep his interest. Then when I relaxed a bit and was more honest during our most recent dates this month (talking about how awe-inspiring my first time scrubbing in on a C-section was, defending gay marriage adamantly, admitting that I once got caught skinny-dipping in college) he seemed really confused and uncomfortable.

    Before you ask, yes we did sleep together, dates 6-10 (April and June). While I would usually wait for a commitment, in this case I guess I wanted to know if we had that connection before I left town for two months but it seemed a bit premature to commit to a monogamous LDR after date 8, even after sex. And no, I have no intention of ever talking to or dating this guy again -- I want to know what I can do differently with the next person.

    Any advice would be most appreciated -- I'm hoping to avoid making the same mistake with the next person I date! How can I be more demure and feminine while also showing enough of my personality to inspire a connection?

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  26. This is great advice. My friend, who is divorced, 45, bald, wears glasses and is slightly out of shape, attracts women in droves because he is authentic with them. Has great manners and a very grounded type of confidence.

    None of us (i.e., his close friends) can quite figure it out. He is like catnip to really, really cute 30-something women and has serial relationships with total hotties. The reason for it seems to be that he has opinions and is authentic and real, and even self-effacing ... and is willing to take chances. While not rude about it, he does not worry if they have different opinions.

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