10 Things Men Need To Start Doing To Become Gentlemen Again

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How to be a gentleman in the 21st century, minus any creepy, unintended sexism.

 

The world works in funny ways. I blame it on mankind’s zealous oversimplification of complex problems. When we discover that a part of our culture is flawed, if we find that the way things are is not ideal, we label it as wrong, making a 180-degree turn in the opposite direction.

Take, for example, the concept of being a gentleman, being chivalrous and whatnot. It’s no secret that many individuals – women and men included – feel that any blatant differentiation between men and women constitutes as sexist. For good reason, many people (hopefully, soon to be all) believe that men and women should be treated equally.

Back in the day, we had widespread sexism sprinkled with learned chivalry. And while the two weren’t one and the same, when we had the initial uprising against sexism, being a gentleman began being perceived as yet another way for men to hold their superiority over women – helping them because they can’t help themselves.

The problem is that reason behind such chivalrous actions often came from a good place and not some chauvinistic beliefs. Being a gentleman is something that every man should strive to be. Not because women need men, but because those special women in men’s lives deserve to be treated especially well. Men should be gentlemen because there is no good reason to be anything else.

1. Be honest and open with your intentions.

Not really looking to date? Then tell her that. If you’re looking for one thing and she’s looking for another then you’ll clearly not work out. Not filling her in is deceiving her and, therefore, wrong.

Women are not objects, but individuals. They aren’t for you to use and toss away. If you are going to engage in any social interaction, even if it be coitus, then you should both be clear on where you stand. If you’re looking for a one-night stand then you don’t need to lie to get it – there are plenty of women out there who are more than down for a simple no-strings-attached romp in the sheets.


2. If you know it won’t work out, then don’t lead her on.

Sometimes we think that something can work and is going to work only to later have to accept that, in reality, it can’t and won’t. It sucks. We can even be convinced that we’re in love with someone only to get disillusioned down the road – it happens to the best of us.

If that’s the case, then man up and do what needs to be done. Don’t waste your time and, more importantly, don’t waste hers. You have the right to waste your time, but you don’t have the right to waste hers.


3. Actually listen when she talks.

This means being interested in the things she says. If you find no interest in whatever it is that she enjoys talking about, then be polite and listen for as long as you can. If she’s the woman that you’re dating then you may need to think if the relationship can work in the long run, but nevertheless if you’re going to be having a conversation with anyone, man or woman, listen to him or her when he or she talks to you.

Don’t just wait until it’s finally your turn to talk, but actually listen to the words that she is speaking. People just want to be heard; women are no exception.


4. Respect her as an individual.

She is not an object. She is a person. An individual. Somebody that is separate from you and, although you may be in love with her, she is not a part of you. You cannot treat her like you own her, but respect her as a person.

This means giving value to her thoughts and opinions. This means giving her space when she asks for it and respecting her wishes even when they don’t align with yours. Respecting her means never forcing your own thoughts, wants or beliefs onto her when they aren’t in her best interest.


5. Respect her privacy.

If you are dating then you should trust her enough not to feel the need to go nosing around through her things. Many men often think that it’s okay to go digging through their girlfriend’s cellphone when they believe she’s sneaking around behind their back.

The problem with this is that they already believe that she is sneaking around behind their back. This is an issue unto itself that needs to be addressed. If you can’t trust her then you can’t really love her. If you do love her and believe that she loves you, then respect her privacy.


6. Support her dreams and goals with positive reinforcement.

Being a gentleman isn’t about opening doors and paying the tab – although I don’t see any reason not to if you’re able to. Your girlfriend deserves to be treated special because she is special – she’s your girl. Nevertheless, being a gentleman is really about being kind, caring and supportive. We’re not here to judge her.

We’re here to support her, to help her be the best person that she can be. As a man, you are your woman’s teammate. Always support her dreams and keep a positive outlook on her future. If you don’t believe in her then she’ll be less likely to believe in herself.


7. Avoid lying to her.

I’m not the type of person who believes all lies to be bad. However, lying is dishonest. Whether that dishonesty leads to good or bad varies. Honesty is the foundation, which every relationship rests on. We need to know that we can trust those who are closest to us because we don’t want to have to always have to keep our guard up.

Being in love greatly depends on pushing our guard down. Lies ruin the trust and often force our partners to question the relationship’s longevity. You shouldn’t have to lie to the woman you love. If you do, then you’re doing something wrong with your life.


8. Make her feel special.

Everyone wants to feel special – men included. What being a gentleman is truly about is making the woman understand how incredible she is. We’re not trying to feed her stories or make her believe something that doesn’t actually exist. Our only job is to make sure that she understands and never forgets how amazing she really is. It’s really not that difficult. Nor is it much to ask. We all need a reminder from time to time.


9. Make her feel safe and secure.

The need for security is something that came about from evolution. We are intelligent creatures who understand the concepts of danger and safety – we understand how important it is to keep danger out of our lives.

As a man, it isn’t your job to protect your woman, but if you love her, why wouldn’t you? Sure, she can protect herself. But if you’re both protecting her then, chances are, she’ll stay safe for longer. It’s not always about keeping her safe as much as it’s about making her feel that she is safe and secure. Be her rock when she needs one.


10. Don’t abandon her.

Life can be tough. The way that life influences us and the way we react to certain instances are greatly the result of circumstance. Sometimes we make mistakes and do things that we regret. Why we chose to do so is what really matters. It’s one thing to break things off when they need to be broken off and it’s another to abandon your lover prematurely.

Guys have a knack for commitment issues – not all, but a good number do. Don’t allow your fears to get in the way of her and your happiness. Don’t abandon her when she needs you most because, by the time you realize the mistake you’ve made, it’ll be too late.

 

Originally appeared at Elite Daily

Photo Elite Daily

 

Paul-Hudson_avatar About the author: A young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur, Paul Hudson has been writing for Elite Daily nearly since the start. Currently located in Manhattan, Paul Hudson primarily devotes his time between writing for Elite Daily and the two entrepreneurial endeavors he is currently pursuing: a mining company in Turkey and a video content platform called lilHub. He loves sharing his life experiences with his readers and makes sure to practice what he preaches.

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Comments

  1. Any and all of these things needs to be reciprocal. That they have become less common is not just a male failing but a human issue. There are simply too many users out in the world of both sexes and all orientations/genders.

    • Stephanie says:

      Women generally aren’t out looking just to get sex. Today’s men like to assume women will use sex to get something from them to condone their own lying and manipulation. I believe pornography has really warped men’s views on women and they feel any attempt of a woman to make a relationship work is her using him. But no one is entitled to lie to get what they want.

      • It doesn’t matter what you’re looking to “get” from someone (sex, security, et cetera), if you are treating them like crap to achieve your own ends, you are an asshole. Assholery knows no gender lines. Women objectify men just as much as men objectify women, but oftentimes for different reasons. No reason stands as an excuse. Period.

        • Anonymous says:

          Right on! Well said!

        • Thank You. Women see man as the means to children and a supplemental income. Why should we be lectured about who’s exploiting whom more so then women.

          • Hello:

            Kindly allow me to introduce myself. I am a female, who has zero interest in children, will never have any (tubal ligation), have my own source of income, and the man who deserves me will enjoy being pampered. If this is exploiting him, and he wants to leave, I will step aside.

          • Zach Wear says:

            This sounds like Freud/1960′s advertising logic. There is nothing more ridiculous than suggesting that people only romantically relate to other people for money and reproduction. How boring.

          • Supra deluca says:

            For real, dude. What the heck. Do you really believe straight men only have money (when they have it) and sperm as valuable qualities? You think way too low about yourself and your own gender.
            Also, you are just projecting what you think about men onto women in general and you are wrong again; most women could care less about your fricking money (they just expect you to have a job and that is all) and even if they wanted a child with you it is mostly about sharing and nurturing a life together with the one they love and trust.

      • trey1963 says:

        At least the men are typically fairly straight forward about it. Trying to make a relationship work from woman’s perspective can look very different from a man’s perspective…….both may value different parts higher or lower and see different things as red flags. Gameplaying is more of the issue in your complaint, something some members of all genders seem to do rather perniciously well albeit quite differently.

        • Tiffani Jones says:

          Perhaps you are straightforward, but that is not true about a lot, if not most men. I was very close friends with a guy. We hung out for hours EVERY DAY for 6 months. I never as much as kissed him. Friend zoned totally. Finally, he talked me into inner-tubing in the snow. We had an amazing day together. We slept together – after spending everyday together for 6 months, mind you. The VERY NEXT DAY, I get a call from his PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND. What? I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend, let along a baby on the way. Let me reiterate that I spent every single day with this guy for 6 months and never one time did he mention he was in a relationship or that he was about to be a father. I felt like shit, but it wasn’t my fault. Men are liars by omission. They use women, they manipulate to get what they want. He was a nice, hard working guy, not some worthless low-life. They will lie straight to your face without blinking. Women just want a nice house and kids.

          Tiffani despite the experience you had that does not mean that you can make a blanket statement about men and women. I would have likely deleted that portion earlier but since there are now several responses to it I’ll leave it up. My apologies to those affected by this statement. – GMP Moderator

          • Stereotype much?

          • @ Tiffani Jones,

            Very sorry that happened to you. Obviously, he was a man of poor character,=.

            There is much missing from your comment. One, just how did his girlfriend get your number? Two, why did she call the VERY NEXT DAY? Three, if you were with him everyday for 6 months, just what kind of life did each of you have?

            I find it very difficult to believe you could be around someone for 6 months and not know anything of his social life.

            Clearly, what he did was wrong. What did he have to say for himself?

            Lastly, if he wanted sex he sure as hell waited a very long time (6 months). Did you have a boyfriend?

          • Cyborg6971 says:

            Someone has daddy issues.

          • Wow. So glad you’re here to tell us what the typical man is like from a dataset of ONE FREAKING PERSON.

            My ex-girlfriend tried to throw a vase at my skull, apparently I can therefore infer that the “typical woman” is violently abusive.

            Funny how that works, huh?

          • “Men are liars by omission. They use women, they manipulate to get what they want. He was a nice, hard working guy, not some worthless low-life. They will lie straight to your face without blinking. Women just want a nice house and kids.”

            Great jobs mods. Why is this misandrist allowed to speak?
            Women just want a nice house n kids? Oh please a lot of women I’ve known have been users and treated multiple men like shit. Lots of people, not just one gender, are users.

          • Lolabunny says:

            Blanket statements just like “budmin” (“Women see man as the means to children and a supplemental income.”)?
            She is a misandrist hey, let’s get her! But the misogynist can be forgiving, right… in fact, the super good men here did not even notice him.

        • Supra deluca says:

          Unnecessary defensiveness. She was saying nothing wrong.

          “At least the men are typically fairly straight forward about it.”
          But then “Assholery knows no gender lines. (…) No reason stands as an excuse. Period.” right? So why are you acting like you are dismissing or minimizing assholey men’s assholery here?

    • Absolutely right Trey1963. Today, women are told to have sex if they want, dump the guy if they want, but above all make sure they themselves are happy and they are true to their own desires. Its funny, because at some point many people (like the author) decided that what’s “right” must be what women naturally desire and not what men “naturally” desire. I call BS to that. A man has every right, as does a woman, to pursue sexuality in the way he feels is best for him. However, if you are going to impose a set of rules, the rules need to be the same for both, not the guy placating the females ideas of social perfection and the female putting herself first. The sooner everyone wanting change in this area realizes that, the sooner we can all get to a realistic solution instead of just emasculating guys from age 5 forward by teaching them to try to conform to the female version of right.

      • “A man has every right, as does a woman, to pursue sexuality in the way he feels is best for him.”

        I call that BS! No one has any right to use another person’s body for his/her own pleasure… Be honest with your intentions, the other person has the right to make hi/her decisions as well.

        • “A man has every right, as does a woman, to pursue sexuality in the way he feels is best for him.”

          Yeah, it’s just a shame that a woman ‘pursuing sexuality’ means risking rape and loss of reputation, so maybe a man has more right to this than women do… hence the need to be gentlemen. With power, comes responsibility.

          • Well if men weren’t expected to pursue sexuality as a way to validate their manhood….

            Having to fulfill a gendered expectation isn’t power.

            • trey1963 says:

              To some degree it would be best if people just stopped trying to fulfill cultural expectations……..and followed their own personal path…..yet as social creatures we worry about other’s perceptions of ourselves, based on the need to give and accept group support. It’s badly out of balance in both gendered terms and expectations, Traditional men and women expect things and support from the intermeshed gender biases that no longer are possible without being one sided, in either the giving or getting……Yet progressives don’t have a truly viable alternative……we’re culturally at a cusp and it turns on the pain of everyone’s expectations that no longer mesh smoothly as the “rules” are heavily in flux. Men as a group/gender lost much, yet the culture is rather slow in developing ways to compensate, that will be accepted. Things the women as a group/gender offer as of yet often fail to include giving up/sharing roles/rights that men would value as much as what they’ve as a group/gender lost.

        • John Anderson says:

          @ luzy

          What conditions other than sexual desire are necessary? A guy was convicted of rape because he lied about being Jewish. Other guys because they promised marriage and then backed out. What if I don’t tell her the car I’m driving is my friend’s car? What if a woman doesn’t tell me she has breast augmentation surgery? I expected them to be natural, but realized that they weren’t during sex. How honest do you have to be?

          How straight forward do we need to be with our intentions. We tell guys all the time to be honest and straight forward. What would that look like for a woman? Should she tell him up front if she’s not willing to have sex until certain criteria are met? I need to know you can provide for a family financially. You meed to commit to a long term relationship, etc. Does she need to be straight forward with him about her intentions, expectations, and how she sees the relationship progressing and when would she need to do this by so as to give him the opportunity to make an informed decision?

          • You are taking this to a superficial complicated level…Be honest with your intentions before being sexually/romantically involved, takes character and self awareness. Telling someone that you are not ready for a relationship, that you do not believe in commitment, that you only want someone that can provide x or z (or vice versa), before getting involved sexually, gives them the choice to decide if it is worth to take the risk of getting hurt. Intentions are different than breast augmentations, nice cars or religious affiliations. That is what I meant. If one person wants something serious and the other just want something material (like sex, money etc) they are at different levels and it is important to let them know. I have also seen this when the man tells the woman he wants something casual and the woman goes along lying to herself or thinking she can change him to later get hurt and disappointed; and realizing she wasted her time when she could have been out there meeting the right man.

            Right now I ask straight forward to people, what are you here meeting me? what are you looking for in a relationship? Some men tell me what they think I want to hear, and others don’t know how to answer that. All I want to hear is the truth. I may not sleep with you, but I will respect you for being honest. It takes a lot of growing up to be a real gentleman and not be afraid that a woman will walk away because he told her the truth.

            • John Anderson says:

              @ Luzy

              It’s nice to know that there are people who agree that people can be used for more than sex. I don’t disagree that people should be upfront, but I think that what’s being missed is how detailed do we have to be and when we need to relay the information. If I’m definitely looking for sex, but am genuinely open to a committed relationship, do I really need to tell her that I’m just or mainly looking for sex? I’m talking genuinely open not just convincing yourself you’re open. If I’m looking for an LTR and for medical reasons can’t have children, Do I have to tell her I can’t have children right off or could I wait until the relationship becomes more serious?

              I think this is what some people might be talking about. Part of dating is marketing. I’ll present myself in the best light although it may not be 100% true. Part of dating is discovery. Most people won’t discuss every aspect of their life, which might impact a potential life partner, although there are some people who believe that background and / or credit checks should be run on a potential life partner. Even if you believed that, I’m not sure you should be demanding a background and credit check prior to accepting an initial date.

    • I’m sorry but why would women be treated “special” or why men should be chivalrous in any way only to have women rage at us for being sexist because we assume women can’t do it themselves?
      Nope, i treat women as equals – no more ‘respect’ than what she EARNS through her actions. Your sexual organs do not ENTITLE you to privileges.

      Welcome to REAL equality.
      This article is pure traditionalist garbage!

  2. I really hate to tell you, but the gentleman ship has sailed and isn’t coming back to port. I, personally, have no interest in objectifying myself to women anymore when it has become “misogynist” to expect ladylike behavior.

    • it’s the height of cruelty to expect men to be gentlemen in a world where women are not expected to be ladies.

      • Indeterminate says:

        You realise that the codes for “ladylike” behaviour meant behaving as if a woman had absolutely no agency or strengths of her own, and that’s why it’s largely been abandoned. Now, good manners in general could use a serious comeback! The sense of entitlement and rudeness of both genders has gotten out of hand in my opinion. I see it as less of a gender issue, and more of an issue of how to behave with manners and grace. And often my position on good manners leads me, a woman, to behave like a gentleman!

  3. Everything you write is exactly true…for both sexes. My pet peeve with relationships, if they last an hour or 60 years, is game playing. People waste more time getting around who they really are because they don’t realize that if you just present yourself as who you really are you will find the person who matches up with you faster. That person may not be perfect but they may be perfect for you. Your bond will also last longer. Honesty leads to trust. Trust leads to intimacy and that can lead to love. That’s why they often tell you to become friends with the person you are with before making a commitment. Friends are more honest with each other and form a more intimate bond. Jumping into a commitment (whether you jump into bed quickly or not) is not an ideal way to find long lasting love. Take your time, get to know each other and learn if you truly LIKE each other before going further. Part of being a decent human is to treat each other with respect. To be kind to each other. To care for, listen to and protect each other. And that isn’t based on the sex of the people involved. It’s just human.

  4. “feel that any blatant differentiation between men and women constitutes as sexist.”

    That’s pretty much the definition of sexism. Any person who uses their logic understands that treating any person differently because of their sex is, by defintion, sexist. It’s the people who let their emotions override their intellect that get defensive over the label.

    People would rather be emotional than logical, and so they will get offended by a definition.

    • Lolabunny says:

      Emotions and logic work together. We even have emotional logic. But I guess you are just another American who still do not know about that?

  5. Oh *goody*, more gentleman apologetics.

    Back in the day, we had widespread sexism sprinkled with learned chivalry. And while the two weren’t one and the same, when we had the initial uprising against sexism, being a gentleman began being perceived as yet another way for men to hold their superiority over women – helping them because they can’t help themselves.

    Well, intent isn’t magic, as feminists like to say. Too bad!

    The problem is that reason behind such chivalrous actions often came from a good place and not some chauvinistic beliefs. Being a gentleman is something that every man should strive to be. Not because women need men, but because those special women in men’s lives deserve to be treated especially well. Men should be gentlemen because there is no good reason to be anything else.

    I don’t know – being consistent is pretty darn important ^_^

    • So basically the expectation has gone from men being expected to act gentlemanly in order to maintain gender expectations to men being expected to act gentlemanly because they are supposed to?

  6. I honestly think men and women want the same things. Love, respect, to feel special…..In today’s fast paced world of social media, online dating, instant gratification and always looking for the next best thing, it is easy to blame each other for what is really our own lack of honesty. When I am honest with myself, it is very easy to kindly tell a man that while I value his friendship, I’m not interested in dating. It doesn’t have to be hard, and it isn’t when we are mature enough to communicate well. If I ask a man to open my door for me simply because I like that, and he doesn’t, then it is up to me to tell him how I feel about that. Healthy, respectful relationships happen when two people are willing to communicate about what they want. It does go both ways. It takes two people to make a relationship work and two to make it fail.

    • We all want a lot of things…but we’re not gonna get them.
      And there are plenty of “ways” a man can be besides chivalrous, he can be…get this…INDIFERENT.
      Problem solved.
      You are the fish and we are the bicycle.

      • Lolabunny says:

        So defeatist, lol. Wake up dude, Aimee’s comment was so beautiful, why reply with such bullshit?

  7. This kind of things is a two way street. You got to give a little to get a little.

  8. John Anderson says:

    “Being a gentleman is something that every man should strive to be. Not because women need men, but because those special women in men’s lives deserve to be treated especially well.”

    So basically I could treat all the other women like crap. I could be dishonest with my intentions until she becomes special to me, etc. Problem I see is if I’m an ass prior to her becoming special, it could really cut into my chances of finding someone special. How about just treat everyone with respect because they’re people and deserve it?

    “Men should be gentlemen because there is no good reason to be anything else.”

    Sounds like a weak reason. Men should wear blue because there is no good reason to wear another color. If we’re to do something it should be for a reason not because of an absence of a reason not to.

    • Theorema Egregium says:

      Very true. Being a Gentleman historically was not a pickup technique, it was general well-bred politeness which set one apart from the low-born oafs. Naturally it applied to persons of all genders and ages. I believe this is still how it should be. Either be a gentleman to everybody indiscriminately, because that is what you are, or don’t even bother. Being one just for the benefit of the woman you are trying to woo is just a cheap act. It is not (to use a fashionable term) authentic.

  9. I find it interesting that apparently being a gentleman in the 21st century is all about wooing women. How about actually trying to be a gentleman in the “decent human being” or even “virtuous human being” sense. Maybe then one would not need 10-step-plans for how to treat a partner right?

    I think the idea of “10 things to do to become a gentleman” is flawed; it’s putting the cart ahead of the horse.

    • I agree. Decency should be decency.

      I would also add that a lot of traditional politeness and “being a gentleman” was about being DIS-honest, not about being honest. A lot of politeness is about putting a positive spin on things and even lying to protect other people’s feelings. Being honest and being polite are not necessarily always compatible with each other.

      Her: “Do these jeans make me look fat?”
      Me: “Um….I respect you as an individual and I am supportive of your dreams.”

  10. Paula Thomas says:

    AMEN!

  11. I have no idea how the idea of being a gentleman has anything to do with this article.

    If you titled it “10 Things Men and Women Should Do to Promote Positive Relationships”, you’d really have something.

  12. If this article was “10 Things Women Need To Do To Become Ladies Again”, the accusations of misogyny would start flying fast. But because it’s about men who need “fixing”, it’s considered okay. Bottom line, a man does not need to do anything for anyone. Period.

    • Lolabunny says:

      Because the “lady ehaviour” actually was a misogynist one. About not having a voice, being submissive, acting weak and asexual and not having agency.
      Bottom line, we have to be polite and respectful to one another.

  13. wellokaythen says:

    Drop the “again” part and I’m generally on board. Don’t look to the mythical past for the perfect models of behavior. Men in past generations were hardly ever the perfect gentlemen people think they were. Chivalry was essentially a loose set of rules for heavy cavalry. In war and peace they behaved no more or less honorably or gently than any other groups of elite armed men.

    Look to your own definitions. The best ever male behavior may in fact be in the future, not in the past.

  14. So much idealistic rubbish here. I prefer the pragmatic approach.

    In that case, we can identify many practical reasons why a man can himself benefit from acting like a gentleman. For example:

    When you open a door for a woman walking behind you, then you have an excuse to make eye contact. Also, as she walks past you through the door, you get to see her from the front, from one side, and from the rear. You have lost nothing by holding the door for her and probably gained a little bit. Little to no drawback, and something of a benefit.

    Win-win-win.

  15. Notta Chance says:

    All of these apply to women looking to be Ladies again. If there is fault that men are not Gentlemen anymore it doesn’t just rest with the men it’s everyone.

  16. Robbie Knight says:

    Relationships get really amazing and gratifying and fun when both humans involved practice these things. I respect men, I like them, I want above all to be truthful (yup, scares some of them away, but that’s Darwin for ya) and I want the man in my life to feel special and yes, even protected. If you are partners you protect Each Other and work as a team. If he gets in trouble, you jump in, as long as it’s it’s not counter-productive to the effort.

    The Golden Rule really works, in my experience. My boyfriend and I are not perfect by any stretch, but we are happy with each other. That’s not just about who we are. It’s what we DO. BOTH of us, for each other. And these guidelines describe it quite well.

    I think sometimes we get caught up in a riptide of backlashes, and the original point gets buried under the scuffle. When both people in ANY relationship make it a deliberate practice to treat each other right, it’s a powerful thing.

  17. Hey, I don’t mind being a gentleman – just as long as women are prepared to be ladies!

  18. Melissa says:

    I’ve had many bad experiences with guys lying to me to get into my pants when I was a teenager. Ofcourse I was also to blame for being naive and confused, but I was bullied a lot in school so being told I was beautiful and dropping the “I love you” from their part just made me WANT to believe it. After a lot of tears and a suicide attempt I finally got my shit together and met the guy I’m currently married to.

    I’m not saying ALL guys are bad (I’m married and I have a lot of guy friends I game with who are awesome), but I’ve met a lot who were. And I realize there are women out there who are just as bad. I’d say people like that shouldn’t exist, but maybe if they didn’t I wouldn’t be the strong person I am today.

  19. I’m wondering… are these posts preaching to the choir? :)

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