Men Don’t Leave This Kind of Woman.

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“Find a woman who makes you feel more alive. She won’t make life perfect, but she’ll make it infinitely more interesting. And then love her with all that’s in you.” ~ Gayle G. Roper

A long time ago, when I was still new to the world of men, I heard someone say that men don’t leave their wives for a sexier woman—they leave them for a more interesting one.

It’s true, that is a rather broad generalization. It’s true that men do leave their wives or partners for younger and possibly more attractive (to them) women. It’s true, love can dwindle.

As I grew into a woman, and life presented more opportunity for observation, experience and introspection, I came to believe that men, indeed, are attracted to interesting women.

I am more convinced now that a man would leave his partner for someone more interesting over someone more physically attractive, because life has taught me about the complexity of men.

The more I learned about myself as a female, the more I came to see that men truly are creatures of depth. Male and female often reflect each other’s qualities, so it’s not that surprising. Men are “accomplishers,” and I have observed them long enough to see that they like women who are motivated by their own passions.

You see, life well-lived is inspiring. Life well-lived promotes an inquisitiveness about the one doing the living.

Men are curious. They like to track down and hunt a female that leaves a scent of self-worth.

Here are a few things I have learned from men about what makes a woman interesting:


1. A woman who knows her own mind and is not afraid to speak it.

Long gone are the days when women were cautioned to keep their smarts under wraps. Conversation no longer need revolve about what a man has accomplished or knows to the exclusion of their date. Any man worth keeping will be dying to hear our thoughts.

I’ll qualify this with an oft-repeated sentiment that women who are elegant in the delivery of their wisdom are much easier to learn from. Shrill, sarcastic conversation is not the kind we’re looking for here. Honest, open discussions are the basis of strong foundations between male and female.

Lure a man to your intellectual gifts with a softness that complements the complexity of your mind. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a strong mind is sexy and can drive a man to his knees. I’ll refrain from elaborating, but you get the visual, I’m sure.

“Of course, I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.” ~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

2. A woman who is comfortable in her own skin.

A woman who knows who she is and owns it.

You’ve worked hard to develop your best self. Don’t be afraid to claim your own power. We’re not flaunting anything here, ladies—not trying to one up a man; there is no reason to.

Confidence is not the same thing as cockiness. Confidence does not shout about itself, it simply exudes its essence in a quiet way.

Your unique personality and accomplishments will speak for themselves, they will come through in the way you carry yourself, in the way you listen to a man. Trust me, men adore women who share from the heart and who listen with it, too.

Although men like healthy competition in many areas of their lives, it’s not much fun to have to side-step a postulating female who is determined to prove she is equal. Show him your truth. Honor his. And leave it at that.

3. A woman who cultivates her own interests.

My partner and I are not two peas in a pod. He is an accomplished sportsman… Me, not so much. Our taste in music varies widely, we rarely travel together, and yet, we have a tight bond as lovers and friends.


He knows that I am going to walk my own path no matter how much I need to be with him. Whether we match interests or not is irrelevant. What we are, though, is committed to supporting each other in our separate ventures.

It is a deep compliment to hear a man say that you and your ideas or pursuits interest him.

Engage a man’s mind and pique his curiosity about you and he will eat the crumbs off your proverbial table.

Sure there are many days when I want to do nothing but sit at his feet and forget everything I love to do otherwise. Mix it up a bit. Stay curious about what moves him and move him with your mystery.

“The enemy of love is never outside, it’s not a man or a woman, it’s what we lack in ourselves.” ~ Anais Nin

4. A woman who can take a compliment and give one.

I had a friend who was perennially shy at receiving compliments. She was wildly attractive. She was quirky. She was smart. She never accepted a compliment and her boyfriends (more than one, notice) never understood why she squirmed whenever they voiced their admiration.

She was all that, but did not believe it herself. Men like to give compliments more than flowers. They are looking for that joyful smile when they tell you what they see in you. It’s frustrating to give a gift that is returned time and time again.

So if you’re going to be interesting as hell, bask in the recognition. Give him that signal that you know your own strengths and are not embarrassed to show them.

While you’re at it, remember that men are not all tough skin. I’ve not met a man yet who did not like to be complimented. As long as it’s sincere, it will keep him appreciating your willingness to be vulnerable and share why he rocks your world.

5. A woman who takes care of herself.

I mean this in every sense. When we divide ourselves into sections, deeming one part more worthy of our attention than the other, we lose the delicate balance of what it means to be human. We are indeed flesh and blood, and while we may have been told for centuries that our looks are not important, I argue that it’s not so.

I’ve been observing two women. They are both gifted with a natural beauty.

Both work hard at their jobs. One takes the time to preserve her fitness, she shops for herself when she buys clothes for her family, and in general looks after her appearance.

The other is determined to show that appearance does not matter, only her spiritual and emotional condition.

It’s not for a lack of money that the one chooses to grace her husband’s presence with her most frazzled self. It’s not for lack of time. It’s not for lack of not knowing what to do. It’s her determination to have her partner say that looks don’t matter. Her attitude is bent on proving that he will love her no matter what.

And he will love her no matter what, but he has lost interest altogether.

She complains that he looks at other women. He admits that he wonders what it is that keeps some women trying. He has admitted to having lost interest.

Every part of you is important to a man. Every part of you is essential—the part that keeps his heart, the part that keeps his mind and the part that keeps him wanting to rip your clothes off.

I’m not saying that you must be in heels at the door when he comes home from work, a la June Cleaver.

I’m saying that a man will stay interested in you if you stay interested in yourself.

It’s not true that love and sex wane for all couples. The ones that are keeping it hot in the living room and the bedroom are still interested and interesting.

“It’s one thing to catch a man, Monika, and another to keep him. “ ~ My mother.




Author: Monika Carless

Apprentice Editor: Nichole Shaw / Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Nesster/Flickr

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About Monika Carless

Monika Carless seems to be following the setting sun---from Europe to Eastern Canada, to mountain and ocean life on Vancouver Island, B.C. Trained as a Reiki Master and Holistic Nutritionist, Monika seeks the Sacred through nature. She is a Mystic who follows the Wise Woman Tradition, facilitating Intuitive Soul-Path Sessions, guiding women and men worldwide on their authentic journey, in the areas of sexuality, relationships, spirit and life-direction. She believes in skinny dipping, laughter with friends, and moonlit walks as therapy for the human soul. A road less ordinary and a heart filled with love is what you’ll find her patiently seeking. The author of two novels, The Dark Pool, and its sequel, The Raven and The Aspen King---tales of erotica, pagan mysticism, polyamory, and past lives. Monika can be reached via her websiteInstagram, or Facebook.


49 Responses to “Men Don’t Leave This Kind of Woman.”

  1. Melina says:

    Excellent points.

  2. Bec says:

    Actually, I would say that men leave their marriages/relationships because of problems THEY are having and not the quality of the woman they are with. If you spent your time trying to 'keep' a man I don't think you would be the interesting woman with your own interests described here. Sorry, but I find the article a bit backward and naive.

  3. Lea says:

    I have all of these qualities, however have experienced trauma of long duration that I am dealing with in the best manner that I can. My exboyfriend deserted me a number of times. The last time we got together I couldn’t take his physical desertion so I broke it off with him.

    I think this article generalizes us back into the 1970s at least. I have been involved in more than one relationship where I walk around with no makeup and pjs or nothing. My partners tell me I look beautiful anyway. I tend to dress up for myself.

    Not to say they don’t appreciate it if I do. I just think that if you are adopting these traits it should be for yourself, not to lure a man. Knowing what you are worth, being a compassionate person, with talents and interests, and sadly good genetics are what work for me and I don’t really try. That’s just who I am.

    • simplysolitary says:

      Exactly Lea, for yourself, but also it creates good ground for a relationship that values who the woman truly is. It's not saying you can't be casual, it's saying you're interesting to a partner because you value yourself.

  4. Some great points in the article. However, it's way too much Sex 2.0 Norm-clinging for me! Be interesting for your own sake, NOT to catch and keep a man!

    I'd never date a woman who was trying to be interesting just to be attractive to men!

    And…"leaving her"? That whole concept is sooooooo Sex2.0!

  5. Carien Sander says:

    I like the point but I don't necessarily agree with the context it is said in. Be all those things; be an interesting and strong woman for yourself. I find the term 'trying to keep a man' slightly offensive. Forget about 'trying to keep a man' and be the person you want to be and you would want to be with. A man worthy of you and who loves you (not the person you are trying to be) won't leave. And if he does, at least you will be happy and still love yourself.

  6. simplysolitary says:

    I'm pretty sure I make the point that women who are interested in themselves and are interesting for themselves are attractive to men. The last quote was my mother's, an interesting viewpoint from that generation, but if you read the whole thing, you will see that I am speaking of women who are living life for their own purposes. The fact that that makes them more attractive to men, is a point that stands on it's own.

    • Lynda Fassa says:

      uhmmm, no. The point you made is named in the title of the piece…I was going to subscribe to EJ, but now–uh uh…please examine your thoughts on this in depth, it's actually disturbing, and FYI I am a straight married mother of 3 young women–all of whom find this piece offensive

      • elephantjournal says:

        I think it would be a shame to judge us solely on one piece. We've published over 40,000 articles; no one is going to like all of them. Thanks for reading!

        • Lynda Fassa says:

          Well, this happens to be the second EJ piece I've read…the first one made me want to subscribe..this one was actually disturbing. I'm not judging EJ on one piece but it seems weird if this is content in line with what you feel readers want–I think I'm allowed to say I'm out, or at least some not going to dive in.

          • elephantjournal says:

            Absolutely, Lynda! One of the best things (I think) about ej is that we are so diverse! Many differing thoughts & opinions, from our readers and writers! e'd love you hear your take on this piece…Tell us (constructively) why you don't like it. Why is what the author saying offensive?What is your point of view? Please submit here: 🙂

  7. lynda says:

    Am I the only person who takes offense at this piece? From the archaic title, which to my feminist eyes seems borrowed from an article that might have appeared in Cosmo 1972, to the end quote about “catching” and “keeping” a man. Ugh! Very strange piece, sounds like encouragement to better oneself, at least in part, in order to ‘keep’ the man you ‘caught’….no thanks, I’d like to go for the gold for MYSELF and next for society in general.

    • Ulla says:

      I agree, I'm just so surprised that EJ posted this.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Lynda & Ulla, Yes! Love the dialogue! Take it further, and express your thoughts here: ? We'd love to publish a (constructive criticism) response to this piece. 🙂

    • Candice says:

      What is there to be offended by exactly? This woman is stating her own opinion based on her observations of what is sure to be a very limited subset of the ~7 billion people on this planet. She didn't make any direct insinuations to anyone or any group in particular, and I certainly didn't see anywhere that she indicated that one must be this way, or else. Maybe you want to better yourself for yourself, but some people require external motivation, whether that's the right way to be or not is up to interpretation and each individual. Maybe, in this current era where relationships have dissolved into hookups and everyone leaves everyone for everyone else, and there is no expectation of loyalty or longevity, it's not the worst thing to suggest to anyone, male or female, that they make an attempt to "keep" their partner. So maybe you could write an interesting and compelling article how "keeping" a man isn't as good of a goal as going for the gold all alone or going for the gold while maintaining a fulfilling relationship in an age of disposable everything.

    • Honestyisbliss says:

      I do not know, but I do know that I am fed up with people being "offended' by written words. Get over yourself lady. If you didn't like it, say your peace and move the f on. Some people love to miss the point… they are too busy finding offenses.

  8. Ulla says:

    I’m also surprised that EJ posted this article. The title of this article sounded like from the ladies magazines

    ” Men don’t leave this kind of woman”. The ” …this kind of woman”, …made me jumped. So judgemental and stereotyping. However, I read it to find out what it’s all about and I didn’t like it a one bit! Some one else already said it: naive and backward. Not a quality of EJ articles!

  9. Eddy says:

    Pardon my crude comment, but there’s nothing in there about “being a loyal, sane nymph who is open to explore anything in the bedroom”

    Besides all of the other good stuff, that is the ONE single set of characteristics that most lonely women lack… And those who have that are never, EVER left hanging.

    If you feed the animal side, you’ll get the loyalty of a lifetime. Says a happily married and satisfied man, who never thought he could ever tie the knot.

    • SuperVixen says:

      No, Eddy. Not to upset your feelings or anything, but I'd say you need to learn to please rather than always expect to be pleased by a "sane nymph" – sorry to burst your bubble, there ain't no sane nymph. Sex and satisfaction like everything else in a SANE relationship, is a two way street. I keep a scoreboard over my headboard. It has to be one for you, and one for me. Exploring anything has to be consensual. And you will never find anyone who will agree to "anything" – unless they get well paid.

  10. simplysolitary says:

    Women who are confident, know their mind, speak it, are mindful , are comfortable in their own skin…in my opinion, are interesting to their partners. My view here, shared honestly and with respect towards all women which includes myself, is certainly open for discussion. We need not agree, and there is beauty in opposing views. I write from my own openly shared experiences. Perhaps you will too, and submit to Elephant Journal.

  11. Bill says:

    It seems those offended by the article don't understand male and female attraction. The masculine and feminine have to be honored in a relationship not only for it's survival but also for it's further development. Author Vincent Vinturi writes of how titles, rings and vows take away the incentive to continue to try. Once you are locked in and believe commitments are all that are required, soon you start taking each other for granted. Real love is for grownups and for those who believe in the magic and spirit of soul connection. Those things require the honoring and cultivating of that which keeps the other desiring and wanting. Her title could have been titled "People don't leave these kind of people"….Same difference…Keep writing Monika…"To those that understand you no explanation is required, to those that don't no explanation is possible".

    • simplysolitary says:

      Thanks Bill, I appreciate that. I stand behind my words, as a woman who enjoys a long standing, free (no vows, no boundaries, soul nourishing) relationship, who fights for women's rights …see my latest about the C word…I understand that all relationships take work and that if one is interested in themselves they will be interesting to a partner. the quote from my mother which everyone is getting all whipped up about, is purely an example of what her generation would have said about male/female relationships. The title might wrangle, and if so, then it's a point to discuss, it's only the title. Read the meat of the post about strong minded women who give a f*ck about their own evolution and understand that any relationship takes work. No matter who I am in love with, a man or a woman, (I'm not so straight) I would give them my best, and my best comes from caring enough for myself to be interesting to myself. It's ok if people don't agree with me. There's lots I don't agree with. I still believe in men and women trying to keep what's important to them. That's not anti-feminist, that's pro human relations.

      • David says:

        Well said.. My experience with writings expressing this tend to push the boundaries of those who speak most loudly against it. As a a man, I'm not after June Cleaver. Some women do understand the interplay between the masculine-feminine energies, and I'm inspired by a woman who lives her passion, either in the working world dominated by a lot of masculine energy or as a mother. And the ones who do both, I'm melted in the best way. I've been fortunate to have such a great woman in my life, an MD, and I cherish and value her in the way she walks through the world and serves people under stressful situation. When she comes home (and is not on call), she is a delicious, juicy woman and I always make sure her self-care (yoga, exercise, spirituality, time alone to recharge) is a priority… That is the masculine guidance I give her from time-to-time. And when she has these, coupled with who she is in the world, and the way she supports our child and my missions in life…well, ladies… this woman is a radiant gem that gives me a perpetual boner. I'd go to the ends of the earth for her.

      • Cal says:

        I appreciate your insights. Opinions and attitudes are as unique as one’s own fingerprints. I found yours to be very attractive.

        Cal Thomas

  12. bibi says:

    I like this article, it has some great points.
    I can agree with most of the reasons…however…..

    "men don’t leave their wives for a sexier woman—they leave them for a more interesting one" hmmmmmmm

    I agree they may not leave a woman because they are prettier or sexier,,,,,but Interesting to me means daring, sexual, comfortable.

    Men like and may not leave a woman that will sexually satisfy him, enjoy her sex life, and is confident to give in in to any sexual temptation or fantasy without being ashamed.

    Keep your man happy in bed (or anywhere else)!!!! Intimacy is vital!!!!!!

    BB – Married 11 years and he is not going anywhere!!!!! 🙂

  13. Sharon Gudiel says:

    I loved the article and agreed with her point of view!

  14. Amelia says:

    Need deeper content! I found this facile, and objectified both women and men. Looking for more from ej.

  15. hanna says:

    This is another subtle but powerful example of how we make women responsible for success or failure of relationships (not to mention everyone else's behavior). I have a friend who's a Marriage Counselor and Psychiatrist. He said it alarmingly consistent, even in 2015 that both parties give responsibility to the woman;
    Man: "The spark is gone because she…" (fill in the blank) " ignores me/ smothers me/ let herself go/ spends too much on primping/ always wants to go out/ never wants to go out…"
    Woman: "The spark is gone. What am I doing wrong?"
    Fact is, bored people are boring people. The secret to a long marriage/relationship is how committed are the people in it. People stay with and keep loving people while working through all manner of problems and issues IF they are people who value commitment and relationships. If not, any excuse will do.
    We have been conditioned for thousands years by both biology and society to value the opposite sex for survival traits. Virility and physical strength in men, beauty and congeniality in women. Suddenly, in 1 generation, machines and birth control have changed everything but biology can't adjust that fast. It will take more than a few generations for attitudes to change. Women can get a head start by realizing
    1) There is NOTHING one person can do to make a relationship work
    2) Accept that the guy who loves you for your natural self, probably won't be the "coolest", might be someone you would have rejected before when you were willing to put your needs second always, constantly fret about aging, wonder if that girl who called him really is just a co-worker.
    Just as men are programmed to desire young, beautiful women, we are programmed to desire the "bad boy", the "rebel" (daring = fearlessness = protection). You can't have it both ways. Until women stop airbrushing themselves and pretending to be Barbies, men will think that's normal.

    • Bare says:

      Brilliantly said, it takes two people committed to the relationship in order for it work, grow or last.

      • simplysolitary says:

        Of course. I agree. But I'm speaking about what a woman does for herself, and in turn is attractive to a partner because of her own attention to herself. When we value ourselves we emit that to others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being the best we can be and attracting a partner who admires that.

  16. EJ Reader says:

    Wow! I enjoyed the article and love that the author put what was surely to be a controversial perspective out there. But I’m even more impressed with comment section! I always finding myself reading comments (not just on EJ) and getting that nauseous feeling afterward from all the venom that inevitably gets spewed. How refreshing to see a respectful, thoughtful and open-minded discussion. *sigh* Why can’t it always be this way? Thanks EJ for encouraging this.

  17. Pauline says:

    How about acknowledging that men and women leave each other all the time? Not because she appeared before him with messy hair one day, or he didn't catch the spider in the bathroom, but because people evolve constantly and who we are when we begin a relationship often changes as the years pass. There is no shame in the ending of a relationship.

    I appreciate the author's POV, but would love to see an end to the constant pressure women find themselves under to "be" a certain way in order to please a man.

  18. Jesse says:

    That “comfortable in his/her own skin” saying is just about the creepiest one to come into popular language in recent years. Who’s skin could one be comfortable in if not one’s own? Just creepy.

  19. Santhiya says:

    I liked this article Monika 🙂
    Relationships are about management. This word struck me big when a friend told this to me. It is deep. Monika is talking about how a woman can play her part in managing it. How a man manages it, well maybe another article 😉
    I grew up understand that a man has to make an effort to make the relationship alive (buying flowers etc), well they managed,-some :). Besides cooking and cleaning etc as many would say or argue, what is done for the relationship? Don’t take it for granted that the marriage runs on the commitment made, it has to run with love. Through everything, it has to be managed. One way, is what written in here, the whole picture, is for us to find out 😉

  20. @redtupelo says:

    Half way through this article I realized that " I Want to Be the Kind of Woman I Don't' Want to Leave" The only person I need to be interesting to is me. Others will choose to be around me or not,that includes the "Man"

  21. I<3HA75! says:

    I think there's a little bit of truth in nearly every comment here. I enjoyed the article, and found the truth to it. I am a male of the species, and I work 6 days a week, so my Love doesn't have to. She gets migraines, a lot. She is Bi-Polar, and she is highly depressive. We have spoken about our roles in each others lives extensively. Over the past 9 years, she has "let herself go," so to speak. I love her absolutely, and completely. I don't care if she is an ELK, I never want to be without her. We compliment each other, and I would be miserable without her. The issue here, is attraction, physically. I love WHO she is, her spirit, and I can deal with her "issues," nobody is perfect. Myself especially. I just don't feel that physical spark anymore. I am a triple scorpio, and I LOVE sex. I am simply not attracted to her in that way anymore. We're both in our 30's, her lower, my upper, and she knows to the core that she cannot change. How can I convince her that she can? Honestly, sometimes I hate myself for thinking like this, but if she went to the gym, lost 100 pounds, and became physically active again, our relationship would be nearly faultless… enough. The exercise would help her mind, and make her feel so much better about herself, we don't know why she does what she does, she just does. I WANT to be attracted to her again, and I miss sex incredibly, but I am faithful. Until zen, I will live life like a monk, and wait for my sexy lady to come home I guess. Your article spoke directly to me. Thank you. We had the whole package, and we lost it somewhere, I want it back. (Yes, I take care of myself, pay all the bills, wash the dishes, clean the house, do the laundry, and I'm an artist with an absentee Love, that's lost in depression, I just want to be lost in her.)

  22. Another reader says:

    Agree with most of what has been said in the comments. When people are being themselves, all of this seems really unecessary, you don't need to think of who you are, you just are. Honestly, just reading the piece felt exhausting. I'm really tired of the pressure to constantly be the "best version of myself". Every day I can think of a moment when I'm just not, and it's not for a lack of trying. And precisely in the moments that I fail to be that "best" version of myself, it's nice to have that special someone who tells me it's ok. I don't have to be my best "me", always. To me being in a committed relatioship also means that both parties are allowed to release the pressure. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's unrealistic to think that people are going to be their best selves 24/7. I'd rather let go of perfection, and accept that I am flawed the same way others are.

  23. mia says:

    I for one absolutely loved and agree with this article I don’t see how any one could of even misinterpreted the context and for all these feminist power to the woman type… get off ur high horse and back in the kitchen haha I know that comment wld of hit some nerves. I am a young woman who has been in a ten year relationship and now in a recently new relationship I have come to realize men are pigs and woman well today’s generation let just say they are not much better so to dress to impress a man is just stupid the idea and confidence to dress simply for urselfqis the surefire way to go, if you show and feel confident if you are happy and love the skin you are in then so will HE the point of this article is to highlight that woman should have own likes, hobby, style and life then. And only then will you be an interesting person. PS: I think u SLD b back in the kitchen making a sandwich lol ahhh gotta love it!

  24. Sabina says:

    This was a great read with excellent points. Although some may not agree, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and while they may agree on some points and not others, this article is still well constructed. I think that some of the people on here complaining about it being offensive need to get off their high horses. Not everything everyone does or says will appeal to you, so stop taking everything personally. I've heard the points listed in the article from many different strong and powerful women, from many different cultures and backgrounds. I wouldn't say the author is anti-feminist or close-minded at all, if anything it's those who have negative comments against this article. Be open minded to different approaches, because what works for one person may not work for another. Offering your difference of opinion and constrictive criticism is very different from being offensive, which is what some of these comments were. Also, to go on and say that you will not subscribe to Elephant Journal because of an article which you don't agree with is just rude.

  25. Liz says:

    I love it, at any Age these are valuable points to keep a relationship growing. 25 yrs.and counting.

  26. M says:

    Relationships grow where you water them, if you water that ‘greener’ grass, your relationship will die regardless of the effort the other person is putting in.

    I find it ironic that the picture with this article is of Audrey Hepburn whose first husband cheated on her and left her. You can’t say she wasn’t the best version of herself she should be.

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  28. Margo M says:

    Setting aside what’s obviously problematic, which has been well covered in previous comments, my thoughts are:

    This goes both ways, all the things you pointed out that are attractive to men are attractive to women. These tips might be better applied to anyone seeking a relationship, & also would be inclusive of LGBTQI & NB persons.

    People are complex beings & you do them a disservice to make such sexist, broad and over-general statements about what they want.

  29. Mariamante says:

    Those are great points for dealing with the man you love. Marriage is a commitment, and any man or women who is willing to leave his family, or compromise his or her commitments, will have major consequences for their actions. A lack of commitment says more about the betrayer, than it does about the betrayed.

    Life isn't as black and white as this assumes.

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