Two Days Ago, I Closed A Chapter In My Life

This is a very lengthy myTake. If you don’t have the time to finish reading it, don’t start. I know it’s long so don’t leave a comment that complains about the length. I have written this because writing is cathartic for me and perhaps someone will read this and learn something that helps them in the future.

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After my divorce, I started meeting women on PlentyOfFish.

Two Days Ago, I Closed A Chapter In My Life

I probably had a first date with ten women before I met someone who I thought was a really good match for a possible long term relationship. This is the story and me and that woman.

I saw her profile online and she impressed me as being intellectual, funny, and cute. I sent her a message and she quickly responded. We exchanged a few messages but soon agreed that being pen pals was not our goal so, within a day of meeting online, we were talking on the phone (note: NOT texting!) We had no problem talking for 45 minutes and longer so we agreed to meet for dinner that Saturday night. She selected a moderately upscale restaurant (not unusual for the ladies I date) and we agreed to meet there at 7 pm.

I arrived first. When she walked in, I said to myself “Wow!” I thought she was very cute, even cuter than her profile pictures. She looked much younger than I had expected a 63 year old woman to look. We started talking and she told me that she was a retired judge; before that moment, I had no idea what she had done for a living. I then told her that I was an attorney and she was equally surprised.

We both laughed and started talking about our employment experiences. She graduated from law school a few years before me and she was working in the state legislature when I was in law school. I went to law school at FSU and I had an internship in the legislature for two years. We soon realized that she had worked in the office next to my office, just 50 feet away from me, for those two years but I had never met her. We had at least 100 acquaintances in common! She then became a judge in my hometown and I had never appeared in her court but I knew many attorneys who had practiced before her. Small world.

After dinner, we walked about a block to a nice lounge at an oceanfront resort and continued our conversation over a few cocktails.

Everything about her felt comfortable but also exciting. At the end of the evening, I walked her back to her car and we shared a passionate first kiss!

The next weekend, we had dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and participated in the “dinner murder mystery theatre.” It was another great date. Our third date was a free jazz concert at the beach. From that point, we were dating exclusively.

About a month after our first date, she closed on a house and moved from her rental home to her new home. For three days, I helped her move, and then she started settling in. We continued to see each other every weekend and our dates became more frequent. Sometimes, we met for dinner mid-week and sometimes we dated on both Friday and Saturday night.

She was not overly eager to develop a physical relationship very quickly and we dated for about four months before I spent an overnight at her house. That made me feel closer to her and I thought that she was becoming closer to me, but she never spent much time talking about her feelings. (That is not a rare trait for an extremely high IQ woman.) I had already met her son - her only family – and she finally met my family and started participating in my extended family gatherings.

By Christmas, 2015, we had been dating for seven months and I had fallen in love with her. When I told her, she responded by saying that she had great affection for me but her feelings usually developed more slowly and she hoped that I could be patient with her.

She did not want to simply tell me what I wanted to hear and I told her that I expected honesty at all times. I appreciated her candor and prepared myself to be patient with her because I considered her to be a prize worth waiting for.

Between December, 2015 and May, 2016, I was cautiously ecstatic. She had not said that she loved me but we spent every weekend together, usually either Friday and Saturday overnight or Saturday and Sunday overnight. We had fun together, we went to concerts, and we took a few brief out of town trips. When we made love, it felt like we were making love and not just enjoying recreational sex.

After a year of dating, she went on an extended vacation (28 day cruise) with a female acquaintance. I stayed at her home to care for her two dogs and to maintain the house. When she returned, she made no effort to make up for our lost time together or to otherwise show appreciation for one month of tending her house and dogs. I began to wonder if I had misjudged her feelings for me.

Over the next year, we had several conversations about the status of our relationship. The short story: she had great affection for me but could not honestly say that she was in love with me, she attributed this to the deeply felt hurt from her previous relationship, and she told me that she understood if I wanted to leave but hoped that I would not.

There were times that I felt that I was just a convenience for her and there were times that I was convinced that she wanted me for the rest of her life . . . but she never said that she loved me. I wanted her in my life but I also wanted to know that I was loved. I felt conflicted and I stayed with her. I stayed with her for another year.

In May, she had a five day cruise planned with another female friend.

I had mentioned spending the night with her before she left but she was too busy to reserve that time for me. Of course I felt slighted.

She left on a Thursday morning and didn’t bother to call me to say goodbye. Her ship was departing Friday morning. I was hopeful that she would call me sometime on Thursday. It never happened. Friday morning, I texted her that I was disappointed that she had left town without calling to say goodbye. She responded that she was still on land and would call me in the next two hours.

It never happened.

We weren’t living together but I had been spending two nights a week there for the past year and a half so I had accumulated quite a few things at her house. Saturday morning, I went to her house, packed all of my possessions, and vacated the premises. It was an impulsive decision. I would have called her to inform her of my decision but she did not have cell phone service where she was vacationing. I left her a note that expressed my disappointment with the way that she had treated me. I told her that we could meet and talk when she returned, but, you've probably guessed how that worked out. It never happened.

A few weeks later, I went to her house to retrieve one of my possessions that she had earlier loaned (with my consent) to an acquaintance. When I arrived, she and her son were having breakfast so we didn't have much of an opportunity to talk. We did manage to get a few minutes in private. She was obviously sad and she started to cry. She said she would call me in the next few days.

It never happened.

In the following months, I reflected on what had transpired over the preceding two years. The facts that seemed to be most important were:

1. Her ex-husband had cheated on her numerous times during their marriage.

2. Her only serious relationship after the divorce resulted in her falling in love and the guy, apparently not in love with her, moved to Australia. G’day!

3. She was an only child and had that syndrome that SOME only children have. She was so accustomed to being the center of the universe that she was somewhat oblivious to the feelings and needs of others. Her self-centeredness was not a conscious and deliberate choice but it was simply the only way that she knew.

4. She seemed to be a classic case of “emotionally unavailable.” I think that, despite her great intellect, she had an internal disconnect with her feelings and did not process emotional matters very well.

5. The conclusion was that she was incapable of loving me even though she knew that I was very good for her and we were an extremely good match for each other.

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Before her month long cruise, I had prepared a Last Will and Testament for her. I normally give the original document to my client at the will signing, but she was leaving the country a day or two after signing the will, so I retained it in my file. It was still in my file after our break up and I had forgotten about it.

Recently, she texted me to ask about getting the original Will. Monday, I called and asked her to meet me for dinner. We met at a quiet restaurant and enjoyed some casual, superficial conversation. After dinner, I walked her to her car.

I gave her the Will and I also gave her two tickets that I had purchased in February for a concert (Jethro Tull, her favorite rock group) in November. She said that she had hoped that she and I could attend it together but I told her that was very unlikely to happen. She acted like she wanted to kiss me but I just gave her a hug.

I explained that I had left in an abrupt manner because it was the only way that I would ever be able to leave her; if she had been present, I would have wanted to talk and try to find a way to "make it work." I told her that I was no longer angry at her and that, in fact, I still had affection for her but I had decide to move forward. I suggested that we might have the capacity for maintaining some relationship as friends and we would certainly be capable of being very pleasant to each other but I did not think it was a good idea for us to spend any time together.

I put my arms around her and hugged her, then I pulled back, looked into her eyes, and reached up and gently “pinched” the end of her nose as I had affectionately done many times before.

She laughed, as she always did, but I saw a tear in her eye. I gently and briefly kissed her on the lips. “Take care of yourself,” I said, and then I turned and walked away.

As I walked towards my car, I resisted the temptation to turn and look back at her. If I had looked back, I’m not sure what I might have done. My head told me that I was doing the right thing but my heart once again felt the pain of losing her. As I pulled my car out of the parking lot and I watched her drive away, I realized - with a very deep sadness - that I would never again see her.

Goodbye, Miss Ivy!


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Dear Miss Ivy,

    What you've done to my friend @OlderAndWiser is an example of why you shouldn't allow your present *good* relationship pay for the mistakes of others. I get it. You were hurt. You were married and then experienced a flake after your divorce. So you put yourself out in the dating scene only to know that all along you might not be able to give 100% in to the relationship, hoping someone will be understanding?

    You have selfishly hung on to a wonderful man who was willing to wait for you - and if not given the opportunity so quickly - would have continued your relationship all the while knowing he would stick around. Men like him belong with women like me - who give their love, respect, and time. Our only hope is that we get half of what we put in. Women like you are the reason women like me can't find a good man. Women like you have an unwritten rule book that says you get to have all the time in the world to figure out your feelings while everyone who loves you must stand aside and be understanding about it.

    You have a son, and are the chief example of how he is going to view his own resolve in relationship-troubles. At this time, you are teaching him that women can refuse love or withhold it. You show him that putting herself first - guy be damned - is what he might be up against, thus making him bitter toward women and relationships.

    A woman in her 60s who has been exposed to so many people in her career alone should know that not everyone is the same, and that fairness and justice should be awarded to those who deserve it - in your personal life - should this not also apply to love?

    You have taken the classic highschool mentality of shutting down due to one heartbreak because you are too afraid to take a risk of falling in love again. It's called dating. It's life. Normal people fall in love multiple times in their life, and endure many disappointments. To hold someone's love hostage because you are simply afraid of what might happen is no different than just shooting yourself in the foot.

    In these two years, you built your own breakup. You selfishly assumed that since two years went by, why not four or ten? Good old OlderAndWiser will still be around. Look at me, going on cruises and living the life of good times while he waits for me to throw him a bone.

    Will you learn from this, or just add it to your collection of heartbreaks? Or will you take time to understand your part in why it failed? I hope, the latter.

    Sincerely,
    Miss O

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    • What an outstanding response !! Sadly , her types do outnumber the decent ladies ( hence your response ! ) & this is going to get worse , the way young women are indoctrinated to believe they are above men ( esp @ colleges & uni's ) as opposed to complimentary , will mean an even faster growing , stay - single population.

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    • @PearIyn Well, we'll have to disagree. People know if two years is long enough to have not admitted feelings of love or to show it. That relationship would have continued to be one-sided until he ended it. Is two years not enough time to give the poor lady a break? When you get to be 30+ you'll understand how precious time is not to be wasted on the wrong people.

Most Helpful Guy

  • I gotta say that I also closed a chapter in my life this year, I learned a few things. When someone doesn't feel the same way about you, they just dont and as cruel as it might seem they are its just not their fault. Because they are just not there or not emotionally available.

    You put a lot into this relationship, Im surprised. Usually I hear stories with some pride or ego but you left that aside. I really dont have much else to say, it is what it is.

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Join the discussion

What Girls Said 22

  • Difficult decisions are the unfortunate part of life, but it ultimately sounds like you've made the correct decision for yourself. You certainly put enough time and love into that relationship that she would have loved you by now if she was capable of it, and it doesn't sound like she is willing to fully open up again after the abandonment she's witnessed with her previous relationships. In breaking up with her, you're giving yourself the possibility of finding someone new who is capable of loving you. It sounds like she was very fond of you, but this is ultimately good for her as well since she wasn't able to make this relationship or you a priority in her life

    Many chapters we close in life with sad endings, but the best way to move on from that sadness is to open new ones with positive changes. When my ex cheated on me, I started doing yoga to help me better focus my mind on positive things rather than cry about him all day, and I ended up opening a new chapter in my life of being and feeling healthier and stronger

    Writing is cathartic for me as well. The length wasn't too bad and I think this is a great example of how to end a relationship well when the relationship was good and it didn't have to end for some catastrophic reason

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  • Awww, you made me cry. I would give you a big hug right now if you were here.

    That sucks that it did not work out. Would have been perfect if she just could have loved ya the way you loved her. I have been there so I know how much it sucks. :(

    Hang in there. You will find someone that you love and loves you back and you will know it was the right move.

    Sending good thoughts your way. :)

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    • I appreciate your kind words!

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    • Oh, I don't mind answering your questions. I have not seen Miss Valerie since my dinner with Miss Ivy on Monday night. I will see Miss Valerie tomorrow night. I expect to feel closer to Miss Valerie, but I still want to take this slowly.

    • I am glad to hear that you expect to feel closer to Miss Valerie.

      I wish you all the best, OnW. :)

      Have fun tomorrow night and good luck with the daughter and boyfriend when you do go out with them. I expect you will be a hit. :)

  • This hurts a bit to read it, it brings back some not so distant memories in so. e ways. But I suspect I know how you feel. Like being able to breathe again. Just a weight off your shoulders, freedom and comfort even if it isn't that feeling of happiness. Time to move on.

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    • Yes, you know how it feels. You have had a similar experience?

    • Mmm similar in some ways, but not the same. Having that feeling of being suspended neither going backward or forward, not knowing, maybe getting kicked in the face here or there And then finally being free to go on. Its a melancholy but satisfying feeling.

    • I'd also say, it a "glass half full" approach to life... you're probably like me a bit. Maybe generally optimistic or "realistic" but not an eternal pessimist.

  • Awuh. This was simultaneously a bit heart-breaking, a bit lovely, and definitely bittersweet. I'm rarely ever serious in what I say here, but I truly am sorry that your relationship didn't work out. But you handled it with such grace and understanding, in the end, that I can't help but think that she's lucky you were the one she had to do this to, you handled it so well. I sincerely hope that you are able to find the relationship you want... and I can only hope, should I ever find myself in the same situation, that I will show the same poise and understanding, and maturity pretty much, that you've demonstrated... thanks for sharing this.

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    • I appreciate your kind words. I have never been one to mourn a relationship for very long so I started dating about a month after the break up. I dated 5 or 6 women and the last one seems like a fairly good match for me so we just agreed to date exclusively. I don't know that she will be The One, either, but I think dating exclusively gives a potential relationship the best chance of succeeding. . . and I really don;t like trying to balance two or three relationships at the same time.

  • your mytakes are always worth reading regardless of how lengthy they are.. and this one is an excellent example of beautiful writing..
    it was so sad to read and I'm so sorry about what happened.. it's great to see that you're taking still so optimistic. I wish that if I fall in love with a guy... he'll love me the way you loved Ivy..
    thank you for sharing this with us.. <3 <3 <3

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  • The issues you listed with that woman on this take. I have the sane problem as number 5 and people do say I'm highly intelligent, although I believe I'm only fairly brilliant and nothing extraordinary.

    It's really hard for me to reveal my feelings. Like seriously I'd rather take my clothes off in public (given that I'm a modest dresser wearing shapeless clothes covering my arms and legs too) than share my feelings with one person in private. Walking on coal would be easier than letting one to the darkest and deepest corners of my heart.

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  • Thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes the best decision isn't always the easiest one. You too deserve to be loved.

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  • Awwwwwweeeee 😭😭😭

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  • Thanks for sharing

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  • when it comes to matters of the heart it's hard to know when to hold and when to fold

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  • Thank you for writing this. You did it beautifully.
    I can relate a LOT to this woman. I honestly don't think that it's possible fore me to love again because I've been hurt so badly by every man who's ever been in my life. However, this is why I don't date except for an occasional drink with someone I've met in person (not online) and only if it seems very casual (e. g. he's not super-interested) because I know I can't return that enthusiasm. I was just about to write a MyTake on it, actually.

    I've heard similar stories from others in the "over-40" crowd as well. (I'm 46)

    All I can say is that I'm sorry for your pain.

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    • I can date again because I realize that every bad relationship makes me a better person for the next partner and if we broke up, then we would not have been good together so I am better off having the relationship ended. I have some animosity towards my first ex-wife because she did some extremely mean things to me, but otherwise, I have not held on to any anger at any woman in my past. The idea of living the rest of my life without finding love is simply too sad to accept!

    • I just wrote a Take about this. Basically, I've come to realize that being married for 15 years to an emotionally unavailable man forced me to develop coping strategies that are very hard to unlearn. I shove things deep and don't even realize I'm doing it. I also sincerely believe I'm not a loveable person. In my head I know that's not true, but emotionally I don't think I'll ever get past it.

      Rather than push myself into relationships that end in disaster, I'm just embracing singleness right now. The relief of not having that pressure is indescribable.

  • 😭😭😭 I thought only men were like this. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy😭😭😭 but you made a good decision. It was so hard for you but you did it anyways! !! I'm so sorry that it had to go like this. In the beginning it all seemed so meant to be. And then...😩😔 it's just sad. But you did well, I truly hope you'll find someone else who's even better than her.
    Don't mind the long take by the way.

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  • wow, you are brave! I would have left long before a year was up.

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  • your writing is so beautiful! followed!

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  • Heartbreaking :( I hope you both find happiness and love

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  • so close but also so far away. Not meant to be. At least you were kind to her during break up.

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  • Good for ya

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  • Interesting Take

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  • I'm sorry for your divorce

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  • Wish it was shorter because it's hard to keep my focus

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What Guys Said 16

  • That's a sad one. She confused me.

    It's been several years since I was really interested in finding someone. But I know if someone just happened along, I'd be looking for different things than when I was younger. Love wouldn't necessarily be part of it, although it could be the icing. I'm more interested in compatibility, companionship, somebody to talk and sometimes do things with.

    Then there is always the thought of living alone when that inevitable moment of "I've fallen and I can't get up" comes. Neighbors would eventually check on me, but soon enough? OK, that's morbid, but a lot of people think about it.

    I haven't really asked people, but it just seems like a lot of older people are looking for something different. They aren't looking for fireworks, they are looking for companionship.

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  • It really looks like you had a a great adoration for each other, but it's great to know you knew what was going on here. Many people I've known or know of are pretty oblivious to the thought of any happy relationship/friendship is ending due to their own desire to keep it, so it's great that you knew and made your decision. It's always best to replace old memories with the others you've met with new ones, forming a similar love with the person you've met last.

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  • Always keep me reading to the end the way you write 😊 It's like she just won't let her guard down because of all the things that happened to her and just tired of getting hurt, unfortunately she will lose out on nice guys like you and die alone someday. Nothing you could have done anymore. Very nice take though

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  • Thank you for sharing, it's sad that some things just don't work out and that, sometimes, people aren't willing to let their guards down.

    I can say that, I went through some similar experiences with my girlfriend. I suppose that we were just lucky; we each knew that we were going to spend the rest of our lives thinking about one another as "the one that got away" and both of us were willing to put in the effort that it took to make if work out because we didn't want to spend the rest of our lives wondering what might have been.

    It's great that you put your own wellbeing first though, it's not always easy to do but at least you'll know that you've done everything that you can and you've accepted that.

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  • The thing I can't get over about reading this is how could a 63 year old be cute? Not to be shallow but I guess do our minds change far as beauty change as we grow older? I mean at 26 I don't think I'd find any 63 year old cute lol.

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    • When I was 26, I would have had the same question. As I have gotten older, I still think that younger girls are very attractive (but that doesn't mean that I have any interest in chasing after a young girl. I am OlderAndWiser, not OlderAndStupid! :) :) :) However, I see Older women and I consider them to be attractive, also. Yes, I can see the wrinkles and "liver spots" and all of their other imperfections, but I can assure you that my 65 year old girlfriend got me very aroused. As I have gotten older, I think personality and behavior has become a bigger factor in looking at a lady and thinking that she is cute.

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    • Well makes sense. You don't want to be aroused by parental aged ladies.

    • Cos if you do-they 'd remind you of your mum.

  • Thats a beautiful story, and im sure you still respect her, but im gonna day that she didn't have the same amount of devotion for you.
    Tbh, she kinda used you.
    Sorry that mist have been hard. You had a year plus experience with her, and had to slowly drop it.

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  • Well written & , like in law , you weighed up both the " aggravating " & " mitigating " circumstances & then passed judgement , which given the circumstances was the only sensible one.

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  • You weren't 'mr. right' you were MR. RIGHT NOW. :)

    Always remember, YOU ARE THE PRIZE.

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  • That is a sad story, but I know what it feels like.
    Perhaps you would be persuaded to look at the MGTOW lifestyle.

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    • No, I like women and I like committed relationships.

    • @OlderAndWiser
      I 'like' women and relationships too, but the pain and legal risk are far too great.
      I have not really gotten over my first serious girlfriend, who broke my heart when I was 21.
      I hope that you find the unicorn for which you seek.

  • Interesting

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  • very nice

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  • Holy fuck dude... what a story. You write well.
    They way how you mentioned you left abruptly because it was the only way you could. That strikes home with me and I never realized it but I did that to my ex, for that reason.
    Sorry about the chapter closed my condolences but a brief bright light to me is better than a long lasting dim one

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  • I know what it feels like. I broke up with my first love and the pain is unbearable. But at the same time, you know deep inside that break up is the best option for both of us since it is not working out. Time will help you heal, if you can survive your divorce, you can survive this one, too.

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  • You really, REALLY need to read doc love and Corey Wayne. She was never in love with you, you were just a placeholder. I do think she was internally struggling about what to do with you. Some of her behavior is understandable given her past but still there were red flags you ignored because your feelings were too strong for her

    Again read doc love and Corey Wayne. I am glad you ended this maturely though.

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    • Wait you are olderandwiser. Again I have no place to criticize you lol. But you should still read doc love

  • sorry it didn't work out and well done.

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  • Rough ride, but you made the best decision.

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