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The possibilities of making the kinds of connections you want are very realistic, and many long lasting relationships and marriages have begun via online dating services, not to mention casual relationships as well if that is what you prefer. The possibilities are all right there and waiting for you, but there are a few key rules you need to know and follow in order to find your perfect date online. Download to learn The Golden Rules of Online Dating – 6 essential rules to finding the perfect online date!

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6 Unromantic Financial Things To Do After Your Honeymoon

Money talk is probably the last thing on your mind right after you get back from your honeymoon.

You might be thinking – you just got back from a romantic getaway with your spouse after your successful wedding that’s thoughtfully planned and splurged on. You’re not even done unboxing all of your wedding gifts. And now you’re going to talk about financial paperwork?

Well, sorry to say, but it’s got to be done. After all, money is one of the leading causes of divorce. Financial issues, no matter how daunting, should be discussed before they become bigger and more damaging in the relationship.

A blissful marriage isn’t measured on the number of date nights, romantic vacations, and lavish anniversary gifts. Couples who face financial hurdles together and overcome them together come out stronger than ever.

So if you’re ready to do some daunting financial tasks after the wedding, here are top 6 things you should do as a couple.

1. Manage your bank accounts

Have you decided to have a joint banking account and merge all of your finances for household spending? Or you want to keep your personal account? Or perhaps do both by having a shared account and a separate account for personal spending at the same time?

Whatever that is, make sure you’re both on the same track about this matter and do all the paperwork together.

Once you’re married, you should have each other’s names on all of your accounts. It’s also important to change your beneficiary information for those accounts: If it’s your first marriage your beneficiaries are likely your parents. If you’ve been married before, it’d be your ex.

Make sure to update it ASAP to avoid bigger and more expensive problems should anything bad happen to you.

2. Lay down your debts

“Til death do us part” or “Til debt do us part”?

Debt should be openly discussed and addressed as early as possible to avoid it to cause further damage to the relationship.

Get out the paperwork, provide copies of your own credit reports, look for the real bottom line, and deal with it. Debt catches up eventually – whether it’s the tax collector, your university, or creditor. One day, the terrifying details of the past will come creeping out when you’re trying to get a mortgage and other loans.

3. Discuss your assets

Not all money talk is bad. Some prudent men and women enter marriage with trust funds, investment accounts, real estate properties, and other significant assets. Your spouse should know what you have and what you can share unless you have a prenuptial agreement that excludes the spouse from any benefit. Again, beneficiary names should be updated.

4. Assess expenses and work on a detailed budget

Now that you’re married, looking at your paychecks and other income sources is just a right thing to do. You’re a team here, remember?

It’s crucial to determine your combined monthly income and how it’ll affect your spending and savings.

Make a detailed budget out of the combined list of all your monthly expenses: housing, utilities, internet, cable, phone, groceries, car payments, leisure, and other routine costs. Plan for payments on debts too. Last but not least, make sure to have a budget for unexpected expenses that may come up, like home repair and medical bills.

5. Start saving money as a couple

Odds are that, you’ve splurged on your wedding and your honeymoon. YYour first year together is the perfect time to recoup those losses and continue saving up for the future.

Don’t forget to feed your savings account – together. We can all agree that having a financial cushion for emergencies and retirement is a must.

You can fuel your savings by finding ways to be frugal. You may limit nights out and put your focus on groceries and rent. Be wise when going on vacations. Set limits for internet, cable, and electricity use. It’s more fun to celebrate your first year of marriage without overindulging.

6. Set financial goals together

Communication is key to a successful marriage, especially in terms of money. Couples who discuss money matters, set financial goals and help each other achieve them tend to be happier and healthier than those who don’t.

Take the time to sit down with your spouse to talk about money – your short-term and long-term goals and your plans to make these goals a reality. Discuss where you want to be in five years. Are you planning to build a business? Will you buy stocks or other investment vehicles? Will one or both of you work abroad? Do you have a plan to level up on your career?

Talk about money handling practices and expectations. Are you guilty of poor spending habits? Do you plan to quit certain expensive vices? How often do you plan to go on vacations?

Talk about future expenses that will eventually arrive, including children’s education, buying your first home, your first car, and the emergency and retirement funds.

I know these things may be too much to talk about, especially if you’re just starting your life together. However, it’s great to be open about these things and to know that you and your partner are on the same track.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families. She may be hopeless romantic but she’s got some straightforward pieces of advice about love, dating, and relationships

13 Biggest Turn Offs Men Should Be Aware Of To Score A Good Relationship

When it comes to dating, you should focus only on what would turn the other person on. Rather, think about the things that would turn the person off.

Major let-downs for women can range from superficial, such as physical features and hygiene, to absolutely offensive, like beliefs and manners.

If you’re a guy and is new to dating, here are 13 of the biggest deal breakers women share.

1. You’re lying

If you’re dishonest on the very first date, then there’s no way you’ll be asked for a second date. We all deserve truth and authenticity. Any kind of dishonesty, whether it’s as trivial as your favorite hobby or as extreme as your marital status, is an immediate red flag.

Women and men alike won’t be interested in someone who feels the need to misrepresent their age, height, marital status, occupation, financial stability, possessions, and vices.

2. You’re late

If you’re always running late or can’t totally show up from time to time (even when you’re sending fresh, beautiful flowers) , your date may imply that you’re not serious, or worse, you’re self-centered. Time is precious, so wasting your date’s time repetitively is a strong signal for her to look elsewhere.

3. Your bad hygiene shows

Nothing turns off a woman faster than a man who doesn’t even make an effort to look and smell decent and presentable.

Combed hair, clean, newly-laundered clothes, fresh breath and regularly brushed teeth, tidy nails, clean ears, washed hands, and pleasant (not even scented with expensive perfume) smell all over – are these too much to ask?

It’s not just a matter of being unpleasant. When a guy doesn’t seem to be taking care of himself, that could be a sign that he’s looking for someone to take care of him – and no, that shouldn’t be the woman’s problem.

4. You don’t have an ambition

There’s a fine line between being “carefree” and “lacking the ambition.” You don’t have to have big goals for yourself and for your future partner. However, you must have some goals and work to get close to that pursuit.

5. You’re jobless

Being unemployed is a top deal breaker for women, especially if you’re still living in your mother’s nest. Not that most women can’t provide for themselves – unemployment implies you’re not where you want to be, thus are not stable both financially and emotionally.

Depending and living with your parents while in your 20s or 30s may suggest co-dependence, fear of commitment, and the lack of motivation and emotional maturity.

6. You have smoking, drinking, gambling, and drug issues

Smoking has long been considered as a major turn off, especially for non-smokers. But for some, dating a smoker is okay as long as the person is responsible enough to smoke in designated areas, control the intake, and work to curb the unpleasant effects like bad breath and smelly clothes and house.

The real problem occurs when the person has been addicted to smoking to the point it’s unbearable. Same goes with alcoholism, gambling, and drug abuse. Addiction affects not only the heart, lungs, and gut – it damages the mind, which can be a major relationship issue in the long run.

7. Your communication skills suck

There are three types of men with poor communication skill;

One, the guy who nods at everything his date talks about, and answers only when asked. Two, the guy who doesn’t appear to be listening and fails to give feedback on what has talked about. Three, the guy who wants to talk about no one but himself and his greatness, disabling the date to speak up.

8. And you can’t get rid of your phone

Isn’t it a bummer when you have spent hours to be presentable and your date has a divided attention because his phone is glued to his hand?

Smartphones kill genuine conversations – and relationships. When you’re on a date, gentlemen, it’s a no-brainer to free yourself from all your distractions. Forget checking e-mails, sports scores, or game night invites by your bros.

9. You make outdated comments about women

  • “Why do you want to be a pilot? A flight attendant is more ladylike.”
  • “Why don’t you want to have children? Having kids will make you feel whole as a woman.”
  • “And for the lady, perhaps a salad?”

Excuse me? We’re not in the 1950s. If you throw these questions on the first date, then there’s no point in continuing.

10. You’re pushy about sex

There’s a fine line between expressing attraction and being pushy about sex. It’s all about the intention. Women looking for a serious relationship immediately back off when a man can’t shut up about how much he wants to “bed” her on the first date and it’s getting uncomfortable.

11. Your online profile is shady

No woman can trust a guy whose IG feed is loaded with pictures of scantily clad party girls, vain gym mirror selfies, and photos of women he has dated in the past (or is currently dating).

12. You’re carrying an excess baggage

Several children, multiple women, and complicated relationship or unfinished business with an ex – these are some of the “excess baggage” a man may have. To make it worse, some men with an excess baggage even negatively talk about their ex or children on the first date. These are deal-breakers since no person wants to be dragged into the unnecessary mess and drama.

13. You fail the server test

A guy who is genuinely kind-hearted respects, not only his date but everyone in the room – including the servers and sanitary personnel. Experts agree: you can tell a lot about a man by how he treats those in the service jobs.

Listen up: If the man yells and badmouths the restaurant staff, and is basically rude to other people, then it’s a red flag, revealing a preview of how he might treat the lady as they go on. Other red flags include road rage, failure to compromise several times, failure to accept blame, and manipulating behavior.

The first impression lasts, they say. But chances are, if a guy shows up with one or a few of these major turnoffs, he may not score a second or third date to redeem himself and score a potential good relationship with a great woman.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families.

10 Out Of The Ordinary Floral Arrangements Your Lover Would Love

Because Bouquets Are So Passé.

If you’re surprising your lover with flowers, chances are you’re going to grab a presentation-style bouquet, which is pre-selected in a flower shop or local supermarket. Presentation bouquets generally look like this: a bunch of flowers tied together and typically adorned with dry waxed paper or floral tissue, jutte fabrics, and mesh ribbons.

They are nice and convenient, but they can be, well, clichéd and predictable – especially if you’re giving it to a long-term spouse whom you’ve been giving bouquets for years.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing sweeter than receiving a handheld bouquet filled with vibrant and freshly-picked flowers of your taste. But wouldn’t it be nicer to receive flowers that have a dash of creativity and personality into it?

If you’re sending flowers for your wife, girlfriend, or special someone but you want to elevate your usual handheld bouquet and give something unexpected, here are 10 wonderful ideas to keep in mind.

1. Put ’em in a Quaint Teapot

If your wife loves both tea and flowers, then an English country garden-inspired teapot full of blooms is the best way to go. A lovely arangement of roses, daisy, and poms in feminine pastel-hued pots would definitely brighten up their day.

2. Or a Rustic Watering Can

For a rustic, “fresh from the garden” look, use rustic watering cans. The pale, timeworn look of watering cans add charm to the arrangement of vibrant blooms. You may also loop wire around the handle so it can be hung on the door for a beautiful display.
You may use the same approach for ceramic mugs, painted bottles, and vividly-colored jars.

3. Your Grandma’s Vintage Canisters

Love metals and vintage prints? Your recipient would definitely love blooms in old, vintage canisters. They come in different designs, from old-fashioned floral patterns to 50s-inspired typography and poster signages. Even vintage soup and coffee tin canisters elevate your floral arrangement.

4. Beautifully Trapped in Old Lanterns

Forget conventional vases and put old lanterns to use. Antique lanterns make romantic flowers arrangements, like roses, baby breath, and foliage, even dreamier. They also make a nice centerpiece for one’s home.

5. Bloom-filled Wooden Crates

If your recipient loves a wild arrangement of pretty pastel flowers, then wooden containers, like crates, would make perfect vessels. Aside from roses, flowers like hydrangeas, lisianthus, and snapdragons look stunning on crates.

6. Flower and Fruit Mix Basket

Bouquets usually come with a box of chocolates and other confectioneries , but wouldn’t it be nice if you give something sweet but healthier? Pair your fresh blooms with sweet edibles, that are also freshly picked – fruits. Flowers and fruits go well with each other since they’re both vibrant plants. They also make great “get well soon” gifts for a lover or friend who needs healthy munchies to recover.

7. Pretty, Mini Bouquets

Who doesn’t love mini versions of anything? Be creative enough to turn smaller  floral varieties into cute mini bouquets. You may scrimp on size but never on beauty, since they look lovely when attached to greeting cards and love letters for your special someone.

8. Classic Heart-Shaped Floral Arrangement

If you’re overly cheesy and romantic, you can never go wrong with the classic heart-shaped floral arrangement. A heart-shaped arrangement of roses, which may come in one solid color or multi-color, make a perfect gift for Valentine’s day, wedding anniversary, and your loved one’s birthday.

9. Whimsical Floral Wreath

Giving a floral wreath is one splendid way to opt out of handheld bouquet without losing the sweet gesture of “giving flowers for your love.” Floral wreaths look amazing, whether they are in bold and vibrant hues or pretty pastel hues. For a more earthy appeal, use a grapevine wreath and adorn with your recipient’s favorite flowers. They make a lovely door and wall decoration.

10. Umbrella Bouquet

Don’t throw your broken umbrella yet! You can fill it with your love’s favorite blooms, tie it with some pretty ribbons, and tada – you have a beautiful bouquet that looks quirky and out of the box! It’s multi-purpose too – you can use the handle for hanging the blooms and using it as a wall or door décor.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families.

9 Qualities That Innocently Make Men More Irresistible To Women

Just because you’re not gifted with Hollywood-worthy facial features and strong and lean physique doesn’t mean you can’t be attractive.

In contrary to stereotypes, women are pretty much easy to please. There are certain masculine features that make us swoon, and chances are that most guys are unaware of them.

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10 Small Romantic Gestures That Boost Your Relationship Big Time

When looking for the perfect ways to spice up a bland relationship, couples often turn to grand gestures. They go out and splurge on a fancy date at a steakhouse, travel out of town, and buy expensive things for their partner. We tend to forget that it is the smallest, simplest things that keep a relationship moving.

Oftentimes, you don’t have to go outside. Genuine and heartwarming gestures of love and affection are displayed at home

It doesn’t take that much amount of time, effort, and money to make your partner feel valued every day. To build a strong connection and bond that lasts, here are some expert tricks to fit into your routine.

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12 Things Happy Couples Do After Work To Rekindle The Spark

One surefire way to make a fiery relationship go cold and blue? Let the day pass without getting in contact with each other. Period.

The lack of time for each other is one of the most prevalent reasons for breaking up – and our hectic work schedule is commonly the culprit. With huge job demands and financial strains, it’s inevitable to become busy and stressed out the whole day. The first thing we’d love to do as soon as we leave the doors of the office is to just hit the sack and forget about everything. But your relationship, like your job, also demands attention.

Finding time to bond with our partners despite our demanding schedules is crucial in establishing a stronger, happier relationship. We’re not suggesting to splurge on an expensive romantic getaway or “get physical” every night after work to keep the spark ignited. The ways can as simple as holding each other’s hands and exchanging jokes and laughing together.

There are a lot of things happy couples do after their workday and during the weekends or their free time in order to keep their relationship intact.

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7 Reasons Why It’s A Good Idea To Get Back Together With Your Ex

Do you believe in the saying, “love is lovelier the second time around?”

Taking the cheesy, hopeless romantic statement aside, getting back with a former lover isn’t a piece of cake. The word “ex” often gets a bad rap. The two of you broke up for a reason, and you fear the possibilities of falling back into old habits and circumstances that didn’t work in the first place. You worry about how your friends and family would react. You’re afraid of being hurt again by the same person you tried to move on from.

But former sweethearts come in different forms. We all have those exes who made our life miserable and we’re good with never seeing them again. On the other hand, there are the ones who you’d be willing to befriend and rekindle with again if the time was right.

If you happen to reunite with someone special from the past and you’re contemplating whether to give it another shot or not, check out these things to see if your relationship is worth the second chance.

1. You had a clean break

You’ve been with this person for three years but due to several circumstances, you felt like it would be better to end the relationship. While it’s tempting to keep in touch with this person and replace the romantic relationship with friendship immediately, it wouldn’t be the best thing to do. The essence of ending a relationship is to grow apart.

Time heals, right?

Give it time. It would be better if you have spent a lot of months or years apart with no intention of future reconciliation. Have you cut off your contact after the breakup? Did you unfriend, unfollow, or block your ex so you can spend the time growing individually? Have you had the taste of life on your own? Did you do some soul searching?

After some time away from the person, you’ll have a clearer pair of eyes to figure out what’s best for you. By the time you reunite, you have a lot of new insights and discoveries about life and yourself, which you can apply on your fresh start.

2. You’re willing to start anew

Start from the start. Isn’t it nice to experience that “getting to know” stage all over again?

Sure, you are in love with the same person. But you’re living a different timeline now. You probably have a new circle of friends. Your career statuses have changed. You have new hobbies and interests to talk about. Your perspectives have evolved too. There are a lot of things to be discovered.

Okay, don’t fool yourselves that you’re “strangers again.” You’re not. The fact that you have a shared history will never disappear. Talking about things from the past is inevitable. But the point now is you have grown separately and you have learned from your previous mistakes. After growing apart, you tend to forget the petty things you fought about. You are restarting with a clean slate and healthier habits.

3. Your past relationship wasn’t a toxic one

Not all exes are the same. There are good exes and there are bad exes. The good exes are the ones whom you can totally relate to. You shared the same interests and you treated each other with compassion, trust, loyalty, and respect. It’s just that you realized you’re no good as a couple.

On the other hand, there are those exes who ruined you. They brought out the worst in you. They abused you physically and/or emotionally. And you got a sigh of relief when you two broke up.

For sure, you don’t want to get back with or even be friends with the latter.

4. The reason for why you broke up is fixable

Perhaps you broke up 5 years ago because of long distance relationship and this time, you’re residing in the same city. Or maybe one’s hectic schedule drew you apart but you’re in a more relaxed state now. Maybe you were just kids when you fell in love and you’ve grown older and wiser now.

If the reason the two of you broke up is no longer a problem anymore, then it’s okay to give it a second chance.

5. You have forgiven each other

It’s a must to seek forgiveness and accept one’s apology. Whether you admit it or not, your relationship is not normal. You’re unlike other brand new couples. You have a heavier baggage, so eliminate that massive burden from your chest.

6. You have let go of the grudges

If you’re thinking of getting back together, make sure you don’t carry the grudges from the past relationship to this new one. When you decide to open up your heart again to your past lover and forgive him/her, you accept to let go of the hurt and resentment so you can finally start over again. Avoid digging and bringing up old issues. Avoid making the other feel guilty about the past. Letting go is your sole ticket to happiness.

7. You understand each other now more deeply

Going back five years ago, you seemed to be living in an entirely different planet. You didn’t like the same things. Your ideas used to clash and every conversation wasn’t healthy.

Aside from healing wounds, time also changes people. Now, you discover that your needs, expectations, and goals have changed and these are aligned with your ex’s. You get along now more than ever. When you understand each other more deeply, you can love each other more deeply as well than you ever did before.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families. When she’s not using her pen in writing self-help articles focused on love, dating, and relationships, she spends her time creating poems and screenplays, painting.

10 Telltale Signs Your Man Is Cheating On You

Cheating is a choice, not a mistake.

In one of my previous articles here in Singles and Married, I talked about infidelity myths and mentioned some underlying issues which can be motives for cheating. I also elaborated on how disloyal partners a.k.a cheaters aren’t all the same. Some cheat physically, others cheat emotionally; some folks don’t know what they’re doing, others are just plain egocentric jerks.

Let me share you a true story: a month ago, I just discovered that my boyfriend of four and a half years cheated on me with a co-worker he has known for nine months. Based on the pictures I saw and the drastic decline of affection I felt, I assume they’ve been dating for five months while we’re still in a relationship. He did apologize but he never asked for another shot, so I guess I know what he chose, or rather, WHO he chose.

Now that I have experienced an infidelity story first-hand, I can say that the article I wrote last January has more depth and meaning than ever. I couldn’t sleep for a couple of days, questioning myself what went wrong and what was wrong with me. Am I not enough? Am I unattractive? Then why did he do it? Then I recalled that even seemingly perfect relationships are susceptible to infidelity.

This time, I’ll share 10 common signs your partner might be cheating, based not only on my personal experience for the past months but also on the experiences of women who had fallen for the wrong guys in the past.

1. He suddenly becomes concerned with his appearance

You tell him countless times to eat his veggies and head to the gym but did he ever listen? No. However, these past few weeks or months, you notice that he transformed into a fitness-conscious person, not in a “do it for your health” way but in a “do it for your 6-pack abs” way.

Another sign is when he’s getting a little extra with his clothing. He never dresses up his fancy attire when you go out on dates to impress you. Well, he used to when your love was new. But lately, you see him looking his best when he goes out with “the boys” or leaves for work. He changes his perfume. He shaves and cuts his hair too, which are unusual.

2. He spends a lot of time at work

It’s unusual because you’ve known him as the person heads home the second the clock strikes 5. He’s been extra busy lately and is working overtime – even strange hours. He spends extra hours with co-workers and volunteers to travel out of town on assignments.

3. He always talks about this new “friend”

And he seems very enthusiastic when he does.

Work affairs are very common, considering how much time we spend working together in one room or building. He might mention a “friend” to dispel any suspicions. He might even ask you to meet her in person because they “talk about you a lot.” He assures you that this “coworker” is just a friend and he’s just helping her to get over her past relationship or to improve at work.

4. He’s on his phone all the time

And he quickly turns it off when you enter the room.

We know privacy is important, but the way he hides his phone from you seems suspicious. He often sets it to airplane mode. He never even shows you pictures or videos on his own phone. Suddenly, there’s a password.

If you have to use it for whatever reason like if you have to call someone, it hard for him to lend it. He says he’s finishing a game but the truth is he’s talking to someone.  He glances at his phone first before giving it to you.

5. You keep finding weird things

You find a lipstick he claims that belongs to her sister, a lady’s undergarment which, he claims, got mixed in from his mom’s laundry, and hickeys on his neck he claims are insect bites.

6. His sex drive is totally different

There are two sides of the story. Firstly, perhaps he’s getting attention from another woman that he’s no longer interested in sleeping with you. Secondly, maybe he wants to have sex with you more since his “other woman” is giving him sex drive boost.

7. He gets mad whenever you question him

Simple questions like “where are you going tonight” or “what did you eat for dinner” feel more like a series of interrogations for him. He gets really mad and defensive and even accuses you of being distrustful (when in reality, you have the reason to be).

8. He even accuses you of cheating

He accuses you of seeing other men when you’re at work, or of texting your ex even if you’re not doing anything. He prohibits you from partying or going home late because you might see other men. He’s projecting his own guilt onto you, and he’s assuming you’re being as disloyal as he is.

9. He shows no sign of interest in you

Remember when he used to say how amazing you look in your black dress? How your red lipstick suited you? Or even how pretty you are even when you’re not wearing any makeup?

Well, that was yesterday. Today’s a different story.

Even if you exerted some efforts to look your best, he shows no interest in you. He never even notices you changed your hairstyle.

10. He indirectly pushes you away

Whenever you’re nice to him, he says he’s not good enough, and that you deserve someone better. He even asks you, “are you still happy with me?” These are some of the signs he’s slowly letting you go. He doesn’t even have the guts to tell straight to your face that he wants to break up with you.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families. When she’s not using her pen in writing self-help articles focused on love, dating, and relationships, she spends her time creating poems and screenplays, painting,

5 Reasons Why Premarital Counseling Is A Must Before Saying “I Do”

It’s natural for anyone who’s getting married to be optimistic – to be confident that nothing can break them apart and nothing can go wrong. The truth is, a lot of things will change after marriage, and even the happiest of all relationships can fall apart without proper preparation, attention, and investment.

This is where premarital counseling comes in. As its name suggests, it is the type of couples therapy in preparation for marriage aiming to help your relationship grow stronger. However, this couples therapy is far from the sweet, romantic talk you might think of. You seek counselors not only to talk about the things you love about each other but the unattractive things you just prefer to keep under the rug.

Ahead are five major reasons why premarital counseling is crucial before tying a knot.

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