35 answers

18 Year Old Daughter Wants to Move in with Boyfriend

Help, my daughter who just turned 18, working and going to college wants to move in with her boyfriend. The boyfriend lives with mom at the grandparents house.
I tell her to please think things through its a bad idea.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

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18? I remember those years too. I traveled to Las Vegas every other weekend to see a guy.
It was 250 miles one way and My mother had a heart attack every time I left the house to travel all by myself.

So my advice? Remind her of the values you have taught her. Help her make the right choices. Let her fund her own destiny (no loans)... only fund her schooling.

Her choices are hers...

And remind her.... "You have to live with the choices you make"... after a certain age it's harder to erase the mistakes...

Much luck,
M.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T., I think you should let her move in with her boyfriend and experience dealing with her boyfirends' family.
It's not going to be easy and she will learn a thing or two about herself in the process(WHICH IS ALWAYS GOOD THING!). Plus, I think she will be back home sooner than you think!
Hope this helps.

An 18 year old is hard to communicate with. My suggestion, would be to talk to her about the pros and cons of living with him.

This has worked with my teenager, but she might have made up her mind already and you won't be able to change it. If that is the case, just be with her when things go wrong. That is about all you can do.

J.

More Answers

18? I remember those years too. I traveled to Las Vegas every other weekend to see a guy.
It was 250 miles one way and My mother had a heart attack every time I left the house to travel all by myself.

So my advice? Remind her of the values you have taught her. Help her make the right choices. Let her fund her own destiny (no loans)... only fund her schooling.

Her choices are hers...

And remind her.... "You have to live with the choices you make"... after a certain age it's harder to erase the mistakes...

Much luck,
M.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.!!

You have gotten some pretty good advice here but I decided to add my two cents anyway. I wasn't 18, but in my early 20's when I decided to move half way across the country with a guy I barely knew. Yes it was a stupid thing to do, and yes, my Mom did everything she could to stop me from going. But she was supportive, and always reminded me that I could always come home. Four months later, that was exactly what I did. I came home, with no questions asked. My Mom did not ask me any questions about why I went, or why I came home. She just welcomed me with open arms.

So I guess my advice is just to let her know that you are always there for her no matter if she is successful, or if she fails miserablly. Let her know that she always has a place to come back to. Don't shut her out, and don't make her think that she has lost your respect. Remind her that you love her always. Have faith that you have raised her right and have given her the tools that she needs to eventually make the right choice.

Good Luck!!

L.

1 mom found this helpful

At 18, she doesn't legally need your permission. And, she'll probably tune out a lot of what you say. Don't let any disagreement get so big that she shuts you out or feels she has to choose between you.

I would point out, though, that a man who is depending on his grandmother, or anyone else, to provide him with a place to live is not in any position to ask you to share his living space. Your daughter is more together than this man or his family, it seems. Remind her that a man who truly loves her will want her to do well in school.

This is a very bad idea. But if she chooses to do this, and it works out badly, it is not the end of the road and it can be fixed.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree that it is not a good idea however she will probably do it no matter what you say. I would state your case and then try to let it go as you do not want to make her not feel as though she can talk to you about things. You may want to bring up the point of, why would she want to move out of one family home and into another? Why not wait until she/they can get a place of their own? No one wants to see their kids move out... especially with someone who can't even afford their own place. Do try to be supportive of whatever her decision unless it is an unhealthy place for her to be.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,

I would like to be able to tell you that there is something you can say that would make your daughter say "wow mom, you're right", but it's not gonna happen. Without knowing you, your daughter, or any other personal information, I can only give you the benefit of my experience. I also moved out with my boyfriend at 18 (although, we rented an apartment with my brother and his girlfriend closer to where we were attending college), and it got ugly with my mom, but I still did it. The more you push against it, the more she will push right back.

Yes, it might be a mistake...but maybe it's a mistake that she can learn from. If you can offer your advice while at the same time supporting her decisions and not making it a point of contention between you two, she may listen to your advice as someone who is worth listening to instead of someone who doesn't understand. Will she have to pay rent? Contribute to the household (groceries, utilities, etc.)?

Who knows...what if while living together, she discovers things about him and/or living there that she can't stand and decides it wasn't the best thing to do - viola! She's home again. I can only imagine how stressed you are about this right now, but if you can pull off a relaxed, supportive front, it will allow her to come to her own conclusions and force her to take responsibility. Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

tell her .. the boyfriend needs to come and ask permission for her to move in with him, if he is a decent guy he will do this, then you can ask him what his intentions are, let him know your not here to pay his bills or your daughters bills once she moves out, and what you expect from him on how he treats your daughter, with respect.. no babies although if they really loved each other stay living at home and save there money for there future. It sounds like mom she is ready for the next step sleeping with him each night, and that it might not be available unless they sneak.. all you can do is let her know how expensive it is, and
once she moves out your not the banker. LOL this is just part of growing up.. sometimes we have to let grow so they can make mistakes.. aww Blessings

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,

I would ask her to not make a hasty decision, but to give it some time (90 days?) to think it over. During that time, I would cover her in prayer each day. You might want to do some homework to present her with, such as that book by Dr. Laura some women have suggested and possibly even cited statistics about how successful/unsuccessful such situations typically are. Show some of the stories that have been posted. Make sure she spends time to really figure out why she wants to do this. Is it because her boyfriend wants her around and she's afraid of losing him? Is it because she can't stand living in your house? Stress to her that while legally she is an adult, you don't want her to have to experience too much adulthood all at once. If she has to support herself, she will miss out on the enjoyable parts of college. These years are for her to find herself, it's kind of hard to do that when you are heavily bound to someone. I was in a bad relationship during my early college years, and I regret how I let it affect my studies and socialization with others.

It is important that both you and your husband let her know you do not support this idea, but you will always love her. If she moves out, she is no longer dependent on you. However, let her know that she could always come back home to you and Dad. If this relationship turns out to be abusive, but she doesn't think she can come back home, she may end up staying in the bad situation thinking she is trapped.

As a mom I totally feel for you. My son is only 2, but my husband and I pray everyday that he doesn't make the same stupid mistakes that we have.

My best to you!
M.

1 mom found this helpful

at 18, you don't really have any say. And, the more you protest, the more she will rebel. Tell her you love her, you raised her to be independent and you trust her to make the right decisions. Tell her you don't agree with the decision, and explain (calmly) why and ask her to rethink it. Then let her know you'll love her and support her no matter what her decision is. And, then do it. And then pray. It will be hard, but you can do it! Good luck!

Hi T., I'm sure she knows inside that it is a bad idea. I have to ask what has become of parents and grandparents that don't seem to have a problem with living with someone you are are not married to. I would tell her, if the mom lives with the grandparents, then she probably can't support herself and her son, and if the son lives with his mom and his grandparentsm then he probably can't support himself, so why would you want to be with someone like that in the first place. I'm 51 and I have a 19 year old daughter, and my husband and I have been talking to her about morals and values sinse she was like 12, and have raised and taught her about marrige and purity, and my husband has always been in there with her to valadate her worth so she hasn't needed a guy to do that for her, she is in coolege and that's her focus right now, she knows the right guy will come when she is ready. Maybe you can share this with your daughter. What does her dad have to say about what she wants to do? J. L.

Hi, T.,

Have you, in as non-threatening way as you can muster, asked her to describe her value system? In telling her that you think moving in with her boyfriend is a bad idea, try to be specific as to why you think that it's a bad idea. This discussion could help both of you understand each other and make decisions that will result in the best outcome in the long term. Have you asked her why she has decided to move in with her boyfriend? (specific reasons) Does she plan to marry him? What is her timeline? Does he plan to marry her? If so, what is his timeline? How does she think that she would feel if, after moving in together, he broke up with her, or she broke up with him? Who is paying the bills (utility, phone, etc.)? How do boyfriend's mom and grandparents feel about her, and how does she feel about them? If you approach a conversation with your daughter in an unbiased way, the way a psychotherapist probably would, you may have a much more productive conversation than you would if you merely state that you think that moving in with boyfriend is a bad idea.

Good luck,
L. E

All great ideas here.

Just wanted to add.... no MATTER what happens... make SURE this does NOT become a situation which causes you & your daughter to part ways... or become antagonistic toward each other or worse yet, become estranged from each other.

Remember... no matter what... you MUST make sure you are IN her life.. .and that she can come to you, without fear, for ANYTHING she needs you for. Even if an "18 yr. adult"... you must make sure she feels she can approach you for anything. YOU are her safety net... the soft place for her to fall should anything negative happens in her life. You must make sure your relationship with her is maintained. Not let this event undermine any sense of trust/comfort/understanding/affection between the both of you. Make sure she KNOWS she can come to you no matter what... and that you will not "judge" her or criticize, but be there to discuss anything in her heart, openly.

"Children" no matter what... if they feel they are not 'understood' or feel they are continually criticized... they WILL stop coming to the Parent for anything, and will not trust them or communicate with them... and then you will not be "in the loop" where her life is concerned. You don't want this.

All the best, this would make me nervous as well. I hope the best for all of you,
Susan

Hi, T..

I'm a 35 year old, mother of a 5 1/2 year old. When I was 18, my mother would have freaked out, if I said something like that. My parents freaked out when I did it, at the age of 23.

I'm going to have REALLY remember my own advice, when my daughter gets older.....But you've raised your daughter. Hopefully, you've raised her to think very high of herself and make decisions that are good for her. All you can do is let her live her life.

Do I think it's a BAD idea, to move in with her boyfriend? DEFINATELY!!! He isn't even taking care of himself. He still lives with his mom. Not just that...I just don't think an 18 year fulling understands what kind of commitment that is. Let along the fact that she doesn't even know who she is as a person, yet.

I use to tell my mom and I still do.... If you thinking I'm making a mistake, let me make my mistake...It's how I'm going to grow...If you love me, then you're going to be there for me and catch me when and if I fall.

My mom has had to catch me a few times. It makes me love her even more.

You are right, Mom, this is a bad idea. However, most 18 year olds have minds of their own. Let her know that this relationship will most likely not last. The statistics are not in her favor. But, be kind and loving and encouraging when you sit and speak with her. And pray, pray, pray!!

I moved out 3 days after my 18th birthday, lived with my boyfriend, got pregnant, it was an abusive relationship, but we got married to do the 'right' thing, we got divorced, and now my children pay the price for my selfish decisions.

Someone put it best in a response...where will this take her in 6 months, a year?? God bless you as you be there for her.

All you can do is voice your opinion and hope she makes the right decision. Ask her if when she has her own daughter would she like it if some guy treated her with such disrespect.
If she wants to act like a grown up, she needs to be prepared to take on all the grown up stuff that comes with adult decisions and actions. Let her know that you will not financially support her anymore (and stick to it) so she can be some shack up honey (sounds harsh but it's true). Don't enable her to play house.
I recommend she reads "10 Stupid Things Women do to Mess Up Their Lives" by Dr. laura Schlessinger.
I would also tell her that she is more than welcome in your home but you don't want the boy who is disrespecting their daughter in your house-period!
It will probably cause friction now. She may even not talk to you for a while. When she grows up, she will realize her mistake. Be there for her when that inevitably happens.
Having her look at all these answers may not be a bad idea either.
Good luck to you and especially your daughter if she follows through with it.

Please contact to me. I am just 25 years boy. i would be the ferfect boyfriend to your doughtier...

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Please contact to me. I am just 25 years boy. i would be the perfect boyfriend to your doughtier...

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Please contact to me. I am just 25 years boy. i would be the perfect boyfriend to your doughtier...

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I would explain to my daughter that since she was 18 and making adult decisions, that would in fact, mean that she was an adult.
Therefore, you will no longer support her in any way, shape or form financially even if she is in school. College would be on her dime, not yours. And, You love her very much, but you are unwilling to hold her back from her impending adulthood. If in fact she is unwilling to become an 'adult'
and be on her own, you would then reconsider your decision of financial support. DO NOT LET HIM MOVE IN WITH YOU!

My kids are 26, 23, 21, and 9. So I have been there. It's just not easy, is it? As you know and I know, kids this age are far from adults, but legally they are and they can do what they wish. The most difficult thing about being a parent is not being able to stop our kids from making mistakes. We spend the first 17 years shielding them from trouble and making a lot of their decisions for them, then BOOM! They are 18, and we are no longer calling the shots. This is what I have learned. We can give our opinion in a calm and rational way and state our feelings on a matter, but drama, threats, and high emotion will only backfire on us. The more you push one way, the more your "adult" child will pull the other way. My adult kids have made their fair share of mistakes, some of them heartbreaking. But don't we all? Unfortunately, human beings do not seem to learn from the mistakes of others. We need to make our own mistakes, and that is so difficult to witness! Perhaps the world would be a much better place if moms made all the decisions - perhaps not. It is very difficult - an art form, really - but you need to step back. You have stated your opinion. She knows how you feel. It is now up to her. And if she ends up making what you know to be the wrong decision, you need to respect that as her decision. She will realize it in the long run. You cannot let the bad decisions of your children alienate you from them. Preserving a good relationship is the most important thing, in the end. No tears, no hysterics, no ultimatums, no threats - be calm, be loving, be there for her. you can vent to us but not to her. Hang in there! This is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to parenting. Sleepless newborn nights? Toddler tantrums? The terrible twos? The selfish pre-teens? The terrifying teen years? All a walk in the park compared to 18-21, the years when our children start making the big decisions on their own. You will live through it. The important part is making sure your relationship with your daughter survives, as well. :0)

As someone who moved in with the wrong men for the wrong reasons at the wrong times, I'd say it's not the worst thing she could do. But I would suggest encouraging her to really analyse her and her boyfriends motives. Like someone else said do they think they are going to get married (which would scare me as a parent of an 18 year old more than her wanting to live with him, which is most likely a temporary situation and a great, if not emotionally difficult, learning experience)? are they planning to get their own place after a little while? do they see their lives heading in similar directions?

These are questions I wasn't experienced enough to ask when I moved in with my first boyfriend at 19 (largely for financial reasons and convenyence) and while it became evident that our relationship was going no where and I stuck around longer than I should of because sperating after cohabitating is greatly more difficult than stopping making plans to get together, I learned a lot about what I did want in a relationship.

I would say 18 year olds are going to do what they want. I think being supportive might be going a little too far but to disown her or revoke your support of her in other aspects of your relationship would be far more damaging and serve only to push her more fully into an underdeveloped relationship involving two underdeveloped people.

So I guess my advice to you would be talk to her about her reasoning in a way that lets her know you just want to make sure SHE has put some real thought into the decision, let her know you believe she is capable of TAKING CARE OF HERSELF (i.e. does not need a boyfriend to take care of her) and that you'll always be there to help her, make sure her boyfriend is not physically, mentally, or emotionally abusive, that he's not significantly older than her, and be perpared to get a teary phone call one night and help her move back home and give her a big hug and possibly some chocolate when it all blows up, which I'm 99% sure it will. And urge her with great clarity to KEEP THEIR FINANCES SEPERATE. NO JOINT BANK ACCONTS. SPLIT ALL SHARED BILLS EQUALLY AND WRITE SEPERATE CHECKS. (If their living at the families house that's probably not the biggest issue and probably a big motive for her wanting to live there).

Good Luck.

I know it's hard to let go, but it something all of us parents have to do. She is an adult and you have to let her make her own decisions. We can only try to guide our children in the right direction. Voice your concerns to her but let her know she can always come home. It's good for her to know if it turns into a bad situation she doesn't have to stay. Better to let go then to push her away.

get her the book "10 Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives" by Dr. Laura Schlesinger. If she's going to mess up her life, you want her to know ahead of time. I think its the best you can do for her.

Unfortunately, she is going to have to find out for herself how bad an idea this is. My daughter did the same thing this last February. We had a huge horrible fight over the whole issue and she left calling me some not so nice names. My heart was broken. After she left I spent alot of time trying to find out where I went wrong. Only to come to the conclusion that it wasn't me, I had to let her go to be her own person. By the way she returned home in July.

Hey T., WHen I first read your request, I thought you had said she wanted to move into YOUR house with her boyfriend, whew! Glad I read it again!

I think all the advice is wonderful and you should take it all to heart. Tell her how you feel and then support her NO MATTER WHAT! I did the same thing when I was 19 and my parents were furious with me, although they didn't raise me to be an independent woman and to be on my own first.

I have raised my kids to be independent and they know I feel about living with people and not being married. THey are 15, 13 and then little ones, ages 3 and 1 (so they don't really understand yet, but they will in time) I can only hope and pray they make the right decisions when they are older.

Good luck!
M.

If her boyfriend wants her to move in, why doesn't he move out? And what's up with the mom living with her parents? Sounds like a family of losers to me... maybe there are good reasons for the living situation, but 3 generations? In America? Seems fishy to me. Your daughter should want more for herself.

Besides, living with someone before you're married isn't such a good idea. If things don't work out, she'll have to find another place to live (obviously she can't kick him out) and all the nastiness that comes with finding a new living situation on short notice and breaking up with someone.

You'll need to talk to her about the specifics, not just tell her to "think about what you're doing". She doesn't know yet what happens in life. You have to show her and guide her. Do you have any friends who chose to do what she wants to do, and had a horrible experience? Have that person talk to her.

Is she in school? If not, she really should be. And if she is, she needs to be focusing on it, not on her love life.

Moving in with the boyfriend is simply not a good idea, regardless of what she seems to think. I've seen a few of my friends get nothing but bad news from life decisions like this. My 30-year-old friend has had to restart her life after each boyfriend she's cohabitated with. She now works a low-paying job with no hope for advancement because she wasted her decisions on her boyfriends. It's so sad.

Hi T., I think you should let her move in with her boyfriend and experience dealing with her boyfirends' family.
It's not going to be easy and she will learn a thing or two about herself in the process(WHICH IS ALWAYS GOOD THING!). Plus, I think she will be back home sooner than you think!
Hope this helps.

I've read a lot of responses that are telling you to let her know you think it's a bad idea. I think over time we as parents forget what it was like to be our kids ages. When your parents said not to do something you did the opposite. 18 year olds really think they know what's best for them. Even though they really couldn't be more wrong, nothing anyone tells them is going to change that. They need to think and make decisions on their own. Instead of voicing your opinion, first try this:

Tell her that you really want to understand where she's coming from, so you would like to discuss the matter in detail over lunch or dinner. Just don't make her feel threatened or she won't show.)
Ask her what the real benefit is to her moving into his family's house with all of those relatives. Does the family need financial help? Are they even okay with her moving in? Is there any benefit other than sleeping with him at night and waking up with him every morning? What are her financial obligations should she move in? With all of those people in the house will there be a quiet place for her to study and do homework? Come up with and ask her every single little question you have about it without voicing opinions yet.

Then ask her to make a pro-con list of moving in with the boyfriend so she can really weigh it out.

If all of these things don't change her mind, tell her even though you know she's an adult (yes she does see herself as one even if she really is only technically one) you would like to talk to his family and see where she'll be living before you agree because you just don't think this is a good idea. Then you'll just have to let her go and make this mistake on her own. Make sure to let her know that if it doesn't work out she always has a place to come home to. So many girls are so ashamed that their parents were right and they left things so ugly that they never go back and end up alone and the parents are left full of regret and sadness.

Let me tell you my story. I am now in my 40's, but when I was 19, I also moved in with my boyfriend, even though my mom said no. I did it anyway. But I still kept on great terms with my family, my mom just didn't approve. My dad worked a lot, so he didn't really say yes or no. My story turns out good. We ended up getting married at age 27, and started having children in our 30's. We saved a lot of money, and bought a house, then a better one, etc. (We actually bought our first house before we got married. Nowadays, it's not so easy buying a house in this market!) We now live very comfortably and our kids are doing great. So if she goes ahead and lives with him, at least she's going to college, and try to tell to her to save money for a house or condo, and maybe they will have a good ending the way we did. It was hard for my mom back then, but now my mom says I got a good one (meaning my husband). Good luck!

Boyfriend is probably not much of a catch if his Mom still lives with her parents too. She is an adult, so as long as you are not paying her way right now, then she can do it. However, if you are paying for her to go to school, tell her that you will only continue to do so if she lives under your roof. Hopefully this does not make her quit school to be with him. Maybe she can spend 2 nights a week with him?

Just by doing some quick math, it seems like you were fairly young when you started a relationship with her father. Is there anything you can say about your past experiences that might help?

She's 18 and won't listen to you anyway! I remember 18 and I don't think I could even hear my parents when they spoke! Is there another woman in your life that she is close to? I was always more likely to listen to my sister who is 10 years older than I am. I looked up to her so her advice seemed better and she was closer to my age. You might also point out that she will be living with 2 MIL's and a FIL!! HOLY CRAP...that would suck! It is very hard to live in a house with that many people who are used to making the rules for themselves. My in-laws live in our home and it is really tough to keep things running smoothly. She also has to deal with sharing him with his mother. Mom's can be really jealous with boys. Either way whatever she decides she will learn a lesson. Be supportive either way because if she does move in with him she will need somebody to confide in when it hits the fan.

Why is it such a bad idea? Is he a bad influence? IS she doing it for independence in general or just because she doesn't want to be at home? My boyfriend moved into my parents house with me when I was 19. The only reason we didn't get our own place was because he was in the Navy and would be leaving on a 6 mo deployment after only 2 months. We've now been married for 7 1/2 years. If she's rebelling she's probably not going to listen to much you have to say unfortunatly. I'm not saying to give up, but maybe talk to the boyfriends mom. You can both sit down with them and explain that there will still be rules and responsibility and school/work.

An 18 year old is hard to communicate with. My suggestion, would be to talk to her about the pros and cons of living with him.

This has worked with my teenager, but she might have made up her mind already and you won't be able to change it. If that is the case, just be with her when things go wrong. That is about all you can do.

J.

Yikes! Ask the Boyfriends Mother for help! Ask her to please not to extend the invitation

T.,

I lived with my college boyfriend and it was awful! We were a great couple before it, and had EVERYTHING going for us. Neither of us, had a lot of money and it was the worst thing I've ever done. We fought all the time about money, rent and groceries. And, while my Mom taught me all there was about being 'moral' and 'respecting myself' sometimes the pull from others can be so great you forget who you really are...it was heartbreaking to see what I had done, and let myself do.

By living together, the fun of college ended...the prospect of our forever was shattered and we grew up WAY before we needed to. I was only 20 years old, and thank God my Mom was there for me when it ended and I needed help with emotional support.

If I were you, as a Mom now, I would ask your daughter why she thinks she NEEDS to do this now? Is there something wrong with waiting until she's married? Have a chat with her and let her know that you love her and you hope she understands that you know she's an adult and has the right to make her own decisions but, she has her whole life ahead of her to make a home with someone. Why not wait when it can be YOUR OWN home and not someone else?

For me, I got caught up in the feelings of 'love' I didn't understand and couldn't process. My Mom was against the relationship to begin with, so I didn't feel like I had anyone to go to until it fell apart. My Mom tells me now, that she knows now that she did her best to enstill me with values and morals, and she wishes she had been more open to talking to me about the choice instead of building walls...

How long has she been with this boyfriend? Do you know the family?

I've learned a lot from my mistakes, and now I am much more careful about how freely I hand out my heart.

I know how you feel and my suggestion would be to love your daughter and allow her to learn the hard way. She is 18 and in the eyes of the law she is a young adult. I argued and argued with my daughter and reminded her of my mistakes and she thought that things would be different. I talk with my daughter everyday and she has learned her lesson, it is hard to get out of situations. I have not said I told you so, but she knows that I did not tell her the things I did to keep her from doing anything. I didn't want her to make the mistakes that I did. I love my daughter and she has learned and has become a stronger and wiser young woman...Pray and turn her over to God and He will protect her and will strengthen and comfort you...I hope this helps...N.

Wow, that is a tough one. On one hand she is an adult and she can make her own decisions so if you try to stop her she may jsut resent you.
On the other hand she is still your baby and you want to keep her young and safe and protected.
So my only advice to you is, let her know your feelings, talk to her about why she wants to do this, ask her things like where she sees it going in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? What is she hoping to get from the relationship? What message is she sending to her boyfriends family? You know real stuff.

Keep it positive, help her to make her own decison and love her for whatever that decision may be. Just love her.

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