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Old 03-25-2005, 04:11 AM   #1
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Should I just leave him alone?

OKÖ this has been going on for months. I go to nightschool and there is this man (about my age, 30ís) Iím attracted to. Heís also been giving me ďlooksĒ since the beginning (you know what I mean - but respectful, not sleazy). And yet, we still canít talk to each other. Seems like every time there could be an opportunity, we just freeze and miss it. I am painfully shy, so itís extremely hard for me to make the first move Ė even with other classmates. But this is so frustrating because, even though he is also kind of quiet, he has no problem talking to a few people Ė as long as theyíre not me. Iím starting to think Iím wrong and he really isnít interested in me, despite the non-verbal signs. How can I be sure? I know, maybe heís married - but, even so, we could still at least be class buddies, no? Iíd be happy with that; Iím not a homewrecker.

I know I am overreacting, but sometimes I go home crying after class because I feel so down. I know Iím not ugly or stupid or evil, quite the opposite; but I still end up thinking there must be something horribly wrong with me. So should I just say ďto heck with him, itís his loss, he had his chance and he blew itĒ? What if he really IS too shy to talk to me? I donít want to give up trying and regret it; I very rarely meet men Iíd like to get to know better. But I donít want to be an annoying pest either, if he wants nothing to do with me.

I know which class he is taking next Ė he said it right in front of me last night. And that is the one I was thinking of registering for too. Should I, or should I just avoid him? I donít want to have to face another semester of silence and awkwardness, because itís doing a serious number on me Ė making it even harder to smile and be ready for opportunities. Thanks for reading this and for any advice you may have. Ė CC

 
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Old 03-25-2005, 06:10 AM   #2
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

Why should it be considered "his loss" if YOU don't speak? Be an adult and just talk to him about regular things as you would talk to anyone else. If he gave you looks of interest, he already initiated the way most men who are interested do. What did you do back? Smile? If nothing, he probably figured a long time ago, you were disinterested. That's not his fault.

Last edited by vintagegirl; 03-25-2005 at 06:11 AM.

 
Old 03-25-2005, 07:29 AM   #3
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

What do you have to lose by talking to him? He probably does think you're not interested, since you haven't responded to his signals. Why don't you just talk to him about things regarding the class you're in together, or the next class he's taking that you're interested in too? That would be a safe starting point for you, and you'd be able to see what his intentions are, instead of torturing yourself, always wondering. Good luck!

 
Old 03-25-2005, 08:45 AM   #4
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

maybe he's thinking the exact same thoughts as you are; that your married or not interested, etc. you have nothing to lose, but if you don't go for it then you'll just end up wondering and regretting it. its better to do something and be unsuccessful/rejected than to NOT do it, and regret it. Good Luck

 
Old 03-25-2005, 11:39 AM   #5
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

Exactly. I'd much rather be sorry for mistakes I made than for chances I didn't have the guts to take. What's the harm in just saying "hey, how's it going? Did you do the assignment? What did you think of that last chapter/book/essay/assigment/lecture? Are you ready for the test/quiz/term paper?" What's he going to say? "Oh, you wicked skank, how dare you speak to me??!" Um, I doubt it! C'mon, what's the harm in just getting to know him as a class mate? Believe me, any reaction he could have, good bad or otherwise, wouldn't be as bad as going through the next year, two years, or however long, wondering "what if."

 
Old 03-25-2005, 11:45 AM   #6
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

I agree with everyone.
Take a chance, TALK TO THIS GUY!!!

We'll all be rooting you on! Let us know what happens.

 
Old 03-25-2005, 05:39 PM   #7
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

Thanks for all the replies Ė I really appreciate each and every one. (And Nini, you made me laugh with that ę wicked skank Ľ bit! ) Believe me, I know I should talk to him! But, when I said I was shy, I was not kidding Ė Iím talking borderline social anxiety. If he sees that I have trouble talking to other classmates as well, does he think I am ę stuck-up Ľ? Because Iíve heard that comment before, and it could not be further from the truth.

I did smile at him 2 weeks ago Ė but then developed a severe case of the cold/flu, so I havenít been feeling terribly sexy since (still coughing). What Iím wondering is : how late is ę too late Ľ? Iíve had months to talk to him. But then, so has HE, right? I donít buy the double standard that itís all my fault.

And anyway : what am I supposed to do if heís busy with someone else? Last night, some other classmate was talking his ear off the whole time. Was I supposed to say : ę Excuse me, lady, but I really want to talk to this luscious babe; so could you please just go away? Ľ All I could do was sit there and feel somewhat jealous that she could talk to him so effortlessly when I could not.

 
Old 03-26-2005, 06:39 AM   #8
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

Look, CC... You have two choices here, and that's all there is to it:

Either you get up the nerve and talk to him, or you do not.

What is important is for you to ALLOW yourself to be happy with whatever decision you make. You do NOT have to talk to him -- by deciding that are you going to forget this matter, you can instantly vanquish all your anxiety if you really follow through and DO forget about it. If you won't rest easy unless you DO talk to him -- then you need to weigh your options. What is more stressful to you? Working up the nerve to talk, or keeping it all bottled up?

Don't make excuses about the "double standard." If you want something in life, sometimes it takes a whole lot of courage to go get it. Using the double standard as an excuse won't get you ANYWHERE, so drop that now, please.

What's the WORST thing in life that can happen when there is something you want from someone else? They can say NO. That is the WORST thing. Accept that and you will realize that hearing the word "NO" is not the end of life as we know it on planet Earth.

You may hear the word NO. You may hear the word YES. Either way, either word -- that is the end of your anxiety, isn't it? If he says no, you can forget the whole thing, MAYBE be a little embarrassed for a few minutes, then get on with your life. If he says YES... well, then it's all good, right?

But here is something MUCH more important for you to consider. If you truly have a social anxiety disorder -- it may not be a great idea to try to enter into a relationship right now. May I suggest you seek a counselor and talk through some of these issues? Wouldn't you want to be as fully YOU as you can before meeting a new beau?

OK, so that might take time -- and if you go that route, he might get away. I understand that. But think it over anyway. It may not be the right time for you.

But if you REALLY want him... you have to go get him. You can't sit around and ask yourself over and over why HE hasn't approached you. Sounds like he is popular with lots of other people in that class. Someone else is gonna snag him if you don't act now. Or if they do not, he'll continue to just TALK to other people and you won't make a move of your own.

You are making excuses for yourself. Not cool. You ask how you could talk to him when someone else was talking -- how do you interrupt, you want to know. Why do you even have to interrupt? Why not just wait until their conversation ends and follow him out into the hall or into the parking lot or WHEREVER. Surely there is a time when you can introduce yourself and say SOMETHING. You KNOW you are making excuses that are easily seen through. So don't bother with that anymore -- it only encourages low self esteem and procrastination -- not good things. And you know this is all true. I can tell you're a smart gal -- you just need a good, hard shove in the right direction.

So... maybe you don't want to "waste" time with a counselor right now. Well, here are a few things you can do to boost your self confidence NOW, on your own, if you take them seriously:

Change your hair. Get it dyed, get it cut, whatever. Do something NEW.

Change your makeup. Same principle.

Get a HOT new outfit. Maybe two or three. Wear them to class. You'll look good and feel good.

At home, when you are alone, TALK to yourself. Speak OUT LOUD and in clear, concise sentences. VERBALIZE your feelings as you go through the day. This is a MARVELOUS tool for self-actualization. Sure, if anyone ever saw you they'd think maybe you are a bit loopy, but YOU know you aren't crazy -- you are simply teaching yourself how to TALK again.

Talk to a stuffed animal, a doll or a pet. Say things that are on your mind. I know, it sounds nuts. But it works. Pretend it's the guy. What do you want to say to him? Practice MANY different opening sentences -- but don't use any of them. Let it come naturally when you DO talk for real.

LOOK AT YOURSELF in the mirror. Do this A LOT. Smile. Frown. Laugh. Grimace. Watch your face. See what you look like. What expression says "I'm approachable?" Most social anxiety comes from seeing yourself as you THINK others see you, and this is usually based on a very WRONG and very negative self-image. By looking in the mirror and noticing your face, you can see yourself MORE for how others REALLY see you. You know how when you look at yourself for a long time in a mirror you don't even look like YOU anymore? Or when you say your name over and over and over a hundred times in your head until it loses meaning? THAT is the end-goal here. To see yourself without the FALSE meanings you have attached to your own personality.

There is a WONDERFUL person inside of you DYING to get out. Don't you think it is time you let her have a chance in your wardrobe?

Study your posture. Study your walk. Pay attention to your body language. HINT: raised eyebrows are the single MOST common means of communicating sexual desire. Glance at him and raise those eyebrow... just a little. Even he doesn't "know" what it means, he will still KNOW what it means!

DO NOT ROMANTICIZE him too much in your mind. He's a dude. He's probably nervous, too. Doesn't matter if he handles himself well around other women. Maybe he doesn't want THEM. He wouldn't be nervous if he isn't interested in them. He might enjoy being flattered by them and feel confident BECAUSE he doesn't want them. He MIGHT want you and be too nervous to say anything to you without further hints on your part.

Make any choice you want -- but don't complain about whatever choice you select. Want him -- better go get him. Take a week to practice at home. LEARN about yourself. Feel GOOD about yourself. Take your confidence TO him and see what you get. OR -- skip the fantasy, give it up, and be HAPPY with that choice for now.

But DO consider maybe some counseling and/or at LEAST try the crazy tips here in this post. They WORK.

Take it from a man who gets EXACTLY what he wants EVERY time he wants it. Honestly. Well, OK. Nine times out of ten. But I think that's pretty good.

And for the record -- guess what? I was JUST like you not too long ago. I did all the stupid things I suggested here to you -- the mirror, the clothes, the haircut -- all of that. It worked VERY well.

And I STILL do those things. I'm shooting for TEN OUT OF TEN here, you know?



Oh, right -- keep on educating your MIND. That's the single BEST thing you and me and everyone else can do for ourselves. Knowledge IS power. You are already intelligent -- now take that to the next level and USE IT to enjoy your life!

Sound cool?

 
Old 03-26-2005, 04:36 PM   #9
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

Sounds VERY cool, ScruffyGuy Ė thank you so much for your post! I am grateful you took the time and energy to write all this for me. Your "crazy tips" for motivation and inspiration have already lifted my spirits tremendously.

The decision is clear : I have to talk to him. Because itís not the first time Iím in such a situation, and I want that to end now. Otherwise, it will just happen again with the next "prospect". And itís not like I have smart gorgeous single men lining up in front of my house Ė so it could take months or even years. I just canít waste this chance or I will sincerely regret it.

Youíre absolutely right, I do procrastinate and make a lot of excuses Ė but I guess itís my way of rationalizing this. Strangely enough, I have self-esteem and self-respect, but no self-confidence. And, believe me, Iíve been to shrinks and Iíve taken pills Ė nothing worked. And I donít have any more time or money to waste on that. So Iím doing the self-help thing; I actually feel a lot better about myself than I did a decade ago. I am trying to be the best person I can be in every way.

I did get my hair done. I put care into my clothes and makeup. Iíve started to exercise more and eat better. Sometimes I look in the mirror before I leave and think I look very pretty - and yes, all "go get him!" The problem is that, as determined as I may be on my way to class, it all falls apart when I see him. I turn into a clumsy blushing teenager. And itís not even about him, itís about ME. When you said it would only be a few minutes of embarrassment if he rejected meÖ no it would not. I would take it a lot harder than that, even though I should not. I would take it as confirmation that thereís something wrong with me.

It is true what you said about S.A. and my perceptions being wrong. But itís hard not to believe you are a failure when you get no validation or positive feedback from the outside Ė not that one NEEDS it, but it helps a lot. If no man ever tells me Iím beautiful, for example, then Iíll end up feeling ugly Ė it doesnít matter what I see in the mirror.

As for being ready for a relationship : if Iím not ready now, then I never will be. Iíve been single for a long time. Iím not desperate for a man Ė I just want someone to love, thatís all. But I wouldnít actually want to rush into dating this man; Iíd rather be just friends at first and let it progress from there. Maybe we have nothing in common. And he could be the biggest jerk on the planet Ė but Iíll never know if I donít talk to him, right?!

But, see, thatís another thing : when you tell me to follow him into the hall or parking lot, that makes me fear I would look like a desperate, clingy annoyance. I know how ridiculous that sounds, but itís a real concern of mine. Like registering for the next semester : if weíre in the same class again, will he think Iím stalking him?

The part about him talking with other women : that is exactly what I was thinking. No attraction = no stress. If another male classmate talks to me, I donít get nervous. BTW, I did "raise my eyebrows" at him. But I feel I probably came across as more goofy than seductive. Iím a lousy flirt. The way I was raised, flirty = slutty. I think my life would be a lot easier if I were a vapid bimbo.

As for you, SG : Iím really not worried Ė with that great positive attitude, you WILL be shooting 10 out of 10 very soon! Thanks again for your helpful insight; Iím off to practice. - CC

 
Old 03-26-2005, 04:57 PM   #10
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

Scruffy is right, you should definitely try to talk to this guy. No pressure, just ask him about something related to your class. YOu are so lucky that you can see him on regular basis and have the best excuse ever to talk to him. And I agree, he might be nervous because he actually likes you! Good luck and let us know how it goes.

 
Old 03-29-2005, 07:55 PM   #11
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

I took a long walk and came up with some ideas as to what to say to him. At first I thought maybe I could ask him what he thinks the best place to park around the university building is. Men usually like to give their ďexpert opinionĒ on things like that, donít they? Then I thought maybe I could ask him if heís ever eaten at the little bistro in the lobby, to see if the food is any good. But maybe that would sound too much like Iím asking him out to dinner?!

I think my best bet would be to ask him if he knows the deadline to register for the next semester Ė something like that, as in ďdo you know if thereís still time?Ē If he replies ďno / I donít know, look it upĒ, and thatís the end of the conversation, Iíll know heís not interested and Iíll drop the whole thing and leave him alone. But I should think that, if he IS interested, he would run with that Ė like ďwhich class are you thinking of taking?Ē and so on.

I could also ask him if heís already taken the class I want to take next, so I can get a preview of what to expect. (Well, I know he hasnít taken it Ė but he doesnít have to know that!) I could also ask him if heís ever taken a summer semester class before, because I havenít Ė and I know he has.

Am I on the right track? 2 more days to ďpracticeĒÖ (taking deep breathÖ) Ė CC

 
Old 03-29-2005, 07:59 PM   #12
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonClover
I took a long walk and came up with some ideas as to what to say to him. At first I thought maybe I could ask him what he thinks the best place to park around the university building is. Men usually like to give their ďexpert opinionĒ on things like that, donít they? Then I thought maybe I could ask him if heís ever eaten at the little bistro in the lobby, to see if the food is any good. But maybe that would sound too much like Iím asking him out to dinner?!

I think my best bet would be to ask him if he knows the deadline to register for the next semester Ė something like that, as in ďdo you know if thereís still time?Ē If he replies ďno / I donít know, look it upĒ, and thatís the end of the conversation, Iíll know heís not interested and Iíll drop the whole thing and leave him alone. But I should think that, if he IS interested, he would run with that Ė like ďwhich class are you thinking of taking?Ē and so on.

I could also ask him if heís already taken the class I want to take next, so I can get a preview of what to expect. (Well, I know he hasnít taken it Ė but he doesnít have to know that!) I could also ask him if heís ever taken a summer semester class before, because I havenít Ė and I know he has.

Am I on the right track? 2 more days to ďpracticeĒÖ (taking deep breathÖ) Ė CC

I think you're definitely on the right track!! But just one little thing - I'd stay away from the questions that he can answer with a simple yes, no or I don't know. Keep to the open ended questions that can keep the conversation going a little longer. Good luck!!!

 
Old 03-29-2005, 08:23 PM   #13
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

I agree.
Is he shy also. If so really avoid the yes or no things, or follow up with a why? or something to the effect.

I know me, as a shy person, when I get asked these simple yes or no, that's pretty much the response people will get from me, and then they walk off assuming I'm not trying to conversate with them, even though that isn't the case.

But, yes, sounds like you're on a good track. Good Luck to you!!!!

Last edited by lisa24; 03-29-2005 at 08:24 PM.

 
Old 03-30-2005, 02:44 PM   #14
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

CC:

What a great response you gave!

Do me a favor -- and I know this is the problem, but... do it anyway: give yourself a LOT of credit for who you are.

Being objective here, since I am only reading words on a screen... it seems to me that you've got your head on straight and your act together WAY more than you allow yourself to believe.

I think you've got what it takes, in other words.

I am currently helping a lady friend of mine through a similar rough patch in her life -- she needs more confidence, etc. But HER situation is WAY more complex than yours. And even in her case, I feel she has what it takes.

Here's the thing... there's a little switch inside all of us. You can BE who you want to be -- you just have to have the guts to flip the switch. It can be scary to turn it on -- all the darkness goes away, and it is very easy to hide in the darkness sometimes, isn't it?

I believe you have your CORE personality developed and intact and that it is growing stronger daily.

Many of us KNOW who we are deep inside, but we project something else to others because we are afraid that others won't like who we REALLY are.

My experience tells me that with a solid core foundation, most people really appreciate knowing who we actually are. And once you get used to projecting yourself -- it is SO much more fun to be YOU. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes -- AND, even better: you start to develop all sorts of new things to admire about yourself.

Giving away a male secret here... again. He would be THRILLED if you followed him and talked to him sometime, or appear in his next class.

It is only when gals start REAL stalking that men get freaked out. In other words, if rejected (which I am really doubting at this point), just let him be. It is only "clingy" when he says NO and a gal keeps on trying to the point of becoming obnoxious.

I DO understand that a few minutes of embarrassment may not necessarily be true for some folks when they are rejected -- especially ladies. I wish I could help more with this aspect of it... but I think as a general rule of thumb, the amount of time you want to fret over it is ultimately up to you! You COULD allow yourself to be bugged by it for a week, if you want. That's OK. Or you could blow it off in ten minutes. That choice is yours. You know in your heart that almost certainly you are just projecting POSSIBILITIES of how you MIGHT FEEL if something happens that is negative and worrying needlessly IN ADVANCE about just how long you'll feel bad. The truth is -- if you REALLY want to -- you can feel bad for a while, then just let yourself get on with things. And you WILL. It will NOT be the end of the world.

But I'm thinking the guy is going to want to talk to you and be impressed AND flattered that you finally made a move. Sounds like you are BOTH sort of shy in some similar ways, though he is more practiced at socializing than you. You may end up teaching each other many things.

The fact that you can look in the mirror and KNOW you look pretty -- that's HUGE.

That pretty much tells me all I need to know.

You'll get through this just fine -- and of course, you certainly don't have to take ALL my advice and suggestions, but the fact that you are open to hearing ideas also tells me you are at that point in life where you are ready to flip that switch and put an end to the darkness.

From that point on... it's all so much easier.

Glad I could help.

Let us know how it goes.

 
Old 03-31-2005, 08:30 PM   #15
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Re: Should I just leave him alone?

Thank you so much once again for that post, Scruffy Ė it means a lot to me. You are right : I definitely have been hiding in the darkness for too long. And people have often told me how glad they were that they got to know me better when they finally got the chance; unfortunately, itís always when Iím leaving a school or a work place, i.e. too late. My Mom used to tell me the same thing : "why are you so withdrawn, if only youíd open up to people, you have so much to offer", etc. She was right, but I just wasnít able (or I was unwilling) to do it before, for whatever reasons.

About tonightÖ (sighÖ) Scruffy, Lisa, Sophia, Nini : sorry to disappoint, but I still havenít talked to him. I really wanted to and was waiting for the right opportunity, like bumping into him in the hall or something like that; didnít happen. And that woman from last week was talking his ear off again. Oh well Ė thereís always next week or the one after that, right? (And we WILL be in the next class together, BTW - itís official!)

The GOOD news is that I am "working my way up" to him. And I am so proud of that! I said hello to another man from my class and practiced eye contact and smiling at everyone I could Ė including that chatty woman he was talking to, and she smiled at me and tried to include me in their conversation. Unfortunately, the break ended at that point!

HOWEVERÖ here is the latest development : from that conversation, I learned that he has 2 kidsÖ (And the oldest (son) is 21! Wow, he must have had him when he was 12! Iím 34 and I thought he was my age or only a couple of years older Ė he certainly looks fabulous if heís over 40!)

No mention of a wife or girlfriend, though. Doesnít mean there isnít one, of course Ė but maybe heís a divorced dad? I mean, itís possible, though I am NOT getting my hopes up. And this is how I know I am making progress : in the "old days", something like this would have sent me crying into the ladiesí room. Not only did I not freak out, but I am doing fine. I actually felt a sense of relief when it happened; like, no matter what, everything is going to be alright.

SoÖ I donít want to overanalyze this, believe me Ė but, since he mentioned his kids right in front of me, does that necessarily mean heís not interested? For the record, heís still giving me "looks" and acting nervous around me. A wife/GF would explain why he hasnít made a move (and good for him Ė and her - if thatís the case); but we could still just talk as classmates, right? I just donít know what to make of him; I never did.

 
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