Grown Zone

3 Signs That He’s A Grown Man

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Welcome to the Grown Zone at We look forward to providing tools, advice and a reliable framework to help you to achieve honor, esteem, respect, prosperity, health (mental, physical and emotional), good relationships and self-loving behaviors for your life.

As we repeatedly point out in the Grown Zone, all it takes for a boy to become an adult male is to survive puberty. However, for an adult male to become a Grown man requires him to consciously choose to be, and then to diligently and consistently live out that choice. In an earlier post, we identified signs that an adult male is not a Grown man. In this post, we will identify some indications that a man is, in fact, Grown. But before we do, some caveats:

There is very little apparent difference between adult males and Grown men, at first glance. Do not kid yourself into believing that you can pick Grown men out of the crowd at church, your job, the family reunion, the supermarket, the professional conference, the grocery store, or any of the other places you may have been told are prime locations to find “good” men. There is only one way to distinguish Grown men from adult males: observation and investigation over time.

Until a man proves to be Grown, assume that he’s not—and withhold access to your body, money, heart and home. How long do you wait? However long it takes. If he can’t prove he’s Grown over an extended period of time, assume that he’s not and keep it moving. No, you don’t owe anyone “a chance.” And don’t operate according to an arbitrary deadline, such as the 90-day rule (with all due respect to the Think Like A Man film franchise). Women who openly use the 90-day rule to find a Grown man too often get placed into 90-day rotations to be screwed by less-than-Grown, penis-led males. Remember, they saw the same movies you watched. Committed players have also read the books, magazines and relationship quizzes, too.

So, again, you can’t go by what adult males say; if they are truly Grown, only time and observation will tell. Lies are told; truth is lived. Bypass any man who wants access to your body, money, heart and/or home, but resists or resents your efforts to closely observe and thoroughly investigate his lifestyle before granting such access. Again, better to wrongly assume that he’s not Grown, than to assume that he is, and discover otherwise the hard way.

One more thing: Grown men are found, not made. We repeat, especially to you Makeover Artists: You cannot take an adult male and invest in him like a fixer-upper, help him “reach his potential” or otherwise try to grow him up. You cannot bribe, coerce, seduce or otherwise convince an adult male to become Grown; that is a choice he must make for himself, and a path he must walk on his own. Again: It is not within your power, nor is it your responsibility, to fix, control or change another person’s behavior with your love. No matter how funny, needy, fine, sexy, rich, intelligent or adorable he is, if he is not Grown (and we’re assuming that you are, or are at least striving to be), leave him alone.

That said, here are three signs of a Grown man:

1. A Grown man is not ruled by his libido, and views a sex drive as a sorry excuse for poor decision-making. As we often say in the Grown Zone, a king is never ruled by his appetites; a slave is always subject to his. If an adult male keeps his self-esteem in his underwear, and seeks its validation in yours, he is not Grown. A Grown man knows the difference between genuinely loving a person (as defined by his treatment of her), and merely coveting people’s bodies, money, status or other abilities and attributes. He is a man of passion without being a slave to his passions. He measures his manhood not by the quantity of his conquests, but by the quality of his conduct, choices and character.

2. A Grown man creates and maintains a safe, secure, happy and peaceful environment for his self and others, especially children. Men bring the peace; boys bring the noise. Grown men operate in environments of stability and safety, comfort and warmth. Here’s a simple assessment of whether or not an adult male you are in a relationship with, or considering as a potential relationship partner, measures up to this Grown standard: When he enters your presence, do you feel relieved or anxious? Do your stress levels go down, or up? Is he a source of stability, compassion and reassurance, or of instability, tension, judgment and fear?

A Grown Man is the polar opposite of a drama king. He will have established and maintains an environment that is safe, healthy and affirming for himself, and for anyone he welcomes into his space. He will not tolerate anyone who disrupts, violates or otherwise threatens that secure environment, but he will honor and value those—including a compatibly stable, Grown partner—whose presence compliments it. He understands that such is the foundation of a true, healthy, ultimately loving—and especially self-loving—partnership.

3. A Grown man knows that he needs fidelity, emotional safety, to be heard and valued, and treated with honor, esteem and respect as much as any woman does. In fact, that recognition is an important first stage of personal growth on the journey of Grown Manhood. A Grown man understands that you don’t attract what you want; you attract what you are. He understands that if he does not adopt a standard of loyalty, consistency, fidelity, emotional security, trustworthiness and love for self, he is highly unlikely to attract others with those qualities, nor will he be conditioned to honor those values if he should do so.

For example, a Grown man does not expect to have a relationship of fidelity and commitment while leading a lifestyle of casual promiscuity. If what a man says he wants from his life and relationships does not line up with his choices and behaviors, who he chooses to be and how he lives (even when he is not in a relationship), he is not Grown. Such adult males may be able to attract interested and willing partners, but cannot sustain healthy relationships with them.

Being Grown is not about age, appearance, status, personality, income or talents and abilities, but a function of how a person treats others, and his or her capacity to establish and sustain healthy, Grown relationships—that is, relationships of honor, esteem and respect. Grown is about values, choices and behaviors. It’s a code of conduct and a commitment to personal growth, not just a matter of chronology and accumulated experiences. The best way to recognize those qualities in another person is to value and embody the same in your own life. Focusing on your own character and personal growth also makes it easier for Grown men to find you—and allows penis-led males to fall back and recede from your view. Quality seeks its own level. Seek and you shall find. Seek specifically and without compromise, and you will find only what you are looking for. In the search for healthy relationship partners, give Grown men the time necessary to distinguish themselves from the pool of typical adult males. Live In The Grown Zone.

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About GrownZone



Zara Green and Alfred Edmond Jr., named to Black Love Forum’s “14 Most Inspiring Black Couples” list for 2014, are co-principals of A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, producer of The Grown Zone. Zara is a speaker/trainer & author. Alfred is an award-winning journalist and expert on business and personal finance. The couple, both “Do-Better Fanatics”, lead sessions on personal growth, self-love and resiliency, healthy relationships and “grown” decision-making at live events across the country.

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