Grown Zone

What Grown Folks Know About Love That Most Don’t

Is that the light of love at the end of the tunnel? Or an oncoming train wreck? Grown folks learn to tell the difference.
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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.

Most people—male or female, single or married, divorced or “booed-up,” and especially those in “complicated” situations—want healthy, respectful, emotionally secure, sustainable relationships, even if they’ve lost hope of ever experiencing one. Anyone who expects to achieve that goal needs to learn how to lay the foundation of a healthy relationship and to recognize unhealthy behaviors detrimental to such relationships. This starts with recognizing that healthy relationships, romantic and otherwise, are not a function of luck, sexual chemistry, religious beliefs, or the alignment of the stars. Good, healthy love is the product of skill sets, habits, actions and a reliable framework for making better relationship decisions, rooted in principles of self-love. Here are just a few of the things that people who consistently engage in healthy, sustainable relationship behaviors know that the majority of us learn the hard way, if at all:

How to assess the worthiness of potential relationship partners before making choices with lifelong consequences. Is that the light of love at the end of the tunnel? Or the light of an oncoming train wreck? Grown folks learn to tell the difference without risking disruption or devastation of their lives by poor choices they may have the adult right to make, but are not in their best interest—not Grown! They do not use infatuation, sexuality or mutual attraction as justification for blindly surrendering responsibility for themselves to others. (As we say in the Grown Zone, true love may be blind, but is never stupid.) They recognize that disengaging the brain when the heart is exploding with passion is just as reckless and destructive as letting go of the steering wheel of a car while accelerating from 0-60 into a hairpin curve—adult and messy, but not Grown and sexy.

How to recognize and reject unhealthy relationship choices and behaviors—many of them endorsed by parents and other family members, friends, church (yes, church), as well as television, movies and books—that keep them from identifying and sustaining healthy relationships. Grown folks know that much of what we are taught about romantic love is rooted not in proven realities, but a socially (and commercially) appealing combination of wishful thinking, half-truths and myths. For example, Grown folks recognize that merely falling in love is not enough (nor is great sex) to make a person instantly change their habits and lifestyle, so they don’t fall for the he/she-will-change-for-me fantasies.

How to understand temperaments and individual priorities, in order to progress from stressful, dysfunctional and destructive; to happy, healthy and productive. Grown folks focus on studying, paying attention to and understanding self, recognizing that doing so makes them expert on their own care and treatment. This is the first step in making sound judgments regarding the qualifications, abilities and intentions of people to care for them, as determined by their temperaments and priorities. As a result, they recognize that not everyone who loves them, or who they feel love for, is qualified to care for them. More importantly, they understand that loving feelings, alone, won’t make them so.

In the Grown Zone, we believe that all people, though each person is unique, are created to grow and to love. Love produces growth, and growth increases your capacity to love. Anything that prevents your ability to love and grow freely is unhealthy for you. A healthy relationship is one in which each person is committed to loving, strengthening and supporting the growth of the other. This defines all healthy relationships, not just romantic ones.

Healthy relationships cannot be achieved without an uncompromising commitment to self-love (i.e. an unwavering commitment to your own health, security and growth), as well as the lasting, sustaining qualities of compassion, fidelity, loyalty, emotional security, discipline, accountability, respect and unconditional acceptance. By contrast, what most of us are taught to seek and value in a relationship—physical/sexual attractiveness, shared religious beliefs, family background, social status, fame, wealth or earning potential—have little or nothing to do with a person’s capacity to commit to and sustain healthy relationships.

In a healthy relationship, to paraphrase Stevie Wonder, “He/she doesn’t use his/her love to make him/her weak, he/she uses love to keep him/her strong.” Unfortunately, too much of what passes for “love” in adult relationships (especially on television shows such as the Love and Hip Hop and Real Housewives franchises, and yes—Scandal) promote and embrace anything but loving choices: emotional drama, reckless sexual behavior, betrayal, infidelity, possessiveness, and other forms of neglect and abuse of self and others. (You know: rachetness.) If you are tired of that and want to do better, you want healthy relationships. You are ready to evolve beyond your adult right to make messy choices, and to commit to the Grown decision-making that leads to healthy, drama-free, loving relationships of honor, esteem and respect.

Not great for Rachet TV. But that’s what most of us really want, isn’t it?

We invite you to Enter and Live In The Grown Zone.

For a FREE copy of, 9 Keys To Living In The Grown Zone, click here.


About GrownZone

Zara Green and Alfred Edmond Jr. 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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