Grown Zone

Possessiveness Has Nothing To Do With Healthy Love

Our Grown Zone bloggers discuss men who cheat and why you shouldn't settle.
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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.

Healthy emotional ties to people are never wrong, but here’s an uncomfortable reality: Most relationships are not healthy. We’re all tied to people, and it is the responsibility of each of us to govern ourselves in each of our relationships. Healthy relationships are always available, but the only way to achieve them is to fully understand and apply the idea that we relate to people, we do not possess people.

A primary objective of the Grown Zone is to show people how to recognize and reject unhealthy relationship beliefs, choices and behaviors—many of them endorsed by parents and other family members, friends, church (yes, church), and popular culture—that are keeping you from identifying and sustaining healthy relationships. One of the most destructive of those beliefs is the right of possession, that loving entitles you to ownership and control of the object of your desire. Possessiveness has no place in any healthy relationship.

Human development teaches us that relationships change, yet it is human nature to want relationships to stay the same, and that’s why personal growth should never stop, why living in the Grown Zone is so important. You should expect every relationship to change because every person, regardless of your relationship to them, is on their own individual journey. You can’t grow if you are somebody’s possession because you’re only allowed to do, be and have what they want for you (which is ultimately about them, not you), and that’s not love.

Too many people, and society as a whole, equate possessiveness with love, subtly and not so subtly advancing the idea that the object of your affection is property to be acquired, captured or conquered, a prize to be won. The idea that someone’s desire for us is so overpowering that he or she would do anything to have us seems powerfully romantic, at least initially, and is particularly appealing to those with ego issues.

However, if you are an adult and another person feels entitled to control your every move—who you communicate and associate with, what you wear (clothes, makeup), what you do, how you act—that is not love. That is a hostage situation. Such “romantic” possessiveness is the precursor to all kinds of adult-and-messy, unloving behavior, including domestic/partner abuse, stalking, sexual assault and murder.

Real, healthy love allows. Loving treatment allows you to be without requiring permission. It allows you to grow and develop into more of yourself; allows you to learn more so you can do and be more. Grown love considers, cooperates and collaborates. It does not disrespect or demand, nor does it dictate.

In the Grown Zone, we believe that all people, though each person is unique, are created with one universal purpose: to grow and to love. Love nurtures and celebrates personal growth, and that growth increases your capacity to love. Anything and anyone that limits your ability to love and grow freely is unhealthy for you. A healthy, Grown relationship is one in which each person is committed (not guilted, emotionally blackmailed, bribed, coerced or otherwise obligated) to loving, strengthening and supporting the growth of the other. This defines all healthy relationships, not just romantic ones.

To truly love is to be clear that we’re all playing roles in each other’s lives and a precious few of those roles will last a lifetime. So play your role as long as it’s healthy, with a willingness to move on or let go—appreciating the opportunities to have known and learned from each person, and grateful to have contributed to their lives. Roles are usually for a reason or a season, rarely a lifetime.

A well known and often shared piece of wisdom says that if you love someone, you should set them free. We take that a step further: If you really love them, you don’t take them hostage in the first place. Live in the Grown Zone.

Join us today, April 14, 2014 at 9:00 pm EST, when we’ll be the featured guests for Paul C. Brunson’s #MentorMonday Spreecast! Our topic: How to Build Your Network to Increase Your Net Worth. Click here to RSVP. If you missed it you can still “click” for replay on-demand.

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

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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