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Grown Zone

Why Players Don’t Deserve a Pass

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“A real man gives up one-night stands for a woman he can’t stand to spend one night without.”

The above quote was widely circulated and co-signed on (especially by women) across various social media platforms (we saw it repeatedly on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) this past summer. It is exactly the kind of romantic notion that leads to foolery—unhealthy, adult-and-messy choices—in relationships. Women, in particular, really need to put their egos aside (yes, women can be just as ego-driven as men can be) and think, because those who believe this end up jockeying for and getting played by men, hurting one another, and fooling themselves. To put it bluntly: That’s not Grown.

Hear this, ladies, meditate on it and don’t ever forget it: A man not committed to fidelity on general principle will not make a special exception for you. Stop believing that there’s something you can do, be or become that can change another person’s lifestyle, values or beliefs. As we say repeatedly in the Grown Zone, it is not your responsibility, nor is it in your power, to change, fix or control another person’s behavior with your love!

Too many women have given men a pass for being players. They accept statements like, “I’ll settle down when I find the right woman.” These women also desperately want to believe that they are that special one who can love and/or sex a player into becoming a one-woman man, even when nothing about his past behavior or current choices indicates a desire or even a capacity to do so. The idea that players are just waiting for the “right” woman to inspire their eternal faithfulness and devotion is nonsense. It’s a popular, romantic notion—and a load of crap. Yet such men are all too willing to invite women to take a shot at the title (The One), knowing that, nine times out of 10, the woman will see the inability to keep him from wandering as a failure on her part, not a failing of his. Yes, he will cheat, and then convince the person he’s cheated on that it is her fault. That sentiment will often be echoed by the person he’s cheating with—after all, she (or he) rationalizes, “If she was taking care of business, he wouldn’t be with me.”

Players are attracted to those who allow them to play. That’s why it is so important to remember a fundamental truth of the Grown Zone: You don’t get what you deserve or desire. You get what you tolerate and accept. As long as you tolerate what you don’t want, you’ll continue to get it, no matter how persistently and loudly you protest it.

If you require a partner committed to fidelity in relationships, you have to seek and attract those who fundamentally believe in that, independent of the influence of you or anyone else. You can’t expect to take a person for whom faithfulness is not a core value and transform him. A man stops going to smorgasbords because his appetite for “all you can eat” has changed, not because one of the dishes at the smorgasbord was so good that it’s all he wants to eat for the rest of his life. Grown women don’t confuse a man’s desire to sample her recipe with her having the ability to change his appetite. Unfortunately, too many other women do just that.

Ladies, you may have swaying ability: the ability to sway a man’s attention from others. You may be very aware and even proud of those powers. But if you were as aware of your worth, you’d never accept a swayable man. A Grown woman knows it’s a misuse of her powers to try to convince a man to accept values, such as devotion and fidelity, he has not already embraced on his own, and she knows that a swayable man can and likely will be swayed from her, too, at any time. A swayable (a.k.a. penis-led) man is susceptible to the bait of feminine wiles, which should never be confused with him being enthralled exclusively by yours.

When you attract a player by swaying him from others or persuading him to “retire from the game,” pressure is always on you to keep him satisfied and focused on you, because you’ll forever know that whatever you did to get him, the next woman who wants him only needs to do it better (or just differently), because you know he’s swayable. What a miserable existence you will have created. What a poor foundation for a lasting, loving, secure relationship.

You can’t build a healthy relationship with somebody whose attention is divided. If you don’t have his undivided attention when you start, you won’t gain it as you grow. Don’t you deserve sole focus from a person who willingly treats you with honor, esteem and respect? Sure you do—we all do. You get that by bypassing anyone who doesn’t freely offer you that sole focus and devotion, while requiring others to meet standards of healthy, loving treatment in order to qualify themselves as deserving of the same gift from you.

Bottom line, for both men and women in the Grown Zone: If you have to convince another person that you’re the one for him/her, he/she is not the one for you. Let them go, and make space for one whose values, standards, desires and capacity for commitment and fidelity match your own. In the meantime, don’t hate the players. Just leave them to their games. Live In The Grown Zone!

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

About GrownZone

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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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