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Grown ZoneJET Love

How to Recognize Good Love, Part 1

Ego may be experienced and expressed differently by gender, but make no mistake, both male and female egos play into relationship choices.
Credit: Thinkstock

Welcome to the Grown Zone at JetMag.com. 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.

True love is about how you are treated, not just how you are being made to feel.

This is a foundational principle of the Grown Zone. It’s one of the most important because so much of what people call love, or being in love, is contradicted by anything but loving treatment.

A lot of adult-and-messy choices are a result of the mistaken belief that love is always healthy, and in fact, has the magical ability to fix, cure or justify unhealthy situations and destructive choices and behaviors. Why does he repeatedly forgive her infidelity? Because they “love” each other. Why doesn’t she follow through on the restraining order she filed after he repeatedly abused her? Because, deep down (he says/she wants to believe), he “loves” her. Why does she continue to finance his lifestyle despite it being clear that he has no intention of holding down a job? Because she “loves” him. Why does he carry on illicit affairs with married members of his congregation? It’s not his fault. They keep falling in “love” with him. (He also “loves” God too much to divorce his wife, who puts up with his unfaithfulness because she “loves” him.) Why did the executive and his mistress plot the murder of his wife? Because she stood in the way of their “love.” So much unloving behavior and treatment in the name of love!

Water is necessary to live. But not all water is safe to drink; in fact, if it is contaminated, it can be quite deadly. The same applies to love. To be Grown is to set higher standards for what healthy love and loving are—to not accept just anything that passes for love, but nothing less than Grown, healthy love, what we call Good Love.

Good love is always:

  • An emotionally safe, healing and nurturing refuge from—not a source of—pain, anxiety and stress. In healthy relationships, partners are allies against adversity and in pursuit of opportunities, not adversaries, nor the source of one another’s problems. Stress and misfortune does not pull them apart—it brings them closer together.
  • A relationship of partners who are always tender, compassionate and considerate of one another’s feelings, desires and needs, and mutually committed to treatment and behavior that brings honor esteem and respect. It is recognition that tenderness is not just about how you touch each other, but how you treat each other when you’re not touching each other, and especially when you are away from each other.
  • A relationship in which partners maintain a space of peace, fun and joy. They are committed to intimacy even when they do not share proximity, in part through constant, always honest and non-judgmental communication, so nothing and no one can separate them. They demonstrate and earn trust and confidence, and draw strength and security, from one another. If every day, regardless of life’s circumstances, starts and ends with smiles, with lots of shared laughter in between, it’s likely Good Love.

Moreover, these things are demonstrated and performed at all times, not just promised and hoped for, or practiced only under certain conditions. Good Love is when both partners are reliable, committed, dependable, and devoted, regardless of changes in sex life, health, or finances. In a healthy loving relationship, the ups and downs of life are not justification for inconsistency in love. Quite the opposite: the consistency of Good Love becomes a kind of insurance, a stabilizing force, amidst the changes and challenges—both good and bad—of life. Life brings stress and drama; Good Love never does. It’s the insulation, the antidote, to the demands—and yes, disappointments and misfortunes—of living.

This is the kind of love that endures through thick and thin, and conquers all, not the self-indulgent sex, ego-driven desire, obsessive control and possessiveness, and unhealthy dependency often celebrated as “love.” Again, if “love” brings anything less than honor, esteem and respect, it is not Good Love.

Next week, in Part 2 of “How to Recognize Good Love,” we ask questions only you can answer: Do you have Good Love? And are you determined to settle for nothing less? Also, take some time to listen to “What Does Good Love Look Like?” on Grown Zone Radio. Until then, Live in the Grown Zone.

For a FREE copy of 9 Keys To Living In The Grown Zoneclick 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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