Grown ZoneJET Love

How to Recognize Good Love, Part 2

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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.

Real, authentic love is always and unconditionally good for you, not just conditionally good to you. In other words, it is always healthy—to mind, body and spirit—not just pleasurable. Last week, in Part 1 of “How to Recognize Good Love,” we explain that “love” cannot be authentic when it is accompanied by unloving treatment and behaviors. We also share characteristics of Grown, healthy love—what we call Good Love, and why it never brings anything less than honor, esteem and respect.

You know you are engaging in Good Love when you and your partner turn to each other and are drawn closer together—not away from each other, against each other, nor to another outside of your relationship—when faced with the trials of life. The toughest times are when encouragement, enthusiasm, loyalty and faithfulness are needed most. Good Love brings it—always. It remains consistent regardless of the problems and challenges—the ups and downs—of life. You also know you are engaging in Good Love when you and your partner demand and deliver only peace, joy and safety—not fear, pain and anxiety—of and to each other.

Do you have Good Love? Here are a couple of reality checks:

When you are lying awake at night, worried about facing illness, financial issues, guilt and pain from your past, or other problems, is the person with whom you share your body, home, money and/or heart a reliable source of strength, reassurance and compassion, discouragement and blame, or burdensome uselessness? Is he or she present and available, or absent altogether (busy “loving” someone else, perhaps), physically and/or emotionally?

Or how about this: When you put your key in the door (or hear the key turning in the door) of your home, does your heart pound with tension and anxiety, or leap with joy and anticipation?

And finally: Imagine yourself lying sick, broken, weak and powerless. Who cares for you when money won’t fix it, sex is not possible and good looks are useless or gone? Who sits faithfully by your side?

Only you know the answers to these questions; you don’t have to tell us, but you can’t hide the truth from yourself. If you have Good Love, great—treasure, protect and nurture it. However, if you don’t, you have only two choices: change the relationship (impossible without a partner who shares your commitment) or end it to make room for the unconditional love we in the Grown Zone believe you were created to give and receive.

Of course, to get Good Love, you must accept—and give—nothing less. Not someday, but now and always. That will almost certainly mean ending unhealthy relationships to make room for healthy ones. Unfortunately, the bar has been set so low for what passes for love that too few believe that Good Love exists or is worth waiting for, and too many are willing to accept artificial substitutes. You hear the rationalizations for tolerating unhealthy mistreatment in relationships every day: Every relationship has problems. Just because she cheats on me/he hits me/she belittles me/he ignores me/she lies to me doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. There is a huge difference between partners who can count on each other to face problems, and partners who are each others problem, by virtue of their neglect, betrayal or other mistreatment of one another. Just because there is no such thing as a perfect relationship does not mean you should accept anything less than a healthy relationship. The first step to recognizing Good Love is refusing to acknowledge—much less engage in—anything less.

If you are honest with yourself, your need for healthy, Good Love, and the honor, esteem and respect it brings, never goes away, even when you decide that it does not exist, you are tired of waiting for it, or you are undeserving of it. Denying the existence of healthy love won’t change or eliminate your need for it.

We again remind you: We don’t get what we deserve; we get what we accept. We urge you to believe in Good Love—that it exists, and that it is attainable by you. If you accept nothing less, Good Love is just what you will get. Preparing for it is a life-affirming act of self-love, and much easier to recognize when you are not wasting time, emotion, money and energy on unhealthy and artificial, though popular and readily available, substitutes. And that’s what living in the Grown Zone is all about.

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

(Couple image via Shutterstock)

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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