This post is part of Loving in the Grown Zone Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers across the globe. To learn more and to join us as we change the conversation about healthy love, CLICK HERE! 

Being in love can be a wonderful feeling. The butterflies your feel when you kiss. The excitement that bubbles over whenever you have plans together. Indeed, love is a beautiful thing. But I have to be honest with you. Even with that loving feeling, what you have won’t last if you aren’t real with yourself about a few important things.

Sure, you can be in love and stick around even when the key elements of a healthy relationship are missing. But seriously, what good is that? If you get butterflies in your stomach, but aren’t respected and honored in the way that you truly deserve, do the butterflies really mean anything? Are you possibly in lust instead of love?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all about being head over heels in love and having all the exciting feelings that come along with it. I think we should all find lasting love with a partner that makes our hearts skip a beat. However, that love can only truly exist if both people in the relationship are on the same page and are very clear on few critical things. Without the clarity you gain from the elements listed below, I don’t see how that loving feeling can last all that long–at least not the type of grown love most folks are looking for.

Don’t ignore the red flags.

I think it’s very, very rare for someone to end up in a bad relationship where they genuinely didn’t see the signs. Even if they say they didn’t, they probably did but chose to ignore them. When red flags pop up about the person you are dating, address the issues head on and decide if you need to walk away.

Be clear on who you are.

The worst thing that any of us can do is look for a meaningful relationship when we are completely unclear on who we are. If you don’t know who you are, how can you be clear on what you want from a partner? We all have to take the time to get to know ourselves. Then, and only then, will we be able to fully share who we are with another person and give them some clarity about what we want, need, and expect from a loving partner.

Learn to love yourself.

If you don’t love yourself, how do you really know if someone else is truly loving you? It’s just not possible. You have to develop a sense of healthy self-love in order to recognize what healthy love looks like when someone else is expressing it towards you.

Never settle.

The desire to be in a relationship can be strong, and I get that. But don’t let your desire to find love allow you to settle. Where there is no honor, esteem or respect, there cannot be lasting love. Instead of allowing yourself to stay in a relationship that lacks all the elements of healthy love, focus on your personal development so you are ready to receive the love you deserve when it arrives.

Know when to walk away.

As with anything in life, you have to know when to walk away from love–or at least what you thought was love. Holding on to something–anything–that doesn’t serve you is unhealthy and dangerous. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a relationship you are in may not be meant to last. Accept the lessons learned and be on your way.

Have a clear vision.

We all need to have a clear vision for our lives. When we don’t it becomes more likely that we will accept being in a relationship with someone who does not fit that vision. Of course there should be a vision that you and your partner build together, but you should have your own vision in place before that happens.

Never compromise your core beliefs.

Relationships involve a lot of compromise, but you should never compromise your values and beliefs for love. If you have to compromise who you truly are to be with someone else, you will lose yourself and no love is worth that. That I know for sure.

What are some key elements you think need to be present in order to build a healthy relationship that will stand the test of time?



If you are looking for great insight on how to create healthy, lasting relationships, you have to check out Loving in the Grown Zone: A No-Nonsense Guide to Making Healthy Decisions in the Quest for Loving, Romantic Relationships of Honor, Esteem, and Respect. Zara D. Green and Alfred A. Edmond, Jr. offer incredible insight that will help you make grown decisions–the kind of decisions to help you form a healthy relationship with someone worthy of your love.


Zara D. Green and Alfred Edmond Jr. are co-principals of A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, producer of The Grown Zone discussion series and related media properties. The couple leads sessions on personal growth, self-love and resiliency, healthy relationships and “Grown” decision-making via online and live events across the country. They know this book is changing the conversation about healthy love. You can grab your copy HERE.