Love and Money: Stop Giving Them To Strangers and Dependents, Part 2

Stranger Dependent PartnerToo many people pay dearly, both emotionally and financially because they insist on treating love as a form of currency, like the yen or Euro, with an exchange rate convertible to U.S. dollars. We share examples of this in Love and Money: Stop Giving Them To Strangers, Part 1. To graduate from exercising your adult right to engage in financial and romantic foolery, to making Grown decisions as relates to love and money, requires you to ask and honestly answer two questions, and operate accordingly: Is this person a stranger, a dependent or a partner? And would I make the same financial choices if this person were not a love interest?  If the only or primary reason you’re considering making a financial decision or commitment is your desire to get or keep a relationship, don’t do it. And if your love interest is a stranger or a dependent, you absolutely shouldn’t do it. And if he or she is not ready, willing and able to accept full, joint responsibility for a financial purchase or commitment, again, the answer is no. Let’s explore these concepts further.

Strangers. The reason you shouldn’t be giving, spending, investing or otherwise allowing access to your money to strangers is the same reason they shouldn’t have access to your body, home or heart: no matter how cute, sexy, funny, smart, fine, “Godly”, well-dressed (yada-yada-yada) he or she is, you do not know them. Paying the bills, taking on joint financial obligations or buying overly expensive gifts for people you do not know is not Grown.

Dependents. If an adult is unwilling, disinterested or not yet capable of supporting him or herself, he or she is not Grown—period. Only Grown people—complete, self-supporting, whole, healthy and happy all by themselves—are capable of sustaining healthy relationships. Grown people do not need to be saved, rescued or believed in to achieve their potential, make progress toward their goals and to be generally productive. (They’re not working toward any goals? They’re definitely not Grown.) Adult dependents are not qualified to engage in healthy, sustainable relationships. Furthermore, Grown people do not financially support dependents other than their minor children.

Look at their track record. If they’re happiest when someone (mom, dad, their ex, the government, whoever) is financing their wants and needs, and they view actually having to earn money to support and advance themselves as a grave injustice, do not get involved with them, especially financially. Ladies, if he is not committed to taking care of his children by other women, don’t allow your ego (or your belief in your own sexual wiles) to convince you that he will turn into a different person and take care of you and yours. Dependent men can’t support other dependents when they can’t depend on themselves. Gentlemen, if she is accustomed to love interests who pay her car note, rent, and other expenses as proof of love, back away—unless you really want to support an adult dependent over which you have no parental authority. (And if you’re the one with the dependent mindset, you need to get serious about your personal growth, before you do real damage to your life as well as to the lives of others.)

Partners. If a person is not a dependent and no longer a stranger, then this person must show that he or she is partner material. (A dependent, by definition, cannot be a partner.) Not as in marriage, but as in: Can I trust this person with my money? Can we do business fairly with one another? Does this person honor their agreements? Do they pay their debts? Do they pay their bills on time, or whenever it is convenient for them? Are they responsible with their finances, or do they live beyond their means? What did they learn about handling money from their parents, family and culture? You should be looking for the same qualities that a bank or credit card seeks when determining someone as a financially responsible, fair and trustworthy person. Again, the fact the person is attractive, religious, smart and nice is immaterial. Understand: If he or she is a poor credit risk, can’t or won’t pay their bills, see paying back loans as an optional exercise, and is generally unreliable when it comes to money, they are not suddenly going to become conscientious, income-earning, money-savvy and credit-worthy because of your loving ways. If they can’t afford to buy what they want or need, they won’t be able to afford to pay back money you loan to them to get it. If they’ll stiff, cheat or avoid financial obligations to others, they will not make an exception for you, no matter how special you believe your relationship is.

Here’s a real litmus test for financial decision making for any relationship outside of marriage (which is legally a joint financial partnership in most states): One or both of you is unwilling to create and sign a written agreement detailing terms and a schedule for repayment of a loan or other financial favor. If this is the case, such loans or financial favors should not be granted. Grown people do not loan each other money without a written agreement spelling out repayment terms, with signatures from both partners. They accept that any monies shared outside such an agreement to be gifts or part of the shared expenses of the relationship, with no expectation of repayment. If you can’t afford to make such gifts, do not do so in the name of love.

Too many people refuse to deal with these questions until after money has changed hands, loans have been extended, authorized users have been added, purchases have been co-signed for—which usually means drama, conflict, break-ups and broken commitments are in full effect. On the other hand, Grown people never give access to their money to strangers, nor do they finance the needs and desires of dependents other than their minor children. Grown people only allow financial access to partners—as defined by capabilities, habits, values, character and track record, not romantic feelings, hopes and promises.

Women: You do men (and yourself) a tremendous disservice when you move them from their Momma’s (or Daddy’s, or another woman’s) house into your home. A man who hasn’t proven he can provide for himself/make his own living is incapable of doing the same for you. If you move a man into your house from his Momma’s house, who’ll provide for you when your back is against the wall?

Men: You’d do well to take the same advice, because a big butt and a smile may stroke your ego and fulfill your fantasies, but can’t do anything for your soul or be a help to you in periods of challenge and adversity. The P-word you need to value her for is Partnership, not that other word that causes penis-led men to turn off their brains. When you’re financially challenged, you will want to know she won’t bail on you, but can and will support and challenge you to find ways to continue to contribute to your partnership.

Ladies and gents: Two smart, mutually supportive, loving, productive people, working together in partnership (not co-dependency) make the sexiest of all couples! That’s love and money in the Grown Zone. You can’t lease it, rent it, or buy it. But you must accept nothing less if you seek healthy, sustainable relationships.

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Love and Money: Stop Them Giving to Strangers and Dependents, Part 1

Buying LoveAdults are messy enough when it comes to love, sex and relationships. But for real rachetness and foolery, add money to the mix. Too many people pay dearly both emotionally and financially because they insist on treating love as a form of currency, like the yen or Euro, with an exchange rate convertible to U.S. dollars. For examples of the relationship disasters that result, just look at television court shows like Judge Judy (one of our favorites for observing adult-and-messy thinking in a controlled environment). For love, people will make totally not Grown money decisions, including:

  • Spending lavishly on gifts, travel and food (with money that suddenly become “loans” after the break-up)
  • Paying the mortgage, rent, utilities and other bills of healthy, able-bodied, yet unemployed adults (even when those paying have their own children to feed)
  • Co-signing on credit cards and mobile phone service for people who can’t get  them because of horrible credit and/or a checkered employment history. (Meaning the payer is taking a financial risk that a major bank or national cell phone provider wouldn’t take)
  • Buying or giving unfettered access to cars, including paying for insurance and even gas, for another adult (who may or may not have a license) to drive
  • Posting bail and paying the outstanding balance on child-support owed (for the children of another woman) to get a person out of jail

One of our most basic human needs is to be loved and, unfortunately, some people try to buy it. There are many negative relationship consequences as a result. Besides episodes of clothes bleaching and car keying, here are just a couple:

First, using money to lure a person in hopes of getting them to love you, or otherwise change or control their behavior, sets up an unhealthy, sinister, premise: that you have “purchased” the right to own or control another human being. This is what’s at play when a man feels entitled (or a woman feels obligated) to have sex or otherwise commit to a relationship based on how much money he’s spent to be in her company. This possession consciousness is also what’s happening when a woman doggedly holds on to her man because she doesn’t want to lose years of “investing” in him. (And she’ll be damned if the next woman is going to reap rewards of her hard work.) Watch cable TV channels like Investigation Discovery—people kill over this stuff!

Second, to be Grown is to be clear on the difference between being loved for what you look like, what you can do or what you have, and being loved for who you are. When you use money or other financial incentives to drive or define a relationship, you condition others to value you for what you have, not for who you are. Once this idea takes root (even if they really don’t want you for your money), the emotional security of your relationship is compromised, usually by suspicion, jealousy and possessiveness, because of fears that any decrease in your financial capability, or chance meeting between your love interest and anyone with more money than you, can result in you losing him or her. And if he or she really is “all about the Benjamins”, you’ll be right. When your money runs low, they’re out—or you may wish they were!

A Grown person would never allow him or herself to be bought; the adult who would allow it deeply undervalues their own worth and, therefore, is ill-prepared to engage in a healthy relationship. A Grown person, without question, expects to do for him or herself. Even when Grown partners decide for whatever reason that one will be the main bread winner, the other is not at home couch-surfing with remote controls or out shopping at the mall (or out entertaining outside relationships); he or she remains financially accountable to the relationship.

To graduate from exercising your adult right to engage in financial and romantic foolery, to making Grown decisions as relates to love and money, requires you to ask and honestly answer two questions, and operate accordingly: Is this person a stranger, a dependent or a partner? And would I make the same financial choices if this person were not a love interest?  We explore these concepts further in Love and Money: Stop Giving Them to Strangers and Dependents, Part 2.

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Embrace Time Alone Because Returning To Your Ex Is Like A Dog Returning To Its Vomit

Take My Broken HeartShe/He is your EX for a reason! I’m not a bible-thumper but for these reasons this passage of scripture is so apropo, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly“:

  • The act of the dog eating its own vomit is potentially poisonous
  • Foolish acts/behaviors are often out of fear not intentional folly

And if they left you, you’ve got to question why you’d allow them back. “I love him/her” is NOT a sufficient answer. People go back to what they knew, even when it wasn’t good because they don’t know how to be alone and fear it. Time alone is purposeful. If you’re allowing them back then you’ve likely not used the time alone properly.

Time alone is to review the last relationship for patterns in your selections and then to understand WHY you chose them to begin with. Not just what you liked about them, but also what voids in you they filled? When you can answer that you’ve identified YOUR deficits. And when you are aware and FIX THAT IN YOU, you can make your Next Decision Better.

That process won’t usually lead you BACKWARDS!

For your information: The scripture leading into Proverbs 26 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

And then the verses in Proverbs 26 leading up to the 11th & 12th verses are all about foolish behaviors (“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.  Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him”).

NEXT it's time to move forwardDon’t be a fool! Be wise. Personal growth should never stop! Learn from every relationship. Take time between each one to learn more about you so that you can get better as an individual. Otherwise you run the risk of attracting and choosing the same kind of person, thus the same kinds of experiences and instead of getting better (with your choices and experiences), by default you’ll grow bitter.

You deserve better than that but you won’t get what you deserve necessarily, you’ll get what you choose and accept!

You’re invited to Enter and LIVE in the Grown Zone.

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Sex Gets Too Much Credit As Basis For Loving Relationships

Everybody, not only wants love, but needs it. There are times throughout life when you may be more focused on school, career, parenting or your own personal growth – all great reasons to not be boo’d up –  but there will come a time when you’ll want a consistent romantic relationship; somebody to share your life with.

Sex and loveBut too often, women who desire somebody to love them all life long are settling for those who only want to love them all night long. And make no mistake, loving you all night long multiple nights is not the fast track to being loved all life-long.

Men are not exempt! They too get caught up in one-sided relationships based on sexual compatibility and later realize that he’s given far more than he’s gotten because they are not compatible in areas that actually keep couples together (NO, it ain’t sex!). Only then, he’s in deep (money, property, children) all because the sex was good; he didn’t get to know her before committing to her.

Nobody should EVER accept #f-ed up, unloving choices and/or treatment as part of “being in love.” Because in these cases love has nothing to do with it. It never does.

Ladies and gentlemen: don’t confuse sexual availability with a long-term desire FOR you and certainly not a commitment TO you. And don’t confuse one’s willingness to allow you to financially rescue them (sponsor/benefactor/pay a bill/buy a purse/trips/…) as love for YOU!

You are invited to ENTER and LIVE in the Grown Zone where we help folks to make their Next Decision Better.

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Drama Queens Have Nothing On Drama Kings. Recognize And Avoid Them!

Ladies, Raise the Bar Card w Quotes for webDo not buy into the myth that choosing drama is a female thing. Drama queens ain’t got nothing on drama kings.

Like drama queens, drama kings inspire strong emotions, which can initially pass as intoxicating passion and sexual chemistry (what some describe as “catching feelings”), but ultimately spirals into an endless cycle of wreckless disruption, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. Both drama kings and drama queens use seduction, bullying and blaming as weapons of manipulation, keeping you dizzy and disoriented on a roller coaster of constant confusion, guilt, fear, sexual tension and anxiety—all of which they’ll insist is caused by you, not them. And to the degree that you allow them a place in your life, they will be right.

If you are serious about living in the Grown Zone—which means you are committed to better choices, more self-love and healthier relationships—you must recognize and steer clear of drama kings and queens (actually drama addicts) at all costs. Do not try to cure them or fix them, or help them solve their problems. Just maintain as much distance as possible, and whatever you do, do not become intimate with them or allow them to become involved in your life beyond being just an acquaintance.

Since people typically associate drama with females, it is often missed or overlooked in males. It’s important to educate yourself so that you know a drama king when you see one. This is not an all-inclusive, exhaustive list, but here are some reliable signs that a man is a drama king:

Violence and its potential are his constant companions, whether he is victim or perpetrator—and, often, both. Not only is violence the drama king’s preferred means of dealing with conflict, but he seeks conflict to create opportunities for violence. The violence embraced by drama kings is often, but not necessarily (and may even exclude) physical, but verbal and emotional, and is often passive aggressive.

Drama kings do not hold themselves accountable for the outcomes of their choices. They blame others and refuse to share responsibility. Drama kings always present themselves as victims: of women, of their upbringing, of discrimination, of society, whatever. Anything will do. If you even hint that he bears primary responsibility for his life and choices, you either just don’t understand, or worse, you are a traitor and a hater. Watch out for men who have nothing good to say about their family, their exes, other women, other men or “them” and constantly talk about what “they” did or are doing to him. Drama. King.

When drama kings speak, it’s a consistent narrative of good intentions and bad outcomes. Their conversation is filled with wouldas, couldas, shouldas, and was aboutas. (Also, if onlys.) Drama kings are all potential and no performance.

Drama kings are vampires—they can be handsome, seductive and dangerously attractive. Also ready, willing and able to drain the life out of you. Ladies, it’s an act of both self love and self preservation to recognize drama kings before allowing access to your body, home, money or heart. Always remember: Like vampires, drama kings are counting on you to invite them in. That’s why they can be so irresistibly sweet, funny, sexy and just perfect for you at the beginning—they will be and do anything you need them to be and do to con their way into your life and sink their teeth into you.

Recognize drama kings when you see them, and avoid them at all costs. Don’t go by appearance—go by behavior over time. Ladies, this means no spontaneous intimacy or allowing instant access to your home, money, body and heart because he’s just so damn fine—or charming, or in need of love or just somebody to believe in him (all cons drama kings use to get you to let them in).

And gentlemen, if you see one in the mirror, it’s your job to conquer, dethrone and slay him. A drama king is the exact opposite of a grown man.

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Personal Growth Is Optional – Choose It

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Growth is Optional

I may be the bearer of bad news but hear me LOUD and CLEAR: if your 2012 sucked and you have no personal growth goals so will your 2013! Whatever you want, you’ve to learn more to do better.

We grow in 3 ways: Physically, Mentally & Emotionally/Spiritually. Only the latter is optional.  You have to CHOOSE to learn more about individuality, relationships and how the world works in order to make better decisions; to cooperate with the world as it’s happening (not happening to you) knowing that it’s all working together for your good. All of it!

It is smart to make plans in life but being able to effectively navigate when the plan takes detours is life-giving. Personal growth is key. Don’t ever stop intentionally growing!

Show me a relationship that ends badly and I’ll show you, at least, one person in it whose maturity level is lagging. Personal growth is THE MOST IMPORTANT commitment one makes to his/herself and the most meaningful quality one brings to a relationship.

If the person you choose to be in relationship with is not already on that path as an individual, you’re a fool to believe that it won’t hinder the growth of your relationship. Choose partners wisely! Don’t be blinded by other stuff – how fine he is, the cars they drive or the positions they hold because intellectual capacity does not mean they’re relationship smart. Next Decision Better!™

Here we grow…Grown IS Sexy!™ 😉

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All the best,
Zara
Speaker, Individuality Advocate
Author of Living by Design and Living in Harmony

Want Better From A Man Then Change Your Qualifiers

Ask ANY man about his standards for “the one” and most of their lists will be exhaustive! Go ahead!

You can find a brother at the bus stop, boarding on borrowed money, with pants hanging off his ass, all grilled and tatted up, sneakers on his feet costing more than he’s earned in the past year, no education nor prospects for employment and he’ll believe that he’s worthy of somebody who’s bringing more to the table than he is.

WHY? Because, “THAT BROTHER” is looking for somebody who can “hold him down” because he can’t hold himself up; he’s looking for somebody with qualifications to take care of his ass. And he knows he’ll find her.

There are many problems with this and many women are at the root of them. 

Point is: he’s got qualifiers, as does the educated man in a boardroom.

Now, ask a woman the same question and too often, what most of their lists will boil down to – because of the things she’s willing to overlook, forgive or excuse – is that if he’s breathing and will have her, that’s enough. How do I know? Because she accepts all kinds of disrespect and remain in relationships when she knows he’s only tolerating her.

Ladies, that’s NOT enough and it can’t continue to be OKAY; it’s time each one of us has self preserving qualifiers, and raise the bar. We don’t help unmotivated men by giving them all of our energies: attention, money, cars, body and having babies with them when they can’t even provide for themselves. No! We make bigger bitches out them; further enabling their trifling-ness!

You can’t ask them to man-up while you’re still “holding him  (and all the obligations) down”; he CAN’T – he WON’T!

As you’ll continue to hear us (Alfred Edmond Jr and I) say in The Grown Zone: You don’t get what you deserve; you get what you accept. If you believe you deserve better then act like it!

Here we grow…Grown IS Sexy!™ 😉

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All the best,
Zara
Speaker, Individuality Advocate
Author of Living by Design and Living in Harmony