Are You Ready?

The joys of relationships! It seems that when you’re single bumping into gushy lovey-dovey couples is a part of your everyday life and you want in….now! On the other hand you have couples who occasionally miss their singlehood for reasons that only coupled up folks may understand and they want out…now! There are seasons to everything in life and relationships in my opinion are no exception to this. But singles are you truly ready for an exclusive, committed relationship? One that comes with its highs and lows, sickness and health, rich and poor, good times and bad times? One that requires you to truly be selfless and consider the needs and desires of your partner? One that involves forgiveness and compassion? See, when we are the single guy or gal at the holiday gatherings or any gathering for that matter we see couples laughing and talking about heaven knows what and it looks so sweet and magical. It looks loving and honest…perfect even. As we watch all of these couples and the perfect love they exude we want in. However we don’t realize that those couples have likely been through the fire at some point and it took time, commitment, a willingness to stay together, and selflessness to get to that “perfect love” type of place. When you consider the term commitment and what it really means…not to you…but what the term really means by definition, are you really equipped today to be committed to another soul? Will you stay when times are trying or when your partner does or says something that you do not like or agree with (clearly I am not talking about abuse of any sort)? Do you really understand what it means to love unconditionally?

I read a blog earlier yesterday about Dwayne Wade fathering another baby during a break-up between him and Gabriel Union. I was blown away and as a woman I felt sad for her! Okay fine they were broken up during the time that he allegedly had an encounter with this woman but it became more than just an encounter. It resulted in the creation of another sweet life. The couple was said to have worked through the matter privately (their prerogative) but of course the private matter is now out. Despite these findings, they got back together and are now engaged and from the looks of things she is happy. But consider what she may have felt when she learned of the new addition to their family that did not occur with her as I’m sure she imagined it would. She chose her man. Is this unconditional love? Is this settling? Is this desperation? Is it simply going through the fire? I think it is unconditional love with a few other factors added that I don’t care to mention. Now I do believe that things may be different had she gotten pregnant during their break-up but as usual, women deal with so much more it seems but that is another blog. My question is, are the singles really ready to deal with some of the things that come with relationships? Real ones. Not the ones where you have yet to meet your “partner’s” family and friends, don’t know where they work etc.  But an authentic adult relationship. Are you really ready?

If it’s impossible, just ask God because He specializes in impossibilities.
-Auketria Manor


3 Signs That She’s Not A Grown Woman

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. 
Many adult choices embraced as “grown and sexy” are anything but …
By Zara Green and Alfred Edmond Jr.

She’s got curves for days, luxurious tresses down her back, and a fantastic wardrobe that says sexy fashionista at work, at the club, and even at church. Earning an advanced degree has led to a six-figure position at a major corporation; she earns additional income as a freelance model. She has perfect credit and six-pack abs. And parked in front of her condo is her current-model luxury car, with a license plate that reads “GrownAndSexy1.”

Is she a Grown woman? Don’t be so sure. Unfortunately, many of the adult choices that women embrace as “grown and sexy” are anything but Grown, healthy ones. And in the Grown Zone, only Grown is sexy; if it’s not Grown, it is not sexy. Just as it takes time, investigation and observation to identify an adult male as Grown, there’s more to differentiating between an adult female and a Grown woman than age, income and dress size. And, as is the case when assessing adult men, a significant proportion of unhealthy relationships are the result of assuming that a woman is Grown—committed to self-love, better decisions and healthier relationships—when she is anything but.

It’s no wonder that both genders are confused and confounded about what constitutes healthy, Grown decision-making and behaviors for women. We are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages about what’s attractive, healthy and appropriate for adult women, with everything from hair, to sexual choices, to body image under scrutiny. Is the model for healthy womanhood the “blessed and highly favored” church girl who is waiting for God to reveal her anointed mate? Or the Louboutin-wearing, reality-show diva with the perfect weave, super-model make-up job, designer clothes and pro-athlete boyfriend? Is she the high-powered, financially independent professional woman? Or the “keep-it-one-hundred” single mother with the banging, tatted body, who will twerk at the drop of a dime? Is she sexually free? Or just a “hoe?” Should she lose weight? Or be proud of her curves? All of this is made more confusing by the fact that much of what our society demands of women is not in their best interests, but driven by the desires and fantasies of males.

It takes a Grown woman to navigate this barrage of conflicting, judgmental and even oppressive messages to and about women by media and society, and emerge as a self-loving, whole person, accountable to herself and committed to personal growth. The challenge, particularly for those looking to engage in healthy relationships, is that, at first blush, a Grown woman looks like any other adult woman. As with men, don’t go by appearances; go by behavior over time (before you give access to your body, money, heart or home), during which you should be both observing and investigating her character, habits and track record. This is not an all-inclusive, exhaustive list, but she’s not Grown if:     READ FULL STORY ON JETMAG.COM

Why You’re Not Married

by Tracy McMillin

You want to get married. It’s taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud — even in your mind — feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you’re hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor.

You’ve never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box.

Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe. A breakup. Your brother’s wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride — she was so effing happy — and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you’re not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering… Deep, deep breath… Why you’re not married.

Well, I know why.

How? It basically comes down to this: I’ve been married three times. Yes, three. To a very nice MBA at 19; a very nice minister’s son at 32 (and pregnant); and at 40, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of doing multiple stints in federal prison.

I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated — traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I’ve become a sort of jailhouse lawyer of relationships — someone who’s had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.

But I won’t lie. The problem is not men, it’s you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they’re not really standing in your way. Because the fact is — if whatever you’re doing right now was going to get you married, you’d already have a ring on. So without further ado, let’s look at the top six reasons why you’re not married. READ THE FULL STORY


One Easy Thing All White People Could Do That Would Make The World A Better Place

Original By: The Cracking Codes



Houston Press

For the past five years, I’ve been trapped in the friend zone with my BFF. He is the sweetest, most handsome guy I know. He has always been there for me and I have been there for him. We do everything together except have sex. We share some of the same friends and they are always teasing us about how we should hook up, but we just laugh and blow them off.


Check Mate

by Auketria Manor

Do you or someone you know possess an extremely irrational check list concerning a potential mate? Out of the characteristics listed how many of them do you or that someone possess? Now what I am about to say may be debatable but I do believe that you will gather valid points from my spiel.

It is likely common that a person who is interested in settling down soon knows what type of person he or she wants to commit to. I personally believe that a check list is perfectly fine but I do not believe that a checklist that basically describes royalty is fair when the composer lives like poverty. Here is what I mean. All too often I’ve heard (my girlfriends and sisters have also heard) women who declare that their man or husband must have good credit, make substantially more than they do, either no children at all or no more than a certain number of children, a homeowner, no multiple fathers/mothers of the children, “porn stars in the bedroom (yes a man literally told me that) and a number of other things. Some non-negotiable check points are completely understandable especially when the person asking for these things ARE these things. Otherwise, re-evaluate the list or re-evaluate yourself.

If you have a beacon score of 505 why do you feel justified to demand that your suitor or the woman you’re pursuing has impeccable credit? To co-sign for your next car? If you want your person to have an admirable credit standing that is quite alright. However, get some arrangements made on your delinquent accounts, pay them on time for the next six months and get that score up. Life will be so much better with that partner if both of you guys have a favorable beacon. So you earn $30k but you want your boo to earn $75k. If you so happen to bump into someone and your earnings are this far apart and it’s not an issue then kudos. But don’t have it on your list as a non-negotiable when in fact you can stand to increase your earning potential. What I am saying is that it should not be the standard when you don’t earn nearly as much yourself.

What I am getting to is that we often ask of others what we ourselves cannot offer. Even those things that are non-material, one should measure up to the very standard that they have set for someone else. Otherwise it seems like you are looking for a meal ticket, not a partner to build with.