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A Grown woman is a healthy, whole, and content person, who chooses life alone over anything less than loving, loyal and respectful treatment in a relationship with another person. She sets a high standard based on self-love, and won’t consider anyone who does not rise to it…. In the meantime, she is focused on her own growth and personal development, not dictated to by a biological clock nor passing months on the calendar…. A Grown woman believes that a relationship partner who recognizes her true value, and honors, esteems and respects her accordingly, is worth waiting for. By the way, the lack of drama, complications and “placeholders” in her life makes it easier for potentially worthy relationship partners to find and appreciate her. In the meantime, she is happy, whole and fully committed to meeting her own needs and pursuing personal growth.

The above passage is from a chapter of our book Loving In The Grown Zone, “3 Signs That She’s Not A Grown Woman,” in which we outline just a few of the distinctions between a woman who is Grown, versus one who is merely an adult. However, it is fair to ask, do Grown women, as described above, actually exist?

RELATED: 3 Signs That She Is Not A Grown Woman

Our answer: Yes, they absolutely do. (Zara was just such a woman when she and I met.) However, we live in a society that only gives lip service to valuing healthy, self-loving choices made by women, while celebrating adult-and-messy (often labeled “grown and sexy”) lifestyles that are anything but Grown.

For an unflinchingly candid, sometimes painful, often funny reality check of what it can mean when a woman chooses to set standards, enforce boundaries, and settle for nothing less than a healthy relationship on her own terms, I strongly recommend reading the latest addition to our Grown Zone Book Shelf, The C Word, Celibacy: My 28-Year Journey by Ingrid Bohannon. Let me state this unequivocally: This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.