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Feelings: I can’t live without you. You can’t be without me. I will never let you go. Treatment: I care for and am committed to you, but I do not own you.

In healthy, loving relationships, we are gifts to one another, not property. Loving one another is not tantamount to surrendering ownership of self. Your job is to set and enforce high standards for your treatment, so that you can identify potential partners qualified to care for and worthy of the gift of you—before you commit your body, money, home or heart.

If a relationship is rooted in possessiveness and control, it’s not love; it’s a hostage situation, with one or both parties held captive—and in too many cases, risking injury (financial and emotional, as well as physical) and even death if they attempt to leave the relationship. In a healthy relationship, commitment is generous and willing, not purchased or coerced. Love allows.

Feelings: I’m going to love you all night long. Treatment: I’m ready, willing and able to love you all life long.

Stop being impressed by a person’s desire to lay with you. Stop confusing being wanted and desired with being valued and loved. Instead, watch and wait for a person to demonstrate a commitment to stand with you—for example, through a battle with cancer or a difficult pregnancy, when passionate sex may not be part of the equation. (The Tyler New Media film Still Standing provides a wonderful illustration of this kind of healthy, resilient love.) The latter can only be determined over time and with vigilant observation and clear-eyed investigation. Absent the ability to meet that standard, promises to “love you up and down” are meaningless if authentic, healthy love is your goal.

In the quest for healthy, loving relationships, always choose good for you over good to you. Chasing feelings (or a “love high”), instead of establishing and enforcing a standard of healthy treatment, is a chief reason behind unhealthy, self-destructive relationship choices. If you pursue feelings in the absence of a standard for quality treatment, you’ll end up screwed, abandoned, unfulfilled, unhappy or worse, more often than not. However, when we treat each other well—that is with honor, esteem and respect—good, truly loving feelings are an inevitable result. Grown people don’t “catch” feelings. They choose the kind of treatment that not only feels good to them, but is good for them.

Stop chasing and losing. Start ATTRACTING and CHOOSING! Learn proven guidelines and principles GUARANTEED to make you happy and fulfilled REGARDLESS OF YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIP STATUS. Use the power of self love to become an irresistible MAGNET for the lasting, drama-free, AUTHENTIC LOVE created specifically for you and ONLY you! Order your copy of Loving In The Grown Zone TODAY at LovingInTheGrownZone.com!

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