The “Grass Is Greener” Syndrome It’s likely at some point you’ve heard the saying, “the grass is greener on the other side”. Although this expression can be applied to many things, it’s often discussed in the context of love and relationships. The “grass is greener” concept is best defined as the uncertain yet unshakable feeling there’s something better out there. It’s often experienced when a couple is about to take the next step – long-term commitment, a promise ring, marriage – and the relationship falls apart for seemingly no reason at all. It’s also been described in popular culture as “quarter-life crisis”, “mid-life crisis”, “cold feet”, etc.
Although uncertainty can happen in any relationship, the “grass is greener” mindset stems from the much more intense feelings of self-doubt. Today we live in a world where social media is always at our fingertips. When everything is only a click away, it’s inevitable for us to compare ourselves/our relationships. But the problem with these comparisons is that we’re ultimately evaluating ourselves against polished, perfect, and unrealistic images!
If you’re the dumped party, it’s understandable you’re feeling confused or shocked right now. When you look back, however, you may begin to see signs of your ex acting out of character. Often the person struggling through the “grass is greener” syndrome will be very unpredictable. They may deliberately seek to experience things without you. They may have a change in personality or lifestyle. They may spend time with people they previously wouldn’t have. They’ll say things like, “I love you but I’m not in love with you”, “I don’t know what I want”, or the famous “It’s not you, it’s me”. They’ll be completely sure about the breakup 1 minute, then completely unsure the next. It’s very likely they won’t have any good answers or explanations, and that makes the entire process even more painful.
So what should you do if your ex is experiencing the “grass is greener” syndrome? First and foremost, know that that grass is almost never greener on the other side. It only looks greener because you’re looking from afar and blinded by fantasy. Most dumpers come to regret their decisions when they truly experience the other side. If it takes your ex long enough to have such a realization, you may even begin to question the same fundamental things yourself: Is this the person for me? Are there greener pastures?
As cliché as it sounds, the grass actually is greener when you care for it. You control the path to make your life the best possible life it can be. Remember that growth equates to happiness. If you’ve been dumped by an ex in search of “greener grass” then shift the focus to working on yourself. Invest all the energy in YOU. In the event of reconciliation, you will be the best version of yourself. Hey, you might even be surprised how much better the grass looks when it’s properly watered!
Dr. Laura is the newest addition to The Love Chat team and will be writing our blog.
Q: Is Dr. Laura really a doctor? A: Yes, she is a licensed medical doctor.
Q: What is Dr. Laura's specialty? A: She provides multidisciplinary care with a focus in behavioral, emotional, and mental health.
**Although she is a doctor,Dr. Laura is not your doctor. Coaching and correspondence with Dr. Laura is not medical advice and does not replace or supersede the advice of and relationship with your personal physician, therapist, psychiatrist, etc.