Have you ever heard of the “Grass is greener syndrome?”
It’s from the cliché “The grass is always greener on the other side,” and many relationships have ended because of this. We should not take this lightly because the impact of this syndrome can devastate and be full of regrets.
The meaning of grass is greener revolves around the idea that we’re missing something better. How does this realization happen? This is when a person focuses on what is missing rather than what they have.
A person may show grass is greener syndrome in their career, the status of living, and relationships.
Did you know that the GIGS is often found in relationships and is one leading cause of breakups?
In a relationship, what is the ‘Grass is Greener’ syndrome?
How do you define the grass is greener syndrome in relationships?
The grass is greener relationship syndrome is when a person decides to leave their relationship, even though they’re doing well as a couple, just because they believe that they deserve better.
It’s also called GIGS or Grass Is Greener Syndrome because the main problem lies with the person who leaves the relationship or the ‘dumper’.
Most of the time, it would be too late when the dumper realizes that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
5 major causes of the Grass is Greener syndrome
Why would a seemingly healthy relationship turn into something toxic and sad? How does a person change and start showing signs of grass is greener syndrome?
Whether the grass is greener syndrome in marriage or a partnership, one thing is common; the problem is with the dumper or the person who ends the relationship.
In most cases, a person thinks that grass is always greener syndrome occurs because of severe insecurities. It could be that this person already has been dealing with insecurities, and then something happens that takes a toll and starts a toxic mindset that ultimately destroys the relationship.
These emotions or situations could be the cause of grass is greener syndrome:
Every day, they would compare their relationship, and instead of being grateful for what they have, they focus on what’s missing.
“Maybe, there’s someone out there who is perfect for me, then I’d be able to achieve this too.”
How can your relationship thrive if you’re focused on what’s missing, instead of what you have?
How long would a Grass is Greener relationship last?
What if a person starts showing the grass is greener syndrome in dating or marriage? Can it still be saved? How long would it last?
The grass is greener syndrome men and women are just the same. They focus on what they see in other couples and start envying them. One might start nagging, be distant, or cheat, but one thing is for sure, this destroys the relationship.
However, no one would be able to say how long a relationship lasts when GIGS starts showing. It could end as fast as a week and can last up to a few years, depending on the partner and the dumper.
Before learning how to deal with the grass is greener syndrome, it’s important to first understand the signs that you or your partner might already be experiencing GIGS.
“Seriously? Why can’t you be more passionate about your work? Maybe you already have your own company by now. Just look at your best friend!”
A person who has a grass is greener syndrome regrets everything around their life and relationship. They would fill their lives with complaints, the feeling of being irritated and the dreadful thought of being trapped in a life they don’t want.
Weird as it may seem, a person with GIGS would appreciate, want and obsess about the other side, which, for them, is better. Then, they would get irritated, annoyed, and complain about almost everything about their partner and relationship.
5. You start acting impulsively
The grass is greener syndrome will eventually affect your logical thinking. Because of the heightened emotion of wanting to experience other people’s “better” lives, you act impulsively.
You decide without thinking about how they can affect your life and relationships. Sadly, this often leads to problems and can even hurt your significant other.
Temptation can rule over your rational thinking, and in the end, you get trapped with your own impulsive and bad decisions.
“I can’t commit to this person. What if there’s someone out there that is better?”
Because your mind is not focused on what you want to have and how the grass is greener on the other side, you won’t settle for what you have now.
It’s because you want to get the best, and commitment will prevent you from doing so. This is the part where relationships get broken. This is also where people with GIGS cheat or leave the relationship, hoping to catch a bigger fish.
Coach Adrian talks about commitment issues and what it’s like to date someone who’s experiencing this.
7. You start daydreaming
When you’re too focused on the other side that is greener, you tend to daydream – a lot.
“What if I married a career woman? Maybe, we’re working together to achieve our dreams.”
“What if my husband is a go-getter and smarter? Maybe, he’s the one getting yearly promotions.”
When these types of thoughts occupy your mind, you tend to daydream and indulge in the life you want. Unfortunately, when you get back to reality, you become irritated with your “life.”
8. You don’t feel grateful
One ingredient of a healthy relationship, which is absent when you’re with a person with GIGS is being grateful.
A person with this condition is not capable of appreciation and gratitude.
For someone with GIGS, they’re trapped in an unfortunate relationship, and they deserve better. They want to get out, explore, and hopefully, experience the other side, which, for them, is better.
How can a person like this appreciate their partner or spouse? How can a person with GIGS count their blessings, when they are too busy counting the blessings of other couples?
9. You start planning a different future
When a person has grass is greener syndrome, they become too occupied with their future, a future that differs from the one they shared with their partner.
They can’t live in the moment and appreciate it.
Envy, greed, and selfishness are just some traits that a person with GIGS is showing as they move forward on their own. This is where they decide to leave what they have and pursue what they think they’re worthy of.
Once they are on the “other” side, where it’s supposedly greener, that’s when they would realize that their grass was better.
10. You want everything to go smoothly and perfectly
Sadly, a person with GIGS wants everything to be perfect. After all, they’re eyeing a different goal now. For them, they want to achieve what the other side has.
They will do everything they can to achieve it, even if it means perfecting a plan.
Unfortunately, this person doesn’t see how much sacrifice their partner is doing for them. Understanding, loving for them, even if they are feeling neglected.
If they do something wrong, they get lashed on. At times, the frustration of someone who wants to experience a “better” life gets released in the form of verbal abuse.
“You’re getting into my nerves! Why did I ever marry someone like you?”
Can you overcome a Grass is Greener syndrome?
You need to want to get back to your old self again. Realize when and where did it start?
Then, of course, talk to your partner or someone you could trust. If you think you’re addicted to the thoughts of getting to the greener side, seek professional help.
Practice gratitude. You can start by creating a gratitude wall. Go to this wall and see how lucky you are right now.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle Read more in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.