Grass is Greener Syndrome is when someone has the near-constant life view that someone better or a better relationship exists and he or she feels they are missing out with what they currently have.
Someone who has Grass Is Greener Syndrome often has difficulty embracing and appreciating a long-term relationship they have even though it provides security, comfort, returned love, and belonging.
Contentment and gratefulness can almost seem like foreign concepts to someone with this syndrome and their greatest fear is that they might be “settling” for second best.
Another trait of someone stricken with GIGS is that he or she can’t enjoy a night in or feels that a party or experience coming this weekend or in the near future is going to be the one they’ve been waiting for their entire life and will bring them the ultimate level of fun, excitement, and/or social attention.
Their fear is that they are missing out or living a “boring,” life if they aren’t always outdoing their previous social high or matching an experience they witnessed in a movie.
Much of this mindset has been programmed into us by films, exaggerated stories from peers, and misguided advice from people claiming they would have done it differently if they could have a second chance at life.
A sufferer is unfamiliar with the joy of being grateful and simply enjoying a moment with someone.
The allure of shinier objects, being seen at trendier clubs, and experiencing artificial Hollywood romance frustrates them to the point that life can’t be enjoyed in the present.
Happiness, true love, and the ultimate movie-clip-coming-to-life always seems to exist somewhere in the future with the present appearing to only hold them back.
Brain Chemicals Associated With Grass Is Greener Syndrome
Seeking the romantic highs of limerence is a contributing factor to someone experiencing Grass is Greener Syndrome.
The Hollywood ideal of true love always providing passionate fireworks is unrealistic, but movies depicting such a thing have many of us believing that something is missing if our relationship isn’t under a constant barrage of intense feelings and overwhelming romantic emotion.
While such experiences are a good thing for relationships and they should be welcomed, it’s not possible for a relationship to always live in such a state.
What’s more, if a relationship is only fueled by high emotional experiences, it is remaining in an immature or child-like state.
A mature, strong, and healthy relationship relies more on commitment, companionship, and shared empathy.
The fireworks of passion and emotional highs, while appreciated, are understood to be rare treats rather than the basis of the relationship.
People who have the Grass is Greener affliction are often chasing the chemical highs of limerence which are primarily based on the chemical dopamine.
Because there is a newness and future experiences waiting to be had, new relationships provide the rush of growing intimacy.
By intimacy I refer to the sharing of two people with each other physically and emotionally.
Secrets become fewer and the two people grow emotionally closer.
This is quite the rush and it’s based around the human brain producing dopamine.
The levels to which dopamine is produced diminish over time and as the two become extremely familiar with each other.
So there is a temptation to seek the dopamine high of a new relationship and even to become addicted to it.
Some people don’t understand that this chemical experience will decrease over time and such highs will be less common with their partner.
When the highs are noticeably less, someone with the syndrome of our discussion begins to believe that his or her relationship is lacking and that there is a better one out there that can sustain the desired romantic highs.
So it’s not just that someone with GIGS believes that there is something better, but that there is a relationship or person out there that will always provide the highs of limerence – though they likely wouldn’t describe it with those words.
Does my ex have Grass is Greener Syndrome?
If you want to know if your ex has Grass is Greener Syndrome and if that is the reason they broke up with you, here are some good indicators that he or she does and has the symptoms.
- Your ex said that their feelings for you faded
- Your ex seemed disappointed if the two of you weren’t experiencing constant and overwhelming romantic passion
- Your ex expressed fear of settling
- Dates and experiences together often didn’t seem to match the buildup your ex hoped for
- Your ex seemed to constantly be on a search for the perfect romantic experience for the two of you but never seemed to find it
- Your ex left you for someone else or entered another relationship soon after breaking up with you
- Your ex seemed disappointed if just the two of you were together alone instead of being in crowds
Do exes come back after Grass is Greener?
It’s certainly possible.
In fact, often I hear stories of an ex starting to recognize the pattern of not being content with a good relationship with a good person.
With this realization they can often look back at the relationship they had with you and see it as something they want back.
This is especially true if their new relationship or new partner is particularly bad.
By using the No Contact Rule, you can create some of the chemical experiences in your ex that are mentioned above.
The reason for that is because fear of loss is a contributing factor in the production of dopamine concerning relationships.
That’s one reason the chemical is often produced in new relationships.
A new relationship doesn’t have a history of commitment and so their is often a concern that the other person might leave or that their feelings aren’t mutual.
Even if your ex wanted to leave you, when you don’t chase or try to get them back, it can cause your ex to truly experience the breakup in terms of realizing that you could move on and that they could lose you.
Such a realization usually doesn’t exist immediately after a breakup because the person who initiated the breakup has the power and control over the situation and, therefore, can’t feel the loss yet.
I talk about that more in my article entitled, “Will My Ex Come Back To Me?“
No matter what, I wish you the very best going forward.