"The Grass Is Greener" Syndrome - EXPLAINED!!!!! (PLEASE READ IF YOU GOT DUMPED!)
"The Grass Is Greener" Syndrome
(AKA; itchy feet, quarter life crisis, early-twenty-itus)
I thought I would put together a thread here to provide some information on and a place to discuss this particular type of break up. I've had relationships end because of it along with a few of my friends. In addition, I've had friends be the ones stricken with this 'syndrome', so I've seen how it plays out from both sides. Hopefully, I can provide a little insight to help those of you going through this type of breakup. The more we understand something, the more comfortable with it we become and the less scary it seems.
In my opinion, outside of infidelity, this is one of the toughest types of breakups to go through. It seemingly comes out of nowhere, seems to have no rhyme or reason behind it, and it can strike even the best of couples. In your 'run of the mill' break up, there's usually an identifiable reason or set of reasons that led to the split, such as personality conflicts, fighting, different life goals, etc. These breakups are also difficult, but I've always found them a bit easier to cope with because you can identify a cause to the effect. Not so with the grass is greener syndrome. It's like going through a root canal even though your teeth are perfectly healthy.
This syndrome usually tends to fall on women within the age range of 20-25 (it happens to men, too, but seems to be less often). It usually happens in a long term relationship (maybe two or more years) when the couple is about to make a much larger commitment to each other, such as an engagement or marriage. It's as if the mixture between the person's young age and the thought of making such a huge commitment almost makes them want to go on the relationship equivalent of the Amish's Rumspringa.
Some of the classic symptoms of this are as follows:
• Reasons for the break up are contradicting or sound like the dumper is grasping at straws for reasons. As if they are trying to convince themselves of it, too.
• Not much warning that something is going on before the actual break.
• An extreme change in lifestyle, such as suddenly starting to drink a lot, party a lot and hang around people they normally wouldn't.
• Wishy-washiness on the part of the dumper. They love you, but aren't IN love with you. They say that this doesn't mean you two are over forever and maybe someday down the road you'll be together again. At the same time, they'll tell you to move on.
• Quickly entering new relationships with people they aren't very compatible with.
One of the biggest problems with these sorts of breakups is that the dumpee will be more likely to want to stick around in the dumpers life. Due to the dumper's extreme mixed signals and the fact that they'll try harder than usual to keep the dumpee around as a friend, the dumpee will make all sorts of excuses to stay around. They'll say things such as "She's just confused, so we're going to remain friends and see what happens". These sorts of breakups need to be treated like any other kind of breakup. Give the dumper as much space as possible and gracefully bow out of their life.
The thing to keep in mind is that in these sorts of breakups, the dumpers themselves don't have any sort of answers to give. They're usually just as confused about the situation as the dumpee. This often adds more pain to the dumpee because they're just looking for some sort of reason as to why they're being hurt so badly and get completely frustrated when the dumper can't give them one. They think the dumper may be acting cruel or like the dumper is hiding something from them. This is usually not the case. The dumper isn't giving any answers because they don't have them.
Now for the good news. If the dumpee does completely exit the dumpers life and resist the temptation to remain friends, the chance that the opportunity for reconciliation will arise is actually quite good. If the relationship was a good one, the dumper will find out eventually that the grass isn't greener, it's just different grass and may even be a little worse than the pastures they left. However, that doesn't mean that a reconciliation will happen. Due to the hurtfulness of this type of breakup, the dumpee will most often refuse the offer for reconciliation when it eventually comes up (which can be months or over a year down the line). Since the breakup happened out of nowhere and for no real good reason, it can be difficult for most people to get the trust back in the relationship. The fear that they'll suddenly be dumped out of nowhere will hinder the relationship from developing into anything. This is why I said the "opportunity" for reconciliation is a lot higher and not that actual reconciliations are common for these types of breakups.
So, my heart goes out to all of you enduring this particular type of breakup. Just remember, it's not your fault and it's not the dumper's fault, either. It's just due to human nature and unfortunate sets of circumstances. No amount of picking your ex's brain will result in any sort of meaningful answers to the questions that plague you. Just remember that this is a phase and it doesn't last forever. So, as long as your ex is in this phase, all you can do is go about living your own life and making yourself a better person.
If anyone has any questions, I'll be happy to give you my opinion on the matter.
I am absolutely experiencing this right now. I fit the criteria you outlined (I'm a 22 year old female in a 3.5 year relationship) to a tee and my boyfriend has recently been bringing up engagement/marriage a lot more. And now I feel as though everything I'm thinking is a stereotype since it is almost word for word from your post! I love the guy but I don't know if I'm IN love with him. I don't know if I am even attracted to him anymore.. and I am not sure when that happened.
We live together (have for two years and a bit--- moved in way too soon) so I don't know what to do about it. I considered asking him for some space for a few months to see if we do really want to get married, but I don't want to hurt him.. I just feel completely trapped.
My girlfriend did the exact same thing. OMG this post like nailed it dead on..
I wished I had read this a lot sooner. Would have saved me a lot of heartache. She's 21 going to school and didn't know what she wants after school...She knew I was committed, and I truly believe she's in the stage..
She pulled reasons out of a hat, and now I found out her ex has been visiting... yea visiting.. She had a restraining order on the guy, she'll definitely realize the grass isn't greener, it's only a matter of time. She also moved away for school purposely to get away from him..
Wow, none of us will ever understand this behavior.
Thank you so much for being honest and sharing with all of us on LS! You have NO IDEA how many countless people on here have been on the receiving end of G.I.G.S.
What most people on here don't realize is just how HARD and DIFFICULT it is on the people with G.I.G.S. Rarely if ever, does the person suffering from G.I.G.S. have the strength or courage to end the relationship to "figure things out". The simple truth, you don't know what you think, feel yet. That is what you are going through now... a very difficult process that is not at all easy.
Also, due to their loyalty to their BF / GF and also them not wanting to hurt or lose the person, they keep this whole G.I.G.S. issue to themselves. Not because they are dishonest, but simply they are very confused! People, imagine for a minute you going to your BF / GF and telling them you don't know if you want to marry them anymore or you might not be in love with them anymore... What is going to happen? All he!! is going to break loose! The G.I.G.S. issue is the least of the worries at point. So it's no wonder it is so hard to talk about this with the other party.
Did ALL OF YOU PEOPLE READ THE ABOVE POST!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?
Does lululucy sound like some evil, twisted &$#^* that wants to set out and hurt her boyfriend? Someone that wants to cheat on him?
Of course NOT! That is the last thing she wants to do!
Having said all of that... lululucy, what I have seen is usually people in your shoes seem to force the other party to end the relationship for them.
You see… my goal is that people on here on LS can better understand what is happening to them and to the person suffering from G.I.G.S. so they are better equipped to handle the situation and create an environment that both parties can be successful even after the "worst" has happened, whatever that might be, there is still a chance for reconciliation to be possible.
Moral of the story… There is nothing wrong with people that have G.I.G.S.! They mean you no harm! Even if they were to communicate the G.I.G.S. issue, the other party will most likely lose their minds, convince, guilt, plead, etc. the person with G.I.G.S. to stay without giving the person the opportunity, space and time they need to resolve their G.I.G.S. issue. This of course leads to the person with G.I.G.S. to lose respect and have resentment for the other party and as you can tell it goes all downhill very quickly from there and ultimately ends like most of the drama filled posts you see here on LS.
What is ironic about the whole thing is this... The person that does not have G.I.G.S. ends up getting pissed off, anger, hurt and bitter towards the person when the person with G.I.G.S. ended the relationship without a single thought or consideration of their feelings, their desires, their needs etc.
When in all actuality had the person without G.I.G.S. are really hypocritical. Were they respectful, understanding, given the person with G.I.G.S. the time and space needed to sort this out? No! They did allow the person to solve their issue(s) by doing what they thought was right by "fighting" for the relationship. Now they find themselves on the receiving end of what they should have done in the first place. Now they "preaching" / "complaining" about what a jerk their ex is when they sorta trapped them and left them no choice so to speak.
What is sad... Had the person without G.I.G.S. let them "go figure it out" so to speak... the person with G.I.G.S. would have more than likely ended up coming to their senses in time and realized what they had in the person (assuming it was a healthy and good relationship) and would have ended up with the person in the end / long run.
It's crazy isn't it!
Just so you know... Even older people can suffer from G.I.G.S too. This isn't just for young people. Signs to look for... People that didn’t have the college experience, people that got married young, people that didn’t date around, people that did not have a lot “life experiences” growing up, etc.
That is why the whole when you see, feel, think, believe, suspect your BF / GF is suffering from G.I.G.S. the VERY BEST THING you can do for them and yourself is to let them go and give them the opportunity, freedom, time and space to work through it. More times than not, if you were to do this. You would end up with them in the end.
However, most people do the COMPLETE opposite of what I am sharing here. This coming from someone who has been on both sides of the G.I.G.S. issue.
Do you think you went through the recieving end of this or suspect you are in the the middle of it now with your gf / bf / spouse?
If you want to know EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO DO AND HOW TO PROCEED? No matter where you are in the process...
Right on homebrew, this is exactly what happened to me.
She's 26 now and we were together for 5 years, nearly perfect relationship, I still trust her and respect her as a person.
Right after break up I blamed her, hated her, tried to find reasons and such. She has changed a lot in weeks following our breakup, started partying like crazy, doing drugs... She said she was enjoying her life. 2 months later she opened herself up a lot, she cried, I could tell how confused she was but she has a new boyfriend and she's not coming back. She told me that this is the worst year of her life.
Yes I'm still sad and hurt, I miss her but I do understand. What hurts the most is the fact that we were a great couple, nearly perfect match with just enough differences to keep things interesting. If this relationship didn't work I can't see how could any relationship work for me in the future, but I'll keep trying. That's all I can do now
Pretty spot on homebrew, I was the dumper and it was VERY sudden from me.
She begged and pleaded for about 3 months, then for the rest of the time just repeatedly asked to meet up or be friends.
I didn't have any answers at the time but now I have them all (10 months later), she just messaged me recently to catch up after 1 months NC, said she would have stayed with me forever, misses me genuinely and so on. Said she would message me to make a time to have a coffee or whatever, that was 3 days ago.
I don't know what her motives are this time around or what it is she wants, I'm not even sure I want to find out but with human nature I'm also pretty curious.
It takes a very long time for someone to work through the G.I.G.S. process. Anything less than 6 months I would be VERY, VERY skeptical of. For most people it will take several years.
You see, once the dumper is through G.I.G.S process.... they are now "thinking" more clearly. Although you once thought the dumper was devoid of all emotions or compassion. This has no returned. Most likely the either went through a very hard time, got burned, got tired of the "other grass" lifestyle, realized the "other grass" was not as green, matured, wants to settle down, etc.
I do not want to give any of you the idea that you should hang on or cling to some false hope, but here is the good news, even if you made all the classic mistakes that most people seem to make trying to be friends, keeping in contact, begging, pleading, etc. and assuming you didn't have a restraining order filed against by the dumper. You still have a better chance than the other non G.I.G.S. related breakups.
You get the point... Assuming the dumper was a "healthy" person when you knew them before G.I.G.S. and your relationship was a "healthy" one. The dumper now realizes that the "other grass" didn't fulfill them in the way they thought it would. It didn't provide them the meaning or purpose in life they thought they were missing. In fact, they feel more lost than ever and guilty because for the first time, the now see how much he!! they put you and most likely others (rebounders) through.
This seems to always happen when either you have fallen in love with someone else or least expect it. It is at least 6 months or more. However, most of the time, it is years. It's hard to know or tell but I can give you a hint… if you are reading this, it isn’t going to happen anytime soon. If you are on LS, you still are not over the loss, hurt and other feelings you might be dealing with still. If the dumper was to return right now, I promise you, you would screw it up for sure. Don’t believe me… Spend any amount of time on LS and see how many that didn’t work. However, the ones that do. It’s people that come back on with surprising news years later, after the initial break up.
What happens when the dumper contacts you after they are through the G.I.G.S. process?
You most always get an apology at the very least. This is for putting you through he!!, stringing you along, lying, leaving you for another, cheating, etc.
Not always but if you were very good to the dumper and you had a good relationship, they will send up "smoke signals" to see if you are open and available to that possibility of pursuing a relationship with you. The "smoke signals" are all the classic ones... You were the best thing that ever happened to me, I always wondered if we would get back together, losing you was the worst mistake of my life, etc.
Assuming that prior to contact from your dumper, you were 100% over and had forgiven the dumper for all the pain and hurt that they most surly put you through... You actually do have a good chance for reconciliation.
Why is that, you ask?
It's been a long time so you would have to start the relationship as a new one, There has been a lot of things that happened in each other’s lives apart from one another so you have interesting things to talk about / discuss, you most likely dated other people during your time apart so the issues with feeling second best are not there, you are older / wiser and more mature, you are also in the position of power but best of all... You are more than likely over them at this point and time. I know that you don't see any chance in he!! that you would be over them but I promise you if you follow all the advice here on LS… You will get there. Want to know something even crazier than that? Since you are over them when they do contact you, a lot of people don't give the dumper a second chance. Not kidding… you will most likely get there too one day.
One the other hand, I have known many friends and associates through the years that have survived a break up due to G.I.G.S. and after a very long period of time, they were reunited and ended up married.
The dumpers in these situations seem to have a much deeper appreciation, love, commitment, fondness and respect for the dumpee. You can just see it in the way they look at them and conduct themselves around them.
I suspect it's because the dumper knows how deeply they hurt the dumpee and are extremely grateful that their stupid bout with G.I.G.S. almost cost them the best thing that they think happened to them. Or maybe the dumper admires the dumpee because the possessed the courage and strength to overcome it their stupidity...
I don't know... just a guess on my part. Hopefully we can have a G.I.G.S. dumper who ended back with the dumpee explain it to us.
For those of you who have been cheated on or had your ex jump into a rebound relationship quickly after the breakup by people that have G.I.G.S.
Now for all of you people that had your ex either cheat on you due to G.I.G.S. or enter into an overnight rebound relationship, I have a message for you and I want you to think about it. Does it really matter? In my opinion, no it does not. Now you have to understand, this is coming from a person that has never cheated ever. I obviously am against it and believe it is very selfish and hurtful to do that to someone you care about.
Had I not been lucky and taken steps early on, there is no doubt in my mind I would have put / forced my ex into a situation where cheating on me was going to be the enviable outcome.
How can I say that?
I was once in a relationship (5 years) and I started to experience G.I.G.S. It was the hardest thing I had to do, breaking up with someone that I loved and cared about. She was and still is amazing (married to a wonderful guy and is very blessed and happy). We still catch up every couple of years and she still tells me I was a complete moron (in a nice way) but she understood I had to go out there and do and see whatever it was I thought I needed to experience Note - To this day, I still don’t know why or what I was looking for. It wasn’t necessarily to date other people, although that was a part of it mind you, but it was more than that… something was missing in me, not her.
Now had I stayed in that relationship out of a sense of loyalty or by not wanting to hurt her, which most people do. I would have grown to ultimately resent her by no fault of her doing. Our relationship would have suffered greatly and if someone (who eventually does) came around… I would have most likely self-destructed or sabotaged it for the simple fact that I was unable to do what needed to be done the correct way. That is right, I would have done what a lot of your ex’s did to you, cheat. Again this is coming from someone who despises cheaters (I have had it done to me several times).
We all know how it starts… I would have started off talking to someone else, thinking I was out of love, thinking I was missing out and be full blown in the honeymoon phase. It would have been emotional cheating at first and then at some point turn into a physical relationship. I would have either ended or self-destructed to the point the person I was dating would have been forced to end it for me. Therefore giving me that ability to pursue my new G.I.G.S. relationship.
I truly believe you are 100% honest with yourself, you will see that you too are susceptible, if not guilty, of doing the same very thing that your ex just did to you. If not, then haven’t lived long enough, suffered from G.I.G.S yourself or you are choosing to lie to yourself to feel “better” about being cheated on.
Look in the LS forums, It takes some MAJOR guts and courage to end a relationship when needed. I bet it’s 1 out of 100 that do it at the right way and at the right time. Most people here who were cheated on by their ex, have at least the very least emotionally cheated on someone you once dated and whom you needed to break up with.
So what I am asking is to cut the quick rebound / cheater a break, or at least a little one. Why should you?
I am willing to bet that you sensed or saw a problem in the relationship long before your ex cheated on you. I am also willing to bet that you also did everything in your power (guilt them, convince them, plead with them, etc.) to keep them around based solely your need / desire to not have to go through the pain and loss of a breakup. In a sense, you are guilty of the same very thing you are angry with your ex about. By not taking into account their feelings or the impact it would have on them and by doing everything you could to get them to stay when you know they should have been free to go. It was about you, not them. Make Sense?
If you want my opinion from what I have seen through countless friends and family members, even though you might have been cheated on due to G.I.G.S, it does not me there isn’t a chance for reconciliation.
If you can get to the point that you REALISE that due to G.I.G.S., your ex simply cheated on you due to them not possessing the courage and strength that is required (if we are completely honest, I am willing to bet most of us don’t have this ability either) to end things the proper way either out of a sense of loyalty or their desire to not hurt you. If you can understand and come to terms with this, you will be well on your way to healing and forgiveness. Which in turn will give you the best chance if / when they return.
I am sure other G.I.G.S dumpers will post within this thread... So keep reading through the thread to hear and learn more what goes through the mind of the G.I.G.S. dumper!
Wow dude, you could make a fortune with this! What are you, a psychic or something?
I've experienced G.I.G.S. once myself. I had a great relationship with this girl who loved me and I loved her. We were together for 4 years and everything fell apart when I moved overseas. I met this girl, my current ex and even though I was attracted to her I tried to fight it for two months because I weren't ready to break up with the person I cared about. The distance did it's thing and I ended up cheating. It took me a while to break up with my ex because I didn't wanna hurt her and I felt really bad for everything. I never saw her since, it's been 5 years. We spoke few times when she came over to USA but we never met even though she was here for a year. I never initiated contact with her because I felt guilty and eventually she cut the contact with me for good. I believe she's happy, even though we're not friends on the facebook her profile picture is of her and her boyfriend. I'm not going to contact her because I don't want to play with her feelings. I don't feel like I'd want to have her back, but who knows, maybe seeing her would make me change my mind. I definitely respect her as a person and if she wanted me as a friend I'd be there for her.
As for my current ex, I don't think she's ever coming back. She's moving out of state and I will cut the contact with her once she's gone. I have to do it because having her around is preventing me from moving on and I told her so. The distance will do it's own thing and I don't see any chances of reconciliation. Then again, years down the road anything could happen, it's a small world after all.
I think this is thread is going to be a LS classic. It'll be around a while.
Much of what's been discussed sounds familiar to me. I think a lot of us have experienced a G.I.G.S. breakup at least once in our lives. There are many apsects that are similar to my last breakup, and what you've said makes a lot of sense to me.
G.I.G.S. breakups can be really tough because the causes are so hard to nail down. If there's cheating ot compatibility issues then it's easier to rationalize the break. If the reasons for the breakup are vague and it comes out of nowhere, it makes it really hard to give up hope.
My ex is now pulling up stakes and is leaving her job, friends, and family and moving to North Carolina (I spelled it out so as not to confuse with No Contact ) to start a new life. This seems pretty consistent with your G.I.G.S. There's also an element of depression to add to the equation, which I wonder might be another aspect of many of these G.I.G.S. cases.
Anyway, keep this thread alive. Homebrew, keep posting, as well as anyone else with similar experiences.
There's a SYNDROME? are we sure about this? It's not just our ego rejecting the fact that we did things wrong and she lost interest...?
Ego might be involved, but I think there's something to this. G.I.G.S. might go hand in hand with the "quarter life crisis" that so many of us go through in our 20's. Especially in years after college, people tend to look at there lives and wonder if there might be something they should be doing differently or to fulfill themselves. They question their living situation, career choices, and oportunities for the future. If they happen to be in a relationship, that relationship becomes an anchor to a life they're not sure they want anymore.
As you can see from some of the posts here on the thread... G.I.G.S is very difficult and hard on both the dumper and the dumpee. Both are equally hurt.
For all you G.I.G.S. dumpee's out there...
If you would simply do TWO things. I can promise you this, you are going to save yourself a lot of needless heartache and pain and in doing so, will give yourself the very best chance for your ex to want to come back and WIN your love.
If you love yourself, you will not stay or pursue a relationship with someone that is unavailable and is unable to meet your needs. Your ex (A person with G.I.G.S.) is now unavailable and cannot / will not meet your needs.
IF YOU TRULY DO LOVE YOU EX, THEN PROVE IT TO THEM BY LETTING THEM GO!
If you truly love your Ex than you would respect and allow them the opportunity, time, space and freedom required to figure out and explore (in whatever way they need) what it is they are missing, lacking, looking for in their life or a relationship.
Would you feel loved if your happiness or what you thought was best for you didn't matter? Of course not! Well either does your Ex.
By not respecting yourself enough and your ex by letting them go... you are communicating the following message to yourself (furthering your problem) and your ex:
I clearly don't love or care about myself and what is best for me, so let make sure I leave you no doubt in your mind that I certainly do not love or care about you or what is best for you.
You have already seen a couple of examples of this within the thread... When the dumpee didn't let go and the Ex felt "trapped" and then lost all respect for the dumpee.
Why would your Ex ever want to return to that? They won't and neither would you.
What happens to the dumpee who doesn't love, care and respect themselves enough or the needs and desires of the ex with G.I.G.S.?
The dumpee only wants one thing and that is being in pure he!! and complete agony!
I could list all the various reasons, logic and arguments as to why the dumpee refuses to let go. All you really need to know is that they are "unhealthy" and as they say "Hurt People, Hurt People".
Either the dumper (who are have in / have out already are convinced to stay) or dumpee (wanting someone that no longer wants them) isn't being true to themselves, their needs and their desires so anger, resentment and bitterness are soon to follow.
From this point forward, the dumpee is asking / begging for more "torture", more hurt, more agony from the dumper (which isn’t all their fault now). This can go on for months or even years but ultimately the Ex finally puts everyone out of their misery by cutting off all communication.
Don’t believe me? Spend some time in the forums… Most of the threads are from the “unhealthy” dumpee.
Please note: The suggestions and advice offered on this web site are opinions only and are not to be used in the place of professional psychological counseling or medical advice. If you or someone close to you is currently in crisis or in an emergency situation, contact your local law enforcement agency or emergency number.