"Grass Is Greener" Syndrome & How To Get Your Ex Back

What is grass is greener syndrome and how can you get your ex back when you realize your grass was the greenest after all?

By Rose Elementary
"Grass Is Greener" Syndrome & How To Get Your Ex Back

So you want your ex back...

Break ups are hard. They're even harder when you realize you regret the break up and that you want your ex to come back. If you left your ex because of ‘grass is greener’ syndrome, here are the stages of the syndrome and some things you can do to win him back.

What is Grass is Greener Syndrome?

The saying goes that the grass is always greener on the other side. That's where the meaning of this syndrome comes from. It's that feeling you get when you think what everyone else has is better than what you have. It's when you see a newer model of your car driving down the road and you wish that you had that one instead of the car you drive. It's when you think your neighbor's lawn is greener than yours and you resent them for it. In this case, grass is greener syndrome is when you're in a relationship with an awesome guy but you wonder if maybe there's something better out there. There are a few stages to grass is greener syndrome when it comes to relationships. These stages include realizing there could be better out there, the break up, and the eventual regret. Looking at these stages can help you get your ex to come back when you realize you had the best guy the whole time.

Stage 1: The Realization

Grass is greener syndrome comes on slowly. It starts with simple things like "if only we were more like this couple," or hearing your best friend gush about her boyfriend and thinking about how different they are, how much better they are, then you and your boyfriend. You start to watch the couples around you and assume that they have to be happier than you are in your relationship because they do certain things that you don't do. Before seeing that random couple walking down the street in matching hats, you never even considered doing that with your boyfriend, but once you saw someone else doing it you wanted that level of dedication from your partner, too. Relationships are hard enough without the creeping doubt that things could be better with someone else. Meaning, you want what you don't have so much that it starts to seep into your relationship and make it harder to stay with your boyfriend. It isn't about turning your boyfriend into the perfect guy. You get it into your head that he couldn't be that guy and that there is someone out there better. As if wandering thoughts about better options start to pile up, you distance yourself from your boyfriend. He notices, but he figures it's just a symptom of the time you spend together. He probably doesn't expect it when you finally decide to break it off.

Stage 2: The Break Up

Imagine this... You like a person a lot you know, in that consuming more than just a crush kind of way (the I always wish I was with you, ache when I am not, bordering on obsessing kinda way) And that person is clear who they are and what they want Now you, you are not so sure but what you do know is you really like this person so much and you really want them to like you too so much So this becomes what you begin to organize around and it feels sweet and maybe even romantic when you begin They feel touched that you remember the little things that you care and are so very thoughtful and maybe they even say things like "I have never felt so loved, so seen, so met, so understood" And you, you love that because this means it's working The person you want feels loved by you and seems to love you too But then some time passes and life happens and things come up and you realize there are some things they really want that you really don't want that you really don't want to give And you try and say something but it doesn’t go well because you bring your preferences and your no as more of a complaint perhaps even as an attack maybe even with a touch of shaming because you just gave so much of you, because you feel scared, maybe threatened, maybe because this is the only way you know to do And they react by shutting down or are simply not willing to engage And it feels like they do not have space for you (the person you just gave so much to doesn’t have space for you) or at the very least isn’t willing to listen to you not in this way And they start says things like “Okay, well then you go do you I don’t want you to be with me if this isn’t good for you if it is making you unhappy" And they think this is the kind thing to do And you find it rather cruel Because it means they are willing to let you go Even after you feel like you were willing to give so much Even after all the love and deepest intimacies you realize they are willing to say goodbye to you before they are willing to change for you or engage with you in a way they do not wish to And you see red or the world loses some of its color See rest below 👇

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Once you've got it in your mind that the grass is greener on the other side, the breakup is inevitable. Hopefully, it's amicable and you didn't do something like cheat on him to test the waters. The messier the break up, the worse things will be in stage 4. The thing about the grass is greener breakup is that it doesn't have the same meaning as a breakup does in other relationships. When you break up with a guy for any other reason, you go through the stages of a breakup like the stages of grief! It takes some time to get yourself back out there and dating again because the ending of relationships takes time to process and heal from. When you end relationships because you think there's something better out there waiting for you, you usually skip the usual stages and jump right into dating again. You likely won't enter into another relationship for a long time, though. You're still thinking about that something better and jumping from guy to guy to hopefully find it. This means that you don't have a chance to think about how great your relationship had been and you don't really mourn the relationship, which is why you eventually end up with regret over ending the relationship in the first place.

Stage 3: The Realization, Part 2

First you realized that your relationship might be missing something. Now you are filled with regret that you didn't see the true meaning of an incredible relationship when you had it. If the guy you were with was an amazing guy and you had a solid relationship built, you probably dated a lot of sub-par guys that didn't even come close to comparing to your ex-boyfriend. Even the ones that seemed like they might have that something better you ended up comparing to your ex and finding he was superior in all the important ways. Hopefully, this realization won't take too long for you to figure out after the initial break up. The longer you take to realize that what you had was awesome, the less likely your ex will be willing to come back and give things another try. If he wasn't great in the first place, you wouldn't reach this stage because even though you may be struggling with always wanting something better, you wouldn't be comparing the guys back to the ex you broke up with. You'll only reach this stage if your ex was the better you were searching for, you just didn't realize it yet. During this stage, you'll reach out and try to reconnect with your ex again. Hopefully he'll still be single which will make it easier to open that line of communication again. The more you talk the more you regret the break up and you realize you'd like to give things another try.

Stage 4: The Make Up or The Break Up

This stage almost totally depends on him. If stage 2 and 3 took you too long, he may have already moved on and you may have lost your chance to find out if your grass is greener syndrome was wrong in the first place. If you're lucky, he's still single. That doesn't mean he'll be willing to try again, though. It's likely he's hurt that you broke up with him so convincing him to come back will take some work. Starting off as friends is your best bet to make him realize you're serious about trying again. This stage is going to go one of two ways. If he's single and he's willing to try again, you'll make up and you'll get your amazing boyfriend back. This isn't going to be easy, of course, so you'll have to go through some effort to convince him the relationship is worth it. Some tips on how to do that are in the next section. The other option is a break up. This break up is going to feel like a regular break up to you which means you'll go through those stages that you skipped the first time around. You don't feel like the grass is greener on the other side anymore so you'll take this opportunity to mourn your relationship properly. Either way, you'll come out knowing that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and that you're allowed to be happy in your relationship even if it doesn't mimic the relationships you see all around you.

How to win him back

Communication is the first key to winning your ex back. If you'd been honest with him in the first place, you might have avoided the stages of grass is greener syndrome altogether. The first thing you need to do to win him back is be honest and open about how you were feeling in your relationship. Even if your unhappiness in your relationship stemmed from feeling like something better was out there, you likely still have things you want to make better if you're going to be a couple again. Have a sit down conversation, or even a few, over dinner and lay out your goals for the relationship and the things you liked or didn't like about how you were as a couple before. Talking this through might help avoid a resurgence of grass is greener syndrome if you're in a long term relationship and things start to get stale. Communication is the key! You should also avoid becoming too clingy. Like mentioned in stage 4, it's up to him to decide whether or not you start dating again. You're the one who broke it off so it makes sense to let him take the lead when it comes to getting back together. That doesn't mean you should let him walk all over you, but make sure he knows it's his decision and you'll be okay with it no matter what. Avoid calling him a million times a day to find out if he wants to get back together. That'll probably make the answer a big fat no. Groveling is great. Make him know you're serious about getting back together. That means proving that you're not going to leave him in search for something better again. Ensure him that you grew when you were apart and you know what you want now: him. Give him time and space, keep communication lines open, and grovel as best you can. Those are the best things you can do to convince him to choose make up instead of break up in stage 4.

Avoiding Grass is Greener Syndrome

Whether you get back together with your ex or not, you'll want to be aware of the stages of grass is greener syndrome so you can avoid it next time. If you feel yourself asking what if a lot, take a step back and decide if you're unhappy in your relationship or if you're unhappy because you're comparing your relationship to what everyone else has. Its okay to live in the now and to be happy with what you have without wondering what it would be like to want something else. If you like your partner and you enjoy being in that relationship, remind yourself that the grass really isn't always greener on the other side.

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