Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Is the grass greener over there?

Asked by wundayatta (58357 points ) April 23rd, 2010

A couple of years ago, I had an experience where I thought the grass was greener over there. Turned out it wasn’t. At the time, I was really upset with my wife, and I was manic. In my impaired mental state, I tried out another relationship, so-to-speak.

It turned out that the other woman had just as many problems (if not more) than my wife did. In my fantasies, she had been perfect—just what I really wanted (I met her online). Reality turned out to be different. Not deliberately so; but because you can’t express everything online—you never think to say some things.

I was expecting this other woman to fix me, I think. Somehow, I only just realized that. I also only just realized that she couldn’t have fixed me, and not only that, but there is no other person who could fix this existential hole that resides inside me. That’s something only I can do.

I know, I’m pretty slow. I’ve been told this for years, but I never quite believed it. However, I was away over the last weekend, doing some deep reflection in a beautiful natural spot, and this was one of the results.

The grass looked greener, but it turned out not to be. Perhaps it was even browner. Certainly it wasn’t as nourishing.

Have you ever had an experience like that? What was the situation, and what did you learn from it?

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44 Answers

rebbel's avatar

I thought the grass was greener.
Turned out it was the same shade of green, only it wasn’t grass.
Was a totally different kind of fauna.

I was, by the way, no longer walking the grass when i saw the mosses.

CMaz's avatar

Sounds to me that you crossed paths with a life lesson.

Arp's avatar

@rebbel
Actually, wouldn’t it be a flora?

ZEPHYRA's avatar

The grass is never greener anywhere!

rebbel's avatar

@Arp
Of course, you are right.

wundayatta's avatar

@ChazMaz In spades!!!

JeffVader's avatar

Yeh, there was this one occasion when I thought my friends grass was greener than mine…. but he later told me it was skunk so that made perfect sense :)

wonderingwhy's avatar

It seems for many people the grass is almost always greener on the other side, at least until they get there. And all too often once they’re there, that magical green grass appears beyond yet another fence. Sometimes I wonder if the grass we’re in would seem a good bit greener if we’d just stop looking at others’ and spend more time considering what we have.

Perhaps, we would all do well to remember every now and then that just because we feel another path might seem better doesn’t mean it won’t be worse.

Personally, I’ve seen that a few times, and jumped more than once. As a result I’ve learned that even dry hay is better than nothing, sometimes it’s just a matter of not looking back, and learning to appreciate what you have is often more fulfilling than chasing what you don’t, wherever you are.

schna's avatar

Yup, sometimes yes. For example, you had met your wife and I believe she had fulfilled a large portion in your heart. But this lady came and she fulfilled (actually) only a small portion of your desire that is actually only a small portion and at the moment you felt like she was everything! It looks greener but it is nothing

gailcalled's avatar

Same number of ticks in all lawns, fields and woods here. At least, when I am on my own turf, I am closer to the shower.

@wundayatta: Your wife sounds like she is the epitome of forbearance. Nurture her.

slick44's avatar

The grass is as green as you make it.

wundayatta's avatar

@gailcalled You are so right. I am trying. My focus gets split apart sometimes. But life lessons help. And the knowledge that it is from inside me helps, even though I still have no clue how to find it.

BoBo1946's avatar

@wundayatta there are always problems on both sides of the fence!

Life is life whatever your address!

Glad it worked out! You are lucky!

Cruiser's avatar

The grass will always need to be watered, fertilized and cut no matter where it is.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It was greener, yes.

Jayy's avatar

I’m pretty sure there is more than just grass in this world.

Coloma's avatar

Yep, the greenness of ones grass is an inside job.

Plant ice you’re gonna harvest wind!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I’ve learned the grass is never greener on the other side. I’ve also learned that trying to fix a problem by adding another problem never works.

aprilsimnel's avatar

This spring it is! The building hired a better gardener for all the green areas!

Yetanotheruser's avatar

My neighbors’ lawns always looked greener than mine until I started nurturing my own. Then I realized how much work it takes for us each to maintain our lawn. Now our lawns make our neighborhood the envy of the town.

Coloma's avatar

Jeez…my little mountain is home to 3 sheep, 3 minature donkeys, 2 mules, 1 huge draft horse and a Llama….still too much grass! lol

slick44's avatar

Just take the time to fertalize every now and then.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Dang! Look at all those dandelions in my yard, I’ve got to go spray!

Yard work is never done.

Coloma's avatar

@OneMoreMinute

Don’t spray! Come borrow a sheep or two. lol

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@Coloma LOL! I would love a couple yard sheeps! But I wouldn’t want my neighbors to think ba-a-a-a-a-a-ad of me!

Coloma's avatar

@OneMoreMinute

lol…yes, last year I had to consult the sheep to see if a baaaaand I hired met with their approval. haha

Trillian's avatar

I once thought so years ago. I was wrong. I learned from the experience. Anyone who thinks my grass is greener is mistaken and I tell them so without allowing them to graze.

SamIAm's avatar

i think you need to make the grass greener within you… not look for it elsewhere! only you can fix you, not another person or place…

i recently moved across the country bc i wanted to – not looking to solve any problems, and i didn’t really have much to solve (other than to be healthier) – and i’ve never been so happy but i am also not treating myself so well (not eating right, sleeping too much, etc…) so i am not as happy as i could be! it’s all within.

Scooby's avatar

No Idea but I’m willing to mow whatever lawn needs attention first! :-/

OneMoreMinute's avatar

I thought I had the green green grass of home, but as it turns out, I was only making an astro turf of myself!

note to self: buy brighter light bulbs for my bathroom. I’m loosing my touch!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I never believed it and always thought people were foolish to go against thousands of years of counsel to check it out and then suffer the fallout to their lives. Anyhoo, after several years of feeling like I was getting nowhere being responsible, respectful, moral and just then I became very very angry. The angrier I got for having no rewards to my efforts, the more I wanted to see if the green grass story was just a fallacy to keep the numbers down over there, you know- so the grass would stay greener. I went and did the very thing I felt most despicable in other people. The grass wasn’t greener and yes, it was uglier than what I thought I already had going on. Lesson learned.

wundayatta's avatar

God, @Neizvestnaya! That’s a great use of the metaphor. I wish I knew what the hell you were talking about, though. Sounds like an interesting story.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@wundayatta
I’ve never been a cheater, it’s never been hard for me to be faithful to a partner and I took a lot of pride in feeling so good and enjoying so much about fidelity. Finding people who share my sentiment isn’t as hard as you think either, I’ve had several long term relationships and no issues of cheating but one (not me).

A few years back I took up with a man I thought was “The One” and I decided to change my life to be with him even if it meant living on the other side of the country or all points in between. He dumped me without an explanation after some time and after telling me and telling friends of his I was his match along with a bunch of other really nice stuff. I was so devastated having been cut loose.

Up to this day I don’t know what his reasons were but I do know he took up with someone else very quickly and now lives the life he and I had talked about living together. It was the biggest heartbreak I’d ever experienced and it made me angry to trust anyone again, no matter their great background or experiences. What I did in retaliation was to have sex with a married man, knowing it was just for sex and still not giving a damn. I did it to wipe away my boast of never having done such a thing, to destroy the good things about me I once believed were of value but seemed not so much anymore.

wundayatta's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Did it work? Have you destroyed the good things about you that you once believed were of value, but no longer?

Interesting the ways in which we punish ourselves.

BoBo1946's avatar

loll…oh well! We learn as we go…

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@wundayatta
It worked only that I have no bragging rights or self righteousness to say I’m immune or better than anyone else. Other than that I was disappointed at the lack of thrill and more that it’s something my partner knows about me. I still believe in what but not sure anyone will give it to me because of my actions.

wundayatta's avatar

It sounds like you’re saying you took yourself down from your moral height and have become a more ordinary sinner. As if righteousness is a necessary component of being sinless.

Perhaps you are right. Maybe you can only be truly compassionate if you have been in a place where you wanted to or actually did commit some immoral act.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@wundayatta
I’ve indulged in online infatuations that I would have acted on irl, I’ve dated people I first met online and I did that other thing irl thing knowing everything up front. Yes, it’s made me a lot more empathetic but also a tinge fearful because I know firsthand the lure, justification and thrall of emotional cheating as well the regular old fashioned kind. It’s made a quicker to scold others when they think what they’re doing is no big deal and doesn’t hurt anyone because I’ve experienced from both sides and know better now.

Aster's avatar

The grass Can be greener elsewhere! For example: a person lives in the ghetto. He wins the lottery and moves out of the ghetto into a clean, safe suburb. Is the grass greener there? If it isn’t , then I don’t understand the question.
A person is receiving lousy medical care in one hospital. He moves to a new hospital and receives Great care! Was the grass greener in the new hospital?
A man marries someone for the wrong reasons. He meets someone else and finds the Love of His Life. Was the grass greener? OK: I’ll stop.

wundayatta's avatar

@Aster Nice hypotheticals. Now what about your particular patch of greenery? Is it greener than mine? Or than prior patches you’ve been on?

Aster's avatar

@wundayatta Is my green greener than yours? I don’t know about your greenery! I’m sure I have some things worse and some better!

josie's avatar

“The grass is always greener” is a cliche that is meant to be sarcastic. It is not greener. It is just grass. Live is nothing but a huge classroom. Every day is a lesson. Learn as much as you can before your time comes.

captainsmooth's avatar

I didn’t think that the other grass was greener than mine, but my ex-wife did. Now she is miserable (supposedly…she says she cries all the time, has nightmares and from my point of view, looks like shit whenver I see her), my children are hurt on many levels, and I’m left wondering why this happened to our simple life.

Certainly there are times when the grass is greener, but those are the exception, as noted by Aster.

Most of the time, your own grass is just fine.

seazen_'s avatar

I just checked: No, it isn’t.

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