When you have a dream about an ex, it’s normal to feel a range of emotions. You might be sad, startled, or perplexed if you have a vivid dream about your ex. Even the quality of your sleep might be affected by some sorts of dreams.
People you know may show up in your dreams, but it’s not unusual. The average number of characters that people see in their dreams is four. The identities of these characters can change. You may run into strangers or people you don’t recognize, or you may meet familiar faces. In your dreams, you may see loved ones from your waking life, including your parents, siblings, and even ex-partners.
It’s not uncommon to see visions of ex-lovers. There is evidence to suggest that whether or not you dream about an ex relies on your current romantic situation. A survey found that 35 percent of people in a relationship dreamed of their present or former partner. Single persons, on the other hand, were more likely to fantasize about their ex-partners.
What does it signify if an ex shows up in your dreams? The interpretation you give to a dream is heavily influenced by the beliefs you subscribe to when it comes to dreams:
- Sigmund Freud felt that dreams were a portal to the unconscious mind, which he called psychodynamic theory. Dreams, according to Freud, are closely linked to one’s day-to-day experiences and provide the dreamer with valuable information.
- According to the Activation-Input-Modulation (AIM) Model, dreams are the brain’s response to excessive activity while you sleep. Practice for real-world interactions can also be done in virtual reality.
- According to this view, dreams are the result of stored memories. The outcome is a variety of dreams for each people as they absorb memories. Dreams can include real-life settings and people, but they are not always linked to past experiences.
You may find it difficult to sleep at night if you wake up thinking about your ex. There are many ways to interpret a dream about an ex, but these are some of the more common. It’s impossible to pin down the actual meaning of these dreams.
10 Reasons Why You’re Dreaming About Your Ex
Because it allows us to unwind and fantasize, sleep is a favorite pastime for most individuals. However, if you’re having nightmares about someone you’d rather forget, this might be a huge source of tension. Your ex appears out of nowhere when you’re daydreaming about the finest ice cream you’ve ever had. Is there any significance to you dreaming of your ex? It’s not always an indication that you’re wishing for a rekindled romance.
When a stranger appears in your dreams, your interest is piqued twice as much, as it is normal to wonder about the meaning of your subconscious thoughts. However, even if you’re in a new relationship or feel like you’ve completely moved on from your previous one, you’re not alone if you see a few ex-lovers in your dreams.
It’s not uncommon to have dreams about an ex, and they don’t always imply what you believe they do. Listed below are a few possible explanations for why your mind keeps dreaming about a specific individual while you’re fast asleep.
1. You have unresolved feelings toward your ex.
Remember that these feelings don’t necessarily have to be romantic ones before you freak out too much about this one. Relationship specialist Terri Orbuch told Women’s Health that dreaming about an ex could indicate a need for closure. Maybe you’re still trying to come to terms with the termination of your relationship, or perhaps you’re still haunted by it in your mind.
2. You’re worried about being successful in a new relationship.
An expert in dream analysis tells the Huffington Post that if you dream about your ex while in a new relationship, chances are you are comparing the two to ensure that this time around, things work out. You may still be attempting to sift through the positives and negatives of your previous relationship if you’re starting a new one, Mead said. When it comes to a new relationship, “your psyche is working hard to ensure its success”
3. It’s a symbol of a bigger problem.
As Mead put it: “Most of the time, however, dreams are not literal.” You should focus your energy on resolving the issues that led to your exes in the first place, rather than rehashing the past.”
Consider the reasons why your relationship ended and what you could have done differently when you find yourself daydreaming about an ex. Disentangling the cause of the problem and making sure it doesn’t happen again could put an end to these fantasies.
4. You’re actually not over them.
Even if you’re not still thinking about your ex because you miss them, you can do this. Take a look inside yourself and see if you really want to get back together with your ex… and then determine the next step.
5. It’s not about your ex, it’s about you.
It’s possible that a former lover in a dream signifies a part of yourself, according to Psychics Universe. You may have given up too much of yourself and what you love in your last relationship, and now it’s time to gain that back. Alternatively, it could be a sign that you’re ignoring yourself in some way. You can’t harm to examine your own behavior during the time you were with your ex and see if you need to make substantial changes.
6. You’re afraid someone else will hurt you again.
Many people find it difficult to move on from a past relationship because they are afraid of being hurt in the same manner again, especially if the breakup was extremely traumatic for them. If you’ve been seeing your ex in your dreams, this could be the reason. It’s possible that your dream may be a way for you to recognize that a new relationship is following the same path. Either you need to modify the path of the relationship or you still haven’t had complete emotional closure, depending on the circumstances.
7. The ex in your dream is actually you, breaking up with yourself.
Exes arise in dreams for a variety of reasons, as you may have gathered by now. Getting in touch with your true self may be as simple as listening to your mind, according to Exemplore, which suggests that you may be repressing an opposing aspect of your personality.
Interpreting a dream like this one to mean that you should reconnect with your ex will not only leave this issue unanswered but will also complicate the situation much more,” a website advises. You need to focus on strengthening your relationship with yourself rather than putting your attention into external relationships at this time, according to this dream.
8. You’re trying to forgive them after a bad breakup.
If the relationship between you and your ex-partner didn’t work out, the dream could be your brain’s way of giving you an opportunity to make amends. The Dreamstop website suggests that it could mean that you need to reconcile with your ex. Let go of your fantasies! If you can forgive your ex while you’re awake and aware, you might have a chance.
9. You miss parts of your life with them.
This could indicate that there’s something about your previous relationship that you’d like to get back, according to the Dreammoods Dream Dictionary. But the missing element is not necessarily the person; it could be where you lived, something you did together, or a place you frequently visited during that period of your life.
10. Something in your life is making you unhappy.
It’s also possible that an ex in your dream represents something else in your life that you need to “part up with” in order to truly move on. There’s no harm in trying to fix something that’s been weighing you down for a long time.
When you have a dream about an ex, it can signify a lot of different things. The best way to figure out what the dream is trying to tell you is to search within. The chances are that you already know all the answers you need.
It usually relates to one of these underlying issues
Loewenberg believes that while every dream about an ex is unique, it often boils down to the following:
- discontent with one’s life
- a feeling of sexual emptiness
- feelings about the ex or the breakup that remain unanswered.
- settled resentments stemming from the split.
Exploring specific dream scenarios
During these tumultuous times, I’ve had several bizarre dreams, ranging from the terrifying to the lovely to the violent. We’ll focus on the most prevalent ones here.
If it’s a long-ago ex
According to Loewenberg, “dreaming about a long-ago ex—especially an early love—is quite common.” It becomes a symbol of unrestrained yearning, unabashed love,” says the author.
If you’ve been having these dreams, your subconscious mind is attempting to communicate that you’d like to spice things up in your life.
If it’s a recent ex
In the beginning, it may appear as if your mind is working against you in order to sabotage your efforts to move on from this individual.
“Your subconscious is actually attempting to help you heal and understand how you’re feeling about the breakup,” Loewenberg asserts instead.
If they were abusive
Malina notes that a frequent trauma response is to dream about an abusive or poisonous ex (think: physically or mentally abusive, serial cheater, etc.).
Loewenberg says that if you’re having nightmares about an abusive past, it’s probably because you’re still trying to figure out WHY it happened in the first place.
It’s possible that the dream is a metaphor for the self-punishment you’re inflicting on yourself by obsessively thinking about this connection.
If you miss them or they miss you
What characteristics did your ex possess that you wish you had at this time? Schedule a Zoom date with a friend who is as funny as your ex.
What traits did your ex assist you cultivate? With no aid from your ex, it’s time to use those resources.
If you want them back or they want you back
Again, think about the things about your ex that you enjoyed or the things about your ex that you would like to have back in your life!
If someone is apologizing
Seeing an ex apologise in your dream means your ex is truly sorry!
Rather, it’s just your mind making up a picture of what you want your ex had said to you at the time of the encounter.
Why are you apologizing, then? There is a good chance that you have lately done or said something that you wish you could take back. Your first attempt to make apologies is what we call “the dream.”
If someone’s confronting the other about past wrongs
“The part of you that was wounded by that individual is confronted in a dream where you’re addressing that person,” explains Loewenberg.
In order to progressively come to terms with the ways that you were damaged, you’re doing this.
If you’re getting back together
The time has come for you to take a hard look at whether or not you’d be able to rekindle your relationship with an ex if they approached you.
It’s a good idea to reflect on the reasons behind your breakup if you haven’t already. These were probably some very solid reasons! (Working with a therapist or a supportive BFF can be really beneficial in this situation).
Even if you’re not thinking about your ex during the day, having a dream about him or her indicates that you’ve accepted the end of your relationship and absorbed the lessons it had to teach you. Exciting!
If you’re falling in love again
The implication, according to Loewenberg, is that you’re desperate to be loved and cared for right now. In the midst of a pandemic, isn’t it a perfectly reasonable desire?
If you’re getting physical
Kissing, hugging, and the like. Sex is synonymous with intimacy in the subconscious mind of a dreamer.
As a result, it’s time to reevaluate your desire to rekindle your relationship with your ex. Making a list of the reasons why you and your ex-partner broke up can be beneficial in this situation as well.
If you have a child together, it’s not about the sex or kissing, it is about connecting for the sake of the child,” Loewenberg says. I’m glad to hear that!
If you have a kid together
Pregnancy tests aren’t ready yet!
In dreams, children are a symbol of hope and new beginnings. Here, the dream suggests that your ex helps you bring up another side of your personality.
If you’re fighting
You may be experiencing a conflict in your life, according to Loewenberg.
In light of the current upheaval in our lives, this is quite normal.
If someone’s cheating on the other
According to Loewenberg, if your ex cheated on you and you’re having nightmares about it, it’s an indication you’re carrying suspicion into your present relationship.
Even if they didn’t, there’s a good possibility your present relationship is making you feel like the third wheel, according to “If You’re Dreaming That They Did”
For example, consider an Xbox, a TV show, or a youngster.
If you break up all over again
Is there a recent breakup going on here? Take a deep breath and relax! After a few minutes of contemplation, you’ll be ready to go.
How long ago was it? Do you have any other situations in your life that are making you feel unlovable? Is COVID-19 the reason you recently lost your job? Are your best friends texting or phoning you less frequently?
If they’re in a new relationship
So you’ve accepted the truth that your ex is going to (or already has) moved on from your relationship.
The moral of the story: It’s high time you did the same!
If they’re in danger
Whether or whether you’re attempting to save them is up to you.
Even if you’re the shining knight, there’s probably a lesson you can learn from the relationship.
Did your ex, for example, bring out your more outgoing side? You’re getting a nudge from your subconscious to get out there and meet new people.
The fact that you didn’t try to save them actually indicates that you’re letting go of the relationship. Buh-bye!
If they died
Congrats! Your readiness to go on is suggested by this dream, in which you seem to have let go of the past.
If they kill you
Forcible death Equals murder. Is there something about myself that I missed out on when dating my ex?
For instance, you might say:
- to be able to believe.
If you kill them
You have been warned! If you’re having this dream, it’s probably because you’ve dealt with any remaining sentiments of resentment toward your ex.
But if you’re still angry with your ex, this dream may be a sign that you need to work over your resentment.
Exploring pandemic-specific dream scenarios
In most cases, the notion of meeting an ex-lover face-to-face is terrifying. So why are they popping up in your dreams now that there’s zero likelihood of seeing them? Let’s look into it.
If you’re single and dreaming about them
You’ve moved on and aren’t thinking about your ex. You’re missing out on human contact! And it’s wonderful to know that you’re appreciated! And smooches!
Loewenberg advises focusing on the positive aspects of this ex, but not for too long.
As soon as this *gestures around* is over, your subconscious may be compiling a list of attributes you want in a future mate.
If you’re in a relationship but isolating alone and dreaming about them
In your dream, how did you feel about your ex? Are you seductive, adored, well-taken care of, or unique?
You and your significant other are due for a virtual date night. Right now, your subconscious is trying to let you know that you’re being overlooked.
If you’re isolating with a current partner and dreaming about them
I’d like to know how your ex made you feel again:
Positivity can make you realize how long it has been since your former bae made you feel that way, and how much you miss it.
As Barr puts it, “Relationships can become stale when people spend too much time together.”
She advises reviving the romance in your relationship by planning sexy dates and hanky panky.
If you dream that they develop COVID-19
As a metaphor, Loewenberg claims that your subconscious may be utilizing the virus to suggest that you still have unresolved ickiness from your relationship with your ex.
Lol, your ex is definitely the bug.
It could be a sign that anything in one of your current relationships (romantic, sexual, or otherwise) is problematic if you’re still bitter over your breakup, according to Loewenberg.
Codependency is creeping up on you. Are you relying on one another too much? The dream will end if you find the answer to that question.
So… when are these dreams a red flag?
based on Barr and Loewenberg’s research:
- when they have become a regular occurrence (read: nightly or bi-nightly).
- if you wake up in a bad mood and can’t seem to shake it.
- If your dreams are similar to the desires you have when waking.
What if you’re in a relationship — should you tell your partner?
Though Barr and Loewenberg believe that communication is important in relationships, they also believe that telling your present significant other that you’re still thinking about your ex might be detrimental to your relationship.
Because of this, Loewenberg says, “it’s likely going to make your partner anxious and envious.”
In the end, there is no such thing as a “should” in a relationship because every relationship and individual is unique, according to Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center director and sex therapist Jesse Kahn.
The following questions, according to Kahn, can assist you in determining the best course of action for your relationship:
- What are your aims and motivations for telling your partner?
- If you tell your partner, would it have any repercussions on you or your relationship?
- What are your thoughts on those ramifications?
How to talk about it
Is it okay to tell your lover about the specifics of your dreams? Maybe not.
As Barr points out, our associates, on the other hand, have a keen sense of humor. So if these dreams are upsetting, unsettling, or haunting you, your significant other is probably aware of it.
That’s why Barr recommends telling your partner that you’ve been having some unsettling nightmares if they ask you what’s wrong.
When it comes to examples:
- As you may have guessed, I’ve recently been on a roll in my own mind. This is because I’ve been having vivid dreams depicting things from my past that have been confusing me. Nevertheless, I’m here, I love you, and you needn’t be worried about anything.”
- It’s true that I’ve been in an odd mood recently. I’ve been plagued with strange dreams lately, and they’ve kept me awake at night. Please let me know if I need to discuss it further.”
How to address the underlying issue
Even if you dream about an ex, it doesn’t always mean you’re still in love with, resentful of, or fond of that person.
In some cases, it stands out:
- The current state of affairs is not satisfactory.
- The existing state of affairs is not to my liking.
- the fact that you’ve moved on from your ex.
- To show the ex that you’re ready to move on.
It all comes down to the core problem and what your next step should be.
Although Barr encourages telepsychiatry, it’s not mandatory.
To put it another way, they’ll be able to help you figure out why these dreams are happening and devise a strategy to put an end to them.
What to Do When You Dream About an Ex and You’re in a Relationship
There are several reasons why people have dreams about their ex. Self-image, anxieties, insecurities, strengths, lofty ideals, and sexual orientation are just a few of the many topics that might come up in dreams. The fact that you’re feeling this way does not mean that your relationship is in peril. Always be open and honest with your partner about anything that could have an effect on your emotional well-being. As a result, they can gain a better understanding of particular actions and gain insight.
Just because you dream about an ex doesn’t mean you want to rekindle a romance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of your own feelings when you do. Dreams might be about what we wish we had in life, or they can be about what we wish we never had to experience. To obtain insight into your thoughts and clear out any lingering sentiments, open communication with your current partner may be beneficial.
How to Interpret Dreams About an Ex
Keeping a journal of your dreams can help you understand what you’re dreaming about. Get up and write down what you remember from your dream when you get out of bed. If you see your ex on a frequent basis in your dreams, you can begin to notice patterns.
Consider jotting down the feelings you had in your dreams and the responses you had to those feelings. In order to gain a more complete picture of your dream, these sensations can be helpful in determining if it is about your ex or something else. It’s possible to experiment with lucid dreaming in order to become more aware of your dreams while they occur. To better understand your feelings during a dream, try lucid dreaming.
In addition, you may want to consult with a professional therapist to discuss your dreams. They may be able to assist you in exploring the deeper meanings of your dreams and suggest ways to proceed.
When to Seek Professional Help
There is a good chance that you should get help if your dreams are disrupting your daily life. If you’re experiencing symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, or any other changes in your mental state, you should visit a mental health expert like a therapist. Finding a therapist might be difficult, but an online directory is a good place to begin. Get your questions answered and feel confident about continuing forward with therapy by using this link.
The bottom line
Whether or whether there is a global pandemic, it is quite typical to dream about an ex. Even if it doesn’t have anything to do with your ex at all.
What you do in response to the dreams is influenced by their underlying meaning. However, if you truly want to put an end to the fantasy, you must first address the source of the problem.