For most people, sleep is the best, partially because it gives us a chance to relax and dream. But sometimes, those dreams can be the source of major stress, especially if you’re dreaming about someone you’d rather forget. One minute, you’re dreaming about eating the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted, and then, suddenly…your ex is there? What does it mean when you dream about ex? It’s not always a sign that you subconsciously want to get back together.
Interested in your dream & sleep talking? Sometimes sleep talking occurs during dreaming. Use ShutEye sleep tracker app to see funny things you say during the sleep, and if you snore or fart! (Download ShutEye for Android and iOS.)
What does it mean when you dream about ex?
Dreaming about an ex is actually really common — and it might not mean what you think. If you’ve found yourself wondering why your brain keeps bringing up a certain person when you’re asleep, one (or more) of these reasons might explain it.
1. If it’s a recent ex-girlfriend or boyfriend.
It may appear like your mind is attempting to undo all of your hard work in the waking hours to get over this individual.
However, your subconscious is actually attempting to assist you in healing and processing your feelings about the split.
2. If they were physically or verbally abusive.
A common trauma response is to dream about an abusive or toxic ex.
If you’re having nightmares about an abusive ex, it’s probably because you’re still trying to figure out why it happened in the first place.
3. If it’s an ex from a long time ago.
It’s very typical to have dreams about a long-ago ex, especially a first love. That ex becomes a symbol for passion, unbridled desire, fearless love, and so on.
This is your subconscious mind’s way of informing you that you need more love in your life.
4. If someone is expressing regret.
If your ex apologizes in your dream, it doesn’t mean he or she is truly sorry in real life.
Rather, it’s your mind creating up a scene in which your ex said exactly what you hoped he had said.
5. If they miss you or you miss them.
What qualities did your ex have that you’re missing from your life right now? For example, if your ex was funny, schedule a Zoom date with another funny friend.
What qualities of yours did your ex help bring out in you? Time to tap into those without the help of your ex!
6. If you’re getting back together.
If you would, it’s time to spend some time remembering why you broke up in the first place. Likely, those were some pretty damn good reasons! (A therapist or protective BFF can be very helpful here).
If, however, in your waking hours you have ZERO interest in said ex, the dream is a sign that you’ve made peace with the relationship and learned the lessons you needed to learn from it. Exciting!
7. If you’re getting physical.
Aka kissing, touching, and the like. In dreams, sex = connection.
So, it’s time to examine whether you actually want to reconnect with this ex. This is another instance where making a list of reasons you broke up can be helpful.
If you have a kid together, it’s not about the sex or kissing, it’s about connecting for the sake of the child. Good to know!
Why you’re dreaming about your ex?
Of course, it’s only natural to wonder the reasoning behind your dreams, and your curiosity probably doubles when someone unexpected pops up. But even if you’re happily in a new relationship (or feel like, in your waking hours, you’re super over that old boyfriend or girlfriend), it’s not that strange if you see an ex or two in your dreams.
1. You’ve unresolved feelings toward your ex.
Before you freak out too much about this one, remember that these feelings don’t necessarily have to be romantic ones. Dreaming about an ex could mean that you’re looking for closure. Maybe you’re unsettled with the way things ended between the two of you, or maybe you’re still trying to work past the way your relationship ended in your mind.
2. You’re worried about being successful in a new relationship.
If you’re entering into a relationship with a new person, your psyche may still be trying to sort out the pluses and minuses of your old relationship. In this situation, your psyche is trying to ensure success with your new relationship.
3. It’s a symbol of a bigger problem.
So basically, if you’re dreaming about your ex, think about why your relationship ended and what you could have done differently. If it was your fault — and even if it wasn’t — sorting that out and preventing it from happening in future relationships could put these dreams to an end.
4. You’ve afraid someone else will hurt you again.
For a lot of people, getting over an old relationship is difficult, simply because it comes with the fear of being hurt the same way again — especially if your breakup was particularly brutal. That might have something to do with your ex guest starring in your dreams.
The dream might even be your way of realizing a new relationship is going down the same path. That might mean that you need to do what you can to change the relationship’s course, or that you haven’t had full emotional closure.
5. You’re trying to forgive them after a bad breakup.
If things between the two of you didn’t end well and there was never an opportunity for forgiveness, the dream could be your brain’s way of creating that opportunity for you. It might represent the fact that you need to make peace with your ex. Want the dreams to stop? Forgive your ex when you’re awake and conscious, and that might just do it.
It’s common to have a dream about ex. It also doesn’t necessarily have to do with your ex.
What you do with your dreams is determined by what is beneath them. However, dealing with the root of the problem is the only way to permanently end the dream.
If you have trouble sleeping, try ShutEye, an all-in-one sleep app. ShutEye brings a wide variety of tools to help you fall asleep. And you can understand your sleep cycles from a scientific perspective.
So stop tossing and turning all night, and starting falling asleep in a healthy and natural way.
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