It All Depends on How You Feel About Saying Goodbye
I hear from a lot of dreamers who are haunted by dreams during breakups – whether they’re broken engagements, divorces, or broken relationships in general.
Some dreamers have nightmares during this period. They’ll dream their “ex” is trying to harm them or that they are in a situation and the “ex” refuses to help them.
When the dream revolves around an ex not coming to the dreamer’s rescue – it speaks of a feeling that the ex was “never there for them… never around when they were needed most.”
Dreams of an ex trying to harm the dreamer in any way doesn’t have to indicate that there was EVER any physical or even emotional abuse. In fact, it’s much more a sign of pain from the separation. Our dreaming mind puts physical pain and emotional pain AND physical fear and emotional fear on the same level – it really isn’t able to distinguish between physical and emotional.
All it knows is that there is pain, fear, and great emotions going on at this time. It responds to this with disturbing dreams that are apt to continue for up to a couple of weeks. The sooner the dreamer is able to move on with their life… finding other interests to engage their mind and attention… the sooner the subconscious mind will say, “Oh, okay, we’re good.” and move on to happier, more upbeat dreams.
I recently read about a dream from someone who left a comment on Dream Prophesy. He and a girl he very much liked had recently broken up and his dreams involved a “backyard” and a “flood.” As someone who LOVES dreams and LOVES the way the subconscious mind works.. I loved reading this. While my heart breaks for two people who may not be able to be together (more about that in a minute!), I think it’s fascinating that the subconscious mind expressed itself in this manner.
- The backyard is symbolic of “looking back” or even “going back.” This could be the dreamer wanting to “go back” and give it another chance or it could be the dreamer not wanting to “go back and make, or repeat, a mistake.”
- The flood is beautifully symbolic of a flood or rush of emotions. Flood and/or rain dreams are common whenever a loss is involved – loss of a loved one through death or through a broken relationship. The flood (or rain) represents emotions and, sometimes, even tears. The amazing thing is these emotions can range from love to hate and from fear to relief. Someone who had been in a terribly stressful and unhappy relationship may have as many “floods of emotions” as someone who’d been in a relatively peaceful and happy relationship. However, these emotions may be those of great relief and even freedom as opposed to sadness and regret.
One Last Word
Because I do hear from so many people who are dealing with breakups – and who are so haunted by these breakups that their dreams are even affected – I want to say one last thing. When I hear from someone who has gone through a divorce or a breakup that was a lousy relationship, I can’t help thinking, “Good – now go and find someone you can be happy with. Relationships aren’t supposed to be filled with so much unhappiness, distrust, and control issues. They should be fun and happy MOST of the time, not just every now and then!”
The breakups and divorces that stick with me are the ones where…
- … the couple was happy and got along beautifully.
- …. the two individuals actually loved one another.
- …. there was respect involved – a two way street.
- …. but, for whatever reasons, one or both of them feel “it won’t work” or that there’ll be trouble down the road – so they end it.
What the what?!?! If it’s working NOW, what leads you to think it won’t work THEN? If you have differences of opinion on a lot of issues NOW, don’t base that on what may or may not happen THEN. People change and, over the course of a few years, sometimes they change so much in their outlook on life they can’t even believe it!
These days it is extremely, extremely hard to find someone. That’s why there are SO many online dating sites, match up programs, etc. Problem is, some of these have the potential to be unreliable at best and dangerous at worst. It’s just incredibly difficult to find someone. Period.
If you have been blessed enough to find someone you love and who loves you, letting them go may be one of the worst mistakes you ever make. One of my favorite sayings is this, “Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.”
If love and respect are there, then you need to make a couple motto that goes something like this, “We will make this work.” Keep lines of communication open, respect one another’s opinions and even encourage freedom of thought.
Relationships are, basically, family we choose for ourselves. We’re born to parents who aren’t our choosing. Some of us have siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents who aren’t our choosing.
Think about it: We never throw a brother or sister aside simply because we don’t see eye to eye on everything. As parents, we don’t put one of our children up for adoption because they have different political thoughts than we do.
In my own family, I’m not sure any two of us agree 100% on every single political or current news topic. We may see a lot of the major issues similarly, but everything… not a chance. We’re all individuals and individuals were built to think for themselves.
However, we love one another with all our heart and we respect one another and applaud freedom of thought. That’s what families do. They may disagree, they may even argue, heck… sometimes they may even stomp around and yell!
But, in the end, when all’s said and done – they’re family and quitting is NOT an option.
If the love is there, everything else will follow.
The Dream Prophecy for Ex Dreams Usually Isn’t What You Think…
First of all, everyone involved in the scenario can relax – because, ironically, dreams bout exes isn’t always as much about the EX as it is the PAST. Sure, there are instances when the dream COULD be about the person – but when that’s the case, the dreamer pretty much knows this right off the bat. The dreams will make them genuinely miss the person and long for what they had.
More times than not, however, the WHO in the dream isn’t even the most important part of the dream. Most of the time, the most significant part of the dream is the WHERE and WHEN – the fact that the individual is present in the dream is simple – they were there in the dreamer’s REAL LIFE timeline.
Here’s an example. A man was married for 7 years to a woman. Most of his 20’s were spent with this individual. After they’ve divorced (and even after he has happily moved on) she may show up in his dreams. It doesn’t mean he still has feelings for her and it certainly doesn’t mean he misses her.
He’s simply dreaming about a period of his life where she happened to be present.
Our dreams are like little movies that play out in our minds while we’re sleeping. Our memories build the build of the content in our dreams. If – while awake – we could actually SEE our dreams play out, we’d realize that there are TONS of people in our dreams from our past – teachers, cashiers, acquaintances… even old friends. In an unconscious state, we don’t often “register” these faces. However, we do recall the more familiar ones, such as loved ones, family members, close friends, and… yes… exes.
Back to the man in our example – His dreams of the past could have to do with several different things:
- He may miss something about the past – maybe in the past he had more money, better health, a job he liked better, maybe family members who have died were alive THEN, etc. The ex could simply represent a period of time.
- He may have regrets or guilt about something he did during this period of time. Maybe even something he did to the ex that he carries guilt from
- He could also carry “scars” from the relationship, along with a deep-seeded fear that what happened THEN could happen again one day.
- Finally, it could simply be a case of the sleeping mind “casting” a movie – using the only “cast” that’s available to it: people from the dreamer’s life, past and present.
I hear so often from people who either have had dreams about exes or who currently love someone who’s dreaming about their ex. Sometimes I even hear from the ex who is showing up in someone else’s dream. The top 3 things I always stress to them are:
- The dreamer (9 times out of 10) is simply dreaming about a period of time that the ex happens to have been present.
- Every individual in our dreams is someone we have seen or met in our lives. The brain is incapable of “dreaming up” (pun unintended!) someone. The people the unconscious mind casts in its movies have to come from the dreamer’s past.
- If someone shows up in someone else’s dream in in NO WAY means they had been thinking about them. Think about your own dreams, how many times does someone randomly show up and – upon wakening – you’re like, “Why in the world would I dream of her/him?!?!“
- If the dreamer (or the ex or the individual currently “with” the dreamer) puts too much importance or emphasis on the dream, only bad things will happen. Absolutely no good comes from focusing undue attention or attaching uncalled for emotions around something like a dream. In fact, the more attention given to this kind of dream the worse it’ll be for everyone involved. Write it off as irrelevant and it’ll be just that.
- Finally, remember these words: THE PAST. The ex is symbolic of one thing – THE PAST.
Generally speaking, that’s exactly where the past should be left.
Dreaming About Exes Can Be Just as Scary!
Dreaming about exes (ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-husband, ex-wife) seems to rank amongst the most unsettling dreams – bordering on nightmares for some people! Snake dreams, dreams about dying, and dreams about loved ones who have died are still the MOST disturbing dreams, but dreams about exes aren’t far behind.
Almost daily I hear from dreamers who want to know what their dreams are trying to tell them. The dream’s meaning, as you might expect, varies from dreamer to dreamer. As with all dreams, you have to look at several things to find your own dream’s interpretation.
If you dream of an ex (or have recently had such a dream), ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have lingering anger, resentment, or bitterness toward my ex?
- Do I still have feelings for him/her?
- Do I feel guilty for something I did or said to them or for something I put them through?
- Do I feel guilty, in a way, that I’ve moved on and found happiness when they have not?
- Irregardless of my feelings for this person, was I happier THEN than I am NOW?
- Do I simply miss being in a relationship… just not with them?
- Do I have trust issues that stem to this relationship?
- Has this ex caused me to now fear getting hurt – so much so that I am overly cautious with my relationships today?
Your dream is not so much about the ex as it is about your feelings. I’ve heard from people who have ZERO feelings for the ex, but simply wish they were in a relationship. Their ex (even though they wouldn’t want to get back with them) represents the word “relationship” to them. Their dream simply means they want to find a special someone to share their life with.
I’ve also analyzed dreams for people who are carrying baggage from the relationship. Sometimes the baggage is packed with pain that hasn’t quite healed yet. Sometimes there are trust issues or even residual anger and resentment. I once talked with a young woman who kept having dreams about a “really sweet ex boyfriend.” She had moved on and was happy with another guy – in fact, they were planning their wedding. However, she kept dreaming about her “sweet ex.”
She said she was certain she didn’t have any feelings left for him. They’d remained friendly since the break up and she was happy that he’d started dating another girl. When I picked up on the fact that she didn’t have any feelings for him, romantically, I asked her to name the 3 feelings she associated with him. I’ll never forget her reply:
She had cheated on him, lied to him, and hurt him pretty badly. She said her heart still broke when she remembered the look on his face when he found out. She was obviously overcome with guilt. After all, she’d hurt someone very badly and yet, here she was, happier than she’d ever been in her life.
I told her that the dreams sprang from these feelings of guilt and that the best way to deal with the feelings was to forgive herself. After all, he obviously had forgiven her if they remained friends. I also told her that when someone is overcome with feelings of guilt and sorrow for something they’ve done, a heartfelt, face to face apology can help ease the pain. She said she intended to do just that.
When you dream of an ex, think of the three feelings you associate with him or her. The interpretation for your dream is lying within the words that come to mind.
Even Though She Hates Him to Distraction!
I recently exchanged a few e-mails with a woman with a killer sense of humor. I can’t really share her dream, here, with you because…
- Over the course of 7 e-mails, it was all broken up.
- Her language… um… doesn’t translate to a PG blog!
I won’t even share her real name, here, so she can remain a mystery lady. We’ll call her Angela because it’s a cool name.
Here’s the basics of her dream: She had about 8 dreams about a particular ex-boyfriend. In each of the dreams, they were happy, laughing, and having a grand old time. She said the settings were always romantic (with one being in a fairy-tale type forest even). The dreams were everything the real life relationship was NOT. In the dreams, the ex boyfriend was funny and happy. He was always laughing and buying her great gifts. In reality, he was a real “sour puss” who was always miserable, unhappy, and seemed to have a “simmering anger inside of him.” In the two years they were together, she said he only bought her a couple of things, and they were only for Christmas and her birthday.
However, in each of her dreams, he would surprise her with her favorite candy and even her favorite Starbucks drink!
Angela feels that the years spent with her “D— Ex” were a complete waste of time and wonders what she ever saw in him in the first place.
I learned that she has not found the right guy yet. She says that her miserable years with her “D—- Ex” have made her afraid to take a chance on someone else. Apparently the break up was ugly and she is afraid of another disaster. Angela wanted to know why in the world she’s dreaming such lovely dreams about someone she… in her own words, “Hates to distraction.” In fact, in one e-mail, she said if he were in the road and happened to be on fire, she’d just roast marshmallows.
This dude left a great impression!
To add insult to injury, “D—- Ex” has moved on and is very happy. He’s engaged and, according to Angela they both smile a lot and seem sickeningly happy with one another.
The last thing Angela wrote was, Please don’t try to tell me I have feelings for this jerk because I don’t believe I do. I’d rather drink acid than even $%&@(&^ look at him.
Nah, she won’t hear those words from me. I don’t think for one second she still loves him or even likes him!
What does she LOVE? The idea of being in love. She LOVES (and wants) the very thing she pictured in her dream: Someone to laugh, smile, and have a great life with. Someone who IS her own Prince Charming… making her happy and even buying special things for her.
Who doesn’t want that?!?!
One of the most common dreams I hear about is the dream of an ex. I don’t think it’s the most common type of dream people have, but it does seem to be the one that upsets people the most! They’re almost always like Angela… “I hate him! Why am I dreaming about him?!” OR “Getting away from her was the best day of my life, why is she in my dreams?!?!” One man said, “I finally got free from her yelling and nagging, and here she is tormenting me in my dreams with that same screeching voice!”
That one made me laugh out loud.
Like Angela, a lot of people are looking for the same thing: LOVE. They want that special someone to watch tv with, go out to eat with, and talk about their day with. Our mind generally won’t “create someone new” for us in the dream. It wont’ conjure up Mr. or Mrs. Right. It will use people and faces that represent this person to us. For example: an ex boyfriend may be symbolic of the ideal boyfriend. An ex girlfriend may be symbolic of the girl you wish you could find.
By the same token, if you were to dream of a teacher, the role would probably be played by an ex teacher. It doesn’t mean they were a good one – it simply means they “fit” the title the brain needs them to fit.
Below are a few things I usually tell people about dreaming about exes:
- The dream usually has nothing to do with the exes, themselves. Never allow dreams to dictate your emotions. If you have “real” feelings for someone, you’ll think about them during the day, not while you sleep.
- The more you think about a particular dream (negative or positive), the more likely you are to dream it again. Don’t put an unpleasant ex on repeat!
- Sometimes, our subconscious mind will try to “work out” or “make sense of” things in the past – such as a failed relationship. It’s as though the brain says, “What went wrong? How can I not let that happen again? What could I have done differently?” If your brain seems to be on a quest for answers, think about the questions during the day. Writing down the answers may give you the closure you really need.
- I’ve read about hundreds of dreams (probably thousands, actually), and I’ve had “follow ups” with most of these dreamers. I have never…. not once… had a dreamer who was dreaming about an ex because there was still love there. Never.
While there are exceptions (of course), generally speaking – an ex is an ex for a reason. It did not work. Your subconscious mind wants your next relationship (especially if it’s a current one!) to work. These dreams are simply your mind’s way of looking for answers so that something bad/negative doesn’t happen again.