One of the most recurrent dreams that can cause the most distress is when, suddenly, an ex-partner reappears out of nowhere to be part of your dream content. Like it or not, it is likely that on some occasion you find yourself dreaming of an ex partner. In fact, even if you have another satisfying relationship in the present, that ex may sneak into your dreams.
The next day you will probably ask yourself several questions: Why am I dreaming about my ex after so long? Maybe that old love is not as outdated as I thought? What does it mean to dream about my ex?
First of all, it is important that you keep in mind that dreams are only dreams. We tend to believe that dreams are epiphanies or manifestations of the desires of our subconscious and innermost impulses, but the truth is that they are usually a mixture of various ingredients, from day-to-day experiences to complex reprocessing of our experiences.
Why do I dream about my ex?
1. You still have feelings for your ex
One of the most obvious meanings of dreaming about an ex is that you still have feelings for that person. Perhaps on a rational level you think that the relationship is behind you, but certain feelings could be latent and make their appearance during sleep. On many occasions, when a person was significant in our life or we spent many moments with him, it is difficult to eliminate those feelings completely, so that they reappear when we least expect it. However, just because you still have feelings for your ex doesn’t mean you want to get back into that relationship.
2. The relationship did not have a closure
It is relatively common dreaming of an ex-partner when the relationship did not have a proper closure. For example, if the relationship ended abruptly and you have felt abandoned, without receiving enough explanations and without time to emotionally process what happened, it is usual for your mind to go back over and over again and consider alternative scenarios. In those cases, it is as if your mind is stuck. You can’t move on, so that former partner may reappear in your dreams years later. That is because your subconscious mind is trying to find closure within the dream and resolve once and for all that pending issue.
3. A situation has reactivated the memory
Dreaming of your ex-partner is normal if you have recently experienced a situation that has activated his memory. You may have seen his profile on social networks, you have met an old mutual friend or visited a place that brought you memories lived together. In that case, your mind simply goes back to the past and reconfigures it through dreams.
4. You have problems in your current relationship
When things go wrong in the present, it is easy to be tempted to look back for comfort. If you have problems with your current partner, you are more likely to compare him to your former partner, so that his memory will be activated in your mind and appears in dreams. Obviously, it is a trap of your mind making you think that all times in the past were better, a phenomenon that in psychology is known as declinism or rosy retrospection. However, if you are not with that person, it is obvious that your relationship was not so idyllic.
5. You’re missing that moment in your life
Dreaming of an ex-partner does not always mean having that person in mind. As we age, it is normal for us to look back, especially at those times when everything seemed easier, more fun or relaxed. If for some reason we are not comfortable in the present, those memories can return with greater intensity, as well as the people associated with that time, from friends to ex-partners, who can reappear in our dreams.
6. You feel nostalgic for the emotions experienced
Dreaming of an ex-partner does not always mean that you feel something for that person, it may be because you miss the emotions that you expressed with that person. For example, if you are alone and dream about your ex, it could be because you miss a relationship. If you feel trapped in a monotonous and boring life, you might dream about your ex because you miss adventure and fun. In practice, that person in the dream embodies the emotions that you lack in your current life, from passion and affection to improvisation or diversion.
7. You miss a quality of your ex
Even if the relationship has been broken, it is likely that your ex had positive qualities that were the ones that attracted you and enlivened the relationship at the time. If you are going through a particularly difficult period, you are likely to miss your ex if he was a sensitive person who supported you, for example. In that case, it is possible that dreaming about your ex is a message from your subconscious that is telling you that you’re missing certain characteristics.
Should you worry about dreaming about your ex?
Dreaming of your ex is nothing to worry about. However, if these dreams become frequent and start to generate bad feelings, you should stop to ask yourself what their meaning could be or what your subconscious is trying to tell you. It is likely that you will discover that something is wrong in your life or your current relationship, or that at least it is not working as well as it should and you feel certain deficiencies.