If you’ve been sleeping, you’ve probably dreamed about your ex and woke up wondering, “What happened that all about?”
Good news for chronic analysts: An intense dream about someone you cared about months or even decades ago doesn’t mean you’re secretly pursuing them. Deirdre Barrett, a dream researcher at Harvard University and author of “Pandemic Dreams” and “The Sleep Committee,” who holds a Ph. in clinical psychology, suggests that a number of factors can trigger dreams about ex-partners.
Triggers could include a death anniversary or a breakup or a divorce decree, she said. “But dreams can also be a response to how we feel about our current relationships.”
Instead of seeing dreams about exes as a sign of still being hung over them or as a signal to look for them on social media, Dr. Barrett says to think of them as an opportunity to test your current feelings and how you are. confront them.
Dr Barrett said: “The whole idea that we handle deaths or partings in an ‘all or nothing’ way is deceptive. “Life is constantly ‘getting over it’. These things never completely go away.”
Here, experts including Dr. Barrett analyzed the takeaways from three such dreams. In order to protect the privacy of both parties, we only use the names of the dreamers and do not name their exes.
Andrew, 47, had been divorced for three years when he dreamed of his attached ex-wife. At the time, Andrew, who is currently in another relationship, considered reaching out to his ex, to whom he has been married for 10 years, to strike up a conversation.
In the dream, he is meeting his sister at his parents’ house for dinner, and they arrive and find his ex-wife in the backyard, sitting calmly at the picnic table. Then he and his family went inside the house and looked out the window with his ex-wife.
Andrew says he woke up feeling as if he had “dodged a bullet,” and then decided that contacting his ex would be a bad idea.
Dr Barrett said that Andrew’s dream provided enough insight to change the course of his actions, in favor of what is commonly known as continuum hypothesis: One theory states that worries in our dreams may reflect worries in our waking lives.
“He said he thought it might be reasonable and even pleasant to start seeing his ex every now and then,” she said. “But something in his dream caused him to abandon this plan.”
Ian Wallace, a psychologist in Inverness, Scotland and author of “Decoding Your Dreams: Unlocking the Unconscious and Transforming Your Waking Life” was struck by the calming image: The calm face of Andrew’s ex and the picnic table.
“The picnic table could symbolize that he now has the opportunity to make things easier and more pleasant for himself,” he said.
Practice dancing to get attention
Five years after Zach, 31, broke up with his girlfriend of three years in 2014 over issues related to long-distance dating, he had a dream about them meeting at the place that Zach describes it as a “magic academy”. like in the TV series”Mages. ”
The two are on a wonderful lawn, and Zach hears an old phonograph playing what he says might be a love song in the distance. He started tap dancing, hoping his ex-girlfriend would see him, but she fell asleep on the blanket.
After that, he stayed in a room inside the academy. “All the rooms are locked with a spell that only the occupants of the room can break,” said Zach. When he heard a knock on the door, he opened it to find his ex-girlfriend there.
Zach, who is in another relationship, said he rarely dreams about his ex-girlfriend and he wakes up wishing he was at a magic academy.
According to Dr. Barrett, “each room is locked with a spell that only the occupants of the room can break”, which may have to do with the problems Zach and his ex faced while on a long-distance date. . The fact that Zach wakes up wishing he was at the academy might suggest an openness to reconnecting. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see this dreamer give it” another chance, she said.
Mr. Wallace said that the mystical quality of the dream indicates that Zach is looking for a perfect relationship. “In our sober lives, we can sometimes fool ourselves with magical thoughts trying to idealize a romantic relationship rather than engaging in the real thing,” he says.
Rekindle a relationship
Right at the start of the pandemic, Justy, 34, says she started having one to two dreams a month about her ex-husband, whom she divorced in 2014 after two years of marriage.
In a dream, Justy, who is currently single, arrives at a hotel in the area where her ex grew up. There, she found out that he was married to someone else. Before long she was surrounded by his family and friends, who told her that they wished she and he married again. After that, Justy and her ex are somewhere else, alone. He was hugging her and saying he wanted to be with her.
Justy said the dream stayed with her because the feeling was so emotional, even though she and her ex-husband no longer had feelings.
“I think a big part of why these dreams started during the pandemic is to have this nostalgia for when I was married,” she said. “I really like where my life is and where my career is.”
Dr. Barrett said the past two years have changed so much about our lives that past relationships can become more compelling because new ones are harder to envision. The dream could be about nostalgia for a time that her ex represents, rather than the person herself.
“Past relationships can have extra appeal because brand new ones are harder to start right now” because of the pandemic, she said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/style/dreams-about-an-ex-love.html What does it mean to dream of an ex?