Why do I dream about an ex I don’t talk to anymore? The truth

You haven’t talked to each other in ages. In fact, you’ve already forgotten about your ex.

But all of a sudden, they show up in your dreams and you can’t quite figure out why.

Well, in this article, we will explore the 10 reasons why this is happening and what you can do about it.

1) You saw them recently

While perhaps a bit anticlimactic, you should consider that you might have just seen them at the corner of your eye or had seen someone who looks exactly like them.

Dreams like to recap your experiences, and you dreaming about your ex might just be your mind going “hey, remember this person who used to be important to you?”

Yes. Sometimes it really is that simple, and it’s likely that this is your reason when you only really dreamed about them once or twice.

While this reason might not mean anything too significant in itself, it can mean that you feel comfortable enough with the idea of talking to them again.

2) You feel bad about the breakup

Perhaps you really have no feelings for them anymore but the fact that you aren’t talking anymore stings that you can’t help but dream about them.

Or perhaps they left you so abruptly and never gave you the opportunity to explain yourself or seek closure. Or it could be that you’re guilty for hurting them.

Having a lot of things hanging unresolved will definitely keep them firmly in your mind, and the fact that you aren’t talking anymore means that your mind will try to come to terms with those unresolved feelings and urges in your dreams.

Your subconscious might be urging you to resolve those tensions and bad feelings once and for all…so you can finally be at peace.

3) You’re trying to process trauma

Not all reasons why you’d find yourself dreaming about your ex are necessarily good or romantic. Sometimes, they’re simply because things just suck.

If your breakup was especially painful, or if the relationship itself is traumatic, then you will repeatedly dream about your ex to help process your trauma.

This is especially the case if your dreams with your ex have been unpleasant. You might even consider them nightmares.

This might seem counterproductive—why would you repeatedly dream about something that hurts you?—and for a lot of people, it is.

But for others it can be a way to reenact your frustrations and traumas in a context that is within their relative control.

4) Deep inside, you want them back

It’s still good to keep in mind that maybe—just maybe—you do actually want them back in your life.

While it’s not a certainty, this is more likely the case if your dreams circle around getting back together with them or if it hasn’t been that long since you breakup.

It makes it worse if your ex has ever hinted at the possibility that you may still get back together if things go right.

Of course, if this is the reason why you’ve been dreaming about your ex, it’s important to keep your expectations realistic. They aren’t going to come back to you if they’re already with someone new, for example.

5) Your ex is trying to manifest you

On the other hand, it’s also perfectly possible that the reason why you’ve been dreaming about your ex is not because you want them back… but because THEY want you back.

And because of how badly they want you back, they find themselves manifesting you… and it might not even be intentional!

It’s quite likely that what you’re seeing in your dreams are actually the things they’ve been thinking about all day.

6) Things in your waking life remind you of them

Another reason you might find yourself dreaming about your ex is that you’ve been experiencing things that remind you of them.

Perhaps you recently stumbled across a keepsake from your time together, or perhaps came across an album you forgot to delete or lock away.

They used to mean a lot to you, and they probably still do. So it’s not that strange that you would dream about them if something were to come by and remind you of them.

This is most likely the case if your dreams have been accompanied by feelings of nostalgia, and some longing, but no real desire to get back together with them.

7) Your current relationship is doing badly

It’s natural for you to dream about your ex if your current relationship isn’t doing too well.

This doesn’t mean that you want to go back to your ex, of course… well, not necessarily.

Surely you had good memories with your ex, and you’re subconsciously recalling the best times you had with them to escape from the current one.

It’s also known that if your current relationship is repeating the same mistakes you’ve seen in your previous relationship, you will dream about it.

If you got cheated on, for example, you’re likely to dream about your ex if your current partner is also cheating.

This is because our minds are quite good at putting patterns together, and it can figure out these obscure patterns before we’re consciously aware of it.

Perhaps, you might just connect the dots, go “a-ha!”, and fix the problem before it gets any worse.

8) You’re feeling kinda lonely

You might be exes for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you can’t miss them or think about them when you’re lonely.

Perhaps they weren’t the best partner you could have had, but they still managed to make you feel comfortable in your time together. So now that they’re no longer here, you can’t help but think about them whenever you’re lonely.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you want them back.

Perhaps you just want companionship like what they once offered you… and that you can find in others if you know where to look.

9) You miss the life you once had

Things weren’t really peachy back when you were together, but they certainly were better than they are now—or at least you think so.

And I don’t just mean your relationships with others, or how loved you’re feeling.

Perhaps YOU were a different person back when you were together, and the world was much simpler. There were less bills to pay, and you yourself were a little more innocent than you are now.

The reason why you’re dreaming about your ex specifically is because your ex reminds you of those good old days and possibly nothing more.

10) They’re simply hard to forget

There’s something they have that others don’t.

Perhaps they understood you in a way that none of your partners since managed to. Or perhaps you felt respected and at ease around them despite your differences.

This is especially likely when you’ve dated a high quality person, broke up with them, and have only managed to date lower quality people since then.

Just because you did not work out together doesn’t mean that they’re a bad person after all. It just means that you were incompatible.

But at the same time, this doesn’t mean that they’re perfect. You might simply be looking in all the wrong places and have ended up surrounded by low quality partners when you should deserve better.

If you want to reconnect with your ex

Step 1. Figure out what’s keeping you from reaching out

Is it because you are afraid of what they have to say to you? Or maybe because you’re afraid you’ll make a fool of yourself in front of them? Or you’re dying of guilt?

Whatever your issues are, it’s important that you understand them and try to deal with them before you do anything else.

This will not only make it easier for you to make your move, it will also help you keep your cool when you’re finally talking to them… as well as help you brace for whatever they might have to say.

Step 2. Be honest with your own motives

So you want to reach out to your ex, and you should try to be honest with yourself about what your motives truly are before you actually go and talk to them.

If you are motivated by a desire to get back together with them, then don’t approach them while telling yourself that you just want to be friends. The dishonesty will show.

So be honest with yourself and, as much as is possible, be honest with them as well.

Step 3. Reach out to them casually

When you’re sure that you understand yourself, your motivations, and have prepared yourself for a chat with your ex… all that’s left is to actually go and talk to them.

Try sending them a message first and ask how things have been going for them lately, or what they’ve been up to.

Small talk is always nice—not only do you get to set the mood, you can also tell how willing they are to talk to you by how enthusiastic they are (or aren’t) in their responses.

Step 4. Have a more serious talk if necessary

If your dreams about your ex have been bothering you and you’ve figured out the reason why. Ask yourself if it would be a good idea to talk things out.

If you have a strong feeling that you still like each other, go have a talk.

If you want to be friends but you’ve been avoiding each other because things got awkward, see if talking about it can help.

But don’t just rattle on. You have to think of what’s good for them, too (or at least what’s not harmful).

Of course, the number one tip regarding exes is that you have to respect their boundaries.

Perhaps they might want you to avoid talking to them about certain topics, or to go to some places with you.

Perhaps they might even want you to simply not talk with them at all.

But regardless of how you may feel about their boundaries, it’s in everyone’s best interests to respect them.

If you want to stop dreaming about your ex

Step 1. Try to figure out the “message” of your dreams

Which of the reasons above do you think applies to you?

Figure it out.

Identifying the reasons behind your problem is incredibly important if you want to actually do something meaningful about it.

After all, you can’t exactly fix something if you don’t know what’s broken. Or, at least, you can’t fix it as well as you could.

Step 2. Personally deal with the issue at hand

If you have been dreaming about your cheating ex because you’re worried that your current partner is doing the same thing to you, you might want to address your trust issues.

Or if you’ve been dreaming about your ex because you haven’t seen any partners who made you feel respected like they used to, then you might want to raise your standards in dating partners.

You should have already identified what’s making you feel this way, so the logical next step is to try to figure out solutions.

Deal with the problem, and you should be dreaming about your ex less.

Step 3. Distract yourself before you sleep

Another thing that you can do is to distract yourself before you sleep.

Pick up a book and read it front and back until you’re too sleepy to stay up, or perhaps watch a movie.

The things that you do to keep yourself busy before you fall asleep have a strong influence on your dreams.

So if you spend that time thinking about your ex, you will likely find yourself dreaming about your ex.

But on the other hand, if you spend your nights, say, reading books, you’re going to be more likely to dream about what you just read than you are to dream about your ex.

Step 4. Obsess over something

Are you fond of star wars, dinosaurs, or world history? Then go and geek out about them.

Do you have a friend you admire? Then go feral over them.

There are only so many things your mind can obsess on at once, so a good way to stop obsessing over your ex is to simply find something else for your brain to fixate on.

And that can be another person, or it could be a hobby. You might even want to have both—the less space in your head for your ex, the better.

Step 5. Shut them out of your mind

A classic tactic for erasing someone from your mind is to simply stop yourself every time you find yourself thinking about them.

Did you suddenly think about how your ex would have loved to watch the sunset with you? Well, stop—the moment you think “oh, my ex”, go slap yourself.

While it might seem crude, it will give definitive results in time. It might also give you bruises if you aren’t careful, so slap lightly.

Better yet, use psychologically-backed techniques to help you stop ruminating.

Last words

It’s easy to come to the conclusion that your ex has been showing up in your dreams because you’re not quite over your ex yet—that, or you want them back in your life.

But it’s not always that way, and it’s actually quite possible that it’s them who can’t resist thinking way too much about you either.

Hopefully, this article has shed light on what these possible reasons are, and how you can deal with your dreams whether you want them to continue or to stop.

Whatever course of action you may choose to take, it’s important to keep in mind that you do not have to go at it alone. So don’t be afraid to consult a friend or a gifted advisor if you ever feel like you need it.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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