“That which is dreamed can never be lost, can never be undreamed.”
― Neil Gaiman
Last night I dreamed of my old friend Adam.
It was a strange dream, to say the least:
He was robbing a store while brandishing an ice cream cone.
What does it mean if you’re dreaming about someone you’re no longer friends with?
1) There was unfinished business with them
One of the top reasons you might be dreaming about someone you’re no longer friends with is that there was unfinished business with them.
It’s not always as simple as something like that you treated them poorly or should have been more understanding of them.
It can often be a bit more subtle…
Dreams don’t always take you by the hand and lead you to what they want to tell you.
They show you images, sound, and storylines that you can then interpret in a way which has meaning and direction for you.
Dreaming about someone you’re no longer friends with can mean that you need to be more reflective about what they meant to you and what you meant to them.
This process of learning and reflecting can be spurred by your dream which unlocks a new process of learning and growth for you in regards to your friendships and social relationships in general.
“Dreaming about someone usually means you have some unfinished business with that person.
“You’re worried about something he or she did, said, or didn’t do or say to you. It could be events in the past or an emotional issue.”
2) They signify an unresolved conflict inside you
Dream interpretation from ancient Greece to Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud has focused on how our dreams aren’t actually about other people…
They’re about us.
Specifically, they’re most often about how we relate to ourselves and the parts of ourselves that we’re insecure or conflicted about.
Like I wrote here at Nomadrs, often a dream about someone is dreaming about a part of yourself.
This will often mean a conflict or unclear issue that’s going on inside you.
It could be anything from taboo sexual attraction to an unresolved anger against your dad.
It will often pop up in dreams in surprising forms, including through symbols and – yes – through dreaming about old friends who represent that conflict or unresolved part of you.
In my case I think Adam robbing a store with an ice cream cone represented two main things, but I’m going to get to them at the end of this article…
3) You miss them and what they meant for you
One of the main reasons that you may be dreaming about someone you’re no longer friends with is that you miss them and what they meant for you.
For me, Adam was a person who represented intellectual inquiry, unorthodoxy and fun.
He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and was very interested in similar subjects to me as well as philosophical ways of viewing the universe and existence.
In my current life there’s not as many people for me to talk to or have the kind of deep discussions we used to have.
“When the dream about an old friend leaves you with a smile on your face, then it means that you cherish all the moments spent with him/her.”
Simple, but true.
A dream of an old friend is a dream of simpler times.
After all, you were friends for a reason, right?
Those times and what they meant for you are still back there in your memory banks and now you’re dreaming them up because part of you is nostalgic about that.
4) You’re processing past experiences and friendships
With our busy days and lives we don’t often have a lot of time to just remember things.
We’re constantly analyzing, thinking or calculating something or other.
A dream about an old friend is like settling back into an old and comfy armchair with a cup of nice tea with the cube of sugar melting in it.
You get that nostalgic feeling and you think of the person you once bonded with so well.
The problems or issues that came up may also be part of the dream, but the principal point is that you get a sense that you’re something processing or re-experiencing this friendship.
It’s something I’ve experienced in cranio-sacral therapy and reiki, and I know many others have to: you need to relive intense positive and negative emotions in order to make space for new life experiences.
Dreams can be the perfect setting for this to happen.
5) You’re in love with them
Another common reason you may dream about an ex friend is that you’re in love with them.
I’m not in love with Adam and never was, but some people do dream about friends who they have unresolved romantic or sexual feelings for.
The obvious sign here would be if your dream included erotic or romantic elements.
Even then, these can sometimes be a symbol of something else.
But the point is: if you wake up feeling like your ex friend was the love of your life and you wish you were with them now it’s probably because you were (and are) in love with them.
6) It reminds you of why you’re no longer friends
Like I said, sometimes a dream brings up the issues that happened between you and an old friend or reminds you of why you’re no longer friends.
There may have been some things that happened between you and your friend that led to you parting ways.
Friendships, like all relationships, can be very tough.
And sometimes a bridge comes that you just can’t cross together.
It’s tough, but life goes on…
It’s important if this is the case, not to get too hung up on your dream or stressed about whether it’s a call to action of some kind.
Sometimes it’s just a reminder that some things should stay in the past.
Dream Astro has a good insight about this:
“Understand that some things should stay in our past, no matter how hard that is.
“Begin to work through it before it becomes an even bigger knot in your mind and heart.”
7) You’re feeling nostalgic about the past overall
Sometimes an old friend is less about the specific old friend and more about the past overall.
The times, places and activities you engaged in at that time made a big impression on you and your mind wants to take you back.
There’s something about a specific place and time that can never be fully recaptured.
Some great works of literature from DH Lawrence to Daphne Du Maurier manage to paint an evocative picture of what it was like in a certain place and time, and so do various films…
But at the end of the day only you remember what it was truly like to breathe the air and see the sights of the Swiss Alps on a hike with your family in 1992, or to have a ball playing WWF on Super Nintendo in your friend’s dingy and frigid basement in the summer of 1996.
The sights and sounds of the past linger forever in some corner of our psyche.
And sometimes they come back up in dreams…
As Kimberley writes at Her Interest:
“If you were to dream about friends that you had at school, it could be because they miss you, or that you miss them.
“Or, more likely, that you miss a part of that time. Mortgages, marriages, medications … Adult life is tough and with so many daily obstacles.
“If you’ve been having a hard time, dreaming about old school friends is probably your mind’s way of saying that you miss that time, not specifically the people of that time.”
8) You’re going through a tough and lonely time
Having friends is one of the most life-affirming things that any of us can do.
Sometimes you are dreaming about someone you’re no longer friends with because your life is lonely.
You are going through a rough time and you feel a sense of absence and sadness inside yourself.
This friend you’re dreaming of can sometimes represent a lack of socialization and belonging that you’re feeling in your current life.
We all need a tribe of some kind, even if it’s just online…
And your dreams are reminding you of that.
“Dreams have more to say about you than the people in it.
“So if you find yourself dreaming about anyone from your past or present, think about what they could represent in your own life.
“If they’re showing up in your dream, there’s something worth paying attention to.”
9) They’re trying to guide you back onto the path of your destiny
Another big thing it can mean if you’re dreaming about someone you’re no longer friends with is that they’re trying to guide you back onto the path of your destiny.
By “they” whether I mean their actual spirit or more the symbol of who they are isn’t the important issue.
What’s important is that the universe, your friend or you have identified that something is missing in your life.
What they’ve found is that you’ve lost your mojo.
You’re weak and you’ve strayed from the path of vibrancy and life…
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
They’re telling you that you need to reconnect to existence and embrace who you really are inside.
10) Your ex friend wishes you were still friends
Sometimes you are dreaming about your ex friend because they’re also dreaming about you.
Our thoughts, intentions and energy are just as real as physical things even though we can’t see them, and sometimes they send their imprint through the universe.
Then they arrive at our doorstep like a kind of virtual telegram.
And appear to us in our dreams.
If you’re dreaming about someone you’re no longer friends with it could be because they’re dreaming about you and wishing you were still friends.
This shouldn’t be taken as any kind of pressure, but it can be taken as a kind of reassurance to you that we’re all connected and that we never really lose anyone from our lives.
“The dream can also signify that there is psychic energy coming from your ex-friend to suggest that they are “sorry for what happened” in your relationship.”
11) You have work to do on your own inner happiness
Sometimes an old friend comes to you in a dream to remind you that you’ve lost sight of some of the basic things in life.
They could be telling you that you have work to do on your own inner happiness.
I know that in my case the more I’ve looked for happiness outside of myself the less I’ve found it.
Success, women and recognition didn’t bring that feeling of fulfillment I hoped for.
It’s the same thing you hear from celebrities, except I’m just a regular guy.
But the point is that the inner sense of integration and peace that is necessary to be truly happy may also be missing from your life.
You may feel like you’ve lost sight of your own personal power.
This friend, in one way or another, is here to tell you that there’s a lot of hope for the future and that you have enormous potential.
At this point it’s just all about tapping into it and believing in yourself.
12) You need their energy and what they represented in our life
We all have different energy signatures sort of like DNA helixes that vary in intensity and design.
We get our energy from different sources and work on different rhythms.
One of the top reasons why you may be dreaming about someone you’re no longer friends with is that they represent an energy or passion which is missing from your life.
Your subconscious is thinking about them even if you aren’t.
Because often our non-conscious mind knows better than our conscious mind what’s really missing in our lives and what our psyches truly crave.
This is powerful stuff.
“The very nature of wondering about these people can mean that we miss them, but it could also be a reminder of an experience you had with the person or even a quality that they possessed,” advises Gabby Shacknai.
13) They represent an upcoming conflict or difficulty
Another one of the common reasons you may be dreaming about someone you’re no longer friends with is that they represent an upcoming conflict or difficulty.
For example, if you are moving to a new place and you see an old friend you used to have who had a bad temper, it could represent your own frustration at your wife while moving.
You are feeling overwhelmed by the move and frustrated at your wife’s lack of help, and you get angry.
The old friend’s temper in the dream is a symbol of your own need to try to have more discipline and reign in your temper.
You are dreaming of them as a kind of character foil to remind you that your own anger spinning out of control is unattractive and uncalled for.
It is a reminder about potentially healthier ways to communicate instead.
14) You’re insecure about yourself in some way
In some cases, an old friend appears to you to resolve an insecurity or doubt that you have in some way.
They can be both a reassurance and a warning, a sign that you can redirect your steps and diverge from the path you’re on.
They can be a reminder and a solution all in one about the kind of insecurity you’re dealing with.
We all have things that don’t quite sit right for us, but sometimes they can bubble up to the surface in ways we don’t expect.
One of the ways they bubble up is through our dreams.
If you’re feeling very insecure about your career, for example, you may see an ex friend who ended up becoming a successful IT manager.
You see them and feel a sinking feeling:
You then wake up with the realization that you don’t need to be insecure about your career and you remember how relieved you are that you’re not also in that corporate world you did your best to get out of.
“When you dream about someone you are no longer friends with, the person represents a part of your personality that you struggle with.
“When you repress a part of who you are for a longer time, your subconscious will bring out a person that you associate that feeling with.
“For example, if you are shy in a situation, you may dream about a person in your life that was shy.”
Why do dreams matter anyway?
Since the time of the ancient Greeks and before, dreams have been interpreted as signs from the gods and the psyche.
I happen to think that dreams are a melange of many things in our minds, souls and hearts.
I also think they can sometimes simply be the result of digesting a big meal.
Part of the magic of dreams is that they likely never mean just one thing and that they span a wide range from random to meaningful and specific.
As I said, I was going to get into what I think the dream of Adam and I meant.
I think that the ice cream cone robbery represented the spirit of being unique and using any ideas and tools at your disposal instead of following the world’s lead.
It indicated creativity, courage and imagination.
I believe that the robbery idea in the dream represented the idea that time is short and that we all have to make our own way in life and “steal” whatever time and precious experiences we can from it.
After all, we’re all ultimately living on borrowed time.
Getting bigger picture, I think the dream as a whole represented missing a younger and more adventurous version of myself that was a bit more mischievous, energized and imaginative.
Will your dreams come true?
I’m no longer friends with Adam.
There was no official friend breakup, we just eventually unfriended each other and stopped talking online after going our own ways in life.
We split paths over different political and social views as well as being geographically distant.
What I think this dream means is that even people you meet for only a short time can influence you more than you realize.
It’s also a general reminder of the power of friendship.
It can be surprising, short and even seem random: but real friendship is something you’ll always remember!