Dreaming about someone can be a confusing experience, especially when that person isn’t even very present in your life anymore.
But what does it really mean when someone shows up in your dreams at night?
Let’s find out!
Are they thinking of you?
This whole concept is called “dream telepathy”.
Even after extensive scientific studies, there has not been any real evidence found to prove its existence, however.
But, of course, that doesn’t mean that the person you are dreaming about isn’t thinking about you!
And who knows? Science is ever-changing, and 100 years ago things that are very logical to us now were seen as myths because people lacked the technology to provide evidence for them.
Maybe in a few years, we will be able to prove that this phenomenon is real, but until then, it is just a theory.
Usually, sleep reflects whatever you were doing or thinking about before drifting off, so from what we know, the other person doesn’t necessarily have an impact on your dreams directly.
What if you dream about someone you don’t know very well?
Things tend to get confusing when you start dreaming about people you barely know.
No wonder, after all, you don’t consciously think about them throughout the day, so why would they appear in your subconscious mind at night?
In my own experience, dreaming about somebody you don’t know that well can be a sign that there is a connection you feel with them, one you might not be consciously aware of.
In some way or another, this person has a place in your heart or your life. Maybe you like them, or they are a representation of something but you can’t figure out what just yet.
If you find yourself in that position, give yourself some time and space to reflect on this person and what they could possibly represent in your life.
Why are they suddenly showing up in your dreams? Sometimes, meditating on these questions can bring you closer to an answer!
Are you dreaming about someone because they miss you?
The answer here is pretty much the same as the answer to whether or not they’re thinking about you.
Sure, they might miss you, but there is no scientific evidence of any kind of correlation between someone’s feelings and your dreams.
Usually, around 60% of people have someone they know appear in their dreams and 95% of those people dream about their significant other at least once each month.
Here’s why: dreaming about someone has a lot more to do with you and your life than it does with them.
Dreams can be an excellent tool to identify certain issues like insecurities or anxiety, especially when you aren’t consciously aware of them yet.
A great way to use this tool is to keep a dream diary.
Identify where there are similarities and look at what the core issue in all these dreams is.
Your subconscious mind expresses itself through your dreams, so no, the other person is not necessarily missing you, but it’s more likely that you are actually missing them!
Dreaming about someone repeatedly
By now, you should realize that dreams are a manifestation of whatever is going on in your subconscious.
That means your dreams will usually represent and fears or desires that are present in your life at the moment.
When you dream about a specific person repeatedly, it’s an indicator that they are very important to you in some way or another right now.
This could mean:
• You really like them
• You miss them
• You are repressing feelings for them
• They are triggering something negative within you
• You are scared of them
• They broke your heart
Do you see a pattern here?
All of these things are strong emotions – which is usually the origin of why we dream.
Now: The more often you dream about someone, the bigger their influence is on your emotions.
So, if you’ve been dreaming about a certain person repeatedly, chances are you feel strongly about them.
What this strong feeling is exactly is up to you to find out.
Dreaming about an ex-partner
There are countless reasons for dreaming about an ex-partner, but the most common one is that there is some aspect of the relationship or breakup that you haven’t made peace with yet.
What does this mean for you?
When your ex shows up in your dreams a lot, you might:
• Still want them back (trust me, on a subconscious level it can take months or sometimes even years to get rid of that little spark of hope)
• Be ready to move on: a dream can also serve as a last ode to the relationship, marking the beginning of your healing journey.
• Feel conflicted about something to do with them
• Feel a lack of closure
• Regret breaking up with them
• Be really angry at them still
• Want to reconnect with them
Either way, there is an unprocessed feeling that is showing up subconsciously.
It’s important to note that not every dream about an ex-partner is a sign that you actually still want to be with them.
Sometimes, even the good dreams are just a result of your subconscious working through what happened, without the desire of getting back together with them.
The good news? The power lies in your hands with this one.
You get to interpret the dream and take from it whatever is useful to you.
If you truly want to reach out to them, go ahead, but your dream may have been nothing more than you moving on.
How do you stop dreaming about your ex?
When there is no chance (or desire) to rekindle the flame with your ex, repeated dreams can be incredibly annoying.
Think about it: you’re trying to move on with your life, and yet you can’t escape seeing their face every night – what’s up with that??
Especially after a break-up, nightmares are no rare occurrence.
Generally, people tend to dream about issues that arose in the relationship, or they keep reliving traumatizing events, such as infidelity or a breakup.
Needless to say, it’s anything but fun.
So how do you stop dreaming about them and finally get a good night’s sleep?
As with so many things, the key lies in uncovering the root cause of your dream and finding out how to resolve it.
Getting rid of a trigger could be:
• Getting closure (either from them or just on your own)
• Writing them a letter with all your pent up emotions and then burning it, visualizing your feelings dissipate with the smoke
• Talking to a friend about it
• Talking to a therapist about it
• Distracting yourself before bed so you don’t think about them right before you fall asleep
All of these tips will not only alleviate your unwanted dreams but will help you feel better about the situation in general!
What do different scenarios mean for me? 11 types
Dreaming about someone can take many shapes and forms.
Sometimes, it’s a beautiful experience and you wake up feeling great.
Other times, it’s a terrible nightmare that makes you wake up with a start.
Let’s take a better look at some of the scenarios you might be experiencing when dreaming about someone and what they could mean.
1. You lose someone
You might have experienced a dream where all of a sudden you lose track of the person you were dreaming about.
No matter how hard you look, you can’t seem to find them anymore, making you wake up with a really unsettling feeling in your stomach.
What does that mean?
It depends on who it is you’re dreaming about losing.
• Losing a child
When you dream about not being able to find your child in your dream, it could signify that you are repressing your own inner child.
Essentially, that means you don’t allow yourself to live out these childlike qualities in real life.
To combat this, you can loosen up a bit in your day-to-day. Play a bit more and see the world through the eyes of a child again.
Do what you loved to do as a kid, jump around, paint, sing, or dance. Do things without an ulterior motive, just because you want to.
• Losing a significant other
If you lose a significant other in your dream it can mean two things. On the one hand, there might be an issue in your relationship that is causing you to drift apart.
Your dream is letting you know that they are slowly becoming a stranger and you might not be able to find them again.
In that case, work on resolving these issues and have a heartfelt conversation with your partner to be on the same page again.
This type of dream can also mean that you are not balanced in your masculine and feminine energies.
Losing your masculine partner in a dream, for example, could signify that you have been too much in your feminine lately, neglecting the other part of yourself.
In that case, do things that will strengthen the energy you’re lacking right now.
For feminine energy, that would mean being more playful, intuitive, caring, nurturing, and receiving.
For the masculine, that means more planning, rational thinking, leading, and giving.
No matter how you look at it, losing a person in your dream often means losing a part of yourself, so focus on that!
2. Someone dies in your dream
When someone dies in your dreams, it can be a terrifying experience.
But don’t worry, these dreams are rarely an omen of somebody actually dying in real life.
More often than not, a death in a dream represents a metaphorical death – the beginning or the end of a phase in life.
There might be an event coming up that you feel scared of because it brings uncertainty.
The death of a person in your dream can also signify your underlying desire to end something in your life.
That could mean:
• Quitting a job you don’t like
• Ending a toxic relationship
• Stopping to be friends with someone
• Selling your house and moving to a different city
To find out what exactly it is you desire, a good tip is to pay attention to who is dying in your dream.
Is it your boss? Then you’re most likely done with your job and ready to move on.
If it’s someone who has been holding you back from moving to a different city, like a loved one, for example, it could be your sign that you are ready to let go.
Definitely take a closer look at this and address the issues accordingly.
3. Someone is chasing you
There is nothing great about having a nightmare of someone chasing you.
From my own experience, it does nothing but make you wake up filled with anxiety.
What if I tell you these dreams aren’t all bad, though?
Usually, the underlying message of a chasing dream is nothing ominous, and rather just a representation of a part of you you aren’t ready to acknowledge yet.
For example, you might dream about a clown chasing you, which, needless to explain, can be terrifying.
In reality, that exact dream could mean that you are denying the playful, laid-back, fun, and loose side of yourself in your waking life.
Sometimes, the person you are running from is actually something you should be running towards!
The person chasing you could also represent parts or traits of yourself you are ashamed of and trying to hide.
Whatever it is, try to uncover the underlying theme of your dream and see how you can use that knowledge to your advantage.
4. Someone is criticizing you
More often than not, dreaming about someone else is actually a dream of you on both sides of the story.
In other words, if you dream about someone criticizing you, what you actually dream about is being criticized and being the one criticizing.
This dream could mean that you are overly judgemental of yourself or others in real life!
It might also show you how this critique is affecting others by putting you in their shoes in your dreams.
If that’s the case, work on being less critical. Have an open mind when it comes to new experiences or ideas!
5. Someone is cheating on you
Nothing is worse than waking up after having dreamt about your partner having an affair.
Don’t worry, it is a pretty common dream and doesn’t mean you’re getting a glimpse into the future.
In fact, dreaming about infidelity is more so a sign that the relationship might be in a less secure place at the moment.
The trigger for these dreams is often feeling betrayed in real life, but not necessarily due to cheating.
Your partner might be:
• Paying more attention to work than to you
• Occupied with the kids 24/7
• Focused on other passions and neglecting your relationship
A part of you feels rejected and betrayed, causing your subconscious to project it as infidelity.
Dreaming about cheating is rarely a sign of actual infidelity, but that doesn’t mean everything is sunshine and rainbows.
When you have these dreams, don’t dismiss them and get to the root of what is causing them.
Have an open and honest conversation with your partner and resolve any outstanding issues.
6. Someone is pregnant
When the person you are dreaming about is pregnant, it can often symbolize the beginning of something new.
The distinguishing factor when dreaming about pregnancy is finding out whether you are pregnant, or the person you are dreaming about it.
If it’s you, it means you crave time to be creative. You want to make something yourself and bring your plans to fruition.
This could mean:
• Renovating something in your house
• Painting something
• Knitting a scarf
• Writing a book
…or anything else you can think of.
No matter how big or small, you are craving to create something with your own hands.
In the case that another person is pregnant, it’s usually not a sign of your own growth and more about an issue having been left “inside” and needing to be brought to the surface.
Again, pay attention to who is pregnant. You might find that it’s a friend you had an unresolved argument with or an ex that you never got any closure from.
7. Someone is strangling you
Dreams of strangulation can be especially frightening, but they are more common than you might think.
Having a dream of someone else – or even yourself – strangling you, it’s a metaphor for something limiting you so much that it’s killing you (not literally, of course).
Simply put, a situation might be suffocating you in real life, resulting in a dream about strangulation.
That situation could be:
• A stressful job
• A tedious friendship
• A demanding relationship
• An obligation to a family member
Whatever it is, it’s strangling you to the point where you don’t have the energy to grow, expand, and develop.
Is this a recurring dream? Then you should definitely take a closer look at what it is that is sucking the life force out of you.
8. Someone who is dead appears in your dreams
It is not uncommon to have dreams about someone who recently passed away.
In fact, it’s a way for your subconscious mind to cope with grief.
Other people might be in denial of a loved one’s passing, for example, and only dream about them months later, when they are finally ready to accept their loss.
There are numerous theories about these kinds of dreams, even taking into consideration that the deceased person is trying to send you a message.
You can of course believe whatever comforts you the most.
If you end up having a terrifying dream about someone who has died, it doesn’t mean that they are not in a good place.
Sometimes, dreams about deceased people can be a representation of how your relationship with them was when they were still alive.
9. You sleep with someone in your dreams
By now, it should come as no surprise when I tell you that your dreams are rarely literal.
More often than not, they serve as a symbol of something else.
When you dream about sex, pay attention to who it is you are sleeping with.
Dreaming about getting it on with a stranger could be as straightforward as being especially horny lately and having a high libido.
On the other hand, sleeping with somebody like your boss, for example, doesn’t mean you are actually attracted to them.
It could be a sign that you want attention from an authority figure!
10. You hurt someone in your dream
When you dream about harming somebody, it can raise concerns. Is there a dormant serial killer in your subconscious?
Don’t worry, once you get to the bottom of the issue, these dreams are almost never about actually wanting to kill someone.
Here’s why: Killing someone in your dream usually signifies that you want to “kill” an old habit or mindset.
If you want to quit smoking, for example, you might find yourself killing somebody in your dream.
Of course, a dream about killing someone can also be a sign of repressed anger. This anger might be directed at someone in your life, but maybe even yourself.
The research found that dreams are often intensified versions of what you feel in real life, so killing someone in your dreams could mean that you tend to be an aggressive person.
It’s okay, that doesn’t mean you would ever have it in you to kill someone! But still, you could use it as an invitation to look at your emotions in real life!
11. Seeing someone drown in your dream
It can be terrifying to dream about seeing somebody drown, or even drowning yourself in a dream.
This is not an uncommon dream at all, and depending on who the drowning victim is, it can have different meanings.
Are you drowning in your dreams? Then there is a good chance you are feeling overwhelmed with something in your life.
Maybe that could mean:
• Having a lot of work to do
• Lots of deadlines in the near future
• Exams coming up
• Personal problems
• Your car breaking down
• All of the above
There are times in life when one thing seems to pile on top of another until you feel like you’ve completely lost control.
If that sounds like you, there’s your explanation for your dreams!
Is somebody else drowning in your dream? Then it can be a sign that you are involved in something that is beyond your control.
Either way, you are overwhelmed and in desperate need of help.
Don’t ignore that! Get yourself some support in your life! Maybe asking for help at work or in school, or seeking out a therapist to learn how to balance your emotions!
What can influence dreams?
Before jumping to any conclusions about your dreams, it’s good to know that there are many things that can influence your dreamscape.
Let’s take a look:
• What you eat: there are many myths about certain foods triggering dreams and nightmares, and in fact, some of them are true!
It depends on the person, but eating certain foods before bed can influence your dreams.
• Anxiety: it comes as no surprise that being anxious and stressed all day long will have an influence on your sleep quality.
Anxiety puts your body into fight or flight mode, which means that you are tense and ready to respond to danger at all times.
In connection to sleep, this can trigger insomnia or nightmares.
• Depression: Being depressed can also impact your sleep drastically.
• Illness: When you are currently recovering from an illness or injury, there is a chance that this experience left a trauma.
In your sleep, your subconscious will try to work through this trauma and process it using your dreams.
• Medication: Different medications can have side effects that influence your dreamscape. For example, extremely vivid or frightening dreams could be triggered.
Should you discuss your dreams with other people?
You have probably noticed that more often than not, your dreams have something to do with your own psyche, and not so much with anybody else.
In a lot of cases, the people closest to you might have a better idea about what your dreams could mean than you do!
Being preoccupied with your emotions, you sometimes can’t discern what a dream could signify.
This is especially true when it’s a dream that shows you something you’re repressing.
Talking it out with your best friend or a family member could potentially grant you the much-needed clarity.
People you’re not very close to will probably not be the best choice when discussing your dreams.
For them, it will be harder to connect the dots and they might not help you out here.
You can of course try and talk to a therapist about your dreams, too.
Especially a therapist you’ve been seeing for a while will be able to help you interpret your dreams.
But don’t worry, even when you first start going to therapy, they will have common knowledge about what certain dreams tend to mean for people and will ask you the necessary questions to get to the bottom of it all.
What are dream analysts?
If neither a close friend nor a therapist sounds like a good option to you (or you tried and got nowhere), dream analysts might be your last hope!
A dream analyst does exactly what it sounds like – analyze dreams professionally.
These people are trained to interpret the different signs that you notice in your dreams and can help you understand yourself better.
What are some important terms when it comes to dreaming?
There are a few words you probably hear being thrown around a lot, but you might not be sure what they actually mean.
REM sleep is the most relaxed stage of sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement, which, as you can probably imagine, is what characterizes this stage of sleep.
This stage is where most dreams take place.
You can see the eyes moving rapidly behind the eyelids when someone is in REM sleep.
We sleep in cycles. One cycle usually lasts around 90 minutes.
It’s easiest to wake up at the end of a cycle as opposed to in the middle of it.
There are alarm clocks that will actually measure when you end a cycle and wake you up then so that you feel more refreshed upon waking.
Lucid dreaming means that you are aware of being in a dream while sleeping.
This is a skill that can be practiced, and once you’ve mastered it, you can even influence your dreams, trying all kinds of crazy stuff like flying on command!
It’s mostly about you
The bottom line of this is that dreaming about someone is mostly about you and your own issues.
The other person can be a great help with interpreting your dreams, though.
Look at the root causes of your dreams and work on resolving them in order to free yourself of nightmares.
When the issues are rooted in relationship problems, communication is always the way to go.
Talk to your partner about concerns or unmet needs, so that you can work things out together!
Oftentimes, you will find that the answer is within you.
Dreams are a unique tool that allows you to get a glimpse of your subconscious world.
Learning how to use that tool for your own growth and evolution is immensely powerful.
You see, intuitively, you know more about your life than you could ever imagine, you just need to learn how to listen to that tiny voice inside of you.
And don’t worry too much about bad omens. Dreams usually don’t tell the future, they just give you an idea of your inner world.
Hopefully, this article has given you a little insight into how you can work with your dreams and use them to your advantage.