Find Out Why You Are Dreaming About An Ex

Updated October 4, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The truth is, nobody really knows for certain why we dream what we dream. Even with all the new technology we have acquired, dreams are still mostly a mystery. However, there are theories about why we have certain dreams, such as dreaming about an ex.

A New Relationship

If you are just getting into a new relationship, or thinking about it, your brain may be trying to sort things out. It may be that you have a lot of mixed emotions about getting into a new relationship and your mind is trying to process it all. Sometimes, it is the fear of starting a new relationship, getting hurt, or losing another loved one that is causing your unconscious to recall past experiences. These dreams are not indicative of whether or not your new partner is good for you. Your brain cannot tell the future. It is just trying to deal with storing the old memories and starting new ones.

There Are Things About Them That You Want to Remember

Just because you are no longer in a relationship with someone does not mean that everything about that person was bad. Many people cherish the memories and experiences they have had with their past partners. Some even remain friends. There also may be common patterns or attributes int he people we fall for. You might be looking for those qualities you appreciate in your new relationship. It could be that, if you are dreaming about a specific person, it has less to do with that person(literally) and more to do with the feelings that person brought out in you. Your mind wants to feel those things and that type of connection again, even if it is with a different person.

No Reason At All

The most common reason why you are dreaming about an ex may be no reason at all. This is probably the most aggravating answer. You may have been in a new relationship for years and then, all of a sudden, you have a dream about an ex that you thought you had forgotten a long time ago. These dreams usually do not mean anything important. It is just a memory in your brain that has popped up for no reason at all. There are things sometimes in your environment that may trigger a memory of something without you even consciously knowing it.If your unconscious brain remembers something or someone, they may turn up in dreams.

Sometimes it could be that you have subconsciously been comparing your current relationship with your relationship with your ex. Maybe you have had a disagreement with your partner that reminded you of an argument you had with your ex. Or, you could be remembering a good time that you had with your ex. There is nothing wrong with this type of dream. It does not mean that you do not love your current partner or that you want to get back together with your ex. You have very little control over the content of your dreams, even when you are "lucid" dreaming (when you are in a state where you are aware of the fact that you are dreaming). Dreaming is an automatic process of the mind, and the content of dreams is based largely on your memories and experiences. It makes sense that you would dream of people from the past with whom you once—or still do—had strong emotional connections.

A New Relationship

If you are just getting into a new relationship, or thinking about getting into a new one, your brain may be trying to sort things out. It may be that your mind is confused about what your heart is thinking. Sometimes it is the fear of starting a new relationship, getting hurt, or losing another loved one that triggers old memories and dreams involving exes. Remember: these dreams are not an indictment on your new partner. Your brain doesn’t have the capacity to know whether or not your relationship will work out.

No Reason At All

This is the most common reason for dreaming about an ex, and probably the most aggravating. You may have been in a new relationship for years and then all of a sudden, you have a dream about an ex whom you haven’t seen for a long time. These dreams do not mean anything important usually. It is just a memory in your brain that has popped up for no reason at all.

It could be, however, that you are subconsciously judging your current relationship and comparing it to past ones. Maybe you have had a disagreement with your partner that reminded you of a similar one you had with your ex. Or, you could be remembering a good time that you had with your ex. There is nothing wrong with this type of dream. It does not mean that you do not love your current partner or that you want to get back together with your ex.

Most mental health professionals would encourage people to take caution when trying to interpret dreams.In most cases, it’s a bad idea to take your dreams literally. It would probably be unwise to act on the impulses of our dreams. They come from a primal, emotional place instead of a rational and logical one. Your dreams are places without abandon where there are no rules and you can run on instinct. Sometimes, dreams just provide us with an outlet to relieve stress and difficult emotional experiences.

The best way to figure out what your dreams mean is to talk about them. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your friends or family about dreams and other things in your life that are bothering you, you might want to consider talking to a mental health counselor. Many therapists have years of experience dealing with peoples’ dreams and the unconscious realm. Some people find it easier to talk to strangers about personal things than it is to talk to those closest to you. Maybe you are worried about what they will think of you. Or you could be concerned that they will tell someone you know.

If you are interested in what the content of your dreams means to you, you should take the first few waking moments of your day to jot them down. It is much easier to remember dream content right after waking, and most people forget almost all the contents of their dreams in just a few minutes after they wake up.

It is important to note that dreaming is a natural therapeutic process that can get interrupted by traumatic experiences. If you are finding yourself not being able to rest because of nightmares, especially nightmares that are associated with a traumatic event, your brain likely is not able to process those in a way that is helping you move forward. In that case, it is recommended that you speak to a mental health professional about the content and frequency of nightmares so that you can get some help to recover.

Regardless of why you want to speak to a specialist, you should know that there is a body of scientific literature and psychological practices that have proven successful when dealing with mental illnesses involving dreaming habits. If you are having a tumultuous dreaming experience, you should be aware that people tend to have good or pleasant dreams when they are in a peaceful state of mind and vice versa. Your dreams could indicate something deeper is going on.

If this is the case with you, you might want to consider exploring online therapy. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, online counseling has exploded in popularity. It has been repeatedly shown to produce the same effects as in-person treatment.

You can connect with licensed mental health professionals who have experience dealing with people’s dreams at BetterHelp. With BetterHelp, you can begin receiving online counseling whenever it works with your schedule. You can connect with your therapist via chat, call, or videoconference. If you don’t like your counselor, you can change any time for no cost. Read what others have to say below about their experiences addressing their dreams with BetterHelp professionals.

“I have been seeing Ostin for almost two months now, and I am extremely grateful for his skills and attentiveness. Ostin makes sure that I always feel safe and never judged. He is very understanding and takes time to assess my needs for each session. He is encouraging and supporting, and guides me at my own pace. I feel comfortable, and know that I can be my authentic self in our sessions. During these two months, I have also noticed a positive change in myself. Additionally, I have had friends, acquaintances and family tell me, that they notice that same change as well. I highly recommend Ostin, if you want a therapist that validates your experiences, feelings and dreams. As well as, encourages you, is reliable, and trustworthy.”

“This was my first time ever speaking with a counsellor/therapist/psychologist/professional/shrink. Whatever you may call it. I was not sure how helpful it would be. I was matched with Travis and we spoke for about 6 months. In addition to Covid, I was going through some big turns and struggles in my life. We developed some focus points to work on and it really helped. Travis helped me through my breakup with my ex of 5.5 years, my perspective of my relationship with my family, but more importantly he helped me to focus on myself. Travis was a great listener and we had amazing conversations. He always had a smile on his face. I’ve received knowledgeable information from him and also recommendations for some books. I really enjoyed my time with Travis and I’d definitely recommend him. Thank you sooo much!”

https://www.betterhelp.com/travis-atkinson/

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