Sleeping brings many benefits to your mind and body; even dreaming is an essential part of your wellbeing. Dreams can bring you insights about a current situation in your life and also help you to process difficult emotions. Paying attention to your dreams and allowing them to guide you can help you through challenging times in your life. But what does it mean when you dream about someone you used to love?
Dreaming about an ex can be very disconcerting. Is it an omen? Are the two of you supposed to get back together? And what does this mean if you are happy in your current relationship?
Instead of spending days wondering what it means when you dream about someone you used to love, or fearing that your ex is psychically reaching out to you to get back together, take time to look at the symbolism of the dream and discover insights that will bring you peace of mind.
Does It Mean That The Two Of You Should Get Back Together?
Dreaming about someone you used to love often leads to the question of whether or not you’re supposed to get back together. The dream can inspire you to reach out and connect with your ex, trigger a cycle of anxiety that has you rethinking the whole relationship, or wondering if you’ve made a mistake in moving on.
But does dreaming about someone you used to love mean that the two of you are meant to be?
Your dreams don’t come from some outside force like fate or God trying to guide you to your destiny. They come from your subconscious mind and they indicate something going on inside of you.
Essentially, your subconscious is trying to communicate with you and dreaming is one of it’s most effective ways of getting a message across to your conscious mind.
How Does The Subconscious Communicate?
Your subconscious mind communicates through symbol, imagery, story, and metaphor. It also communicates through your physical body as physical sensation. Your feelings (whether physical or emotional) are signals from your subconscious that you need to pay attention to something.
For example, the pain you feel in your ankle after you’ve injured it is a signal to pay attention to that injury and not to put your weight on that foot until it heals.
Another example is when you feel anger at someone for cutting in front of you in line. The anger is a reaction to a deeper emotional story you have about what it means to you. Maybe you feel disrespected, or it feels unfair, or selfish. The anger is your subconscious’ way of drawing attention to the underlying story and meaning you carry around about this type of event.
In your dreams, your subconscious uses symbols and feelings to give you deeper insight into something going on in your life.
What does it mean when you dream about someone you used to love? It means that your subconscious wants to draw your attention to something about that situation in order to understand it more deeply.
Do Dreams Have Universal Symbols?
There are many dream interpreters who believe that symbols within a dream are universal. It makes sense that if you dream of your teeth falling out that you are probably feeling some anxiety.
But what does it mean when you dream about someone you used to love? Is there a universal meaning behind these types of dreams?
This would only make sense if the circumstances in all break-ups were the same. Since the break-up with your ex is unique to the two of you, then your dream is unique to you as well. Trying to find some universal meaning behind dreaming about your ex is not helpful because it won’t take into account the details of your specific relationship.
Instead of looking for some universal meaning, exploring the subconscious clues of your dream will bring you the insights you are looking for.
Will Examining Your Dream Bring You Peace Of Mind?
The key to finding peace of mind when you dream about someone you used to love comes from looking at specific information within the dream itself. Your dream about your ex is specific to you and the meaning of it is specific to you as well.
Dreams are your mind’s way of processing what is going on in your daily life. They are a vital part of keeping your mind healthy and functioning. People who experience a profound lack of sleep have trouble remembering things, thinking clearly, solving problems, as well as issues with their ability to reason.
Sleeping and dreaming are essential to keeping your mind and body functioning at an optimal level. Even if you don’t remember them does not mean that you aren’t dreaming. REM sleep (when your dreams occur) increases brain activity and promotes learning.
Examining your dreams by knowing what time of night they occurred as well as the plot points in them will reveal what it means when you dream about someone you used to love.
What Time Of Night Did You Have The Dream?
There are three stages of REM during an average night’s sleep, and the dreams that occur during each stage have different functions.
The first phase is called the Wishful Thinking Stage. During this phase, your mind is organizing all the information that you’ve collected over the past day. You could imagine it’s like your mind is taking all that information and putting it into specific categories.
Dreams during this phase are usually not remembered because they occur shortly after you first fall asleep. These are also the type of dreams you experience when you take a short nap.
The second phase is called the Precognitive Stage. During this stage, your mind is attempting to predict where you are going based on the information it sorted during the Wishful Thinking Stage. For example, if you are under a lot of pressure in your life, you may have upsetting dreams about things falling apart or bad things happening.
This doesn’t mean that bad things are actually going to happen. It means that your mind is seeing where you are and is attempting to predict where the path you’re on will lead you to. It sees the destination as something stressful occurring based on the direction you are currently headed.
Dreams during this phase are rarely remembered unless they are so powerful that they wake you up briefly in the middle of the night.
The dreams that we usually remember occur during the final REM stage in the morning before waking up. This phase is called the Venting Stage. During this stage, your mind is attempting to vent out or release something that is no longer needed. These dreams can also be about integrating new information or learning.
Stage one is sorting information. Stage two is attempting to predict the future. And stage three is about letting go of or integrating new information or learning.
The dream about your ex most likely occurred in the morning before waking, therefore it is attempting to release or let go of something that you no longer need.
What does it mean when you dream about someone you used to love? It could mean that you are attempting to release that relationship or relationship dynamic.
What Do The Symbols In Your Dreams Mean?
Since your subconscious communicates to you through symbols and metaphors, the symbols in your dream mean something to you. However, they probably don’t mean what you think they mean.
Symbolic images represent something deeper than what appears on the surface. The symbol of your ex isn’t necessarily about your ex. Instead, your ex is a symbol of something inside of you.
You may find it helpful to write down the details of your dream when you first wake up. Keep a journal beside your bed and set the intention that you will remember your dreams when you wake up. This may take some practice to get good at.
Sort the details of your dream into two categories: common and unusual. The common details are not that important to your understanding of the dream. It is the unusual details that your subconscious is highlighting for you.
Ask yourself how you feel about the unusual details. What emotions do they trigger? What is the primary emotion of the dream? This will give you insight into what your subconscious mind is attempting to vent out or integrate.
Another important symbol is what is known as The Timing Cue. The timing cue is something in the dream that gives you insight into when this emotional story originated. For example, if you are dreaming about an angry boss but you are in your grade school classroom then the emotional story about your boss is similar to something that happened to you in grade school.
What Does It Mean When You Dream About Someone You Used To Love?
Putting all the pieces together…
- The time of night that the dream occurred
- The primary emotion
- The unusual symbols and how they make you feel
- The timing cue to reveal when the pattern originated
…will give you the insight you need to understand why you’ve been dreaming about your ex and will hopefully bring you peace of mind.
Discovering this insight will not only allow you to feel relieved about the nature of the dream, it will also allow you to integrate any learning you need to resolve the emotional pattern that your subconscious chose to highlight for you.
The dream about your ex isn’t trying to get you to reach out to him. It is showing up to help you process some emotional pattern that is similar to the one you experienced with your ex.
When you dream about your ex it can be tempting to reach out or fantasize about that relationship. Instead, allow yourself the freedom to let go of an emotional pattern and move into a healthier dynamic in your current or future relationship.
Are you struggling with thinking or dreaming about your ex and having trouble letting him go? We would love to share our insights into your situation. Every Tuesday in our Facebook Group “Common Sense About Love” we answer your love, dating, and relationship questions. Join us and get the answers you need to create long-lasting, soul-satisfying love.
Orna and Matthew Walters are TV’s favorite dating and relationship experts. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.