This is what your dreams say about your relationship

Anya Meyerowitz
·5-min read
Photo credit: Colin Anderson Productions pty ltd
Photo credit: Colin Anderson Productions pty ltd

From Red Online

Our dreams often make for interesting conversation fodder and during the pandemic, the subject of dreams — and for many of us, their increasingly vivid depictions — have become even more of a source of intrigue.

We are fascinated by their meaning, fixated on what they are trying to tell us, but are we always interpreting them correctly?

Dreams are a natural and safe way for our brain uses to process thoughts, memories and possibilities to make sense of them, but it isn't always clear to us in waking, exactly what was going on for us internally. We can often jump to conclusions as to what a dream might mean and, especially when it comes to relationships, see our dreams as a bad omen for our partnership, a hankering for our ex or a sign that something needs to be changed. But it isn't always as straightforward as it seems...

'[Our] dreams have become deeper and more vivid during lockdown,' relationship expert, psychotherapist and founder of online therapy platform The Relationship Paradigm, Neil Wilkie explains. 'And these are being called "Quarandreams".'

'There are numerous reasons for our minds running wild as we sleep during the pandemic: stress and uncertainty, a fluctuation in hormones, being trapped indoors with less natural light, different work and sleep patterns and heightened emotional states with more for our brains to process '

'Broken sleep and waking naturally, rather than by the alarm, means that we are more likely to recall our dreams and, if we wake during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the dream is likely to be stranger and more bizarre,' he tells us.

'Our dreams can give you an insight into your relationship and what is buried in our subconscious or unspoken and unresolved.'

Below, Neil talks us through the common dreams that people are having about their relationships and what they might really mean.

Taking revenge on your ex

Why?

If your last relationship did not end well or you feel that you were treated unfairly by your ex, then there may be buried resentment that might surface in vivid dreams.

How to deal with this?

Resentment is like drinking the poison yourself and hoping the other person will die. It may be helpful to write your ex a letter, stating what you were glad about in the relationship and what was not good. Having written it, take it and dispose of it safely.

Getting back with your ex

Why?

Was the break up not your choice or was there unfinished business?

How to deal with this?

Look for the positives in your current relationship and reflect on why you aren't with your ex anymore. [Remind yourself] that going back rarely works.

Having sex with your ex

Why?

Was sex with your ex better than with your current partner? Or are you wanting to show your ex what they are missing?

How to deal with this?

Discuss sex with your current partner and talk through what they have enjoyed and what could be even better. Express your feelings too so that you can have sex with your current partner in different and more mutually fulfilling ways.

Photo credit: FoxysGraphic
Photo credit: FoxysGraphic

Having a blazing argument with your partner

Why?

This is likely to mean that there are issues that have been festering and that you have not been able to talk about.

How to deal with this?

Create the time and space where you can both talk about how you feel about this issue and see if there can be any resolution.

Breaking up with your partner

Why?

This might be you catastrophising. Your relationship is likely to be under stress in lockdown so you might be fearful that they will leave you, or you are fed up with them and want to be in control.

How to deal with this?

Focus on what you can do to connect with your partner and improve your relationship.

Your partner dying

Why?

About a third of dreams are about misfortunes. If you dream if your partner dying this may be anxiety of losing them, as you may have lost people that you loved in the past. This loss may still be resonating with you.

How to deal with this?

If you are happy in this dream; that is a worrying sign.

If you are sad and upset, focus on what you love about them and be in the moment rather than worrying about an indeterminate future.

The cheating dream; having an affair

Why?

This is a form of escape from the current difficult situation to an exciting place of fantasy.

How to deal with this?

What starts as apparently innocent fantasies can quickly become a desired reality and will cause a disconnection, physically and emotionally. Focus on what is missing in your current relationship and what needs to change. Talk to your partner about this and get their feelings. Then agree what you will both do to improve your relationship. It might be really helpful to inject more fun and variety.

Having sex with several people

Why?

Maybe this is you exploring a repressed desire or wanting to have a different perspective on sex.

How to deal with this?

If your partner is one of the people involved, you could, gently, talk to your partner about this and explore if this is something they would like. If they are not involved and it is just strangers then enjoy the fantasy and let it go. Then do what you can to inject more variety and challenge into your love making.

Having sex in different ways with your partner

Why?

Maybe your sex life has plateaued and you are bored and frustrated.

How to deal with this?

This is incredibly simple; talk to your partner about your dreams and help them to express theirs. Then agree what you are both going to do to test out those different ways.

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