I know most of you wound up here wondering why you are dreaming about your ex. Maybe you’re dreaming about her every night, about her wanting you back, about her apologizing or her moving on. And you are probably driving yourself bananas asking
“Why? Why do I dream about my ex at all?”
I can tell you one thing right off the bat, it’s completely normal. Everyone does it.
Some people just keep reliving the breakup over and over again, I suppose just hoping for a different outcome.
There is a very famous quote by French philosopher Rene Descartes:
“I think therefore, I am”.
Boiled down, this basically means, human beings are capable of thought, so therefore, they are aware of their own existence in the universe. And because humans are aware of their own existence, there is also a deep-seeded desire to learn and understand the different components of that existence, and how it all fits together to create our conscience.
Human beings have been fascinated by dream interpretation since ancient times, and throughout different cultures in the world. The Egyptians, Mayans, and Chinese are only a few examples of ancient civilizations who immersed themselves in the practice of dream interpretation. Most of them believe that it is some sort of premonition. But scientists tell us that it is just the problem solving portion of your brain basically working overtime.
Have you ever been going through a difficult period in your life, and then all the sudden, things that you are experiencing in your waking hours make their way into your dreams? It’s like you just CAN’T stop thinking about your ex, she just keeps popping up even in your dreams. I’ve definitely had that happen before, and know how jarring it can be to wake up and try to disconnect from your dream that felt so real in the moment.
The first thing I’m going to tell you before getting to the meat of this article is that is it completely normal for you to dream about you ex after your breakup, or maybe even years later.
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My ex from high school still pops up in my dreams occasionally (as much as I wish he didn’t).
There are a couple different schools of thought about dreams, and we are going to cover the two extremes here – the more new age “dream interpretation” angle, and the more reality based, psychological angle.
New Age – Dreams and Symbolism
Discussions about more new age topics, such as psychics, signs from the universe and law of attraction are all topics that have been banned from the Ex Boyfriend Recovery Facebook group for a variety of reasons. Overall, though, the most important is that focusing on things like signs and trying to define the future are not a part of the Ex Recovery process.
You can go to as many psychics as you want, wish and pray for your ex girlfriend to return, but at the end of the day, the only thing that you can control is yourself. Focusing too much on trying to predict the future, or trying to attract signs from the universe take away from the overall message of the Ex Girlfriend Recovery process, and frankly, it encourages laziness.
The Ex Recovery Program isn’t just about recovering your ex back. It is also about recovering from your ex and the pain of the breakup. I know plenty of people in the Facebook group who are no longer trying to actively get their ex back, but are just trying to move on and learn to love themselves again.
Honestly, your primary focus after a breakup has to be on you.
I was speaking to a friend of mine last night who is currently going through a breakup of her own, and on the phone with me, she started focusing on him – what he’s thinking, if he still cares about her, if he’s seeing someone new. I put a stop to it immediately. I told her that the best thing she can do it to focus on the one thing she has control over – herself.
That is why you can’t make your primary focus your ex, or put your faith in signs or psychics. It would be nice if we each had our own destiny planned out, and perhaps we do, but it is unlikely we’ll know the answer to that in this lifetime. But banking on that is not helpful if you are trying to get your ex back, or if you are only trying to recover from your breakup.
That’s not to say that I don’t understand the impulse. I definitely understand the desire to know that the future is already taken care of – that you don’t need to worry because the future is all neatly tied in a bow. But the truth is, that is not the reality. Or, at least, not that we know of.
However, with all of that being said, I do value dreams and what you can learn from what appears in your unconscious when you’re asleep. Though I don’t think that dreams act as prophesies, I do think they offer a certain kind of symbolism that can offer some insight into who you are and what you’re feeling and thinking subconsciously.According to studies, the problems and unanswered questions of the day continue being ponder by your mind while you are asleep.
If you are interested in learning about dream interpretation, go ahead and do some research, but I encourage you to take advice that heralds symbols as “signs” with a grain of salt. Instead of focusing on the specifics of what you are dreaming about in regards to your ex girlfriend, focus more on the reasons why you are dreaming about her in the first place.
Which brings us to…
The Psychology Behind Dreams
More interesting to me than symbol inside of dreams are the reasons why an ex may enter our subconscious.
Of course, if you are recently going through a breakup, it stands to reason that your ex would pop into your unconscious hours. I remember hating the feeling – I was miserable thinking about my ex everyday, and I longed for sleep, but then when I finally did fall asleep, he would appear in my dreams.
Sometimes in the dreams, we would be happily back together, and when I woke, I would be blindsided by the pain of realizing all over again that we were not. Other times, I was working out details of the breakup in my dreams, and I couldn’t escape the pain, even when I was asleep. Either way, I lost.
It is absolutely stating the obvious, but if you are dreaming of your ex, it is likely that there is unfinished business or a lack of closure. With the high school ex I mentioned earlier in this article, I dream about him from time to time because I’ve come to realize a lot of things about our past (unhealthy) relationship that I had to work through and come to terms with.
I should mention that just because you dream of your ex, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to get back together. Usually you are working out something about your feelings for or about the, and sometimes, about yourself. Or it could be that your mind is used to you thinking about her nonstop and you broke the cycle so it’s just trying to fill it’s quota. I’m kidding, but not really. The mind likes patterns. It tries to stick to what it’s used to.
Here are some of the main reasons your ex girlfriend may haunt you in your dreams (or, if she’s “haunting”, would they be nightmares?)
You Miss Her
Starting off with the obvious here. But it could absolutely be that you are missing your ex, or at least some aspects of your relationship together. It could be that you miss the familiarity, or it could be that you miss the girl herself. It could be that you miss being alone. When my ex and I broke up, I felt like I needed to make a pie chart for all the reasons I missed him. How much was because I missed being in a relationship? How much of it was being afraid of change? How much was missing him, as a person? These are questions I encourage you to ask if you frequently find yourself missing your ex girlfriend. You may find you are surprised with the results.
You Are Seeking Closure
Perhaps things didn’t end well between the two of you. Even if you don’t want her back, there could be things that were left unsaid, or things that were left undone that have led your subconscious to try and find closure in your dreams. If this is the case, try to do some thinking in your waking hours to define what closure may be needed and do what you have to do to try and obtain it and move on.
You Still Have Access To Her
In this age of social media, it is difficult to recover after a breakup. If your ex is appearing in your dreams, it could be because they are still in your life in some capacity, whether it be online, or if you still keep in touch in person. It is difficult to recover from a breakup, because they are still in your life on some level. This is why after a breakup, a No Contact period is absolutely necessary. Try taking a break from them (in whatever capacity), and if the dreams don’t go away, re-evaluate and see if the reasons could be one of these others listed here.
Something Reminded You Of Her
Maybe you saw someone in the bookstore who looks like your ex, or saw their favorite movie playing at the theater down the street from your apartment.
Sometimes those little reminders are all that it takes for our subconscious to grab hold and manifest a dream. If your relationship with them was longer term, it unfortunately means you may get more of these consistent reminders. They should go away with time.
You’ve Been Nostalgic
Maybe I’m odd and in the minority, here, but I tend to be a rather nostalgic person, who thinks back on my past and the impact it has had on me. I do this frequently, and my habit of journaling and writing down my innermost thoughts and feelings doesn’t help. Sometimes, after I’ve gone back and read an old journal entry, I find that I dream about my ex’s more. At times, if I read more than one journal, more than one of my ex’s appear in my dream, which is always strange. If you have a penchant for being nostalgic, this could very well be why your ex is making a guest appearance in your dreams.
There Is No Explanation
Last week, I had a dream that I quit my job (I was a zookeeper, for some reason?), moved to Nova Scotia, and joined the circus. There is absolutely no logical reason why I would dream this – I barely know where Nova Scotia is on a map (slap on the wrist for me), and I haven’t thought about the circus in years, since I was a kid. But the brain is basically a giant computer with millions of files. Sometimes in dreams, it picks a random file that maybe you haven’t accessed in a while, and throws it into the mix of a dream.
As you can see, there are numerous reasons why you may dream of your ex, and they don’t always have to do with necessarily wanting them back, so don’t jump to the conclusion that just because you dreamed about your ex, you want her back as your girlfriend again.
“I’m the thing that monsters have nightmares about”
Okay, so that quote has little to do directly with the subject at hand, but you knew I wasn’t going to end this article without bringing up a Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in.
Dreams and nightmares play a huge part in the Buffyverse. In fact, the first scene after the opening credits of the first episode begins with a prophetic nightmare. Though dreams are frequent plo points throughout Buffy, but I have to point out that it is no coincidence that the show is supernatural in nature. There is no rational, scientific basis for the dream analyses that takes place in the show.
It would be nice if the future were just taken care of and we could get glimpses of the future through our dreams. And who knows, maybe there is something to that, but as I’ve said, I’m afraid that is not a secret we will be let in on in this lifetime.
This means that all we can do is to take control of the things that we have power over. And usually that has to do with us, our actions, and our reactions.
After a breakup, the most important thing you can do is to focus on you – self improvement is the absolute most vital step of the Ex Girlfriend Recovery process. As I’ve said, it’s not just about recovering your ex girlfriend, it is also about recovering from the pain and anguish of the breakup. If you recover and create a new you, who knows? Maybe your ex girlfriend will begin to be haunted by you.
Dreams will come and go, and you cannot control them, or predict the future. At the end of the day, you are the maker of your own destiny. So go. Create, and become the thing that monsters have nightmares about.
So, if you’ve been having dreams about your ex I would love to hear about them. Let’s do it this way. In the comments below let me know:
- A little bit about your situation and your breakup.
- Where you are in No Contact.
- What kind of dreams you’ve been having.
I would love to have a conversation with you and get to the bottom of why your ex is invading your dreams.