With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many people may find themselves dreaming of an ex-partner, which can be a jarring experience once awoken. However, you’ll be pleased to know that whatever is going on in your dream is more likely to reflect what’s going on with you and isn’t always a sign that you’re missing them.
So, to help decipher what dreaming of your ex really means, the sleep experts at MattressNextDay have enlisted the expertise of psychic and dreams expert, Inbaal Honigman. They’ve then shared their top tips to stop dreaming about your ex-partner.
Why you’re more likely to dream of your ex close to Valentine’s Day
Whilst your ex may not be the one, you’re also not the only one dreaming about your ex as this is a common occurrence on the lead-up to this romantic day.
Sleep expert and CEO of MattressNextDay, Martin Seeley, explains in more detail: “Whether you’re single or coupled up, the high expectations and social pressures that come with Valentine’s Day can be impacting your sleep more than you may think. From supermarkets stocking love-themed food and gift goodies weeks in advance to people sharing only the positives of their relationships on social media, then naturally, you can begin to spend more time ruminating around current or former loves. As your ex-partners will subconsciously be on your mind, they may even appear in your dream.”
Eight popular ex-related dreams and what they really mean
As every dream about an ex is as unique as the ex themselves, Inbaal has shared the possible meanings behind the most common dreams related to ex-partners.
What does it mean if you dream of an ex from a long time ago?
Inbaal said, “If you dream of an ex from a long time ago, this is a sign that you are wondering about your missed opportunities of youth. Perhaps you feel that you should have taken a different path in life, from the career you picked to the area you live in. If these decisions are connected to your long-gone ex, this may be why they are on your brain. If you have one of these dreams, upon waking, check whether you feel fearful or serene - this will tell you whether your past choices were preferable to your present or not.”
What does it mean if you dream of a recent ex?
Whilst dreaming of a recent ex may be jolting, Inbaal explains that this can be a naturally occurring dream: “Whilst you thought you were over your ex, this dream may have you thinking that you’re maybe not. But you should remove that fear - there's a reason you dreamt of that person. If you are now single, you're just missing having someone to hold. Even if that ex was bad news, the need for love is a natural human desire, and you miss having somebody in your life and in your bed.”
What does it mean if you dream of an ex-apologising?
According to Inbaal, this is you subconsciously choosing peace. “An apology in a dream is your mind's way of bringing peace to a turbulent situation. Your sleeping subconscious is going over unfinished stories from the past. If this love story ended badly, and the other person never took responsibility for their actions, your mind still craves that apology. And at least in the dream, your ex is mature enough to deliver one!”
What does it mean if you dream of getting back together?
According to Inbaal, “Dreaming of getting back with an ex could be simply because you miss them. Sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct answer, and the feeling that you'd like this person nearby is neither wrong nor shameful - the heart wants what the heart wants.
“In your waking time, you can decide whether to pursue it or not. But the first clue will come from the dream. Try to decipher how realistic it is - did your ex display the same characteristics in your dream as they used to in real life? Did it bring you joy or discomfort to feel that you're back together?”
What does it mean if you dream of getting physical (kissing, touching) with your ex?
You’ll be pleased to hear that this type of dream is usually not about the partner at all. Inbaal explains in more detail, “At night when you're asleep, your dreams stem from your mind. So, if your body is going through a bit of a drought and you've not enjoyed a physical connection with anybody for a while, then the perfectly human and healthy desire to embrace will transcend body and mind and burst right into your dream. There is no shame in having physical desires, and it's certainly perfectly natural to act upon them in a dream.”
What does it mean if you dream of your ex cheating on you?
Inbaal said, “One of the most upsetting love-related dreams one can have is where cheating occurs. The sense of betrayal, shame and hopelessness that go along with infidelity can ruin a good night's sleep. If you dream of an ex-partner cheating, you might be trying to make sense of the split. You could be worried that their loyalty was never for you, and you may be suspicious that they were cheating in real life too. The dream shows your own insecurities rather than any unfaithful thoughts from the ex.”
What does it mean if you dream of your ex in a new relationship?
Inbaal said, “Dreaming of an ex in a new relationship is very similar to dreaming of an ex-partner cheating. This is questioning whether their loyalty was ever with you, did they ever love you? It's a dream of insecurity, but it's also an opportunity to find out how you feel. Did it make you feel jealous, upset, or secretly relieved that they're not with you anymore?”
What does it mean if you dream of arguing with your ex-partner?
Inbaal said, “A dream of arguing with an ex is a wishful dream. You've gone over your old arguments so many times, and each time you thought of a better come-back, a better answer you could have shouted! In your dream, you can finally get to win that argument, slam that door, have the final say! This dream can be a great stress-reliever, allowing you to set the record straight, at least in your mind”
Sleep experts reveal their top tips to stop dreaming about your ex-partner
MattressNextDay have also shared their top tips for overcoming these powerful dreams and preventing them from impacting your sleep:
- Journal to identify emotional themes – If you regularly dream about your ex-partner, start writing down the plots so that you identify recurring emotional themes. For example, ‘apologising’, ‘cheating’, ‘quality time’. These can then clue you into what you need to focus on in your own life, or even what qualities you’d like in future partners.
- Be aware of what happened the day before your dream – For example, did you feel particularly lonely that day? Or did you argue with your current partner and felt misunderstood? Connect these dots to give a true reflection of why you might have had the dream.
- Talk it through with someone – If you have a one-off dream about your ex, then this isn’t a cause for concern, however, if you’re having regular, vivid dreams, then there’s something likely to be troubling you. You should, therefore, consider talking to someone who can help you decipher what it really means.
- Decide what you want to take away from the dream – These dreams can have as much or as little power as you want them to, so you can decide what influence it has on your waking life.
Calm your mind – If the dream has left you feeling up a height, there are various breathing techniques you can use to help calm yourself down.