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What Does It Mean When You Dream About Someone? 7 Possible Reasons

What does it mean when you dream about someone? This is a common question, and in this article we are going to answer to it in detail.

Dreams are more than just fillers to take us from bedtime to the jolt of the alarm clock. Neuroscientific research has sought to understand how dreams work in the brain and what purpose they serve.

Psychological research has attempted to determine how human beings experience and interpret dreams. Both the conscious and subconscious parts of our mind are constantly taking in and processing information in our environment, and this often comes out in the nocturnal wanderings of dreamland. 

If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve been dreaming about someone, there are many possible interpretations. We’ll explore a few of the theories below. See if any of these ideas resonate with you.

What Does It Mean When You Dream About Someone? 

There are many types of dreamers. Some rarely, if ever, remember their dreams. Some people dream vividly and can even control the direction of their dreams, which is known as lucid dreaming. Others have hazy recollections of dreams and little else.

The dreams that stick in our minds often have particular personal resonance for us. When we dream of an ex; when we dream of an accident or loss; when we dream of strong love. Or when we dream of someone who has died.

These are the dreams that may leave us wondering why and searching for meaning and purpose to our dreaming state. 

The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.

Sigmund Freud

7 Possible Reasons You’re Dreaming of Someone

Strong dreams linger well beyond waking. Here are 7 reasons you might be dreaming of someone.

1. You May Have Unresolved Issues

One of the most common reasons you might dream of someone is because you have unresolved issues involving them. Your strong emotions — love, hate, shame, grief, desire — can be taken in by your subconscious to create a dream that features or even mentions this person.

It’s possible that something you encountered during the day reminded you of them or of the issue, and you didn’t have the time, energy, or awareness to process it during your waking hours. 

If this feels like the reason for your dream, you have options. Too often, we look outside ourselves for resolution and a sense of closure, but you do have the power to give this to yourself. Figure out what it is specifically that you need to resolve. 

If you’re dreaming of an ex you’re still in love with, you may need to accept that the relationship is over — or decide if you want to try to do what it takes to get them back in your life.

If you dream of an old friend you haven’t spoken to in years but had a falling out with, decide if it’s time to forgive and forget or if there’s another lesson in that situation you still need to learn. If you dream of someone who’s passed away, is there something you can do to honor their memory?

Can you give yourself the thing you might be needing from them? 

You can, of course, leave the issue unresolved and relegate the dream to one of those unanswered messages from the Universe. It’s up to you.

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.

Vincent Van Gogh

2. You Miss Them

It’s normal to dream about someone you’ve been missing. They’re on your mind. You’ve likely already drawn this conclusion, but you might be wondering what you’re supposed to do about it.

Why do you have to do anything about it? Missing someone is uncomfortable. Your need for action is likely a reflection of wanting to shift away from that sense of discomfort. At times like this, the only thing you can really do is feel your feelings and take good care of yourself as you experience them. 

You can choose to dive headlong into memories — looking at their pictures, reading old messages, and daydreaming about them. You can also choose to push them aside and redirect your thoughts elsewhere.

But it’s okay just to accept the feelings without trying to hold onto them. They will pass if you acknowledge the feelings and then let them go.

Dreaming or awake, we perceive only events that have meaning to us.

Jane Roberts

3. They’re Thinking of You

It’s possible that you’re dreaming of them because they’re thinking of you. Stranger things have happened, and the Universe has mysterious ways of delivering a message. Perhaps they haven’t been on your mind consciously, but you’ve been on theirs. 

Your choices here depend entirely on the situation and your desire. Do you want to reach out and connect with them, or is it a toxic relationship you’d like to leave far, far behind you? They might be thinking of you, but you get to decide if you want to respond. 

I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can play together all night.

Bill Watterson

4. You Unlocked a Memory

Our senses are powerful. You may have been going about the day, minding your own business, when you suddenly unlocked a memory.

If you were busy, you might not have even fully grasped which memory door flew open, but maybe you stopped in the middle of your grocery shopping long enough to observe the song playing over the speakers.

Or you were driving down the road and noticed a car that reminded you of another time in your life. 

If you unlock a memory, you might dream about the person involved in it. While your conscious mind is busy juggling the things you worry and wonder about it, your subconscious mind is working below the surface to process everything you don’t have the time, energy, or resources to consciously absorb.

A memory unlocked may come out in your dreams if nowhere else. What will you do with it? 

Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.

Black Elk

5. You Have a Crush on Them

A crush is a common reason to dream about someone — from the guy you’ve been checking out during your lunch hour to the celebrity you adore. Clearly, dreaming about Ryan Reynolds doesn’t mean he’s your soulmate.

That spot is taken. But it could mean that you have a crush, and it’s coming out in the fantasy land of dreams.

You might want to believe this person is your destiny, but it’s more likely that your preoccupation with the person you like has infiltrated your nocturnal hours to produce a magical dreamscape where you can visit with your crush. Enjoy!

My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed — my dearest pleasure when free.

Mary Shelley

6. You’re Hiding Something from Yourself

Is there something you’re hiding, even from yourself? It’s possible that you’re trying to bury a resentment, crush, or other secret. Something you don’t want to acknowledge may just pop up in your dreams as your mind tries to grapple with this thing you’re suppressing.

You might see a person involved in this thing you’re hiding from yourself. For instance, if you’re in a toxic relationship but don’t want to admit it, your dreams may underline the truth in ways even your waking self can’t deny.

That’s just one example, but sometimes, when we’re not honest with ourselves, we create a cognitive dissonance in our lives that our minds struggle to accept. We’re living one way but feeling another. 

Secrets can be heavy to carry. If there’s something you’re denying about yourself or someone else, you’re likely giving your subconscious a lot of work to do to keep it under wraps.

In the exhaustion of sleep, your mind might release the pressure and allow this secret to float to the top to be dealt with sooner rather than later. 

The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed.

Charlotte Bronte

7. They Represent an Issue You’re Struggling With

Sometimes, a person can represent a bigger picture — an issue you might find challenging. Why this person? What is it about them that brings up an idea or feelings for you?

You might want to take a moment to write down everything you think when this person comes to mind. It could reveal what bigger issue could be represented by their presence in your dream.

If you’re struggling with jealousy in your relationship, it’s possible that you might dream of attractive people who make you feel threatened in some way. It doesn’t mean they are literally a threat. It could mean that you’re being reminded to deal with your feelings of low self-worth and jealousy. 

The point in these dreams isn’t the person but what they represent to you. If you can figure out what that is, you might unlock the secret to your dreams.

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

Carl Jung

Your Dreams, Your Meaning

There are many theories on what our dreams signify, but in the end, you’re left to make your own meaning. The people who appear in your dream could be symbols or a subconscious reminder to connect with them.

There is no one universal rule of dream interpretation. There is only how it makes you feel — and what you choose to do about it.

The dreaming state can be powerful. It can bring us a sense of euphoria or leave us in tears. Our minds are filled with mysteries. You can decode your dream to find their meaning, or you can choose the meaning you make from your dreams. 

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Photo by Mariano Nocetti on Unsplash

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