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Dreaming About an Ex You Don’t Talk to Anymore: 9 Reasons

“Why did I dream about an ex I don’t talk to anymore?” This is a question we hear a lot. In this article we’ll explore nine possible reasons behind dreaming about an ex you don’t even talk to anymore.

When Taylor Swift said Please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I would recognize anywhere, we all knew exactly what she meant.

It’s a hard life lesson to realize that some people we love simply aren’t meant to stay in our lives. Intimacy created during a relationship can fade to nothing when it’s over.

That can be a relief when the relationship is toxic, assuming children aren’t involved. But it’s a painful reality when someone we love exits our lives.

Why Did I Dream About an Ex I Don’t Talk to Anymore? 9 Possible Reasons

It’s natural to dream about someone who was a part of our lives — even if they aren’t anymore. There are many reasons this can happen. Here are just a few of them.

Past Trauma

Ask yourself this question: Did the relationship cause trauma, or did it remind you of a past one? It’s an important distinction. Some relationships are traumatic.

They might have been abusive or the ending might have been abrupt.

There are different types and degrees of trauma, but if the relationship itself created harm for you, you may be dreaming about your ex because you have healing to do.

Maybe your ex didn’t traumatize you. They simply reminded you of a previous trauma. For instance, a partner who ghosts you could bring up abandonment issues. In this case, dreaming about your ex could still be a reminder to heal from the old trauma while addressing this fresh wound to your psyche.

Unfinished Business

Another reason you might be dreaming of an ex you don’t talk to anymore could be because you have unfinished business with them. Were their things you never said that you want to say?

Did you have questions you wanted to ask that you never were able to raise? Something feels open-ended, and your dream might be a nudge toward closure.

The thing about closure is that it’s an inside job. In the end, the peace we need to make is with ourselves. The end goal isn’t to feel good about what happened. The end goal is acceptance.

You might want your ex to give you closure, but they can’t. Instead, you might have to find ways to work on your unfinished business alone. If there’s something you need to say, write it down in your journal.

If you have questions you want to ask, think about why the answers mean so much to you and what reassurance you’re really seeking. Your dream about your ex is an opportunity to heal. Are you ready to close that door?

Subconscious Reminders

It’s also possible that you dream about the ex you don’t talk to anymore because something reminded you of them during the day. Was it a song on your playlist?

A show you used to watch together? Did you have a moment when you wanted to reach out and share a joke with them only to remember that you don’t do that anymore?

Sometimes, these moments are so fleeting that we don’t even consciously catalog them. We just continue on with our day. But later, you just might dream about them without fully understanding why.

The snippet of a melody played when you were walking by a shop might have brought them to mind before you were distracted.

You might be trying to figure out what your dream about your ex is supposed to mean when it’s really just a way for your mind to process the reminder at a time when it’s not busy multitasking. It doesn’t have to mean anything more than that — unless you want it to.

Leftover Grief

Grief is anything but linear. Sometimes, it feels endless. Impactful relationships can leave us grieving longer than the relationship even lasted. It can even sneak up on us years after it was over and leave us feeling sucker punched.

Dreaming about that ex you don’t speak to anymore could be a sign that you’re still grieving. It might depend on the context of the dream, but grief can certainly worm its way into our subconscious.

The grief might not even be for a good relationship you enjoyed. You might have grief related to a toxic relationship. It’s completely normal that you’d have feelings about that, too.

It doesn’t mean you should reunite with your ex. It could just mean that you need to give yourself a little more time and space to feel your feelings.

If you haven’t fully accepted the end of the relationship or the reality of a toxic one you endured, you may need to focus on your healing until you can make peace with what happened.

Fears About a New Relationship

Sometimes, dreaming about an ex you don’t talk to anymore has nothing at all to do with them and everything to do with your feelings and fears about a new relationship.

If you’ve been hurt in the past, it’s natural to have some hesitance going into a new relationship. You might be afraid that you’ll be hurt again. This fear of intimacy and its consequences could show up in your dreams in the form of your ex.

Having a crush following a crushing breakup can be scary. You might really be excited to connect with this new person, but at the same time, you know that it could end badly.

There’s no guarantee it won’t. The excitement combined with the anxiety and outright terror of falling in love only to be hurt is a heady combination that could result in strong dreams you remember well into the next day.

It doesn’t mean that you miss your ex. It could just mean that you have some fears about moving forward. If you’re starting a new relationship, talk about your worries openly.

Be clear that you’ve been hurt before, and it may take you a little time to fully lean into the relationship. But you’re trying, aren’t you? That’s what counts.

You Miss Them

Sometimes, you dream about the ex you don’t communicate with anymore because you miss them. It’s that simple. You miss the sound of their laugh.

You miss the way their eyes would crinkle, the way they would light up when you walked into the room. You might even miss the habits that used to annoy you because it was a part of them and a part of your relationship.

Missing an ex can be hard. Maybe you want them back, but you can’t have them back. Maybe you don’t want them back but still miss them.

Whatever the reason, missing someone who once meant so much to you — and might still mean a lot — can summon them into your dreams. All the ruminating you’ve been doing on the relationship could create visions of them in your dreams.

Missing an ex is natural. Losing the intimacy of a relationship can be challenging on a variety of levels, but sometimes, it hurts the most to lose them as a friend.

Dreaming about them could just be your subconscious giving you a heads up that you have some healing to do around the relationship.

You Miss Yourself

Let’s be honest: sometimes, you’re not dreaming about that ex you don’t talk to because you miss them. Sometimes, you miss the you that you were when you were with them.

Or the you that you were before you knew them and they hurt you. Either way, you miss you.

If this rings true for you, what do you miss specifically? What was it about the you of then that is absent now? Consider ways of bringing that back into your life.

Perhaps you were more outspoken and cheerful before an ex beat you down with their constant criticism. How can you recapture your vivacity? Perhaps you had such hope and trust before your ex cheated you. You can build that hope again!

Or maybe you just miss the way you were when you felt that a special someone loved you. You miss feeling adored. It’s a natural experience. Sometimes, we just love being in love — and there’s nothing wrong with that.

They’re Thinking of You

It’s also possible that they’re thinking of you. Honestly, you’ll never know. But I’ve noticed that with the most connected relationships, you can develop a sixth sense about the other person.

Have you ever experienced that strong need to call a friend only to find out that they were going through a crisis and needed you? This can happen with exes we bonded with, too.

There’s no way to prove they were thinking of you when they walked into your dreams, but it’s entirely possible.

As much as we may feel forgotten by the people we loved and lost, it’s likely we cross their minds sometimes. What if that translated into you dreaming about them? Stranger things have happened.

It’s also possible that you hope they think of you. When they pop into your dreamscape, it might be your deepest desire that you left as much of an impression on them as they did on you.

You’ll likely never know for sure, but you can certainly choose to believe it if it helps you make peace with the relationship and move forward.

There’s Something You Need to Learn

The dream may be a nudge from the Universe that the relationship mattered — even if the only point of it was to bring you a few valuable life lessons.

Did you learn what you needed to, or are you still repeating a toxic pattern? Your dream could be a reminder that you can’t just acknowledge the lessons you’ve learned; you also have to put them into practice.

Relationships can teach us many things about ourselves and about how we interact with others. My last long-term relationship brought triggers to the surface that needed to heal. It showed me all the ways in which I’m a strong partner and the areas I can stand to work on to be a better one.

There were so many lessons inside that one relationship that I can never regret it.

But some lessons were harder to learn. Abusive relationships had lessons, too, but they were painful ones.

No matter what kind of relationship you had with your ex, dreaming about someone you don’t even talk to anymore could be a sign that there are still lessons to be learned if you’re willing to see things from a new perspective.

What To Do About Your Dreams

Your dream might tempt you to reach out to your ex, and you’re the only one who knows if that’s the right choice for you.

Sometimes, it can be healing if you’re both at a place where you can sit down and have a peaceful relationship post-mortem. It might even help you find the acceptance that’s been so elusive.

But for many of us, dreaming about an ex only means that we need to do a little more healing. If this is true for you, the only call to action here is that you dive deeper into your healing. Is there a truth about the relationship you’ve been avoiding?

Have you been accountable for your role in it? Did you treat them right, or are there apologies and amends needed for mistreatment you never acknowledged?

Your dreams are a message that only you can interpret. They can mean many things, but at the end of the day, you make that call and the choices that follow.

Dreaming about an ex you don’t talk to anymore can be disturbing, but it could be a subtle nudge from the Universe that you’ve missed an important lesson or need just a little more healing.

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Photo by Jola Chabros on Unsplash

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