By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 25th, 2021

Most people who write about this topic would smother you in theories of symbolism.

“He was wearing a hat, coat, and gloves and you were standing in your mom’s house. Well, clearly the hat and gloves symbolize secrecy because they are used to cover things up and an inner fear that your ex is planning leaving you behind. You were in your mom’s house because that is where you feel safe, but it could also mean that you are feeling vulnerable.”

Freud was a huge source of this symbolical way of thinking. Swimming meant one thing. Falling meant another. There is even a specific symbolism for having your teeth fall out.

But Carl Jung had a bone to pick with that way of thinking. He suggested that dreams were the mind’s way of reconciling the conscious mind with the subconscious. Jung was a psychoanalyst based in Zurich, Switzerland from 1875 to 1961.

Basically, he postured that dreams reveal more than they conceal. They say more about the individual having the dream than the actual subject being dreamed about.

Whereas, Freud was basically saying that everything had a hidden meaning behind it.

For example, if you were to dream about your mother, she would be a reflection of how you see your mother or a reflection of yourself in her.

Like, if you see your mother as an oppressing figure then she may appear in your dream as a bad guy or an obstacle. Or, if you are having some trouble in real life accepting a decision that has to be made, you might dream of your mother giving you advice, an effort by your subconscious to help you make a decision.

As someone who studies psychology and human behavior, I tend to lean toward Jung’s way of thinking.

Everyone’s thoughts try to sort themselves out in the background whether awake or asleep. Right now you are trying to sort out your own, I’m sure.

So, taking this into consideration, I am going to take an unusual tact on explaining what your dreams mean. Instead of making up a tone of symbolism and nonsense that won’t help you at all, I am going to explain the common causes you to dream about your ex.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

What Commonly Triggers Dreams About An Ex Boyfriend

if you pay attention, you will realize that your dreams are effected by emotions and things that happen throughout your everyday life. You are probably looking at me now like…

But, of all the things you can dream about, what causes you to dream about an ex?

I have a friend with some… odd notions… who thinks that when you dream of someone that it means they are thinking or dreaming about you.

But your ex isn’t trying to send you a message by voodooing your dreams no matte how much you hope it to be so.

Instead, your mind is the one that is trying to communicate with you. Your subconscious picks up on things that you wouldn’t normally notice.

New Relationship

Have you started a new relationship or gotten more serious in a not-so-serious relationship you already had recently? This can stir up some intense emotions and some familiar feelings.
The mind is keen on making automatic connections. For example, every time I smell crayons I remember an art project from high school. And every time I smell CK One, I am remind of the first time I fell in love. And every time I feel hopelessly lost, I am brought right back to the moment my mom made it halfway home from the store before she realized that she had taken me with her.
You see, with new relationships and progressing relationships the reminder of romantic feelings toward your ex. That simply gets the ball rolling in your mind.
Did you ever sing a song as a kid about a hole in a tree and a tree in the ground and the green grass grows all around? It’s silly. As an adult, I find it annoying. There was another song called “dem bones”
“The foot bones connected to the
Shin bones
The shin bones connected to the
Thigh bones
The thigh bones connected to the
Hip bones
These bones gonna walk around
And the finger bones connected to the
Hand bones
The hand bones connected to the
Arm bones
The arm bones connected to the
Shoulder bones…”
You see, to our minds everything is relative.  It’s the way we were taught as children. It searches out connections. from the past to the present. It then makes assumptions on what will happen going forward. This allows you make informed decisions.
You might not actually be noticeably bothered by strong memories or emotions, but your subconscious remembers.
And even if it’s not at the forefront of your mind, your subconscious will continue trying to sort it out even if you only thought about it for a second during the day.
Let’s be honest though, you’ve spent more than a few minutes thinking about your ex. Everyone gives thought to what went wrong and where there ex is at now no matter how many days, weeks, or years have passed.
Usually this means that your mind is trying to determine whether or not your current relationship shows signs of having some of the same issues that your relationship with the ex in question had. Perhaps your ex cheated and afterwards you realized that there were some red flags that love blinded you to after the two of you split. Now that you are feeling some of the emotions that naturally come with every relationship, you might become cautious without even realizing it.
And your dreams are simply a reflections of that.

Unresolved Issues

I HATE leaving things unfinished; puzzles, games, books, even movies. I’m not the only person that feels this way. It’s a natural desire to want to close a loop.

It’s where the desire for “closure” comes from.

I put it in quotations, because, in my opinion, what most people consider closure comes from someone else, usually an ex. I believe that it is something we give ourselves and comes from within.

Anyways, when a relationship ends, it seldom leaves all questions answered. In fact, it often leaves you feeling raw and drowning in more questions than ever. So, it is understandable for those questions to permeate your dreams.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

I had a lot of these dreams last year after I went through a breakup of my own and it nearly drove me nuts. I knew we weren’t going to work out before we ever split, so I didn’t have trouble reasoning with myself after the breakup. I was ready to stop thinking about my ex.

You see, he had dumped me saying he didn’t want a serious relationship or any relationship at all. He was in a serious relationship with someone new within two days of our breakup. Needless to say,I was pretty hurt no matter how sure I was that it was for the best. I kept dreaming us into situations where he had to apologize nearly every night for months.

Finally I realized that my subconscious was trying to provide me with an apology I was never going to get. It was trying to help me get past it.

Pretty handy, right?

Missing Something

Sometimes, after a breakup you end up becoming a new person wither to spite the relationship or simply because you had lost a bit of yourself while in the relationship. We do that you know? Become engrossed in becoming part of someone else’s life and you might find that parts of your own life and self fade a bit.

Being set adrift after a relationship can leave you feeling like a portion of your self is missing.

In this situation, you can almost be sure that the people in your dreams are reflections of your own thoughts and feelings.

For example, if you are feeling like you aren’t reaching your full potential, you might find yourself being chastised at by a drill sergeant type or a parent.

These dreams have a feeling of heightened emotions about them. If you are overwhelmed with fear, anger,or sadness then you can be sure that you are dealing with yourself in there. It’s much harder to face yourself than someone else.

External Factors

Now, sometimes it isn’t anything as complicated as all that. Sometimes someone just mentions his name. Sometimes you hear the song you guys used to call yours. Sometimes you see him while you stop in at the local coffee shop. He likes one of your statuses online.

Whatever it is, you think about him for a second. You wonder what he’s been up to. You think about the way he looks. Has he been working out? Has he been sick? Is he seeing someone? Did he ever get that promotion he was after?

It may pass quickly, but that is something that your subconscious will hold onto ad throw back at you when your guard is down.

You know when your guard is down?

If you guessed that it’s when you are asleep… then you’d be right. Our conscious mind tries it’s best to protect us from thinking about things that are painful or confusing. But you aren’t stupid. You’d be surprised at how much your subconscious picks up on.

When I was a kid, I went to church with my mom every single Sunday. Our preacher was an older gentleman who preached fire and brimstone from the pulpit. In his day-to-day though he was the nicest little old man ever. He was close with our family and even played a big part in my adoption. So,when he retired and left our church without a leader, my mom was beside herself.

Thus began the trial runs of substitute preachers. One Sunday, a new guy came and he seemed to just decide that he was going to stay on his own. He was charismatic and everyone liked him. He basically decided to stay and then got people to back him up.

But something was… off.. to me. He was a World War vet so everyone overlooked a lot of what should have been red flags,like his temper when he didn’t get his way.  He replaced our secretary with his wife. He started selling church property in an attempt to turn our traditional church into a hip and modern one that would appeal to a younger crowd. Our congregation was mostly in their 60’s and 70’s so it took some of that charismatic personality to talk them into it.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but something bothered me about him.

I was young but he quickly became the villain in my dreams. One day my mom was raving about how much she liked him.

“There’s something wrong with him. I don’t like him.”

My mom was quick to correct me, asking me to provide proof that he was this terrible person I claimed he was. Boy was she wrong.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

It wasn’t until a few months later that he had his wife at gunpoint in the parking lot and he was arrested. Later we found out he was stealing money from the church and suffering from psychological issues.

I don’t remember the specifics, but I think his wife found out and confronted him.

My mom later asked me what it was that tipped me off that something was off.

I told her that he kept popping up in my dreams as the bad guy, despite his overt positivity. After I started having those dreams I started noticing how he reacted to people opposing him, even his wife. Even before I was sure that I din’t like him, he reminded me of a snake.

It was like my mind picked up on his sneakiness and was waving a big neon saying,

“Something is WRONG HERE!”

There wasn’t anything special about me. I was just more observant than other people.

Are brains are hardwired to notice inconsistencies or things out of the usual. Our new preacher didn’t carry himself like other people would. See?

Taking Action

So, I’m making the assumption that you want to figure out why you are dreaming about your ex and probably put a stop to it or at lest understand it.

Well. There is only one thing that you really can do.


Only one?!

I know I know, I usually give you guys several ways to battle things. But dreams are more personal than anything else we discuss. They require a tailor made solution. So, I’m going to help you build your own solution. First, you are going to get a notebook, it can be one of those leftover ones from an old class that is super thing from ripping out a ton of notes that were basically useless after the class was over. We all have a few of those ferreted away. Or you can just grab a cheap one. It’s not something anyone else is going to see other than you.

What you are going to do is keep it next to your bed. When you wake up from a dream you are going to immediately write down ALL of the details you can remember. The reason I say immediately is because your memory of your dream as it is starts to fade about 5-8 minutes after you wake up and your mind starts to analyse it or replace details with more reasonable explanations.

Don’t just do this when you dream about your ex. Details about other dreams can help understand the way your mind processed things in general and could give you a better understanding of ALL dreams including the ones involving your ex.

There are two ways you can do the next step. You can either choose one day a week to read through your dreams and make note of any common themes or reoccurring themes,or you can do it ever 7 or 10 dreams that you record.

Now, most people who find themselves in therapy of some sort are told to keep a journal or a dream journal at some point. They usually rely on their therapist to lead the discussion or tell them what it all means.

But, that isn’t necessary at all.

Relying on someone else to tell you what your subconscious means opens you up to their interpretation that is affected by their own experiences and other peoples’ experiences. For a therapist, that includes them, all of their patients, their family, and their friends.

But this is between you… and you. That’s it.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

And who knows you better than you?!

And you have access to all of the same information that your subconscious is, even if you don’t realize it.

So, if you take the time to look at ALL of your dreams you will start to make sense of what it is that you are trying to tell yourself while you are asleep.

That is how you will know why you keep dreaming about your ex. Then all you have to do is decide what to do with whatever you discover.

Take into consideration the causes we talked about earlier if you find yourself stuck.

If you have trouble, don’t be disheartened. Feel free to tell me about your situation and your dream in the comments. Our team here at Ex Recovery are here to help you!

If you aren’t on our Private EBR Facebook Group, then you should definitely join us on their. It’s a direct link to our entire team and other ladies that are in the same or a similar position as you. Think of it as a really awesome support group full of women who want to succeed and want you to too.

As always, best wishes. Go do great things.

What to Read Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

12 thoughts on “What Dreaming About Your Ex Really Means”

  1. Marie

    July 5, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    I had a dream of my ex with a new woman. And he invited me over to get back together but she was there with all there stuff and they both started laughing at me and ignoring me when I got there. I can’t take these dreams anymore. They are killing me. I dated this guy for 5 years for him to ghost me and leave me for another woman. He came back a year later and I forgave him. But two weeks ago he decided to just kick me out and say he doesn’t love me anymore and is replacing me again. I don’t understand why I’m obsessing over this person after being treated this way. Why am I having such bad nightmares? It’s haunting my life and I really need help on how to get rid of it.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      July 6, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Maire, this is just how you are dealing with the pain at the moment, I suggest that you go to bed making sure that you are calm and not focusing on this. Meditation has helped many, others like to read something to distract themselves so that they are not going to sleep thinking of him and what has happened

  2. Enya

    June 22, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    I had a dream last night about my ex. We were in some place. I remember the carpet being red but that’s beside the point. He gave my mom a red paper that had a message. He wouldn’t let me see it and I took it from my mom and I remember seeing the n word. I don’t remember what it said though. Later on me and my mom got in an argument and I was really upset. I decided to try and get his attention by crying and walking out of the room to see if he had noticed. I don’t know what it means and need help. It’s been four months since me and my ex broke up and he didnt show up in my dreams until three months after

  3. Michelle

    November 21, 2019 at 6:38 am

    It’s been 2.5 months since he broke up with me, very little contact at first, absolutely no contact for about a month and a half. I saw him drive by my house the other day, his vehicle is very distinct so there’s no way it wasn’t him. I had a brief anxiety attack. A few days later I had a very vivid dream that I was hanging out with some friends laughing and having a good time, then he walked past us, stopped for a second just staring at me with an incredibly emotional/hurt look on his face. I can’t figure out the meaning behind this one, please help!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 24, 2019 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Michelle, it would most likely be subconsciously you were thinking of him after that brief sight of him that time. So when someone is on our mind they come into our minds when were alseep

  4. Kenzy

    April 20, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Hi I had a dream of my bf where he and his brother and his brother’s finance were sitting next to me in a restaurant and then one of his brother’s fiancé friends was sitting next to me and she whispered to me and said don’t talk or try to do sth or I will make a scandal about you in front of everyone so I left the the restaurant crying hoping my bf would come after me to ask me what’s wrong but he didn’t so I thought that maybe he doesn’t know what was going on so when I tried to send him a message through fb I found out that he blocked me . I felt that everytime I am in a problem and try to reach him he just disappears and neglect me , I don’t know if my analysis to this dream is right or not . I would like to hear your thoughts .

    1. Chris Seiter

      April 20, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      Hi Kenzy! I think its just anxiety coming out. Our minds plays picture shows in our head to allow us to process things. There is not always a rhyme or reason to it all. What matters most is have a sensible ex recovery plan which is what I specialize in!

  5. Tiffany Marie

    November 13, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I keep having a dream recently that my ex will come up to the table that I am at. Sit there and stare at me. Never say a word and after a few minutes he gets up and walks away… he watches everything that I do up until the point that I leave.
    I don’t have any contact with him and haven’t so this dream is odd to me. There are no feelings I haven’t dealt with. I am actually sincerely happy now and I’m single so there is no new relationship. Could someone please explain this to me because it has gotten pretty bothersome to the point I wake up thinking someone is watching me…

    1. Chris Seiter

      November 14, 2018 at 1:54 am

      Hi Tiffany!

      I think its your anxiety speaking to you. Very normal. Try playing some pleasant music and fantasize about something positive as you rest your head on your pillow.

  6. maria

    February 16, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    my ex bf told me he had a dream about me, where I was on a date with another man, he couldn’t see his face, but he said that when I saw him I left the restaurant and ran after him (something like that I don’t remember 100% but pretty sure of the 1st part of the dream, he saw me on a date with another man)

  7. Susan

    January 28, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Hi! It’s been a month and a week since our breakup, and 3 days ago, i started to have dreams of him every single night consecutively since then! The first two, I don’t remember. but my last one was of him coming back to me, hugging me from behind, saying he’s sorry and he won’t let me go this time. Any thoughts on what this could mean?

    Some background info: I was in NC for a month, then spoke to him for 3 days last week, and he left me on read so i didn’t continue to push further. I got positive responses at first, but I tried to appear not as available for him, and I guess he caught the act, and acted the same way until he left me on read. We broke up due to distance and him taking me for granted. It was a fairly mutual breakup.

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 31, 2018 at 1:08 am

      Hi Susan,

      dreams are our subconscious mind. That means you really want him back.