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 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.
“The foot bones connected to the
The shin bones connected to the
The thigh bones connected to the
These bones gonna walk around
And the finger bones connected to the
The hand bones connected to the
The arm bones connected to the
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.