Monday, June 11, 2012

Dreaming of an Ex

(photo by Roland Tangloa)

Every once in awhile I will have a dream about a particular ex-boyfriend. I always have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I'm happy to see him but on the other hand, its always frustrating. In these dreams we can never quite connect. For instance, we are having a great conversation and he's telling me something really important and then I wake up. Or else, in the dream, people are trying to thwart my attempts to be with him. I used to always wake up from these dreams really irritated. Why was I still dreaming about this guy?

I came to understand that my dream ex didn't really represent my real ex in these dreams. Rather an ex can be a symbol for lots of different things. He/she can symbolize a particular time period (i.e. high school) when this relationship took place. Dreaming of an ex can also represent a state of transition. You could also be still trying to work out the outcome of the relationship in your unconscious, the feelings and attachment. Your ex could symbolize your hopes for love that are maybe not being fulfilled in waking life.

Carl Jung would say if a woman dreams of a man he could symbolize her "animus" or the masculine traits of her personality she wants/needs to explore. (A man dreaming of a woman would be the opposite, his "anima".) Freud would say an ex could also represent wish-fulfillment, something that you long for because it's missing in daily life. Folk dream interpretation (as recorded by Gustavus Hindman Miller) places much value on the appearance of the man in question: "if handsome, well formed and supple, denotes that you will enjoy life vastly and come into rich possessions. If he is misshapen and sour-visaged, you will meet disappointments." If either of these words describe your ex then these outcomes probably did take place in real life!

So instead of feeling uncomfortable about these dreams, look at them as a chance to understand your feelings about life in general. And, one thing to remember, chances are he's dreaming about you too. Wonder what you represent?

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