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What Does It Mean When You Dream About Your Ex? 20 Explanations

What Does It Mean When You Dream About Your Ex? 20 Explanations

It doesn’t matter whether you still have feelings for this person or not. It’s completely irrelevant if this is someone from your distant past or the person you just broke up with.

Either way, your ex appearing in your dreams will rock your waking life and it will bring numerous questions along. The first one is certainly, “What does it mean when you dream about your ex?”

Does this mean that you have never truly forgotten about this special someone? Is this some kind of signal from the universe? Is it trying to send you a message? 

Does this dream have any hidden meaning at all? Or is it your mind playing tricks on you?

Well, if you’re asking yourself what does it mean when you dream about your ex, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find all the answers you need and more. 

The 7 Most Common Reasons Why You Dream About Your Ex

Unresolved issues

The most probable reason why you’re dreaming about your ex is that you still have some unresolved issues with them.

You don’t even have to be aware of this but your subconscious is looking for a proper ending to your story.

The thing is that you want closure. You think that some things were left unsaid or you are still in need of an explanation regarding your relationship or the way it ended. 

On the other hand, maybe you need closure with yourself.

Maybe you’re not actually looking for answers from your ex. It is quite likely that you think that you need some kind of clarification on your own part.

Either way, at some level, you think that this relationship didn’t end. Yes, you two did break up but it doesn’t have to mean that you made a clear break in your head. 

So, consequently, this fact that everything is left unfinished is bothering you during you the breakup stages. In fact, it’s haunting you in your dreams. 

This is especially true if your relationship ended without a proper reason. Maybe you still don’t know why it had to be over or when it all started going downhill. 

Thinking about them

If you’re asking yourself what does it mean when you dream about your ex, the answer may actually be quite simple; you keep on thinking about them during your waking hours. 

Consequently, your thoughts during the day invade your dreams or even through lucid dreaming.

In fact, you don’t actually have to think about them all the time for this to happen. It’s even worse if you do so in those few minutes before you go to sleep and then it continues through to your vivid dreams as well.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about; about those moments before being awake and sleeping, the time when you can’t seem to control your thoughts. 

In this case, it’s completely normal that your dreams only continue from your daily thoughts.

You have trouble chasing this person away from your head when you’re completely conscious, let alone when you’re in dreamland.

If this is something you can relate to, it’s important to keep yourself as busy as possible. Do your best to think about something else during the day besides your previous relationship.

You’re clearly overthinking everything that happened. You still haven’t let go of your ex and that is what you need to put effort into doing if you want them out of your dreams. 

Fear of future relationships

When you’ve been hurt in the past, this impacts on your current life. You assume that every next man or woman you meet will be the same.

Your heart is still broken and it’s only natural that you’ve put up a shield made out of steel around it.

Without even being aware, you have become overly careful when it comes to future relationships. You’re scared that every new person you let in your life will hurt you the same way. 

So basically, when you’re dreaming about your ex, you’re actually having nightmares. No, there are no typical monsters or darkness.

However, you’re replaying your past relationship back and forth because you’re terrified of history repeating itself.

You’re scared that if you give yourself in to a new romance, you will be used and heartbroken all over again.

This is especially possible if someone new has already appeared in your life. You’re still single but you’re questioning whether you should give them a chance or not.

At first, you might see your dreams as a sign that you’re still not over your ex-husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend.

You might see them as a signal that you shouldn’t let someone new take over first place in your life.

However, your dreams have a completely different meaning. They’re nothing but a projection of your fears that you need to overcome. 

Anger and resentment

Another reason why you keep dreaming about your ex is the fact that you are still angry with them for everything they did to you. 

One thing is clear; you don’t love this person anymore. However, you might hate them which is also a problem.

Either way, dreaming about your ex means you haven’t reached indifference. Their actions and the way they hurt you are obviously still haunting you.

The resentment is eating you alive. All of these feelings are keeping you a prisoner of your past relationship and are preventing you from moving on.

Well, in that case, you need to get the strength to forgive your toxic or abusive ex. Accept the apologies you never got from them.

Trust me, it’s the only way to erase them from your dreams and to obtain your inner peace. The only way to liberate yourself and to let go of all of these grudges that are clearly not letting you be. 

Triggered by something in waking life

One of the worst feelings ever is waking up with the realization that your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend appeared in your dreams. However, this is not someone you broke up with a few days ago.

Instead, you dreamed about an ex or your first love you were certain you had forgotten all about ages ago. You don’t miss them, nor do you want your ex back but somehow you keep on dreaming about them lately.

Well, in this scenario, it is quite possible that you were triggered by something in real life that caused these dreams. 

For example, you might have encountered your ex-husband, ex-wife, ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend or have run into their social media profile.

You didn’t feel anything when you saw them but your brain remembered this, even though you found it completely irrelevant.

Maybe you found out that they’re seeing someone new, that they got engaged or married or had a child. In that instant, you brushed off this information but your memory kept it alive. 

The funniest part is that you don’t even have to be aware of this trigger. However, your subconscious mind certainly is. 

For example, maybe you heard a song that reminded you of them and your brain memorized it even though you don’t even remember hearing it.

It is possible that the date of your anniversary or of the day you broke up is approaching. Maybe you saw your ex’s look-alike or you were talking to a mutual friend. 

Either way, according to most dream analysts, you can expect these dreams to go away anytime soon. They’re only temporary and caused by a one-time trigger. 

Letting them go

If you’re asking yourself what does it mean when you dream about your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend and expect a bad response, I’m here to cheer you up. 

No, this doesn’t have to mean that you still have feelings for this person from your past. Instead, it’s quite likely that there are completely opposite meanings and reasons for your dreams.

It is possible that this is actually your unique way of letting them and your previous relationship go.

You and your ex said your final goodbyes a while ago. However, you’re telling them farewell only now.

It doesn’t matter that you two split up physically; this person has remained present in your heart and mind, despite their physical absence. 

Nevertheless, now is the time to forget about them completely. The time for you to finally put a stop to your feelings for them. 

Maybe you’re even struggling to let them go. On a conscious level, this is the thing you want the most in your life.

You want to stop missing them and stop loving them. You think you want to move on with your life and get over your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

However, without you being aware, your pain has become your comfort zone.

You got used to thinking about them, so subconsciously, you’re fighting against the fact that they’re vanishing from your memory. 

Repressed negative feelings

Every dream analyst will tell you that one of the top reasons why people dream about their ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend is due to their repressed emotions.

You clearly hadn’t processed your break-up in time, so it started haunting you in your dreams. 

You’re running away from the pain and from your broken heart. Instead, you swept everything under the carpet.

Optimistically, you expected your bad past and negative feelings to magically go away. You just had to pretend that they’re not there and they would be gone forever.

However, sadly, things don’t work out that easily in real life. Whether you like it or not, you have to face everything you’re trying to run away from.

In fact, the things you want to escape will always find a way toward you. This is exactly what’s happening: Your real-life nightmares are haunting you in your dreams.

The way to stop this from occurring is to face your demons during the day. Don’t allow your pain to define you but don’t run away from it either.  

Instead, get to the bottom of it. What is the thing that hurts you the most? How can you help yourself to ease that pain?

Whatever you do, just remember that you’re a human being made out of flesh and blood. Facing your pain doesn’t make you weak.

It actually means that you’re strong enough to look it directly in the eye and tell it to go away. That takes courage but it’s the only way for you to save yourself once for all. 

The 13 Most Common Dreams About Your Ex Explained

Falling back in love with them

If you dream that you’re just getting to know your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend and that you’re falling back in love with them for the first time ever, this can have different meanings.

This doesn’t have to necessarily mean that you miss this person. Instead, you miss everything they represented to you. It’s quite clear that you miss the feeling of falling in love.

You crave the butterflies and the excitement you sense when you meet someone who enchants you.

However, you connect all of these emotions to this one person and that is exactly why they appear in your dreams—as the embodiment of feeling that you’re in love.

On the other hand, this might be your subconscious attempt to correct your mistakes. You think it would be better if you had never met your ex.

You think that falling in love with them was the worst thing that ever happened to you. So, you relive that moment and you try to erase it.

You wish to meet them again so you have the chance not to fall in love with them this time. 

See also: Dreaming About Another Man: 15 Hidden Meanings

What does it mean when you dream about your ex apologizing

If your ex never apologized in person for all the harm they did to you but they’re asking for your forgiveness in your dreams, this is your mind’s attempt to get rid of the anger and the resentment you’ve been piling up. 

You feel like they don’t deserve your forgiveness and you’re probably absolutely right.

However, let me tell you that you’re not impacting them in any way whatsoever by holding grudges. In fact, you’re only hurting yourself.

Nevertheless, according to dream analysis, this is not a sign that they want to tell you how sorry they are. After all, if they had the desire to do so, they would have apologized by now.

Instead, this is your subconscious mind begging you to get rid of these negative emotions.

You crave them apologizing and you forgiving them so badly since you’re aware that it is the only thing that can set you free. 

Your ex wants to get back together with you

When you are still in love with your ex and dream of them begging for a second chance, at first you see it as a sign from the universe.

You think that they must be somewhere out there, figuring out how to make a move toward you and thinking about you as well.

I hate to burst your bubble but this couldn’t be further from the truth. After all, nobody has any idea about what goes through your ex’s head.

Instead, this is just a projection of your desires. You’re the one who wants to get back together with them.

However, you don’t want to be the one to make the first move. Your ego doesn’t allow you to forget about your pride and contact your ex.

That is why you hope that they will be the one to do it. There is no doubt about one thing; you would run straight into their arms without thinking twice if they called you or knocked on your door. 

Fighting with your ex

We’ve all been in a situation where we stay numb during an argument with someone and act like we don’t know how to fight. You get nervous, hurt and tongue-tied so it looks like you don’t have anything to say. 

Consequently, the other party seems to be right. You had no arguments in your favor and you ended up being the only one feeling guilty. 

However, once you cool off for a little bit and some time passes, you remember all the smart things you were supposed to say. You have these amazing comebacks for every single sentence the other person told you. 

You can’t believe how stupid you appeared to be. You wish you could go back in time and resolve this issue the right way.

Well, that is exactly what’s happening with you and your ex . You never actually spoke your mind and never told them everything you wanted to.

Maybe you were too scared of their reaction.

Maybe you were a victim of their manipulations and didn’t see the truth.

Maybe you planned on getting back together with them during those arguments so you were careful about everything you had the desire to say. Or perhaps you two never had a real fight?

It is also possible that you parted ways peacefully, without any arguments. However, you wanted to speak your mind.

Either way, it’s obvious that all those unsaid words are still tearing you apart. You relive your arguments because you want to make things right this time.

The best way to get rid of this is to write everything you want to tell your ex on a piece of paper.

This way, you’ll release each one of your negative emotions and thoughts and you’ll stop projecting them into your dreams. 

Your ex is in a new relationship

Many people who were left behind dream about their ex in a new relationship. If you’re the one who was dumped, this is probably one of your greatest fears.

It doesn’t matter how long you two have been apart from each other.

When you wonder what does it mean when you dream about your ex and their new partner, it’s because deep inside, you still probably hope that you might get back together as long as you’re both single.

However, the moment your ex finds someone new, it is the final proof that you really are forgotten.

Well, you project your fears into your dreams. You’re scared that you will be replaced and your unconscious mind is reviving those traumas. 

On the other hand, this ex dream might be a good thing. It might be a sign that you’re finally accepting this possibility.

This doesn’t have to be a sign that your ex is really in a new relationship. Nevertheless, once you live through that situation in your dream, you’ll see that this is something you’re able to survive. 

Luckily for you, it gives you the realization that you will get through this once it really occurs during your waking hours.

Going over the break-up all over again

The first reason behind this dream is the fact that you’re obviously still not over your break-up. Maybe it’s the way it happened or maybe it’s the fact that your relationship ended at all.

Either way, this is something clearly haunting you in real life. So, your dreams are your subconscious mind’s attempt to change something about this painful event.

Maybe you’re trying to prevent the break-up from happening.

Maybe you want to go back to the past one last time and do more to keep this person from leaving you but you don’t know how to do so.

On the other hand, if you’re replaying this event in your dreams even though it is connected to an ex or first love whom you forgot ages ago, this can have a much deeper meaning.

It’s more than apparent that you feel abandoned once more. You feel like one of your loved ones is walking away from your life and leaving you all alone.

However, you have a hard time processing your emotions in the present moment. Therefore, you connect them to the break-up that took place so long ago.

This is your brain’s way of releasing your feelings. It is your mind’s way of facing the abandonment traumas you obviously carry around inside of you. 

You’re saving your ex

If you keep dreaming about your ex who is in trouble but you do your best to save them, one thing is clear; you still feel responsible for them.

You might feel guilty about something you did during your relationship. Maybe you blame yourself for hurting them or for bringing your romance to an end. 

You are actually trying to heal their broken heart. Despite everything that has happened between the two of you, you still consider their happiness your duty.

Basically, you feel guilty for not doing more for this person. 

This is especially true if we’re talking about a troubled individual who observed you almost as their parent. 

The mere thought of you leaving them to fight their own demons by themselves makes you go crazy. 

You must have done so much for this person but all of your efforts were in vain. They’re still surrounded by darkness and you didn’t manage to bring them out to the light so you end up feeling like a failure.

You didn’t succeed in your mission and you left them hanging when they needed you the most. 

You’re not saving your ex

On the other hand, sometimes you can dream about your ex being in trouble in a whole different way. This time, you’re not saving them.

In fact, you are doing absolutely nothing to help them. Instead, you look on peacefully as their life is torn apart and you don’t plan on lifting a finger for their sake.

This can be a form of your subconscious desire for revenge. You want to see this person suffer and most importantly, you want to see them at their lowest.

Also, this ex dream means that you’ve finally accepted your ex for who they are. You’ve accepted the fact that you can’t save anyone who doesn’t want to be saved.

You’re not just letting them go; you’re also letting go of your need to be their guardian angel. 

You’re letting go of your need to put their life in order and to fix them and help them become someone new.

This person is and never was your responsibility and it’s time to stop worrying about them this much. 

Your ex is ghosting you/ignoring you

Despite the fact that you and your ex broke up a while ago, you still have traumas regarding their departure.

In fact, them giving you the silent treatment out of nowhere or even ghosting you is your biggest nightmare. 

Even though the two of you didn’t break up with them just disappearing from your life, you feel like they’re ignoring you emotionally. 

Namely, your feelings are left unanswered, even if they don’t have a clue about them. You feel like you’re running after them while they are completely unaware of your existence. 

Dreaming about them while in a new relationship

This is one of your biggest fears turned into reality. You’re happily in love with your current partner, satisfied with your current life, and your ex doesn’t even cross your mind. 

However, one morning, you wake up all sweaty and terrified. You realize that you dreamed about your ex.

The first question is whether your current partner heard anything. Were you calling out your ex’s name during the night?

Nevertheless, you want to get the answer to the question of what does it mean when you dream about your ex. Does it mean that subconsciously you still have feelings for them?

Are you unhappy with your new romance, without even being aware of it? Do you compare your ex to your current partner? You even feel guilty about all of this.

After all, there you are, blissfully sleeping next to this amazing person but you still dream about your ex.

Well, first and foremost, let me tell you one thing—you’re not to blame for this and nobody can control their dreams. Also, this doesn’t have to necessarily mean that you are not over your ex just yet.

In fact, it is more likely that you’re going through some similar problems in your current relationship.

So, you’re looking for answers in your past. You’re preparing yourself for a similar scenario so you want to be completely ready for whatever is coming next. 

Basically, you’re scared that your current relationship might fail the same way your past one did. 

Dreaming about them while you’re single

When you’re single and dreaming about your ex, this dream means just one thing; you’re fully ready for a new relationship. You don’t miss your former partner, you miss the feeling of belonging to someone.

You miss loving and being loved. You crave kisses, hugs, holding hands, intimacy and being a part of a couple. 

However, sadly, you associate each one of these emotions with your ex.

They were the last person who made you feel this way so it’s natural that they’re the embodiment of romance in your unconscious mind.

Trust me, it’s time to go back into the dating pool. Even though you might think that you’re still hooked on your ex, the truth is actually quite different.

You’re completely over them. In fact, they’re only alive in your memory because you have no one else to think about.

According to all dream interpretations, the moment someone new occupies your mind even for a split second, this person will be left in your distant past, where they belong. 

They’re killing you

If you dream about your ex killing you, at first you’ll wake up terrified. However, later on, you’ll try to find the explanation for this dream.

Well, dream analysis says that this person really did cause your spiritual death and major changes in your life. They definitely did kill something in you when they left you or broke your heart. 

Maybe they killed your ability to love or your trust in people. Maybe they killed your desire to live or all of your hopes that one day, you’ll find your happiness in love.

Either way, the person you used to be is certainly gone. You’re physically alive but they’ve changed you forever. 

The first step in the process of your recovery here is to get to the bottom of your problem. Figure out what part of your personality your ex killed.

Once you do that, figure out how to revive it the easiest way possible. How can you bring your entire self back to life?

You’re killing them

Your life is your show. You’re the director, the scriptwriter and the protagonist and the only one with the right to make some major changes. 

Therefore, when you dream about murdering your ex, dream analysis will tell you that you’re just killing off one of the characters. 

Yes, they were an important figure but the show will go on without them just fine. So, having this weird dream doesn’t make you a bad person and it has a much deeper meaning.

It doesn’t mean that you would really kill them in your waking life or that you would be capable of doing so if you had the chance.

In fact, according to all dream interpretations, this dream is an awesome sign. This is your subconscious finally cutting this person off

Soon enough, there will be no more love and no more hatred for them. You’re releasing all of the anger you have stashed away for them and you’re throwing them out of your mind and heart. 

If you can’t relate to any of these common dreams about your ex, try keeping a dream journal.

This way, you’ll figure out what your usual ex dreams are and you’ll also get the answer to the question of what does it mean when you dream about your ex. Good luck!