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What Does It Mean When You Dream About Your Ex?

by | Mar 13, 2023

  • Dreaming about an ex can mean you feel lonely or miss being in a relationship.
  • If you’re currently in a relationship, it could mean you’re noticing similar patterns in your past relationship.
  • Recurring dreams of an ex can also mean you’re suffering from trauma if your ex was abusive.

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Dreaming about an ex can leave you with a lot of questions. Do you want them back? Are they coming back? Are you unhappy with your current relationship?

An ex is an ex for a reason, so why are you dreaming about them? Surely, your dream must mean something, right? Or else you wouldn’t dream about them in the first place.

Before you put meaning in something that may or may not hold any significance, you need to know that dreaming about an ex is not uncommon. According to certified dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg, it’s very, very normal to dream about an ex.

In this article, we’ll explore the general interpretations of dreams about an ex and the most common themes. Learning about them can help you make better sense of your dreams.

General Symbolism of Dreams About an Ex

Dreams can have you waking up feeling angry, scared, sad, and, most often than not, confused. When it comes to dreaming about someone with whom you’ve had a past intimate relationship, it can make you question many things in your current life.

However, it must be noted that dreams are often symbolic and shouldn’t be taken at face value. Dreams result from our subconscious mind making sense of our thoughts and emotions. Because of this, dreams about an ex merely reveal more profound aspects of ourselves.

These dreams often reflect your deep emotions, such as loneliness, missing intimacy, or needing closure.

If you were in an abusive relationship where your ex abused you physically or emotionally, it could leave you with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome); according to Deirdre Barrett, a dream researcher at Harvard University, people who’ve gone through any trauma experience emotional and recurring post-traumatic nightmares.

Another common interpretation is when your subconscious is processing things you may have noticed in your current relationship that you are ignoring. Your current and past relationships may have similar patterns. Thus, dreaming about your ex can represent your subconscious mind telling you the trajectory of your relationship may be heading the same way.

When it comes to making sense of your dreams, learning about the general symbolisms can give you the tools to improve whatever issues you may be having in real life.

Common Dreams About an Ex

In this section, we’ll discuss the most common dreams about an ex and their general interpretations. Remember that these are the common meanings, but it doesn’t always mean they apply to you.

The best interpretation of your dreams will always be personal. This means you need to reflect on your current circumstance to apply the possible meanings of your dreams.

Here are the most common dreams about an ex and what they could mean:

1. Dreaming About Getting Back Together

If you dream about getting back together with an ex, this could mean many things. One, if it’s a recent breakup, it may be a reflection of your waking fantasies. If you’re not over your ex, you may dream about returning together because you haven’t moved on.

If you dream about a long-time ex, it may mean you’re feeling weak in your life and about to give in. This can be in the form of giving up a career opportunity because you’re too comfortable in your current job, or you’re afraid to go out of your comfort zone, so you stay in one place rather than exploring other opportunities.

Related: What Do Dreams of Having Sex Mean?

2. Dreaming About an Abusive Ex

As mentioned earlier, dreaming about an abusive ex could be a symptom of PTSD. Post-traumatic stress can cause recurring nightmares, and studies on PTSD reveal survivors can experience vivid dreams of the abuse months or even years after getting out of the situation.

Lauri Loewenberg suggests seeking the help of a trauma therapist if it becomes a consistent occurrence, if you can’t shake the negative feelings in your waking hours, and if the dreams affect your waking life.

3. Dreaming About Fighting with an Ex

Dreaming about fighting with an ex can reflect your unresolved issues with that person. Issues of lying, betrayal, and infidelity may have never been resolved in your past relationship, and it still bothers you. You may have never gotten over the betrayal and the extreme pain it caused.

It could also mean you are beating yourself up for allowing the abuse, or you still feel hate over your ex for doing those things to you.

4. Dreaming About Being Pregnant with an Ex’s Child

Dreaming about being pregnant with an ex’s child is nothing to worry about because it has a positive meaning. It is a representation of the lesson you learned with the relationship. You are growing wisdom within you or that you’ve grown from the relationship.

5. Dreaming About Your Ex Being with Someone Else

Dreaming about an ex being with someone else can reflect your subconscious thoughts. It can mean you are not over your ex and fear seeing them with someone else.

It can also mean your subconscious brain is telling you to let go and move on because your ex has also moved on with their life.

6. Dreaming About Stealing From Your Ex

A dream about stealing from your ex could mean you are trying to make sense of their behavior when your relationship crumbled. You may still have questions you need answers about why the relationship ended.

A Word of Advice

The end of a relationship always leaves behind crumbs.

What happened? Why did it end? Was it my fault? Could I have done something different to make the relationship work? Did I make the right decision?

Questions like these can plague you, especially if the breakup was brutal or there was no closure. Your ex can show up in your dreams when there are unresolved issues or you still haven’t moved on from the relationship.

You must take the necessary steps to heal from experience when this happens. The relationship ended for a reason, and you need to come to terms with it. The good news is that dreaming about an ex doesn’t mean you must stay stuck in negative feelings.

Take care of yourself, go out with friends, and be gentle with yourself. Stop beating yourself up and trying to make sense of something that has ended. Now is the time for you to reflect on what you want out of future relationships, focus on nurturing a healthy relationship if you already have one, and move forward with your life.


1. What to do if you dream about your ex and you’re in a relationship?

Suppose you’re in a relationship and dream about an ex. In that case, you need to analyze your current situation and see if something is missing or if the relationship has similar patterns to your old one.

2. How do I stop dreaming about my ex?

You can stop dreaming about your ex when you’ve come to terms with why it ended. You can also look at specific issues you may be having that remind you of your ex.

3. When you dream about an ex, are they thinking of you?

Dreaming about an ex does not mean they are thinking of you. Your dreams mirror your subconscious mind and not someone else’s.

4. Why do I keep dreaming about my ex even though I’m over him?

You may be dreaming about an ex even though you’re over him because you might have seen him recently, something in your waking life reminds you of the person, or maybe you’re just feeling lonely.

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