Is It True That If You See Someone In Your Dream, They Miss You?

Dreams are a captivating realm of human experience. They weave together memories, hopes, fears, and desires, often presenting them in a tableau of strange and mysterious scenarios. One common theme many of us encounter is dreaming of someone. But does this mean that the person we’re dreaming of misses us in reality?

From a scientific perspective, dreams are a product of our subconscious. They process and categorize our daily experiences, emotions, and thoughts. If someone occupies your thoughts or emotions during the day, even subconsciously, they’re more likely to appear in your dreams. This could be due to recent interactions, lingering feelings, or unresolved matters with that person.

1. The dream may serve as a reflection of our own thoughts and feelings.

Our dreams often serve as mirrors, reflecting what occupies our thoughts and feelings throughout our waking hours. If you’ve been reminiscing about someone, pondering past conversations, or perhaps yearning for past moments shared, your brain might bring these thoughts to the forefront in the form of dreams. It’s like an echo of your daily thoughts coming to life when everything else is quiet. It’s only natural that if you can’t get someone off your mind, they’ll still be there when you’re asleep. This dream doesn’t necessarily mean someone misses you back.

2. The person may be resurfacing past experiences.

The mind has a curious way of bringing past memories back, often without any prompting. Dreaming of someone from your past might be a manifestation of this. The smell of a familiar perfume, a song, or even visiting a place you once shared with this person can inadvertently trigger memories. Dreams might just be an extension of these recollections, asking you to either address them or simply acknowledge their existence.

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4. They represent a desire for closure.

There’s a powerful subconscious yearning in many of us to find resolution. If there was ever a situation or relationship in your life that ended without clarity, your mind might revisit this in dreams. It’s a way to simulate scenarios where things might play out differently, offering a sense of closure even if it’s just fictional and within the dream realm.

5. They could be a symbol or representation of someone or something else.

People in dreams aren’t always direct representations of themselves. Sometimes, they symbolize periods of our life, emotions, or even challenges. For instance, dreaming of a childhood friend might represent a longing for simpler times or a reminder of the carefree nature you once had.

6. It might be a way of emotionally processing things.

Emotions, especially intense ones, require processing. Grief, happiness, jealousy, love—the heart goes through a spectrum of feelings, and the brain tries to make sense of them. By dreaming of someone tied to these emotions, you’re essentially letting your mind go through the process of understanding and coping, providing a safe space to confront and console these feelings.

7. The person you’re dreaming of may be there because of wish fulfillment.

The realm of dreams can often be an ideal place, where desires, both spoken and unspoken, come to life. If you’ve ever wished to have a conversation, share a moment, or seek forgiveness from someone, these desires might manifest in your dreams. It’s a safe environment where your wishes, however fleeting, come true without real-world consequences.

8. The whole thing might just be random.

The brain is an intricate organ that’s constantly processing a barrage of information, memories, and emotions. During REM sleep, when most dreaming occurs, our brain often goes into overdrive, sorting through this data. Sometimes, the result is a dream with someone you haven’t thought of in ages. It doesn’t necessarily have a profound meaning but is merely a by-product of the brain’s sorting process.

9. If the dream is vague, there might not even be anything to it.

If you recall the dream’s events being sketchy, with scenes jumping from one scenario to another without a logical flow, it’s a sign that the dream might not hold deeper significance. Just as we sometimes daydream or let our thoughts wander aimlessly, our nighttime dreams can also be a jumble of random sequences.

10. Look out for inconsistent behavior in your dreams.

Dream characters don’t always behave as their real-world counterparts. If the person in your dream acts in a manner entirely uncharacteristic of them, it’s a hint that your mind might be focusing more on the idea or emotion they represent than the actual person.

11. If there are loads of acquaintances around, it could be about life rather than the person.

When your dream is populated with faces from various points in your life—be it an old school teacher, a college friend, or a former colleague—it’s more indicative of your mind recapping and revisiting different life phases rather than sending a specific message about one individual.

Signs that your dream is just a dream – nothing more

millennial woman sleeping in bed

provided by iStock

1. You don’t actually feel anything about it.

In some dreams, despite the vividness of the scene, there’s a striking absence of emotion. You might see someone you know, but you don’t feel any specific way about them—no affection, anger, sadness, or any other emotion that might connect to past experiences with that person. This lack of emotional connection is a strong sign that it’s just a random dream with no deeper meaning attached to it.

2. The narrative is totally disjointed.

Dreams that seem to have a peculiar, almost surrealistic storyline often fall under the category of mere dreams. If one moment you’re at an old school and the next you’re underwater with the same person, without any clear connection or flow, it’s an indication that your brain is merely processing random memories and thoughts without any meaningful intent.

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4. The “familiar stranger” phenomenon applies.

Sometimes in dreams, we encounter individuals whom our mind insists we know, but upon waking, we realize we’ve never met them in our lives. This phenomenon, where our brain combines features of several people to create a ‘new’ person, is a classic sign that the dream doesn’t hold any significant message about someone missing you.

5. There are things that are interfering in your dreams.

Often, the environment around us as we sleep—be it a sound, temperature change, or physical sensation—can influence our dream content. If you dream of someone after hearing their name on TV or seeing their photo before bedtime, it’s likely the external stimuli playing a role in your dream’s narrative.

6. You’ve dreamt similar things before about different people.

If you find that you’re often dreaming of different people but in the same scenario or setting, it’s a hint that the dream is more about the recurring theme than the individuals themselves. For example, if you regularly dream of different acquaintances missing a train, the emphasis might be more on the feeling of missing out than any particular person.

Is it possible that if you dream of someone, they miss you?

Sure, anything’s possible. However, it’s essential to approach such interpretations with caution. While it’s a comforting and romantic notion to believe that your dreams are a direct reflection of someone’s feelings towards you, there’s no scientific basis for it.

In conclusion, while it’s a beautiful sentiment to think that dreaming of someone means they miss you, scientifically speaking, dreams are more a reflection of our own thoughts, feelings, and experiences than they are a mirror of another person’s emotions. As with many things in life, it’s a blend of heart and mind. Always trust your feelings, but also understand the science behind them.

Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.