Why Do You Keep Having Nightmares About Getting Back Together With Your Ex?

I definitely know a thing or two about bad relationships, but now that I’ve finally broken through that dynamic, why do I keep having nightmares about getting back together with my ex? Does it mean I’m still holding a torch for my former partner? I know I’m not the only one going through this, so I did some research and got the answers for those of you experiencing the same thing.

You’re detoxing.

Did you know your psyche needs to detox as much as your body? Just like your body holding on to toxins you don’t need, your mind does the same thing. Dreaming can be a healthy part of releasing long-held emotions that need to go. Like a physical detox, an emotional detox can also be really unpleasant and painful. If you’re dreaming about your ex, it might be a sign that you should hit a yoga class, get a reiki healing, or call your therapist to get those emotions moving.

Nostalgia happens to everyone.

Sometimes when you dream about an ex, the dream isn’t really about your former partner. Instead, you’re actually feeling nostalgia for that period of your life or who you were at that moment. I definitely don’t miss the period of my life when I was stressed out in graduate school and in a poorly defined, toxic relationship. I do, however, miss the sense of adventure I had when I was just starting graduate school and getting to know my ex.

You’re revisiting happy memories.

It may be hard to admit, but you probably did have some good times with your ex. In order to end a relationship and get through the breakup, we usually focus on the bad things that happened (or yell about them with our friends on Winedown Wednesday). After you’ve had some time to heal, the happy memories you shared might start to come to the surface again. It’s a totally normal part of your healing and does not mean you need to run back into the arms of the dude who tried to prostitute you to a frat guy.

Your current relationship is lacking.

I know no one wants to hear this one, but maybe your current relationship isn’t as great as you think. A dream about an ex might be showing you how your current partner isn’t meeting a need that your ex was able to satisfy. A few weeks ago, I had a nightmare about my ex right after I started seeing someone new. It helped me realize that my new fling was super judgmental, which definitely was not going to work out for me.

You’re acting on bad habits.

 Dreams about an ex can sometimes be a warning that you’re falling back into bad habits or relationship patterns. Spend some time reflecting on what kept you in that relationship. Are you acting on any of those insecurities, patterns, and habits now? If you’re in a relationship, dreaming about an ex could be telling you that your current relationship is beginning to reflect your past, and probably not in a good way.

You left things unsaid.

 Our dreams often point out needs that we are unwilling to address in our waking life. When we end relationships, we don’t often get the chance to say everything we wanted to, especially since breakups often happen during heated moments. Now that you’ve had some space and time to process, you might have things you need to say to your ex. Maybe it’s time to sit down for that coffee and get some things off of your chest.

You have unsatisfied needs.

Recently, I had a dream where my ex was telling me everything he never said in real life but I always wanted to hear. We often end relationships because we have deep needs that aren’t being met. When we dream about something we wanted, but never got, it’s called a wish fulfillment dream. Wish fulfillment dreams are super common and can help us figure out what our deeply held needs and desires are.

You miss your ex. 

Guess what? You’re a human being! And that means you have complex emotions and needs. Bummer, right? Missing your ex is normal, but that definitely does not mean you want to get back together. But if longing for your ex is blocking a new relationship, it’s probably time to see a therapist.

Dreams help us heal.

 Scientists and psychologists have long been puzzled by the purpose of dreams. One thing is clear though, dreaming is super important to our psychological health. One major school of thought holds that dreaming helps us to process our emotions and memories. This definitely seems to be the case for me. Dreams also signal what’s going on in your emotional life that you may not be paying attention to. If you keep dreaming about your ex, grab a journal and keep it next to your bed. Writing down your dreams and feelings right after waking up can help you figure out what’s going on and lead you to some serious healing.

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