Why Do I Dream About The Same Person Over And Over Again?

Dreams are a whole other realm in which your subconscious communicates in symbols and emotions that can offer so much insight into what’s going on in our waking lives. When one particular person shows up in your dreams night after night, it naturally brings up some questions. What is your brain trying to tell you? What’s the significance of this recurring character and are you missing something? Why is it this one person in particular who keeps popping up in your dreams?

While the answer to those questions depends on your personal situation, there are plenty of reasons we keep seeing one particular person when we shut our eyes at night. Here are some possibilities to consider that might explain what’s going on in your subconscious at night.

Why do you keep dreaming about someone? 

  1. You still have an emotional attachment to them. Often, dreaming about someone repeatedly signifies an emotional connection or unresolved feelings towards that person you keep dreaming about. It could be love, resentment, admiration, or any intense emotion. The people we feel most attached to are the ones that tend to show up in our subconscious mind, which is free to roam when we’re asleep.
  2. You have unfinished business with the person. If the person you keep dreaming about is an ex who you recently broke up with or a friend who disappeared from your life without a trace, it makes sense that they’d show up when you’re asleep. It’s likely your mind is still mulling over the situation with them and trying to explore those dynamics in a different way.
  3. Something triggered their presence in your mind. Maybe you heard a song by the person’s favorite band or came across an old photo of the two of you together from times gone by. This triggers their presence in your brain, leading you to dream about them when your head hits the pillow.
  4. They represent certain qualities you wish you had. Say the person you keep dreaming about has your ideal job or is traveling around the world, which is your passion, It’s possible they’re showing up in your dreams as a reflection of your own deeply held desires and goals in life. In this way, they are acting as somewhat of a mirror for you to hold up to yourself and your life.
  5. They’re symbolic totems of a current situation in your life.  The person could symbolize a present situation or problem you’re facing. It might not be about them in particular but rather what they represent in your life. Our dreams are often not very straightforward and instead are a bit more complex and indirect.
  6. You want to reconnect with them. If it’s someone you’ve lost touch with, the repetitive dream could signify a deep-seated desire to reconnect. Whether it’s a former best friend who ghosted you or an ex you wanted to get back (or even just be friends with), chances are they’re fresh in your mind because you miss them and wish you were still in contact.
  7. You have past traumas associated with them. Traumatic events or powerful memories associated with someone might cause them to appear frequently in dreams. If you went through something particularly harrowing and difficult with them, your dreams about them may be a callback to what you went through, particularly if you haven’t dealt with the aftermath of that experience.
  8. You have anticipation or anxiety around them. If you’re anticipating seeing them or a related event in real life (like a reunion or meeting), your dream might be playing out potential scenarios. This is especially true if you haven’t seen them in a while or if you plan on doing or experiencing something new or exciting when you’re together again.
  9. You spend a lot of time together. Many times, your dreams are simply an extension of an everyday reality. If the person you’re dreaming of is someone who’s present in much of your day-to-day life, it seems a natural conclusion that they’re showing up in your dreams because they’re a big part of your everyday. It could be as simple as that!
  10. You have a deep emotional connection with this person. An emotional bond, whether positive or negative, can leave a lasting subconscious imprint. This might result in recurrent dreams about someone you feel deeply connected to. Your dreams are a safe and natural place to explore these bonds and even strengthen them.
  11. You’re seeking comfort and security. Dreams of the same person can also represent a form of comfort or security. If this person makes or made you feel safe or loved, your mind might conjure them up when you’re feeling stressed or upset about something. You know you could count on them to make you feel secure and your subconscious is trying to provide.
  12. You’re trying to get over them. Recurring dreams can indicate suppressed feelings. They can be an outlet for emotions you’ve been avoiding. It could also be that this person recently left your life and you’re desperately trying to get over them. The mind works in funny ways — the more you try not to think of someone, the more they’re on your mind.
  13. You’re seeking personal understanding. Your subconscious could be using the person as a symbol, urging you to explore certain emotions or parts of your psyche that aren’t clear to you in your waking life. In other words, they could be a representation of yourself rather than who they truly are.
  14. There could be a spiritual interpretation. Some people believe that frequent dreams about someone might indicate a spiritual connection or a deeper soul bond with that person. If you’re someone who believes in soul ties or twin flames, you may feel that this person fills that role in your life.
  15. The dreams could be predictive or premonatory. While not scientifically proven, some interpret think that dreams as can be predictive, suggesting potential future interactions with the person. This may be more likely if the person you’re dreaming about is someone with whom you have (or have had) a very strong bond.
  16. You might be feeling the desire for romantic love. Dreaming of romance, especially with someone you’re not involved with, might reflect a desire for love, passion, or a deeper connection in life. It isn’t necessarily that you have feelings for the person you keep dreaming about but that they’re a symbol for what you want in general.
  17. You’re trying to work through conflict. Maybe you recently got into a fight with this person or you parted on bad terms. Your dreams of them may be your subconscious way of trying to work through the ending you shared and the problem that led to those terms. It could also be trying to provide a path forward in real life that you maybe couldn’t see before.
  18. You may be worried about the person or want to save them. If the person you’re dreaming of is going through a tough time you worry they might be in danger in some way, you might be dreaming of them often because you’re concerned for their well-being and want them to be okay. They’re on your mind, so they’re in your dreams, in other words.
  19. You want them to rescue you. On the flip side, if you’re the one going through the hard time, you could be dreaming of this person because you hope that they might be able to rescue you or protect you from the upset you’re experiencing. It provides the aforementioned comfort and security you’re in desperate need of at the moment.
  20. You fear that you’re losing the person you keep dreaming about. Such dreams might symbolize fears of abandonment, change, or personal loss. Maybe you’ve been growing apart recently or you know they’re leaving to move to a new place or into a different phase of life. You’re likely dreaming of them often because you worry about your impending separation, be it physically or emotionally.
  21. They could be celebratory dreams. These might be reflections of personal achievements, hopes for joy, or moments of past happiness associated with the person. Maybe you graduated college together or you’re both going for your dream jobs. If you keep dreaming of the same person, it might be because you’re on similar trajectories in life and have good things to look forward to together and separately.

What can you do if you have recurring dreams about someone?

What you do about your repeated dreams about this person depends on how you feel about it. If you’re happy to see this person in your sleep, you might be happy to keep moving forward as you are. However, if their presence is upsetting you or making you feel uncomfortable, you may want to take action.

  1. Why not keep a dream journal? Every morning, write down as much as you can remember about your dreams, including the settings, events, and emotions. Over time, this journal can offer insights into why a particular person keeps appearing. You might begin to see patterns or recurring themes that offer clues to the root of these dreams. (Bonus: Some people believe that dream journaling might make it easier to achieve lucid dreaming, if that’s of interest!)
  2. Practice meditation and mindfulness techniques. Engaging in regular meditation or mindfulness exercises can help you connect with your subconscious mind. These practices can not only bring clarity about the emotions and situations associated with the person in your dreams but can also aid in processing unresolved feelings or issues.
  3. Face your feelings. If there’s an unresolved issue or emotion tied to the person you keep dreaming about, confronting it in your waking life might help. This could be anything from an unsent letter you wish to write, a conversation you want to have, or simply an acknowledgment of a past situation. Addressing these emotions might change the nature of your dreams or stop them altogether.
  4. Change up your bedtime rituals. Establish calming bedtime rituals. Before sleeping, engage in activities that relax your mind, such as reading a light-hearted book, listening to calming music, or practicing deep breathing exercises. Setting a positive and serene mood can influence the nature of your dreams.
  5. Try to limit your triggers. If there’s a specific trigger in your daily life that reminds you of this person—be it a song, a place, or even a routine—try to limit or modify your exposure to it. While this isn’t always feasible, changing up your routine a bit might help break the cycle of repetitive dreams.
  6. Talk to a professional if you’re feeling particularly disturbed.  Consider talking to a therapist or counselor. They can offer insights into the potential underlying reasons for your recurring dreams and provide coping mechanisms. Dream analysis isn’t an exact science, but professionals can often guide you through the process of understanding your dreams in the context of your life experiences and emotions.

Recurring dreams, especially about the same person, can be both intriguing and confusing AF. While dreams are a really complex subject with interpretations varying across cultures and philosophies, they undeniably offer a window to our subconscious that we can learn a lot from if we try. By seeking understanding, addressing emotions, and implementing coping strategies, we can navigate the intricate maze of our dreams, drawing insights that can enrich our waking lives.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill