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Volatile Minds: When You Dream of Your Partner

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We may dream strange things. In our sleeping minds we fly. I am no exception, for I often have extraordinary dreams. They leave me in awe of what my mind is capable of. I'm sure I'm not the first to have dreams about my partner. But what does it mean if those dreams end up being bad dreams?


Disruptive dreams

I have an extremely vivid imagination. This is only heightened when I sleep. I find that when I'm asleep, I create fascinating stories and have grand adventures. Confessedly, most of them are violent. Last night, I had a heart-crushing dream. In it, my boyfriend and I had broken up. I didn't witness the breakup, but I knew it in my gut. I tried to speak with him in my dream, but he looked so cold. He was completely unapproachable. I felt as though I were a ghost, like he couldn't see me. There was more unspoken tragedy in that dream than in any I've had in a long time. 

It stuck with me when I woke up, because it left me distraught. When I discussed it with my boyfriend, he compared it to the one had in the past. He once dreamt that I smashed a shot glass against his head. I had proceeded to run away laughing as blood streamed down his face. In the dream, he tried to obtain sympathy from the people around him. But they sided with me. In his dream, like mine, he knew we had broken up and hadn't any idea of how it went down. He awoke slightly pissed, trying to process everything. In hindsight, I wasn't nearly as sympathetic as I could have been. To me, it was just another crazy dream. I had those all the time. 


Predictive dreams

However, the difference is that these sorts of dreams involve the person you've fallen in love with. They could shake a relationship if you aren't careful. Dreams can have a strong impact. The emotions we feel inside them can easily translate over into our daily lives. A recent study conducted by the Social Psychological and Personality Science acquired a group of 61 undergraduate students to participate. The students kept dream journals and documented any and all dreams they had. They also wrote down how they interacted with their significant others. All of the students were in committed relationships older than six months at the time. In the research gathered, the students had trouble relating to their partner if they had just had a bad dream aboutt them.

According to Psychology Today, to sum up the study, the following was discovered:

  1. Jealous dream emotion was related to more conflict on the following day.
  2. Conflict in dreams was related to more conflict on the following day.

Does that mean if you catch your significant other cheating in a dream, that you become more suspicious of them after you wake up? Well, it could. It isn't however guaranteed to happen, because every couple is different. But the truth is, when we are asleep, our brains struggle to tell the difference between reality and dreams. We have social interactions in our dreams that feel real because our brains remain convinced they are. And if the one thing that is solely in control of the whole body believes that one's partner did something very bad, it's hard to tell it otherwise. 


All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

— Edgar Allen Poe


"It was only just a dream"

In Nelly's hit 2010 single, he wasn't the first to recognise that many unrealistic things go on in one's head. And sometimes, those things stay there- for better or worse. Our reflections won't always have a chance to become reality. If you have a dream that leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you wake up, be proactive about it. Don't let it affect your daily life afterwards. If you imagined that your significant other did something terrible to you, try not to hold it against them. Instead, let them in on what happened. Be open and honest. You may not be able to be completely in control of what happens in the dream world. But you can choose what happens outside of it.
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