Here’s What It Means When You Start Dreaming About Your Ex

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Sleeping brings many benefits to your mind and body.

Even dreaming is an essential part of your well-being. Dreams can bring insights about a current situation in your life and also help you to process difficult emotions.

Paying attention to your dreams and allowing them to guide you can help you through challenging times in your life.

So, what does it mean when you dream about your ex?

Dreaming about an ex can be very disconcerting. Is it an omen? Are the two of you supposed to get back together? And what does this mean if you are happy in your current relationship?

RELATED: The 14 Most Common Ex-Boyfriend Dreams — And What They Really Mean

Why do I keep dreaming about my ex?

Instead of spending days wondering, "Why do I keep dreaming about my ex?" or fearing that your ex is reaching out to you to get back together, take time to look at the symbolism of the dream and discover insights that will bring you peace of mind.

Does dreaming about your ex mean you need to get back together?

Dreaming about someone you used to love often leads to the question of whether or not you’re supposed to get back together.

The dream can inspire you to reach out and connect with your ex, or trigger a cycle of anxiety that has you rethinking the whole relationship, or wondering if you’ve made a mistake in moving on.

But does dreaming about someone you used to love mean that the two of you are meant to be?

Your dreams don’t come from some outside force like fate or God trying to guide you to your destiny. They come from your subconscious mind and they indicate something going on inside of you.

Essentially, your subconscious is trying to communicate with you. Dreaming is one of its most effective ways of getting a message across to your conscious mind.

So, what is your subconscious is telling you?

Your subconscious mind communicates through symbols, imagery, story, and metaphor. It also communicates through your physical body as sensations.

Your feelings (whether physical or emotional) are signals from your subconscious that you need to pay attention to something.

For example, the pain you feel in your ankle after you’ve injured it is a signal to pay attention to that injury and not to put your weight on the foot until it heals.

Another example is when you feel anger at someone for cutting in front of you in line. The anger is a reaction to a deeper emotional story you have about what it means to you.

Maybe you feel disrespected, or it feels unfair or selfish. The anger is your subconscious’s way of drawing attention to the underlying story and meaning of this event.

So what does it mean when you dream about your ex? It means your subconscious wants to draw your attention to something about that situation in order to understand it more.

Many dream interpreters who believe that symbols within a dream are universal.

It makes sense that if you dream of your teeth falling out, you're probably feeling some anxiety. Since the breakup with your ex is unique to the two of you, then your dream is unique to you, as well.

Trying to find some universal meaning behind dreaming about your ex is not helpful. It won’t take into account the details of your specific relationship.

Look for specific, personal clues in your dreams.

Instead of looking for some universal meaning, explore the subconscious clues of your dream to bring you the insights you're looking for.

The key to finding peace of mind when you dream about someone you used to love comes from looking at specific information within the dream itself. Your dream about your ex is specific to you and the meaning of it is specific to you, as well.

Dreams are your mind’s way of processing what's going on in your life. They're a vital part of keeping your mind healthy and functioning.

People who experience a profound lack of sleep have trouble remembering things, thinking clearly, solving problems, as well as issues with their ability to reason.

Sleeping and dreaming are essential to keeping your mind and body functioning at an optimal level.

Even if you don’t remember them, it doesn't mean you aren’t dreaming. REM sleep (when dreams occur) increases brain activity and promotes learning.

Examining your dreams by knowing what time of night they occurred as well as the plot points in them will reveal why you keep dreaming about your ex.

RELATED: How To Let Go Of Your Old Relationship & Focus On Yourself

What time of night you dream is significant.

There are three stages of REM sleep during an average night’s slumber, and the dreams that occur during each stage have different functions.

The first phase is the "wishful thinking stage."

During this phase, your mind is organizing all the information that you’ve collected over the past day. You could imagine it’s like your mind is putting all that information into specific categories.

Dreams during this phase are usually not remembered because they occur shortly after you fall asleep. These are also the type of dreams you experience when you take a short nap.

The second phase is called the "precognitive stage."

During this stage, your mind is attempting to predict where you're going based on the information it sorted.

For example, if you're under a lot of pressure in your life, you may have upsetting dreams about bad things happening. This doesn’t mean that bad things are actually going to happen. It means your mind is attempting to predict where the path you’re on will lead you to.

Dreams during this phase are rarely remembered, unless they're so powerful that they wake you up briefly in the middle of the night.

The third phase is called the "venting stage."

The dreams you usually remember occur during the final REM stage in the morning before waking up. During this stage, your mind is attempting to vent out or release something that's no longer needed.

These dreams can also be about integrating new information or learning.

Stage one is sorting information. Stage two is attempting to predict the future. And stage three is about letting go of or integrating new information.

Dreams often release what we no longer need mentally.

The dream about your ex most likely occurred in the morning before waking, therefore it's attempting to release or let go of something you no longer need.

What does it mean when you dream about someone you used to love? It could mean you're attempting to release that relationship or relationship dynamic.

Since your subconscious communicates to you through symbols and metaphors, the symbols in your dream mean something to you. However, they probably don’t mean what you think they mean.

Symbolic images represent something deeper than what appears on the surface. The symbol of your ex isn’t necessarily about your ex. Instead, your ex is a symbol of something inside of you.

Write down your dreams.

You may find it helpful to write down the details of your dream when you first wake up.

Keep a journal beside your bed and set the intention that you will remember your dreams when you wake up. This may take some practice to get good at.

Sort the details of your dream into two categories: Common and unusual.

The common details aren't that important to your understanding of the dream. It's the unusual details your subconscious is highlighting for you.

Ask yourself how you feel about the unusual details. What emotions do they trigger? What is the primary emotion of the dream?

This will give you insight into what your subconscious mind is attempting to vent out or integrate.

Discovering this insight will not only allow you to feel relieved about the nature of the dream, but it will also allow you to integrate any learning you need to resolve the emotional pattern that your subconscious chose to highlight for you.

The dream about your ex isn’t trying to get you to reach out to them. It's showing up to help you process some emotional pattern similar to the one you experienced with your ex.

When you dream about your ex, it can be tempting to reach out or fantasize about that relationship. Instead, allow yourself the freedom to let go of an emotional pattern and move into a healthier dynamic in your current or future relationship.

RELATED: Why Do I Keep Dreaming About My Ex?

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Orna and Matthew Walters have been soulmate coaches for over a decade and helped thousands of readers create long-lasting love. Download a complimentary copy of their ebook, Recognizing Mr. Right, along with a guided program on self-acceptance from their website.

This article was originally published at Creating Love on Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.