5 Reasons Why Your Ex Is Haunting Your Dreams

Note: it doesn’t always mean you want them back.


Let’s get one thing straight: dreaming about an ex is never deliberately on the agenda. After days, weeks, months of tears, decluttering your life of all the things that remind you of them, embarrassing drunk-texting, and hysterical ranting to friends who have the time to listen, the last thing that you want is an ex haunting your dreams when all you want is a good night’s sleep. How dare they!

Well, no need to panic just yet. Dreams (or rather, nightmares) about an ex aren’t always a bad thing - in that, it doesn’t always mean you want them back. Nor does it have to mean you’re in need of a quick booty call from that very ex.

According to Beverly Palmer (clinical psychologist and professor emeritus at California State University, Dominguez Hills), “an ex shows up in your dreams ‘because of unfinished business’”. In other words, it could be a host of reasons why their ridiculous face is appearing in your dreams, and such reasons might be important wake up calls that your subconscious is trying to alert you to.

One thing’s for sure: dreams are never completely superficial. Usually they mean SOMETHING. Additionally, if you’re having recurrent dreams about an ex, then you should DEFINITELY pay attention.

Fear not, here are Fizzy’s 5 possible reasons why your ex is visiting your dreams:

Your current relationship might need some serious TLC.

If your dreams about an ex involve arguing and fighting over something you can’t quite figure out, it could mean that something is weighing heavily on your shoulders with your current partner. It could be guilt over a lie you told, or something they did or said that’s troubling you. Addressing it quick and fast should nip things in the bud.

You’re missing certain quirks of your ex.

It’s not that you want your ex indefinitely, but sometimes dreams about an ex could mean that there are certain qualities you’re missing about them that your current partner lacks.

If your previous relationship ended amicably, then it’s very likely that you’ll have positive feelings about them. This could (unfortunately) be a tough task for all those after to follow. It’s time to have a healthy conversation with your current partner about what it is you need more of, and vice versa.

Something simply reminded you of them.

We’re like cats when it comes to our previous partners: one whiff of their scent and suddenly we’re reminded of them.

Maybe you passed someone on the street who was wearing the same perfume as they once did. Perhaps your ex has some of the same friends as you, and one of these so-called friends stupidly made a comment about them in your presence.

That’s all it takes sometimes for an ex to suddenly appear in your dreams. Our dreams can often rehash moments during the day, or a memory that’s been jogged in our mind that reminds us of an ex.

You desire more intimacy.

If your dreams about an ex are XXX rated, maybe what you need is more intimacy in your life. It’s not that you want sex with that particular ex per se, but that your current intimate relationship(s) just aren’t cutting it.

Perhaps the sex in your life isn’t as good as it was with that ex, in which case a simple open conversation should do the trick. Conversely, it doesn’t always have to mean intimacy from your current partner. Maybe you lack something emotionally from family or friends. Something is lacking in your life intimately and you need to zero in on it to move forward.

You’re past the healing stage.


Did your dreams replay the breakup stage with your ex? If so, this could actually be a positive thing; you’re finally letting go of that part of you that was still holding onto the past, especially if it is with someone who really hurt you. You’re starting to heal and move on with your life without them. Hoorah!

All in all, don’t just skip past your dreams about an ex. If they keep cropping up, quickly make a note of them when you wake up with as much detail you can recall.

Do some extensive research on what they could mean - if we’ve not covered it already - or speak to a relationship psychologist or therapist who can impart their wisdom on the issue further.

Sometimes these sorts of dreams are necessary to make us more “woke” as to what the real problems are, be it emotionally, mentally, or even physical.

Dreams about an ex aren’t so unhelpful after all, are they?


Next Up, Why You’re Probably Part Of The Work Burnout Culture