She Dreams of Her Ex
Q: I love my new boyfriend and have never been happier in a relationship. I could truly see this one going the distance. That's why I'm so troubled when I have occasional (maybe once every month or two) dreams about my ex. I always wake up feeling sad and nostalgic, sometimes for the rest of the day. Does this mean anything? -- Amber, 43
Dr. Susan: Our dreams often lag behind what's going on in our everyday lives. Maybe our subconscious has stuff to work out, or maybe those dreams are just detritus of our former lives still floating around for no particular reason. Sometimes, it's true, a repeating dream offers a clue to something we're missing.
That doesn't mean your subconscious is smarter than your waking mind. If you're truly happy in your current relationship, take those melancholy dreams about your ex with a grain of salt. Don't give them more weight than they deserve. Looking back with fondness and a bit of sorrow at what no longer exists is part of living.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.