Love is a choice. It takes you a second to fall deep for someone, but it can take a lifetime to get over those feelings. If you start dreaming about an ex, it can cause all sorts of emotions to erupt.

If the relationship was toxic, then you might be trying to sort things out in your mind. It’s never easy to consider all the bad things in a relationship. However, if something was good between you two but didn’t work, your heart may have feelings you’ve never processed.

Ten Reasons Why You May Be Dreaming About an Ex

When you lay your head on the pillow at night, you cannot stop your mind from wandering and dreaming. Sometimes, your brain will play loops of the past, and you’re forced to relive these events repeatedly.

However, if a dream about an ex pops up, it’s worth investigating, especially if it keeps happening. Here are the ten most common reasons why people have dreams about an ex-lover.

dreaming about an ex

1. You Have Unresolved Feelings

First and foremost, when people dream about an ex, it usually means some unresolved feelings. Do you still love this person? Would you get back together with them in a heartbeat?

A breakup doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t love someone, but people often go separate ways because love isn’t enough. Outlying factors can play a big part in why things didn’t work. Surprisingly, you can have dreams due to unresolved feelings months or even years after you’ve split, especially if they were your first love.

2. You Miss Their Friendship

Relationships are about so much more than romance. If you started on the right foot, then you were friends first. Being friends with someone hurts when you part ways.

You still long for their companionship and to hang out. While that might be okay in some aspects, the new person might not want an ex-lover hanging around if they’ve moved on with another relationship. The friendship and reason you two were drawn together still exist even when the romance is finished.

You may miss your friend with whom you had so many great memories.

3. You’re Worried About Them

Sometimes, relationships have negative undertones that make you part ways. For instance, if your ex had a substance abuse issue, was in trouble with the law, or was involved in other unscrupulous acts, it’s only natural that you might worry about them.

You broke up out of concern for your safety, but it doesn’t mean you stop loving them. Dreaming about an ex can mean you’re just worried about them and hoping they make better choices.

4. You’re Disappointed

Perhaps they broke up with you. Maybe you’re just disappointed that things didn’t go how you wanted them to. People can hold onto grief over a relationship long after the fact.

If you had high hopes and dreams for a future together, the letdown from the separation might be a lot to handle. When you harbor disappointments in yourself, others, and the situation, it’s common for it to appear in your dreams.

5. There Was No Closure

What if there was no closure in your situation? Sometimes, a person may get sick or pass away, leaving you to try to navigate life without them. The closure is essential for you regarding situations, and when you don’t have that necessary mental severing, it can be a nightmare.

According to Mariana Bockarova, Ph.D., there’s tremendous pain and distress that comes from not having proper closure in a relationship. Your innate cognitive structuring needs a defined past, present, and future; moving on to the next is hard when you don’t close off one topic.

When someone refuses closure or isn’t given due to circumstances, it leaves many unanswered questions. It’s a deeply traumatic experience, but there are ways to overcome it. Consider writing a letter to your ex, avoid overthinking the situation, talk to a therapist, or let it go.

dreaming about an ex
6. You Long for the Security They Provided

Some folks separate after years of being together. This is especially true when couples have been married for years and have children. Many times, people stay together because they find security in routine.

It’s not that you don’t love this person, but maybe you’re no longer in love with them. Still, staying together and feeling safe is easier than stepping out into uncharted territories. You may dream about an ex when you don’t feel secure in your surroundings.

Maybe you’re out on your own for the first time in a long time, and you don’t know how to do things flying solo. The good news is that these feelings will pass with time, but it will be a bit of adjustment when you’re alone instead of part of a couple.

7. Your Subconscious Can’t Let Go of the Anger

If you are angry over things that happened between you and your ex, you could be boiling mad inside. Even if you start to get over these feelings, your mind can bring to the forefront why you feel upset again. When you think it would be smoother sailing, something will trigger a thought or memory that sends you back down the path of negativity.

Anger is a strong emotion that’s based on adverse feelings. While you might be perfectly justified in your sentiments, you need to find a way to cope. According to Your Anger Coach, anger is hard to overcome because it’s entwined with other emotions. They also stated that pushing the blame of the entire thing on someone else avoids personalizing the situation.

No one wants to be at fault for what happened, but every story has two sides. If you truly were not to blame, then it’s time to forgive them. Don’t think about forgiveness for their sake, but do it for the mental health and closure that you need.

8. Maybe Your Ex Is Thinking or Longing for You, Too

What if the person you’re dreaming about is also dreaming of you? Many folks end relationships prematurely over a silly disagreement but long to return to one another’s arms. If there’s still much love and passion between the two of you, can your problems be resolved?

Sometimes, all you need is a bit of time apart from one another to see how much you indeed mean to each other. Sending a text, instant message, or card may be enough to test the waters to see if the Universe might be trying to bring you back into each other’s arms.

9. You have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Maybe your relationship was horrible, and you suffered abuse while together. It leaves a lasting imprint on the brain whenever you’ve been through some tragic things. PTSD is often thought of as a condition that affects people who’ve served in a war.

However, you can experience PTSD in any traumatic situation in your life. In fact, all it takes is one terrifying event to trigger this anxiety response. So, when you have such a debilitating issue, it takes counseling and other management tools to deal with it.

10. You Need to Apologize

Was there any fault on your part that you need to apologize for? Did you do or say something that caused the relationship to end? You might be thinking about your ex because you feel guilty about how things ended.

Dreaming about an ex is one way the Universe could urge you to make amends. It doesn’t mean you have to get back together and be the happy couple you were before, but it does mean that you need to clear the air. When you’ve hurt someone, you should make things right as a decent human being.

dreaming about an ex
Final Thoughts on Dreaming About an Ex

In the 1980s, the pop sensation Heart had a smash hit with “These Dreams.” The lyrics of this song state that every second of the night, you live another life. It’s true; your dreams can take you on a journey to a far land or bring back the faces of the ones you’ve loved and lost.

Often, your brain brings things to the forefront because you’re subconsciously thinking about them. Do you have an ex still fresh in your mind and heart? Do you long to say you’re sorry for something you’ve done to someone you loved?

Dreaming about an ex is an often painful experience, but it’s not uncommon. The key to resolving these issues is finding out what is eating away at you and making amends. Perhaps you need to reach out to this person. If you have unresolved feelings, then they may do too.