Why Do I Dream About My Ex Every Night? (Fully Explained!)

Seeing an ex in your dream may cause you to start your day with an unsettled feeling. If these dreams tend to recur, you may ask yourself, “Why do I dream about my ex every night?”

Don’t worry, it is normal to have an ex-guest star in your dreams. There can be a single reason or a combination of reasons you tend to see your ex in your dreams. 

Perhaps you still have feelings for your ex, or you are scared of getting hurt the same way again. If you find yourself dreaming about them every night, try to discover why that is the case. 

Why Do I Dream About My Ex Every Night

Try to figure out the reason your previous partner is paying you a visit in your dreams, and find out how to stop such dreams. Here is why you may be dreaming about your ex every night:

1. You want closure

The number one reason you dream about your ex is that you still haven’t received a proper closure. Perhaps your breakup was too sudden and you were not able to express your feelings.

According to Terry Cralle, a registered nurse and sleep expert with Better Sleep Council, unconscious thoughts about a previous partner may be linked to the need for closure. These dreams may be your mind’s way of emotionally healing the hurt.

2. You may be missing some part of your past life

Dreammoods Dream Dictionary suggests that you may be seeing your ex in your dreams if there is something in your past life that you are yearning for. 

The past aspect may not necessarily be your ex, but it could be a place you used to live in or something that you used to do with them. More simply, you may just be missing the joyful moments with your ex.

3. Unfulfilled needs

You may see your ex in your dreams if you have an unfulfilled need. Perhaps, there is something you always wanted to do with your ex but never did, or something that you liked to do but didn’t get to do often enough.

You may miss a physical, emotional, supportive or nurturing act that you were involved in, which is being expressed in the form of a dream.

4. Anxiety about your current relationship

Sometimes, when you enter a new relationship, you may have recurring dreams about your ex. Don’t worry, such dreams don’t mean that you miss your ex. 

Dreaming about your ex can indicate stress surrounding your new relationship. It could mean that you are simply anxious about making your new relationship work and want to make sure that you don’t do anything that made your previous relationship fail. 

5. Yearning for an attribute in your current partner

An attribute that you desire in your partner can be attached to the idea of an ex, even though your ex may also lack it. In this case, you may dream of scenarios such as your ex caring for you or going with you on an adventurous trip. 

A partner with such a quality may be lacking from your life, just like your ex who is no longer there in your life. 

6. Searching for more love in your life

You may dream about your ex during the period you are single. If your love life is currently non-existent, your dreams may take you back to the time when you were last in a relationship. 

You may tend to dream about physical intimacy with your ex. This does not necessarily indicate that you miss them, but could be a sign of untapped desires that you may want to discover with someone else. 

7. You’re afraid of getting hurt again

It is possible that you start dreaming about your ex even after you get involved with someone else. If the breakup with your ex had been significantly distressing, your dream may signify apprehensions about getting hurt again.

Perhaps your current partner is showing similar tendencies, making you wary of the relationship. This may be a sign for you to reevaluate your relationship.

8. You’re trying to forgive your ex

Your past relationship may have ended on a sour note that did not provide an opportunity for you to forgive your ex. Dreaming about your ex may be your mind’s way of providing you with the chance to do so. 

If you think your dream is signaling you to make peace with your ex, try to forgive them when you are awake and conscious. This may lead to a halt in those dreams. 

9. You’re not over your ex

There may be a possibility that you still have feelings for your ex. Ask yourself how you really feel about them, and you may receive an honest answer.

Maybe a part of you still wishes to get back together. Try to sort out your feelings and make a sane decision about the future. 

10. It is symbolic of your own state of mind

Sometimes seeing your ex in your dreams symbolizes your own self. Maybe you were too emotionally invested in your past relationship and made more sacrifices than you should have.

This indicates that you have been neglecting yourself in some way. Analyze your behavior during your previous relationship and see if there is a need to make any changes in your life. 

How Do I Stop Dreaming About My Ex?

Dreams that keep reminding you of an ex you have no intentions of getting back together with can be rather perturbing. Here are some ways to steer clear of them:

1. Remove your ex from social media 

The more you see your ex on social media, the more they will tend to stay in your mind. Coming across their pictures may subconsciously reinforce the memories you had with them. 

If you think this is the reason why you keep dreaming about them, block your ex from your social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram. If you tend to stalk them, removing them from social media will effectively deter you from doing so. 

2. Accept that you two were not meant to be together

It is important to tell yourself that the relationship is truly over. What hurts the most after breakup is that sliver of hope about getting back together. 

Holding on to false possibilities can be detrimental to your mental health and prevent you from moving on. Learn to accept the end of the relationship and look ahead towards a bright future. 

You may consciously repeat to yourself that you are done with your ex or speak it out loud. Once you accept the reality, you will be able to open up to the possibility of a more rewarding relationship in the future.  

3. Give yourself time 

It is no secret that breakups require time to heal. The more time elapses, the less you will think of that person. If you feel that you are spending an unhealthy amount of time dwelling over your past relationship, expand your social circle and maybe find new people to date. 

At times, no matter how much effort you make, you are unable to move on. The breakup may seem to hurt as much as ever during the first few weeks or months. 

If the course of your relationship was long or the bond was particularly special to you, you may find yourself aching over the relationship for a very long time and as a result dream about your ex often. The key is to give yourself time to heal while making a conscious effort to move on. 

4. Don’t think about it too much 

If you see your ex in a dream, try not to think about it too deeply after you wake up. Simply accept that you had a dream and move on with your routine. 

Try to distract yourself with something as intense. Maybe drop a message saying “hi” to your crush on Facebook, or ring up your current partner to chat. 

Focusing too much on a dream can also lead to repetitive dreams. Recurring dreams can eventually reopen old wounds and interrupt your healing process. Step out of a negative spiral to prevent the thought about your ex from being reinforced.

Remember that it is common to see your ex in a dream. People who have been in serious relationships do dream about their ex at some point in life. This is because they become naturally attached by sharing most of their day with each other. 

Try to brush off dreams about your ex and focus on your present and future. If you are already in a relationship with someone new, give it your best and do not dwell on dreams about a past chapter in your life. On the other hand, if you are single and feel lonely, find comfort in knowing that you will find love again.