There are so many traditions in different cultures about what does it mean when you dream about someone you already know, or have yet to meet! Anyway, I’ve filtered through the main ideas and answered some of the most popular questions my readers ask me below.
There are lots of traditions about the symbolism in dreams and trying to answer the age-old question of ‘What does it mean when you dream about someone you know?’
But first of all, here’s a quick history of dream interpretation so you have some idea of what people used to think and what most people believe now.
History of dream interpretation
Humans have been fascinated by dreams for millions of years. Many civilisations, like the Ancient Greeks and the Arab people in the bible, believed dreams were sent by the gods to tell kings and tribal leaders what they should do next.
Kings often went to their head priest for advice about a vivid dream to ask ‘What does it mean?’ When you dream about someone you know and it’s a happy dream, like you getting married to a guy you like, it’s very tempting to believe it’s a ‘prophesy’ telling you what’s going to happen in the future!
1. Do dreams tell the future?
In ancient stories, when tribal leaders wanted to make a big change in how their tribe was living, or where they were living, they often pretended god had spoken to them in a dream.
It was a clever way to convince people that a god was telling them what to do, when really it was just a trick!
Plays written by the Ancient Greeks often used the idea of a dream being a ‘true vision of the future’, as a way to shape their story. And this may be one of the reasons why a lot of us still half-believe that dreams are a snapshot of the future!
And frankly, there’s nothing wrong with thinking that – if it makes you feel more confident about asking your latest ‘crush’ to go on a date with you! Just don’t run out and buy your wedding-dress until you see how things are going. LOL : )
Freud’s ‘Interpretation of Dreams’ book
Then in 1899, the famous psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud wrote, ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’, and claimed he knew a more scientific way to unravel the meaning of dreams.
His method of getting to the root of what does it mean when you dream about someone, was a long and complex analysis. It was the first ‘scientific’ attempt to discover exactly what does it mean when you dream about someone specific.
He asked his patients to write all their dreams down as soon as they woke up and they discussed them in consultations – sometimes for years! So dream interpretation has been a ‘good earner’ for those who claim to have the gift, for a very long time!
2. What’s the latest version of what dreams mean?
Current thinking on what does it mean when you dream about someone, believes dreaming is necessary to let our brains sort out our daytime thoughts and feelings. Then it’s all ‘filed away’ neatly in our memory for future use – like when you ‘de-fragment’ and back-up your computer files!
This is a ‘back-office’ process which we don’t need to know about, but sometimes we remember parts of our dreams that can be quite surprising!
3. What does it mean when you dream about someone you like from a distance?
If it’s someone you really fancy – like a crush – it could be that your subconscious is so full of your daydreams about that gorgeous person, that your dreams are bound to be full of them!
A lot of our dreams are full of images of what we want to happen in real life. They are called ‘wish-fulfilment’ dreams. So if your dream includes your crush asking you for a date, kissing you or the two of you out on the town together – that is definitely a ‘wish-fulfilment’ dream!
On the other hand, if you dream of them with someone else, this doesn’t mean that you’re ‘destined’ not to be together – it could just be a reflection of your uncertainty. So don’t let it put you off getting to know your crush better!
4. What does it mean when you dream about someone you love?
If you dream about being separated by an event, like you’re swimming together in a natural pool by a waterfall and suddenly your partner starts floating away down-river, this could show your anxiety that you are drifting apart in real life.
Maybe your subconscious is giving you a nudge to talk to your partner about not over-working, and making sure you nurture your relationship. You could both look at how you spend your time and whether you’re neglecting the most important thing in your life – your loving relationship.
5. What does it mean when you dream about someone who has died?
These dreams often come from the memories you have of spending time with a loved one. Your subconscious may re-play happy memories whilst you’re asleep and these can be very comforting.
Some people believe the person they’ve lost visits them via a dream to reassure them that they are still in existence somewhere in the universe. These beliefs and similar dreams are very good for helping us come to terms with our loss and feel reassured the loved one is part of the natural flow of life and death.
6. What does it mean when you dream about someone in a sexy situation?
You don’t mind when you’re dreaming about your partner, a crush you’re hoping to date or a famous celeb. That’s just your body feeling the need of some sexual relief and your mind choosing a partner from your ‘wish-fulfilment’ daydreams.
However, what if you have a sexy dream about someone totally inappropriate – who you don’t fancy in the slightest? Don’t worry, this happens because of the swirl of daytime thoughts and feelings your brain is processing and ‘filing away’.
Sometimes, the images get all jumbled up together and that’s why we’re occasionally horrified by our ‘sex-partner’ when we wake up from a sexy dream! Forget it – it doesn’t have to mean anything!
7. What does it mean when you dream about someone dying?
Well, sometimes it means that you’re anxious about a love-rival, or you just plain hate your boss! Dreaming about someone dying does not mean they are going to die soon in real life, so don’t panic if it’s someone you love.
It could just mean you’re going through a difficult time in your life and worrying about having to cope alone.
8. What does it mean when you dream about someone famous?
Dreaming about famous sports’ stars or athletes is something sport fans and amateur players do all the time. You may have a special interest in having a sporting career and hope to emulate their success. Or you may be totally out of shape and spend your days daydreaming about being fit and healthy!
These are ‘wish-fulfilment’ dreams and lots of women and men dream about living the luxurious life of their favourite celebrity. If you’re a person with the drive and intelligence to improve your career prospects, these dreams encourage you to keep on working towards your own ‘dream future’.
They are the subconscious telling you that you can achieve your goals, so enjoy the memory of any dreams about being a success and make sure you start making those dreams come true!