This week's dream submission is from 26-year-old Alex. He keeps having sex dreams about his ex-girlfriend with other men:
Broke up with my ex over a year ago, but had still been hooking up pretty much monthly since then. She even cheated on a boyfriend with me for some time (four to five months). She used to tell me about this guy or that one seemingly to make me jealous. We recently stopped talking, thankfully. I keep having a dream where I repeatedly see her with other guys. Sometimes it's sexual, sometimes it's just out on dates. I know it is natural for her to move on, but I think i'm just projecting my fear of seeing her with other guys. Anyways, thanks for the help.
Here's Lauri's interpretation:
Your first sentence implies that you are the one who did the breaking up. But then, you continued to have sex with her. That not only sent mixed signals to her, it also sent them to your subconscious. Basically, you are saying, 'I'm done. Just kidding! OK, I'm mostly done.' So it's no wonder that now, when you are truly done, your subconscious is still attached... because it doesn't believe you. What really got my attention is when you say, 'I think I'm just projecting my fear of seeing her with other guys.' I believe that statement is 100 percent true. There is still an emotional attachment, and your dreams cannot move on until you move on.
Your dreams cannot move on until you move on.
The good news is that you can use your dreams to help you do that! Here's what you do (I promise this works): Write down your most recent dream of your ex. Include as much detail as you can remember, particularly the emotions and thoughts you had during the dream.
Change it up a bit. It's your dream. You created it, so you have every right to recreate it.
It's your dream. You created it, so you have every right to recreate it.
The idea is to change the outcome of the dream the way you would like it to end. I recommend being creative and writing out a scenario where the impact of seeing her with another guy is dwarfed by, I dunno, Gigi Hadid walking up and asking for your number.
Write out a confrontation. That means, at some point in your dream, you need to confront the ex and write out everything you would like to say to her. If you feel you owe her an apology, write it out. If you are mad at her, write out why and feel free to use curse words. Just get everything out of you and onto paper. Say goodbye. When you feel you have said everything you need to say, say goodbye. Let her know it's officially over, you are 100 percent done, seeing her with someone else is totally fine because life goes on, etc.
Get rid of it! Once it is all out of you and on paper — or on your PC, tablet or phone — get rid of it. Rip it out of your journal and throw it in the trash, or delete it. This is a symbolic gesture, and the subconscious communicates in symbols, so it will totally get the message. It is letting your subconscious know that YOU ARE DONE, once and for all. Your subconscious will respond by giving you a dream that confirms your done-ness or by not giving you dreams about her anymore. Basically, what you are doing is reprogramming your subconscious and getting it out of the loop it's stuck in.
Now, being a guy, you may not be super excited about this journaling exercise. But it works! This is actually a technique used by combat veterans to help them get over PTSD nightmares. So if those badasses can do it, you can, too.
I'm a writer, so OBVIOUSLY I'm a little biased here, but this activity sounds like fun to me.
Like, I seriously wish I had some sort of recurring nightmare I was trying to get rid of just so I could do this.
I hope this was a helpful tip to Alex or anyone else suffering from any sort of recurring dream that they don't want to have anymore. Try the exercise out, and let me know how it goes!
As always, if you have your own submission for our sex dream column, feel free to submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.