If you are currently in a romantic relationship, it is normal to have bad dreams about your partner every once in a while.
In most cases, returning bad dreams about your partner come from repressed emotions that you are still subconsciously grappling with. You have difficulty trusting your partner, not due to something they have done, but due to something you have experienced in the past.
By putting those bad experiences behind you, your anxiety toward your current partner should decrease, and bad dreams should stop.
Oftentimes, you may have bad dreams about your partner which can make you question your sense of security and trust in the relationship. Perhaps, you may even be wondering the reason behind having that kind of dream in the first place.
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Be it a dream about your boyfriend or girlfriend with a general sad theme, or a dream about his or her infidelity, it can have a lingering effect on how you interact with your partner upon waking up.
Lingering negative emotions, if not properly addressed by couples, can pose detrimental effects on the relationship in the long run.
Does having a dream about your partner bear a significant effect on the way you interact with them in real life?
The answer is yes.
In fact, a study published in The Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science revealed that having dreams about your partner may influence the way you treat them the next day.
In this study, students at Stony Brook University who were in or had been in at least six months of relationships were asked to participate. The researchers asked them to keep and maintain two records; a daily dream diary, and a daily record of how they interact with their partner.
Further, they were tasked to immediately write down their dream upon waking up to recall as many details about the dream as possible. The study was conducted for 2 consecutive weeks.
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Data such as intimacy and affection level towards their partners, general interactions, as well as arguments and conflicts everyday were also taken into account.
The study collected a total of 842 dreams from 61 participants, wherein 53 participants recorded at least one dream about their partner or spouse.
Upon gathering all of the necessary data, they then rated the dreams. They judged each dream on whether or not it involved their partners.
They also judged the dream based on its specific details, such as having arguments or conflicts in the dream, or if the dream was about the partner cheating.
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- The frequency of dreams about your partner is associated with having more interaction with the partner the next day.
The general findings of the research is that there is more next day’s interaction with the partner depending on the frequency of having dreams that include their partner.
- Feeling jealous or having conflict with your partner in the dream can lead to actual conflict the following day.
The research revealed that there were two dream variables that may predictably lead to conflict on the following day; feeling jealous in the dream and having conflicts with the partner in the dream.
This can be due to the fact that feelings of jealousy and mistrust after having a dream about infidelity cannot be easily shrugged off when a person wakes up.
- Dreaming about your partner’s infidelity can lead to less intimacy and interaction with the partner the next day.
It was also revealed that those who had dreams about their partner cheating showed less intimacy with their partner on the following day. The variables were correlated unidirectionally, and it was the dreamed emotion that resulted in the quality of the next day’s interaction.
Typically, these negative emotions tend to linger throughout the day, which can make you seem on the edge and easily triggered, as well as emotionally detached from your partner.
The best thing to do whenever this happens is to objectively assess your emotions and to bear in mind that you feel bad because of the dream and not because of your partner.
- Having dreams of general emotions about your partner such as sadness do not directly relate to interactions with the partner the next day.
Having dreams where you feel general emotions of sadness about your partner was shown to not have any relationship at all to how you may interact with your partner the next day.
This may be due to the fact that feeling general emotions can be easy to move on from or forget as soon as you wake up, although it can vary from person to person.
- Having dreams about a partner’s infidelity does not make them guilty of it, rather, it is an indication of underlying anxiety and insecurity in the relationship.
Dreams about a partner’s infidelity or relationship conflicts, contrary to what your intuition may initially tell you, do not necessarily mean that your partner is guilty of it.
Dreams like this one are often a result of underlying anxiety or insecurity you personally have in the relationship.
This means that the more you are afraid of losing your significant other, the more likely you are to have this kind of dream. This is why it is important to remember that they are mere products of your own subconscious thoughts, and are entirely separate from real life.
Having bad dreams about your significant other is an occasional occurrence in any romantic relationship. It is important to take note that having bad dreams involving your partner is not to be taken at face value, nor is it to be considered a bad omen for the relationship.
However, it could be an indicator of an underlying concern that must be properly addressed in order to properly sustain the relationship. After all, dreams have been scientifically proven to affect your daily mood and interactions, as revealed by the study mentioned in this article.
Having bad dreams is sure to trigger underlying fears in real life, which is why it is essential to process these underlying emotions and discuss the details of the dream with your partner to better make sense of what it means and what is the most logical thing to do about it.
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Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.