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Relationships Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.


I dated a guy a few times and it didn't work out. I have tried to re-establish contact on a few occasions to no avail. Each time I get to the point of giving up altogether, I have a dream that we are together...intimately. What is this about?


There are two parts to this question. One has to do with the meaning of dream and the other has to do with the difficulty you seem to have giving up on a relationship that has ended.

Dreams serve several purposes. First, they serve to preserve the sleep state. We dream of a telephone ringing and then awaken to the phone ringing. The dream incorporates the reality in order to help us continue to sleep. Second, the dream can express some form of wish fulfillment. Often we dream of things we wished would have happened or we would like to have happen. Third, the dream can express what psychologists call "day residue." That is, it becomes a conglomeration of events that occurred during the course of the day that we have not completely absorbed into our conscious mind. And fourth, the dreams can express feelings that we might find unacceptable in conscious life. Dreams are often expressed in symbols, which need to be interpreted in the context of an individual's life. That's why psychoanalytically oriented practitioners use free associations to uncover the meaning of dreams, Gestalt therapists use role playing to the different aspects of the dreams, and Jungians look for archetypes (universal symbols) in addition to the symbols relevant to each individual dreamer.

It is difficult to interpret a dream without having more information about the dreamer and the overall context in which the dream occurred. Given that caveat, your dream may represent an attempt to complete that which you would like to have occurred in reality. Perhaps you have either a sexual desire to be with this man or a desire to use sexuality as way of seducing him back into a relationship with you. For some reason you are incomplete with him. I wonder whether you could look into yourself to see what the ending of this relationship or the manner in which it ended represented to you. The meaning of dream lies within the dreamer.


Dr. Edward A. Dreyfus is a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage, Family, Child Therapist, and Sex Therapist. Dr. Dreyfus has been providing psychological services in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 30 years. He offers individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, divorce mediation, couples counseling, group therapy, and career and vocational counseling and assessment.His book, Someone Right For You, is available in the Amazing Bookstore Catalog.

Dr. Dreyfus can be reached at: (310) 208-5700.


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