Dreams act as a screen on which our true feelings for others can be revealed. Even if we tend to think of ourselves as solitary in temperament, dreams are always ready to show us differently. Awakening our senses to feelings we never knew existed.
We may not be immediately aware that a particular dream is focusing on a relationship. Often the dream will couch the theme in symbolic terms: money may indicate that the dreamer feels enslaved financially; or even emotionally, to his or her partner, or a member of the family; A ticking clock may suggest that something important or ominous will happen in a relationship. You make a phone call; you find you cannot get through to the person you are calling. In waking life, this might indicate that you are experiencing difficulties communicating to someone. Or they just cannot hear you and what you are trying to say to them.
Anger so often repressed during the day, can often manifest itself by exploding in a dream symbolically; Dams of water burst, or buildings explode in flames. Frustrations are often expressed through dreams about missing trains or buses; or a long and fruitless search for a missing item. Any dream about a never-ending task or where the dreamer feels impotent to control events around him/her; suggests an underlying anxiety about some aspect of everyday life. For example, a dreamer may find themselves feeling helpless, as dreadful things happen to friends or loved ones; or they may be faced with a desk piled high with an impossible amount of work.
We often wake up from dreams with a greater sense of the powerful feelings we have experienced; then of the narrative, landscape or even the people of our dreams. In many cases, the violent emotions of our dreams – fear, frustration, anger, envy; are expressions of the feelings we often repress during the day. There can be many reasons for this. Feelings of inadequacy, or out of politeness. So say for instance, after a bad day at work; you dream of attacking one of your colleagues. It does not necessarily mean that you wish to do them harm; but simply as a means of expressing your frustration.
In dreams about family, the symbolism tends to be more literal. If you dream that you are a child again, this may signify that you feel unable to break free from parental ties, or that you are particularly dependent upon one parent. Dreams about our own children tend to be anxious. New parents often dream of losing their babies in a crowd or accidentally smothering them. These are not messages that we are bad parents, merely indications of our anxieties. For example; can we face the responsibilities of parenthood? Do we deserve the privileged charge that has been laid upon our shoulders?
Romantic dreams may reflect a dreamers dissatisfaction with the state of his or her love life. Sometimes we dream about current relationships, which then become distorted by the dream. Perhaps to help us explore the relationship from another perspective. Strangers may appear to represent a particular characteristic of your partner that the dream is encouraging you to examine more closely.
Optimistic or happy dreams often occur when we are at our most stressed. It is the mind’s way of compensating for the trials and pressures of every day life. In extreme circumstances they can sustain hope during periods of bleak depression. Many survivors of the Nazi concentration camps of the Second World War reported that they experienced intensely happy dreams, filled with colour, images of their families, plentiful food and luxurious surroundings, all of which contrasted sharply with the conditions they lived in under the Third Reich.
Dreams will often highlight our own deep-felt insecurities about a partner’s behaviour. For example, if we see a feather on the air escaping our grasp every time we reach for it. This may be illustrating that we need more affection in the relationship. By carefully interpreting the messages of relationship dreams, we can tackle and solve the problems that they raise, and at the same time build on the positive aspects of the relationship through self understanding.