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What Does It Mean When You Dream About Someone: The Hidden Meanings of Your Dreams Explained

Dreams are great fun, but what’s more interesting is working out what they mean. What does it mean when you dream about someone? Keep reading to find out.

What Does it Mean When You Dream About Someone

Dreams are images and stories that occur in our minds during sleep. And since they are stories, different characters other than yourself can pop up now and then. It could be a family, a close friend you just went out with last weekend, a co-worker, a crush, or someone you know from long ago. 

Ready to find out why people show up in your dreams and find out those dream meanings? 

Let’s get started!

Why Do People Show Up in Dreams?

Dreams happen at any stage of the sleep cycle, but it is the most intense during rapid eye movement or REM sleep. Therefore, the dreams we remember tend to be those experienced during REM sleep.

Dreaming About Someone

And sleep experts have debated over the reasons why we dream. There are plenty of theories, including:

  • Incidental Brain Activity: It could simply be a byproduct of sleep with no meaning or essential purpose.
  • Instant Replay: The content of dreams could be a form of replay of recent events as your subconscious mind review and analyze such events.
  • Building Memory (Memory Consolidation): A vital cognitive function to strengthen your memory.
  • Mental Housekeeping: It could be your brain’s way of altering partial, erroneous, and unnecessary information. 
  • Processing Emotion: Dreaming could be the brain’s method to rehearse feelings to manage emotions better.

With all of that said, it’s safe to say that our dreams can be influenced by things preoccupying our daily life. That includes our feelings, experiences, object, settings, and the people we are familiar with.

Possible Reasons Why People Show Up in Your Dreams

Dreaming about a person represents many things, but it doesn’t always tell you that you are dreaming or missing that certain someone. 

Deciphering What a Person Represents in Your Dreams

  • Unresolved Issues: This one is a pretty typical scenario. If you’re worried about something you did, said, or didn’t do or say to someone or vice versa, that person could appear in your dreams. Hence, dreams can express your feelings toward that person in your conscious mind.
  • You’re Thinking About Them: If someone is always on your mind during your waking life, they likely also hold a place in your psyche even if you are asleep. 
  • Just a Symbol: In many instances, their character is a symbolism that represents an aspect of yourself, which may or may not be related to them. The dream interpretation about that particular person will depend on how they appeared in your dream, what they are doing, and how the dream has made you feel. 

Sleep Stories

Because dreams reflect what is happening in our waking lives and may represent situations we are currently in, trying to understand dream meanings can help us understand our own lives and those around us better. 

Related: What Spiders in Dreams Mean

Interpret Dreams: What Does It Mean When You Dream About Someone?

Dreaming about someone could be more personal than you might expect. However, more often than not, the people you see in your dreams are reflections of yourself, something you might be aware of or not. 

The first thing to understand about the hidden meaning of dreams is to avoid interpreting dreams literally. They are most often symbolic, and it usually takes some time and effort to figure out what they mean. 

Dream Interpretation

But here are a few specific dream scenarios that can help you understand why you dreamed about someone. 

When You Dream About Someone You Know

Dreaming about someone you know? Dream analyst and licensed psychotherapist Carder Scout explained that you’re not dreaming about that person. Instead, the character in your dream represents certain aspects of yourself

For example, you dream about one of your closest friends. What you can do is try thinking about their strongest or most prominent trait. If you admire your friend’s honesty, then you are likely dreaming about the honest side of yourself. 

When You Dream About Someone You Used to Know

Sometimes, you dream of people that are present in your day-to-day life. Other times, somebody from the past appears in your dreams. It could be a friend you haven’t talked to or even thought about in years. And that kind of dream can be baffling. So, why does it happen?

Learn to Interpret Dreams

As it turns out, this kind of dream is not very deep as you might expect. Although them appearing in your dream seems out of the blue, maybe: 

  • you saw that person earlier in the day or a couple of days prior. 
  • Or you could have seen something or someone that reminded you of them. 

These can happen without you realizing it, but the information is stored in your subconscious nonetheless. 

Dreaming of Someone You Don’t Know

What’s even creepier than dreaming of a person you used to know is dreaming about a stranger. But as bizarre as this kind of dream can be, people dream of strangers 50% of the time

These filler faces of people could resemble those you’ve seen throughout the day or friends you haven’t met yet. 

What do Dreams Mean

Some examples of dreaming about a stranger and their meanings:

  • Dream of being around people you don’t know: Dreaming of being surrounded by people you don’t know may mean that you need to claim your rights. If you’re hell-bent on pleasing other people before, it’s time to think a little bit about yourself. It has a hidden message telling you that it’s not selfish to put yourself first.
  • Dreaming about a stranger asking for help: This dream scenario is common for those feeling stressed and at a high anxiety peak. It’s usually a message that indicates you need to seek help, even if you don’t admit it. 
  • A dream about a handsome stranger: An older study pointed out that many strangers popping up in dreams are male. And if a handsome guy comes knocking in your dreams, it’s often related to love. This dream usually signifies something good is waiting for you around the corner. 

When You Dream About a Family Member

Family members are pretty common dreams as those faces are very familiar to you. But, instead of taking the dreams literally, the family member in your dream usually signifies a symbol. 

Family Dreams are Common Dreams

For instance:

  • If you dream about your mother, it can represent your nurturing side. 
  • If you dream of your father, it could represent your inner disciplinarian.

You can interpret the character according to the role the family member holds. Is it comfort? Or, it could be a steadiness. The critical question is, what do you associate with them?

When You Dream About Someone Famous

Sometimes, you wake up from a dream and give a sigh of relief, thanking the heavens it wasn’t anything real. But on the downside, your alarm can interrupt a dream-come-true late-night date with Chris Evans. What a bummer.

Famous Dreams

But what does a dream of someone famous mean? 

The hidden message is in the title of the song, lyrics, or the character you know that celebrity from. Your subconscious has identified something related to that person that applies to you or your daily life. 

Alternately, it could be intentional dreaming, which is a form of lucid dreaming. Perhaps you’ve binge-watched Captain America recently and haven’t gotten over Steve. No one would blame you. 

Dreaming About Someone You Used to Date

Who doesn’t want their dreams to be about unicorns and rainbows and all the good, sweet things in life? But, unfortunately, some dreams are frustrating, like when you dreamt about an ex

Dreaming of an Old Flame

And this dream can have multiple meanings, depending on what you associate with that past relationship. For instance:

  • Maybe you have something unresolved with your ex or some things you want to tell them but never did. 
  • Maybe you have insecurities about a new relationship. 
  • If you were cheated on before, maybe you’re afraid that the new person will do the same. 

Think about how you were or what you felt in that relationship and associate that with your present life. That ex-boyfriend or girlfriend usually represents a part of you that you continue to struggle with within your own life. 

When You Dream About Someone You Like

This type of dream is entirely natural. It’s not only you. We’ve all had it at some point. But this kind of dream doesn’t have a concrete interpretation but rather a specific motivation. For example, finding someone you fancy in your dream is often driven by your attachment to that person and how often you’ve thought of them in your waking time. 

Dreaming of your Crush

Dreaming of that girl or guy you like can be a recurring dream unless you can stop thinking about them. 

But instead of simply focusing on the face of the person in your dreams, understanding what happened in the dream can also help you interpret what it means.

  • Did you talk to each other? It could be that you’re talking about them too much or badly want to have a conversation with them, but you’re too shy to do it in person. Hence, your subconscious mind is trying to make up scenarios where you got the nerve to talk to the person you like
  • Did you hug? This usually signifies that you’re starting to feel at ease or comfortable in each other’s presence. 
  • Did you kiss? This kind of dream means a green light to approach or even woo the person you like. On the other side, it could also signify that you’ve been thinking about kissing them too much in real life that it’s projected in your dreams. 

When You Dream of Someone Dying

Dreaming of someone dying, especially someone you know, can be terrifying. But don’t freak out and avoid looking at it literally and unnecessarily, spooking yourself as, again, dreams are symbolic. 

Dreams provide a glimpse of your subconscious mind, and death represents the end of something or a significant change. For example, maybe you recently got engaged. Or, you suddenly got promoted at work. 

Dreams of Death

Also, take note of death-related recurring themes in your dream journal. It could be decoded as your desire to end something, not someone, in your life. On the other hand, it could be a job that doesn’t feel fulfilling anymore or a relationship that has gotten toxic. 

If you dream of someone no longer alive or recently lost, be patient with yourself as it’s ultimately about missing that person and hoping they are still part of your waking life.

When You Dream of Someone Pregnant

Just as death dreams symbolize the end of something, dreams of someone pregnant represent a new beginning. A dream analyst, Ally Mead, shared that pregnancy dreams symbolize creativity, but it depends on who was pregnant in the dream.

Dreaming of Babies

If the dream was about you being pregnant, you are probably dreaming of something exciting and creative. But if the pregnant person is someone else, it’s usually a sign that there is something that you haven’t done or remains unexpressed. 

When You Dream About Someone Chasing You

Dreams or nightmares that include someone chasing you can involve a lot of anxiety. Usually, that scary feeling remains even after you’ve woken from that dream. But the meaning behind it is not always bad. 

This kind of dream can illustrate parts of yourself you haven’t acknowledged or realized. In short, you’re running from a version of yourself that you shouldn’t be running from. 

When You’re Dreaming About Someone Cheating on You

Whether you are in a relationship or not, cheating dreams can be incredibly unsettling. Of course, it doesn’t always mean that your partner is having an affair with someone else. But it could be a sign that you’re feeling lonely, left out, or neglected by a partner, maybe because their time is dominated by their work, kids, or a number of things.

Sleep Tight and Dream Well

Although it’s rarely a sign of actual infidelity, it’s wise to consider this kind of dream as a red flag only because it will allow you to assess the relationships in your life. Maybe you and your partner had a huge misunderstanding you haven’t resolved yet, or the relationship has gotten stale. 

When You Dream About Cheating on Someone

Just as with dreams of someone cheating on you, dreaming of being unfaithful to someone doesn’t necessarily point to real infidelity or a desire to cheat in real life. This dream can denote dissatisfaction or that you don’t feel appreciated in your current relationship.

On the flip side, if you’re dreaming of cheating with multiple people simultaneously, it could mean confusion over your priorities or how you distribute your energies

When You Dream About Fighting with Someone

If you’re dreaming about yourself in a fight with someone, verbal or physical, it doesn’t imply that you’re aggressive. 

For example:

  • A dream about someone yelling at you in anger could mean that you’re feeling guilty about something. 
  • Physical altercations in dreams symbolize “beating yourself up” over a mistake or problem you have in your real life. 

In these types of dreams, paying attention to what’s being said will give you plenty of insight into what the dream is all about. Usually, they are something you’re saying to yourself. 

Combative Dreams

Figuring out what you’re angry about is essential, as well as finding a healthy way to release your emotions. Otherwise, your dreams may continue to nag you.

When You’re Dreaming About Someone Cutting Your Hair

This kind of dream sounds unusual, but a dream of someone cutting your hair isn’t uncommon. And it’s usually not related to wanting to get a makeover. 

Hair-related dreams, especially someone cutting it, often symbolize losing strength or control. It can be brought by intense emotions and stressful emotions, either in your personal or professional life. 

On the other side, it could also signify getting rid of dead ends and chopping off what isn’t needed before starting new. 

When You Dream About Riding in a Car with Someone

Vehicles or other modes of transportation (trains, planes, etc.) are common dream symbols. And they usually signify where you are going in your life. But the dream meaning can also vary depending on who you are with or who’s behind the wheel. 

Dreaming of a Drive

For instance: 

  • If it’s all about riding in a car with someone and you’re driving, it could mean that you are feeling in control of your life. 
  • If your dreams are of riding with the same person and they are driving the car, not you, it could be that you are feeling uneasy about where your life is heading.
  • Now, if you are in the backseat, perhaps you feel dependent on someone else to get to where you are or get what you want from life. 

When You Dream About Someone Breaking Into Your House

Dreaming of someone breaking into your house may be frightening, but the meaning behind it is not literal most of the time. The intruder in your dream is often a symbol of a part of yourself you deem unwanted or shameful trying to break into your consciousness. It represents something you’ve kept outside your awareness for a long time and now needs to be let in or acknowledged.

When You Dream About Marrying Someone

Wedding bells ringing in your dream seems so romantic. But the meaning depends on who you are tying the knot with. And it doesn’t necessarily imply that you want to get married to that person.

If you dream about marrying someone, think about their outstanding qualities. It usually signifies a quality you want or need to commit to. 

When You’re Dreaming of Someone Else Getting Married

What if someone else is getting married in your dreams and not you?

Other People's Nuptials

Although weddings are all about happiness and celebration, if you are not the lead character in the wedding dream, it symbolizes that you’ve taken a step back from something huge. It could be a situation or decision that’s giving you anxiety.

This kind of dream could also be you signaling to yourself that you should get involved or take action on your subconscious level. 

When You Dream About Getting Sexy Time with Someone

Like most dreams, a sex dream, whether you know the other person or not, is symbolic. Interpreting this kind of dream is simpler by breaking down the scenario and figuring out the energy or feelings you have, especially as to how the dream ends. 

Naughty Dreams

But of course, the characters in your dream also play a crucial role. For instance, if you have sexual dreams about someone you know, perhaps a friend. It doesn’t necessarily imply that you have the hots for that friend, but it could signal that you’re searching for attention from someone who makes you feel at ease. 

Meanwhile, if you dream of being intimate with a stranger, it could be that you’re not getting your needs met in your waking hours. 

Final Thoughts – What Does It Mean When You Dream About Someone?

Dreams can be a wide platter of emotions, needs, desires, and experiences in our everyday lives. And it’s important to remember that your dreams are about you and the pictures of other people in your dreams are most often symbolic. 

No matter who you dream about, they could simply reflect a part of you or your personality that you struggle with in real life. And discovering the meanings of dreams and what they represent can help you figure out what your subconscious is trying to tell you. 

What sort of people have you had feature in your dreams? Let us know in the comments below.