This Is What That Cheating Dream You Keep Having Actually Means
Sometimes, we blame our outlandish dreams on bad food — we’ve all used the “bad sushi” excuse — and that’s occasionally valid. Recurring dreams where we’re being chased by our boss’ dog, losing teeth, or cheating, however, seem like they have greater meaning.
Do they? Experts answer what it means if you have a dream about cheating, what it can do to your relationship, and how to check out what your other dreams could signify (page 6).
You’re not alone
Mattress professional Amerisleep set out to discover and analyze peoples’ most common dreams. Their study revealed that 59% of the 1,000 participants polled dreamed about sex and intimacy, while 23% specifically dreamt about cheating on their partner or being cheated on.
Thirty-one percent of the women polled dreamed about infidelity, while cheating didn’t make the top 15 on the men’s’ list.
Maybe you dreamt your significant other was cheating on you
For many dreamers, this is a common scenario: You wake up in a sweat, spend the day angry at your significant other, and often don’t even realize why until you recall they were unfaithful … in your dream.
A study found that 20% of women have dreamed about being cheated on, and multiple dream experts confirm that just because you have a vision of infidelity, nothing bad is usually ever actually happening in your relationship. “The dream is most common, ironically, when the relationship is going well,” therapist and mental health trainer Delphi Ellis told Mirror UK.
Or, you dreamt you were the one being unfaithful
Sometimes, we wake up feeling guilty rather than betrayed as a result of dreaming we were the cheater in the relationship. Whether you dream that you’ve become involved with a complete stranger or someone you know — your boss, your ex, or even an acquaintance — it usually doesn’t mean you’re actually interested in them romantically.
Usually, this dream reflects the abundant time and attention you are giving to something or someone else in your life that may be negatively affecting your romantic relationship. If you frequently dream you’re cheating, take time to reflect how you could better allocate your time to pay more attention to your partner.
Here’s the significance of the cheating dreams
It usually reflects your insecurity about the relationship, whether it be your partner’s communication or your view that they may be unfaithful. “Whilst it’s fair to say we receive messages from our subconscious on many levels, this dream usually suggests a fear a partner will cheat, rather than evidence they’re actually doing that,” Ellis said.
What if you’re the one having an affair in your dreams? Professional dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg believes it may reflect your “feelings of … guilt and self-betrayal. You have compromised your beliefs or integrity.” This doesn’t necessarily refer to your dating life — sometimes the dream reflects a situation where you were dishonest outside of your relationship.
How often do these dreams predict reality?
A University of Maryland study found that dreams about “bad relationship behavior,” like cheating, mainly just foster conflict and “reduced intimacy” after one of the partners had them, rather than represent real infidelity. Loewenberg confirmed that cheating dreams don’t necessarily mean that a relationship is doomed, however, it may “still point to some aspects of your relationship that need work.”
“If in doubt, put the elephant in the room and talk with your partner about it. If nothing is going on, they’ll gladly reassure you that you have nothing to worry about,” Ellis recommended.
There’s actually an easy way to check what your dreams mean
Loewenberg offers a convenient portal to check what the recurring dreams you’ve been obsessing over might mean. Visit her website, type in the subject of your dream, and Loewenberg offers what dreams on the topic usually represent.
For example, if you type ‘house’ into her search field, Loewenberg replies what a dream about your actual house or dream residence signifies. “It symbolizes you, your state of mind …. a mansion could symbolize your goals,” while a dream about your childhood home “can also represent a need to be carefree.”
Next: What it means if you rarely or never dream.
What if you don’t dream
First of all, it’s not that you don’t dream, but that you don’t remember your dreams. Lucky you, right? Not necessarily. Dreams occur in REM sleep, rapid eye movement sleep, the phase where your heart rate and blood pressure levels reach closest to the levels they are while you’re awake.
Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., conducted a study on REM dream loss. He found that “many of the health concerns attributed to sleep loss result from a silent epidemic of REM sleep deprivation,” meaning that your lack of dreams could indicate you and your sleep schedule aren’t as healthy as you think. Avoid aggravating activities and conversations before bed and consult a doctor if you’re concerned about your sleep patterns.
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