Your Dream/Date Decoder Guide

Could the answers to your love-life issues be hidden in your dreams? We asked an expert to share some of the most common recurring symbols and themes people dream about and decode them for you here.

By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

an Mr. Sandman help find your dream date? Actually, the signs you get while you're sleeping can tell you a lot about the state of your non-REM romantic prospects.

"Dreams can give you messages to keep you physically healthy, warn you when you are at emotional risk, support you during personal crises and forecast future outcomes," says Jane Simington, Ph.D., a prominent therapist, dream interpreter, author of
The trick is to remember those dreams upon waking.
Setting the Captive Free and founder of "By understanding the symbolism being portrayed in your dreams, you can gain an uncensored view of your feelings, a deeper insight into yourself and achieve a more balanced perspective on life and relationship issues." The challenge lies in understanding the messages being presented by your subconscious. When we dream, the rules of spoken language and clarity do not apply. Dreams are a function of the brain's right hemisphere, where the "language" is not oral — rather, it's emotional and symbolic. That's why it's wise to seek out the snooze clues instead of taking your dreams literally.

You are getting very dreamy…
As long as you're getting enough sleep, chances are, you dream every night. The trick is to remember those dreams upon waking. If you can't recall your dreams, interpreting them is obviously going to be a challenge. On that note, before diving into your own dream-date decoding, here are some ways that Dr. Simington suggests people can gain more dream awareness overall:
  • Accept and value each dream. Dreams love to be wooed, so journal about them, chat about them with others…this helps the left brain make sense of the right brain's symbolic messages.
  • Spend time looking up the symbols. The more interest you take in your dreams, the more your "awake" self will start to remember them.
  • When you share a dream, go for the theme. Try to encapsulate the essence of a dream you've had in one sentence. It will help you clarify it.
  • Practice "dream recall." Before you go to sleep each night, make a commitment to remember a dream the next morning. Just telling yourself you'll remember will help you do so.
  • Ask for an answer. Asking a specific question before bed will increase the chances that an answer will come to you in your dreams — likely within the next three nights.
Once you begin accurately remembering your dreams, you can start unraveling the sleep-state symbolism!

Dream schemes and themes
Dreams often come in three distinct parts, according to Dr. Simington: "The first part of the dream relates to the past. This is the circumstance that created the event being presented in the middle part of the dream. The third part of the dream can be interpreted as what the future holds if you continue to do as you witnessed in the midsection of the dream."

With that in mind, it's useful to recognize some of the various types of dreams that could relate to your love life:
  • Nightmares. Nightmares can occur when you refuse to accept a current life situation that needs to be adjusted, such as being involved in a rocky relationship. This type of dream indicates a fear that must be acknowledged and confronted.
  • Recurring dreams. Dreams that you experience repeatedly with little variation are attempting to have you pay attention to a situation that needs to be resolved. Once the situation is resolved, the recurring dreams will cease.
  • Prophetic dreams. Prophetic dreams are dreams that seemingly foretell the future. Of course, these dreams may not actually come true. If you don't like the dream's outcome, change your energy and you may be able to alter how a real-world situation manifests itself.
  • Mutual dreams. Mutual dreaming happens when two people have the same dream. This indicates that a very strong bond exists in their relationship. "Twice I have heard about both partners in a relationship seeing themselves together at their marriage ceremony, so it would be nice to suggest that mutual dreams could indicate soul mates or past-life connections," says Dr. Simington.
Your dream symbols — decoded
Now that you have your dream basics down, it's time to start decoding. Here, Dr. Simington helps daters understand some popular symbols that could be directly related to love, relationships, commitment and all those other things you might be dreaming of:

1) Chasing. Chase dreams are common when people feel unsafe or insecure in a relationship. These feelings provoke anxiety, and the flight/flee response is instinctive to
Falling dreams are common when you do not feel secure in a relationship
such a threat. In these types of dreams you may be pursued by the person in your relationship or by an animal. If you ponder the animal carefully, you may find that its characteristics in many ways might represent the person in your relationship that you really need to get away from. Pay attention to your actions in the dream, because they can guide you; if you are running to avoid something instead of confronting it, you may wish to alter your behavior in real life.

2) Falling. Falling dreams are common when you do not feel secure in a relationship, or when you have lost your foothold in life and are unable to maintain the status quo.

3) Bedroom. Finding yourself in the bedroom — either alone or with a partner — is usually a good sign; the bedroom is a place where you can safely be as sensual as you like.

4) Color. Certain colors are very much associated with love and relationships when they appear in dreams. Orange is the color that's associated with anything sexual. Blue can represent devotion, loyalty and openness (to see a partner dressed in blue in a dream can indicate that person represents these qualities). Pink represents love, affection, and the state of being in love.

5) Anger. To dream that you're angry may indicate a feeling you have presently or serve as foreshadowing that your loved one will let you down and disappoint you.

6) Betrayal. To dream that you have been betrayed represents your suspicions about a particular person, relationship or situation.

7) Hunger. Dream-state hunger pangs may signify that you're starving for real love, better sex, or acknowledgement.

8) Love. To dream of being in love implies happiness and contentment with your relationship.

9) Hair loss. Hair loss can be a strong indication of losing or giving up your power in your current relationship. This is actually a very common dream for women to have just before they get married if they are wondering how they can maintain their personal identity and still be in a relationship.

10) Losing teeth. This is another common symbol when people are dating — especially for women who feel they have to be someone else in order to stay in their current relationship. This kind of dream can symbolize losing or giving up your individuality and wisdom to someone else (think: "wisdom teeth").

11) A key or locket. Receiving or seeing a key, locket or any treasured item/keepsake can be a positive sign of love and commitment.

12) Museum or antique shop. Seeing yourself with someone in either of these places can indicate you have been with this person before in a past life. Check what else is going on in the dream: Was it good then, or not? Do you want to do that over, or not? Think about it before continuing your relationship in the present day.

13) Wreath. Wearing a wreath can be a sign of an upcoming celebration… perhaps a wedding, even!

14) Bull. A bull in your dreams can represent sexual passion.

15) Cat. A cat is usually indicative of feminine sexual energy.

16) Rabbit. While people usually think of rabbits indicating rampant proliferation, in dreams, bunnies are actually more likely to be a symbol of infertility.

17) Ring. A ring usually signifies the binding of relationships: union, promise, eternity and something that never ends.

18) Rope. A rope being tied in a dream can be a positive sign, like "tying the knot" — or it can be negative, such as being bound or encircled in a noose. Look at the other circumstances in your dream to get a better idea of which end of the spectrum your rope dream represents.

19) Kissing. Dreaming about kissing someone can indicate that you're accepting (or being accepted by) that person. It can also symbolize your subconscious awareness that a good thing is happening and offer acceptance of that, so think of it as sealing a pact.

20) A flaming heart, a white bird, or being offered a vase or pitcher. OK, we realize these may not seem to go together at all, but all three of these symbols indicate devotion. So if you find yourself dreaming of any or all of these items, it could mean real affection is present in your world. Lucky you!

Kimberly Dawn Neumann ( is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Women's Health, Marie Claire, Maxim and more. A frequent online contributor for's Happen magazine, she's also the author of The Real Reasons Men Commit and Sex Comes First as well as the founder of She dreams a lot…whether she's asleep or awake.
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