Even if you don’t always remember your dreams when you wake up, chances are you’re probably having them several times per night. Dreams are often based on things that may be on your mind during your waking hours—things you’re stressed or excited about, or emotional moments that happened during the day—and it’s easy to wonder what they mean or if your mind is trying to tell you something. So of course, dreaming about your crush or someone you’re in love with, even, can be super jarring and emosh.
Love is intense! You can have a major crush that lasts a week, or an unrequited love that lasts decades, but the overarching trait that all crushes seem to share is how intensely you think of them all the damn time. Like, it’s hard to even use the bathroom without them popping into your mind. IYKYK. So when you’re not re-reading the texts between you, swooning over the way they smell, or hyper-fixating on the way their mouth moves when they talk, you’re probably dreaming about them.
Processing emotions when you’re awake is hard enough, so trying to tackle what it means to dream about someone is A Lot. That’s why we saved you a few calls to your local psychic and asked some experts to shed light on why the person you think about every day has managed to slip into your sleeping mind. Here’s what they had to say.
What does it mean when I dream about my crush?
Dr. Elisa Robyn, PhD, who has expertise in astrology and dream interpretation, says dreams are often metaphors. “Think of them as ways a good friend is trying to help us but does not speak our language. So when we are dreaming about our current crush, we are working on our fears and hopes about the person.”
When we dream, our minds are exploring things we feel subconsciously but might not be fully aware of, consciously. So while it may be enticing to try and pick apart dreams about your crush to see if the universe is sending you a sign, in reality, dreaming about them is just your brain’s way of untangling your feelings. I’m not saying you should throw away your psychic’s number just yet, but it might be a good idea to examine your thoughts on your own first.
And the only way to really understand your feelings is to take them piece by piece. Licensed psychologist Dr. Robin Hornstein, PhD, likes to look at patients’ dreams by taking apart the elements of what they might be trying to say to themselves. Sometimes your dreams can even provide insight into things you want to try IRL (and maybe even with your crush). “It can be amazing to just riff with the dream and see where your body reacts or where your emotions start to show up,” Hornstein says.
But dreams about crushes can encompass almost anything. From embarrassing run-ins at the grocery store to kinky sex fantasies, people pretty much dream up their crushes in all different ways. “Dates in unusual places, being more dressed up than daily life calls for, or traveling with a crush are some pretty standard crush dreams,” says Hornstein.
Robyn organizes crush dreams into two different categories: the betrayal dream and the bonding dream. A betrayal dream is one where we’d see our crush doing something that would hurt us—humiliating us in public, falling in love with our arch-nemesis, turning us down at the altar… that sort of thing. A bonding dream, on the other hand, is just that—when we bond with our crush through a shared activity, whether it’s going on a date, having an honest conversation, or engaging in that kinky sex we talked about earlier. And we dream of all of these scenarios just because it’s one of the ways we process emotions.
“These are just our fears surfacing,” Robyn says. “So dreams are not always precognitive or predictive, they just surface our thoughts and concerns.”
What should I do if dreaming about my crush is just… too much?
First, breathe. If you’re like me, having a crush means obsessing over that person 24/7 and thinking about how cute and hot and fun they are all the time. So it’s no wonder they make appearances in your dreams!
If those dreams feel like a fun way to explore certain fantasies or scenarios you’re too nervous to try in real life, there’s nothing wrong with having them. But, “if it’s persistent and driving you nuts, talk to someone,” says Hornstein. A therapist or trusted friend can help you identify underlying issues or concerns you might be missing.
And if you’re feeling brave enough, Robyn says, “depending on the nature of the relationship, talking with your crush can be useful.” I know, even the thought of sharing your dreams about your crush with your crush can make you cringe, but it could end up helping you open up about your feelings once and for all and, potentially, even deepen your connection.
And if none of the above is resonating, consider starting a dream journal. When you wake up, your dreams might not feel too significant. But if you start journaling about them and reading them back, you might find patterns and points you missed before, giving you a clearer picture of why you’re having these dreams to begin with.
“I think no matter what, if it troubles you, you have to make sense of it,” says Hornstein. “And if it does not, just enjoy the ride, it will pass.” At the end of the day, your dreams are supposed to be your break from reality (even if they do help you process a few emotions along the way). Try not to worry about ~what it all means~ and find comfort in the fact that they’re probably not some great big signs from the universe, but rather, just a reflection of whatever’s going on around you IRL.