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What does it mean when you dream about someone repeatedly in one night?

It’s common to have dreams about people you know or even strangers. But when you have multiple dreams about the same person in one night, it can feel significant. Dreams are highly personal and symbolic, but there are some common interpretations about what it might mean when you dream of someone repeatedly.

Quick Answers

You’re processing your feelings about the person

Repeated dreams often represent processing emotions or an unresolved issue with the person. Your subconscious is working through your feelings about them.

You have them on your mind

You’re more likely to dream about people who you interacted with or thought about during the day. Multiple dreams can indicate they’re on your mind.

You want to connect with them

Dreams can reveal a desire to strengthen your bond with the person. Repeated dreams may reflect hoping to get closer to them.

The dreams symbolize something else

The person represents something else, like a trait or situation. Look for symbolism to find the deeper meaning.

Your intuition is speaking to you

Pay attention to any messages, warnings, or important insights about the person or situation. Dreams can tap into our intuition.

Common Dream Theories

Psychoanalytic Theory

The psychoanalytic theory proposes dreams represent unconscious desires, fears, and motivations. According to Sigmund Freud, dreaming repeatedly about someone may signify an unfulfilled wish regarding the person. Or it may mean you harbor unconscious feelings for them. Psychoanalysis holds that dreams use symbols to disguise taboo wishes and protect sleep.

Activation-Synthesis Theory

The activation-synthesis theory views dreaming as a biological process. Scientists believe the brainstem activates memories and thoughts while the forebrain synthesizes them into dreams. This supports dreams about recent events or people on your mind. If you thought a lot about someone that day, you may dream of them that night since their memory was activated.

Threat Simulation Theory

Threat simulation theory suggests dreams evolved to simulate threats and rehearse survival tactics. Dreaming of someone repeatedly could indicate you perceive them as a threat at some level. Your unconscious is processing potential threats related to the person as a survival strategy.

Information Processing Theory

As an information processing system, your brain integrates memories during dreaming. According to this theory, repeated dreams reflect consolidating information related to the person. Your brain may be sorting through your experiences with them, problem-solving, or unsuccessfully processing an upsetting interaction.

Emotional Processing Theory

This theory proposes dreams regulate mood and process emotions at a neurological level. Your amygdala and hippocampus store emotional memories and process them during REM sleep. If you feel unresolved emotion about a person, whether positive or negative, your brain may process those feelings through dreams.

What does it mean for different relationships?

Dreaming of a romantic interest

Dreaming repeatedly about a crush or someone you’re attracted to often reveals a desire to be with them. Your unconscious is expressing romantic interest or unresolved feelings. Sexual dreams may represent wanting more intimacy. If dating them, it may indicate wanting the relationship to progress.

Dreaming of a family member

Family relationships can be complicated, so dreaming of them repeatedly likely means you’re sorting through issues. You may be working through emotions about changes in the family dynamic or how to improve the relationship. Past issues impacting your bond may also resurface.

Dreaming of a friend

With friends, recurring dreams can suggest wanting to become closer friends or fears over losing the friendship. You may long for more quality time together or feel you’re drifting apart. It can also reveal you admire a trait of theirs or learned an important life lesson from them.

Dreaming of a co-worker

Co-workers often populate work-related dreams. Dreaming of them repeatedly can indicate a preoccupation with your job or issues at work relating to them. For a difficult co-worker, it may signify stress between you or wishing to avoid them. For one you like, it may mean wanting to socialize outside work.

Dreaming of someone you don’t like

If you have negative feelings about someone, dreaming of them often represents those feelings – anger, disappointment, hurt, etc. Your mind is focused on resolving problems with the person. You may feel they don’t understand your side, so your dreams compensate for the lack of closure.

Dreaming of someone you don’t know

Strangers in dreams rarely represent themselves. They likely symbolize someone or something else entirely. For example, an authoritative woman could represent your boss or a mentor. Consider the qualities, behaviors and feelings associated with the stranger to determine what they may represent.

What do common dream symbols and scenarios mean?

Dream Symbol or Scenario Possible Meaning
Being unable to reach the person Feeling unable to connect with them or get their attention in waking life
Trying to escape from the person Wanting to avoid them or feeling trapped in the relationship
Searching for the person Longing for more closeness in your relationship with them
Person saying something important Needing to hear something from them or say something to them
Person appearing differently than in life Perceiving a different side of them or seeing them in a new light
Person dying or leaving Fear of losing them or the relationship ending
Romantic scenarios Desire for emotional or physical intimacy with them
Aggressive scenarios Feeling anger, resentment or rivalry toward them

Tips for Interpretation

Consider the mood and quality of the dreams

Pay attention to associated feelings – are the dreams positive, negative, or neutral? This provides clues to your waking emotions about the person. Anxious, angry dreams suggest conflicted feelings, while happy, romantic dreams reveal affection.

Think about the person’s role in the dreams

Look at their behavior, how they interact with you, and their significance. The role they play can reveal how you perceive the actual person and your relationship dynamics.

Reflect on situations happening in your life

Dreaming is strongly tied to your emotional state and what occupies your mind. Connect the dreams to interpersonal issues, goals, or concerns you have about the person.

Analyze dream symbols and details

Beyond the literal content, dreams communicate symbolically. Find hidden meanings about the person or relationship by looking up dream symbols and using your intuition.

Consider what makes the person stand out

Something about them is important to you, enough to spur repeat dreams. Identify special, memorable or unresolved aspects of your connection.

How to Make the Dreams Stop

Process your thoughts and feelings

Spend time reflecting on the person and relationship. Journal, talk to a friend, or speak directly to the person about your concerns. Address the underlying issue fueling the dreams.

Limit stimulating input before bed

Avoid engaging, upsetting conversations or activities related to the person before sleep. This can influence your dreaming mind. Unwind early and limit screen time.

Get proper sleep

Prioritize a consistent sleep routine and wind-down rituals. Being sleep deprived makes it harder to control dream content and recalls. Aim for 7-9 hours nightly.

Distract your mind at bedtime

Redirect your thoughts if ruminating on the person. Meditate, read fiction, or do light stretches to relax your body and mind before bed.

Try dream reprogramming techniques

Strategies like dream rehearsal and lucid dreaming allow you to influence dream plots. Visualize positive scenarios with the person or become aware mid-dream to alter it.

Be open to messages from dreams

While you may want the dreams to stop, consider first listening to any guidance they offer. Dreams can reveal insights to utilize or issues needing resolution.

When to Seek Help

Recurring dreams are rarely a cause for concern on their own. However, consult a mental health professional if dreams severely disrupt sleep or reflect deeper issues like:

  • Trauma or abuse involving the person
  • Feelings of detachment, depersonalization, or losing control
  • Intense violence or aggression in dreams
  • Severe anxiety or depressive symptoms

Getting help processing traumatic memories, managing stress, and improving sleep habits can help resolve disturbing, repetitive dreams.


Dreaming repeatedly about someone can feel unsettling but often carries an important message about your emotions, beliefs, or desires involving the person or relationship. With self-reflection and dream interpretation, recurring dreams can provide valuable insights. If dreams persist disruptively, don’t hesitate to seek outside support. But in general, view repetitive dreams as your unconscious mind’s attempt to process your waking life and concerns.