Our dreams frequently tap into our stores of memories, employing the images of people and places we have known to help us navigate uncertain circumstances in our current lives. An old high school acquaintance is a good example from today’s dream:
I am back in the dating scene again after many years. I even signed up with an online dating service. I created a true but flattering profile and began to get responses right away.
Then I dreamed that I was laughing and kind of awkwardly flirting with “Jim,” a man I met on the dating service who is several years younger than I am. We were walking along and holding hands tight, but it was uncomfortable. Then we saw an announcement for a high school reunion for the class of 1988. I scoffed at how old those people were before I realized that it was my class! I graduated in 1988! Just then, a guy I knew in high school, “Bill,” raced up next to us in a fast car and screeched to a stop. He wanted me to leave Jim and get in the car with him, and I was torn between the two. His car stalled and he couldn’t go anywhere. And when I turned to look, Jim was gone too! I was flustered and unhappy at being left alone.
By the way, “Bill” is someone I actually knew in high school. I thought he was cute, but he scared me a little. He asked me out a couple of times, but even though I was attracted to him, I thought he was too wild for me.
Your dream has taken you down memory lane to a time when you were first in the dating scene. But it reflects your current situation in a couple of ways: First, you mention that you created a “true but flattering” profile of yourself on the dating service. The profile drew responses, perhaps of younger men who no doubt think you are younger too. In your dream, Jim is several years younger than you are. When you and Jim hold hands, it’s forced, “tight,” and uncomfortable. The suggestion is that you may be trying too hard, holding on too tight, to a younger, more flattering version of yourself.
It’s no accident that your dream selected Bill to draw your attention to feelings you had back then: Running with the young and reckless can be dangerous and frightening! Your instincts steered you clear back then, and are doing the same now.
Finally, when Bill appears in a fast car, trying to lure you away, he stalls out and cannot go anywhere. This is another metaphor for the mindset of being stuck in the past. When choosing between these options you are left in the lurch, Dear Dreamer, frustrated and unhappy at being alone.
It’s better to approach dating as your “new” grown up self than to try so hard to be young again.
Sweet Dreams to You!
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