old flame

Hi Ryan -

I think you are right that this dream concerns your old classmate and co-worker - who you write you have been infatuated with for a couple of years. I think the dream reflects both your desires to be with this woman - and some of the barriers between you both.

The dream clues you in to the identity of this woman by setting the dream back in time with a specific date. The class you attend is being taught by a teacher you had your junior year in high school - which is also the last year you saw the girl you still are infatuated with. Although the dream is set back in time, the future is alluded to. You can do the classwork by hand or by using a “memory chip on my mind, like something talked about when products of the future are discussed.” Take a second look at this sentence. Who is the “memory chip” on your mind? Is it your memory of this girl? What “product of the future” are you alluding to? Is it your future with this girl? Will you two be together?

The next part of the dream appears to reflect a fantasy you have of marrying this girl. You are paired up with this woman to perform a blood test - which also is required in real life prior to a wedding ceremony. As you walk you are focused on this girl’s hair - which is curled in a circle around her face. What else can you think of that is gold and circular? A wedding ring, perhaps?

Next you are escorting her formally, as if you are at a ball or something. Can you think of another situation where a woman is escorted by a man? Also at a wedding. And she is smoking and talking - the environment appears to be social.

But alas, you come to an escalator, and your dream girl abruptly departs! Believe it or not, escalators in dreams - like climbing stairs - are common metaphors for sex. For some reason the activity of climbing the stairs, and the angle of the stairways - reminds us of sex. You haven’t had sex with this woman yet - though I’m sure - naturally - you’ve thought about it. But the dream shows that this is not a part of your relationship.

At this point your dream girl leaves and “goes down an aisle” (wedding aisle?) that has metal cases “like you see in jewelery shops and perfume stores.” I suggest to you that jewelery and perfume both are symbols which represent feminine “secrets” that currently are locked away from you. Then, of course, the big clue arrives. Lying on top of one of the jewelery cases you find a wedding dress - not traditional - but you still recognize it as a wedding dress. And then you wake up.

You have already told us that you think a lot about this girl - (“I still think about her everyday”). Your dream shows that you also think a lot of her - enough, for example, to think of marrying her. She obviously impressed you very much. But what impresses me about your relationship with this woman is that - in reality - you actually don’t know her very well. You two know each other somewhat, but you never dated, much less got close enough to reasonably consider marriage. What’s more - two years have passed since you last saw each other - I presume without contact.

The danger we all face with allowing fantasy into our lives is that it can begin to substitute for real life in the real world. In fact, one reason why this woman actually is an ideal target for fantasy (for you) is because you don’t know her very well. You don’t have a lot of real life experience with her to contradict your imaginations. It is natural and healthy to be able to look forward and imagine a relationship with another person. It is wise, however, to keep one’s enthusiasm (and fantasies) in check - because the truth is - as we learn in our relationships with men and women alike - it really takes a long time to get to know someone - even when you are actively dating them.

You write that one part of you hopes this dream is a message to go find her - while another part is skeptical. It’s normal for us to hold certain people who made a strong impression on us in an idealized light. Your gut instinct, on the other hand, appears to be encouraging you to move past this “dream girl.” I agree with your gut. Why settle for fantasy when you can have the real thing in the real world? She’s out there. Look for her in your future. She’ll be a lucky girl when you find her, and you’ll be a lucky guy when she finds you.

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