Hi Marshall -
Your dream seems to indicate that there are masculine qualities about your old girlfriend that you are not fully comfortable with, and wish were different. Perhaps this is a reason why she is an “old” girlfriend. Was there something about her, aside from the physical distance between you both, that prevented you from becoming closer?
If so, you may not be able to do anything about it. You may have to accept that you love 90% of her but are not crazy about this other aspect of her personality. If these are good enough percentages for you (and remember - all relationships involve compromise), you two most likely can have a future together. If you decide you want to put effort into the relationship, I suggest you tell her your feelings, as your dream suggests, as delicately as you can (and as humorously, I might suggest) and bring this masculine/feminine question into the open. Otherwise it will continue to be an unspoken dissatisfaction between you and her that will impede your communication in the relationship. In the process you most likely will find that she too holds some reservations about your compatibility together. This type of “processing” is a routine aspect of healthy relationships. If you feel that this other aspect repels you or otherwise drives you away, at least your dream helped you identify what it is about her that makes you want to keep looking - and helps explain why you two are not together today. The fact that you usually dream of her only in a “passing sense” — where she is not the subject of your dreams but rather a “minor sidebar” — seems to indicate that subconsciously you have already made up your mind about her - that she is not “the one” for you. The fact that the dream takes place in the penthouse of her building also suggests that this is a fairly high level assessment of the relationship that you are performing in the dream. Perhaps you have not been able to put your finger on what it is about her that has prevented you two from working out - and this dream is showing you the reason.