sweet 16

Hi Jenny—

It is a touching story of lost romance, and I do not wish in any measure to diminish the possibility that you and this man may indeed some day meet and have a relationship—and that you may be communicating through your dreams. If this is indeed the case, then your story is even more fantastic than it already appears. On the other hand, it is important to recognize several qualities about your relationship with this man, the first of which is that, in all the time you ever have known him, you have never even really spoken with him. Not as adults in real life, outside of your high school context. Because your love was unspoken, and because you two have not had communication in many, many years, this absence of communication may be what allows your hopes, and your imagination, to roam so freely. When a relationship is fantasy, it is easy for our dream lover to be “the perfect one”—the one who holds us just right, who always knows and anticipates our every need—because we do not have any real life evidence to contradict our imaginations.

What makes this relationship all the more frustrating is the absence of closure. Clearly you both shared a strong chemistry in your high school years, indicated by you being flustered every time he was near you, and by his driving to great lengths to try to meet you—to see you, to speak with you. But this kindled fire never was allowed to burn, and as often happens in life, people move on and make decisions according to their needs and circumstance. He got married, and began a family. You also moved on, but now the nagging question is, “What if?”

Given that this man is married, and started developing a family a long time ago, the obvious answer to your dilemma is to look elsewhere for love. The situation is complicated, and, as the history of your relationship shows—you really do not know him at all. What your dreams do reveal is that you want to find love very much—a love with chemistry and fire like you felt long ago. But I would hesitate from placing too much emphasis on this man’s appearance in your dreams. Rather than literally representing the real person, I believe he represents a thrilling type of love that you seek to find in your life.

It is an important part of our growth and power to be able to release fantasies we held as children. Otherwise, if we keep holding on to a dream, or to a particular way of envisioning our future, it will prevent us from recognizing wonderful opportunities to create new futures that exist all around us. What’s the DreamDoctor’s advice? It’s time to let go of this fantasy, and begin realizing your dreams now, in the rich, everyday world in which you live.

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