What 10 Common Dreams About Crushes Really Mean

It's not as straightforward as you'd think.

by Rachel Krantz and Kathleen Ferraro
Originally Published: 
What Do Dreams About Crushes Mean? An Expert Decodes.

You finally work up the nerve to tell your crush you like them. And great news: They feel the same way. You're leaning in for the kiss, but then... poof! You wake up in bed. Alone. If this sounds familiar, you're in good company — sleep-time fantasies about your romantic interest are common. But what does it mean when you dream about your crush?

Short answer: It probably means that something to do with said crush is top of mind. "We tend to dream about what is on our mind the most," says certified dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg. "Dreaming of your crush is absolutely normal and is often the way the subconscious mind explores the possibilities."

These dreams aren't necessarily just about the person you're actively crushing on, she adds. You might encounter a former sweetheart, celeb crush, or an unfamiliar lover in dreamland — the scenarios vary (as is the case with, well, all dreams). These nighttime experiences can also take a more sinister turn if you dream about your crush dying or getting rejected by your beloved. Whatever's happening in your mind as you snooze, your dream is telling you something — here's how to decode it, according to a dream expert.

What It Means If You Have A Dream About Your Real, Current Crush

Let's start with the basics: What does it mean when you have a dream about someone you like? Not surprisingly, dreaming about your current crush is a way for your psyche to fulfill that real-life desire, according to Loewenberg. If you're thinking about your boo all day long, it makes sense you'd dream about them too. And if you're noticing that you're having these dreams all the time, it might be a signal that you want to express your true feelings to them and your subconscious is telling you to just go for it already.

This type of dream also allows you to explore the possibility of this relationship more than you might in waking life, she adds. Dreams can give you insights about your feelings, according to Loewenberg, so rehashing what happened while you slept can potentially help you make sense of your emotions come sunrise.

What It Means If You Dream That Your Crush Has Died

This one is less of a dream and more of a nightmare, and it might signal exactly what it sounds like: the end of a crush. "Death in a dream means something is changing in real life or something has come to an end," explains Loewenberg. "Are your feelings towards this person changing? Has that person changed? Your subconscious may even be warning you that this person is not a good fit for you." Depending on how you answer those questions, your subconscious might have already provided the solution: Move on.

What It Means If You Have A Dream About An Old Crush

So what does it mean when you dream about someone you used to like? Digging up the past in dreamland could indicate that something happening in your real life evokes previous experiences, says Loewenberg. This might literally be tied to your ex-crush: For example, maybe you're seeing someone new who reminds you of them.

These dreams can also happen when you encounter a situation or behavior patterns that remind you of the past, she points out. Take notice of what elements mimic your real life to understand what your subconscious might be telling you. These insights could help you suss out helpful or harmful dynamics in your current relationships.

What It Means If You Dream Someone Has A Crush On You

If you have a dream that someone likes you, it could be your subconscious highlighting your favorite personal qualities, according to Loewenberg. If your crush compliments you, odds are you feel this way about yourself. How's that for a sweet dream?

Other times, it's best to take these fantasies literally. Loewenberg says dreams like this are often your intuition communicating with you. If you have a dream that somebody has a crush on you and it gives you butterflies, chances are you're crushing on them IRL. Or, if you dream someone likes you but you don't like them back, it means that new opportunity doesn't excite you.

What It Means If You Dream That You're Rejected By Your Crush

Better this happens while you snooze than in real life, right? These types of dreams could also be your intuition at work, according to Loewenberg. "This could be your intuition letting you know that this may not work out and preparing you for it," she tells Bustle. But not all is lost. She recommends asking yourself if this dream is actually just a manifestation of your own insecurities as opposed to a sign that your crush isn't feeling it.

What It Means If You Dream Your Crush Likes You Back

On the flip side, maybe your intuition is telling you that you have a shot with your crush. If you have dreams that your romantic interest reciprocates your feelings, it can represent your confidence and optimism that things could work out, according to Loewenberg. So if you've been waiting to shoot your shot, consider this the sign you've been waiting for.

What It Means If You Dream About A Celebrity Crush

If you're having dreams about Chris Hemsworth, no one can blame you. While this dream might just tell you about a crush you have on a celebrity, it can also signify something deeper, says Loewenberg. Depending on who you're dreaming about, it can be a sign there's something about the celebrity that you identify with or are attracted to and want to embody yourself, she explains. Perhaps you love Dan Levy's humor or Lupita Nyong'o's talent. Either way, it could mean that you'd like to incorporate those qualities into your own life (or maybe just get married to Chris Hemsworth, after all).

What It Means If You Dream About A Crush On A Stranger

Though it may seem odd to have a steamy dream about a stranger, it's actually your subconscious highlighting parts of your personality that you don't fully recognize, says Loewenberg.

In general, she says crushing on an unknown male in a dream is representative of stereotypically masculine qualities, like assertiveness. Taking a liking to an unknown woman typically represents traditionally feminine energy, like creativity and being in tune to those around you. When this happens in a dream, it's a signal that you're beginning to acknowledge and appreciate those parts of yourself.

What It Means If You Dream You Have A Crush On A Different Gender Than You're Normally Attracted To

So if you have a dream that you have a crush on a girl, does that mean you're secretly gay, or vice versa? Eh, not so much, says Loewenberg. These dreams aren't so much representative of your sexuality, but rather reveal certain qualities that you're attracted to in general. Females usually represent sensitivity, intuitiveness, and creativity, while males usually symbolize being ballsy and taking action, according to Loewenberg.

This might mean you look for those qualities in a partner or appreciate them in yourself. "So for a woman to dream of having a crush or being strongly attracted to another woman in a dream, it would likely mean she is feeling proud of some creative or kind part of herself," she says.

What It Means If You Dream That You Have A Crush On Someone You Don't Actually Like IRL

Ugh, ever had one of these and woken up needing a shower? According to Loewenberg, it doesn't necessarily mean you secretly harbor feelings for them. "You may not like that person, but there is something about them the subconscious likes," she tells Bustle. "Ask yourself what stands out about that person. Of the things you chose, at least one of them is something your subconscious admires."

Studies referenced:

Edwards, C. (2013). Dreaming and insight. Frontiers in Psychology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3872037/


Lauri Loewenberg, certified dream analyst

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