Dreams about love with an acquaintance are a common theme at bedtime. If you or a loved one has been covering this ground at night, you may have questions about what it all might mean. As part of a Huffington Post series on dreams and their meanings, we spoke to Shelley Smith, a behavioral therapist, and the founder and director of the Yoga Health & Therapy Center in Lexington, Ky., to get expert advice about the meanings of your or your loved one’s dreams about love with an acquaintance. Note: While dream analysis is highly subjective, this post might provide some insight into why this dream occurred or is recurring.
What do dreams about love with an acquaintance mean?
According to Smith, dreams about love -- and dreams about love with an acquaintance -- are "very, very personal." She explains, "If it were my own dream, I would think that there might be some connection with that person that I hadn't realized." Smith adds that dreams about love can cause feelings of growth and calm in the dreamer.
What can I learn about myself from dreaming about love with an acquaintance?
When Smith feels love in her dreams, she uses Jung's meditation technique that allows her "to amplify and move that feeling from the dreaming ego and [embody it] in the waking ego -- the senses realize that I feel really relaxed with that person." She explains that the symbolic language behind this feeling indicates connection and relaxation.
Are there any tricks to avoiding or inducing dreams about love with an acquaintance?
"No," says Smith, "our unconscious does what it wants when we're sleeping, and it does what we need -- what we don't even know we need." According to Smith, the "language of symbolism" is based on the instinctive unconscious, and it communicates a message to the rational, conscious ego through the dream.
Beyond analysis, what cultural symbolism can be found in dreams about this subject?
"Admiration, love, significance, expansiveness -- those are symbolically general," says Smith. She says a symbolic analysis of falling in love with an acquaintance gives the dream its real value. "Dream objects," she explains, "interlink us to more than our own personal, significant application."
Who tends to have dreams about love with an acquaintance most frequently?
According to Smith, it's complicated -- we have so many needs and an even greater variety of reasons for those needs. "The realms we are looking at," she says, "are so complex that it's hard to say that one group of people, one demographic, would have this particular type of dream."
Is there one thing we should try to take away from a dream about this subject?
"Just always remind yourself," Smith suggests, "when you look back at the dream, to rely on what you feel as you view the dream. If it seems that you've relaxed and expanded as you're telling or writing the dream, remember that that's a positive for you." She explains that if your dream about love with an acquaintance evokes a restrictive or confining feeling, then the connection might not be quite right.
Shelley Smith is a behavioral therapist with over 30 years of professional experience. She has a bachelor's from Indiana University (cum laude) and is a registered yoga therapist and a certified teacher trainer. In addition, her training includes an independent study in anatomy/physiology, supervised by a Cambridge University professor at the Yoga-Biomedical Institute in England, as well as an intensive four-year program under the mentorship of a physician with the Rockefeller Medical Foundation of India in the yoga bio-medical tradition. She developed the Yoga Health & Therapy Center's Creative Dream Work Program, which emphasizes the use of "Active Imagination" (a Jungian approach) to unlock memories, reactions, and talents stored energetically in the body's tissues. Smith also leads workshops and sessions for groups and individuals, exploring personal narratives and potential.