There are a lot of theories explaining why we dream, but I’m going to keep it simple for you. Dreams, at least the meaningful ones, are the result of unexpressed or partially expressed emotions.
Our emotions can get triggered by internal (thoughts) or external (sensations and perceptions) stimuli.
Once triggered, an emotion seeks expression. When we feel emotions completely and express them, they get resolved. If we somehow block the expression of our feelings, they leak out in our dreams.
Emotions emerge in the subconscious mind, and we often use our conscious minds to suppress their expression. When we’re asleep, and our conscious mind is turned off, these unexpressed or partially expressed emotions get a chance to express themselves fully.
Emotions are the guidance systems that help us navigate through life. They help us survive and thrive. The mind wants to ensure that we get the message each emotion carries.
If we’re somehow unable to receive that message during our waking hours, it sends us the same message in our dreams.
When an emotion gets triggered in us repeatedly and we half-express it, we’re likely to see recurring dreams based on that emotion.
For example, if you live in a war zone, you’re in constant danger and likely to see recurring dreams about war.
Since most problems go away with time, recurring dreams also go away with time. Sometimes, a trauma or a problem is so severe that it gets stuck in our minds. It’s so difficult to resolve that we keep dreaming about it.
This is especially true for seeing recurring dreams about childhood trauma in adulthood. Since you can’t go back to the past to resolve the issue properly, such dreams tend to persist.
Recurring dreams about crushes
Dreams often reflect our primary desires, problems, worries, concerns, and insecurities. Dreaming about a crush is common and reflects our desire to be with them.
But what does it mean when you keep dreaming about your crush almost every night?
Your crush is someone you like, but you haven’t told them you want them (unexpressed emotion). If you can’t stop dreaming about a crush, you probably see them every day (external trigger). Every day, they trigger desire in you, and you don’t express that desire.
Or you saw them once or twice and they left such an impression on you, that you can’t get them out of your mind (internal trigger).
This creates an engine for generating recurring dreams about that crush.
Through such dreams, your mind is imploring you to take action. It is pushing you to express your feelings to crush.
If you were to express your feelings, the frequency of such dreams would likely reduce. When two romantic partners get together, they may still have unexpressed desires and unmet needs. So, they might keep seeing dreams about each other.
For example, if you’re in a long-distance relationship, you’ve probably expressed your desires verbally, but you lack physical intimacy.
If you see recurring dreams about them, they’re likely to be more about being with them physically than talking to them and expressing your feelings.
Common crush dreams
Seeing recurring dreams about your crush doesn’t always have to do with unexpressed desire. They can reflect other emotions too:
1. Your desire of them desiring you
Seeing dreams where your crush expresses their desire for you means you want them to confess their feelings for you more than you want to confess yours.
2. Dreaming about an ex
When we’re in a relationship with someone, we move past the uncertainty of the crush phase. When we end the relationship, we can go back to the crush phase and see recurring dreams about our ex.
Dreaming about an ex likely means you still have residual feelings for them and haven’t completely moved on.
3. Dreaming about an old crush
Typically, you’d expect a person to get over an old crush and stop dreaming about them. But something may trigger memories of that crush, triggering dreams about that crush.
You may come across a high school class photo and see your old crush in there. Or an old friend may casually mention your crush, releasing a cascade of memories from years ago.
4. Your crush with someone else
If you’re worried that someone may steal your crush from you, you probably haven’t expressed this concern to anyone. As a result, you’re likely to see recurring dreams about your crush being with someone else.
5. Your crush rejecting you
Such dreams are the result of insecurities. If you believe you’re not good enough for your crush, you will likely see recurring dreams about your crush rejecting you.
6. Dreaming about a celebrity crush
Celebrities have qualities that make them likely to induce recurring dreams in their admirers. They’re desirable, out of reach, and those obsessed with them rarely get a chance to express their feelings.
However, the mind is aware of the impossibility of being with a celebrity. Also, many fans do express their emotions via social media outlets.
Hence, dreams about celebrity crushes are likely to be less frequent than dreams about a crush who’s more within reach.
Hi, I’m Hanan Parvez (MBA, MA Psychology), founder and author of PsychMechanics. I’ve published one book and authored 400+ articles on this blog (started in 2014) that have garnered over 4.5 million views. PsychMechanics has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, and Entrepreneur. Feel free to contact me if you have a query.