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So, I've recently dabbled in D&D, which is basically a bunch of people hanging out and talking (punching goblins aside). So this opened up my social circle.

During my time doing this, I met this new girl who loves programming like me and we really clicked. While I do not have any romantic or sexual feelings towards this girl, she starred in my dream where I ended up kissing her (IN THE DREAM!). Side note, the main theme of the dream wasn't sexual, it was like an adventure and the kiss was in it somewhere.

I personally know that she has a boyfriend and also I repeat, I have NO intent on dating her in any capacity and would just keep her as a friend.

Now, my girlfriend Alice (yes her again), is not very confident about her looks, and has said on a few occasions how she's scared I'll leave her.

Basically I want to be transparent with Alice.

How can I tell her so that I don't set off her insecurities, or cause her to mistrust me?

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    What is keeping you from explaining it just like you did here? – Tinkeringbell Mar 6 '18 at 8:57
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    well, firstly, she thinks D&D is abit strange, when i talked to her about it she could tell i was really excited about it but she doesn't really get why it's fun. so telling her that i dreamt about this girl who shares this hobby and often stays till 12-1am at my house (i host the sessions) would make her worry alot, and i think if i phrased it how i did here she would still freak out. – SomeoneElse Mar 6 '18 at 9:05
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    What would make her freak out? What part of your actions in this interaction are you asking about? – Tinkeringbell Mar 6 '18 at 9:14
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    Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes. – Tinkeringbell Mar 8 '18 at 19:22

16 Answers 16

423

If what you've said about your girlfriend is correct, I don't believe you can tell her without causing upset. So...

Don't tell her.

Dreams are a complicated and unconscious stuff, and AFAIK, not accurately understood even by professionals. Of course it can be revealing of some part of your personality (interests, stress, ...), but unless it becomes recurring/obsessional and unpleasant, I wouldn't make a big deal of it. You did nothing wrong, you just dreamt.

Furthermore, dreams, as your mind, is one of the last fences of your private garden. You can think, dream, want, hope, believe in absolutely what you want without being judged by the rest of the world. Pull that fence down and your life will soon be an anxious mess.

Any word you would use to tell her this "non-story" will just make it look suspicious and jeopardize both your relationships with your girlfriend and your D&D friend.

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    Sure but at the same time communication is so vitally important and this goes esp for long distance. Although perhaps it needn't be discussed now it shouldn't be dismissed as never to be talked about (you do add a caveat there but it's worth repeating for a LDR). You're right that dreams aren't entirely understood but then much of the mind and conscious isn't understood. The impression I got from the OP is that it involved RP, the dream, and depending on how intense the RP is (if that's what it is) it can definitely affect you if you aren't careful (I know this from experience). – Pryftan Mar 9 '18 at 2:46
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    @Pryftan I think there's a difference between saying everything and good communication. If it's a single dream that hasn't happened since, it's not really worth talking about, especially if you're not going to let anything happen on that front. If it becomes a problem for one reason or another, then I fully agree that OP and his girlfriend need to talk about it, but I don't think it's reached that stage yet. – Nic Hartley Mar 9 '18 at 3:33
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    Open communication: "Dear Girlfriend, I happened to see a girl on the other side of the street the other day. I just wanted to let you know that I did not find her attractive in any way." – JimmyB Mar 9 '18 at 13:17
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    You want to be transparent. Sorry: you can't always get what you want. You are not doing anything wrong by not telling her something that would only upset her. There is no possible benefit to her (or, really, to you) from telling her. If she were super secure, maybe there would be a way to tell her without having a bad outcome, but even then it's doubtful. – Jeffiekins Mar 9 '18 at 17:00
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    I believe in being totally honest. That's why every time I see someone who is ugly, I walk up to them and say, "you know, you're really ugly". And every time I see someone make a mistake, I immediately run over and say, "wow, you just made a mistake. You're probably feeling really stupid right now and if you're not, you should be.". No, I don't. There are some things that are true but that don't need to be said. – Jay Apr 10 '18 at 21:19
117

A useful way to consider how to go about some potentially awkward interactions is to imagine how you would want them to go if the roles were reversed.

So imagine that it is your long-distance girlfriend who has begun to ‘dabble’ in a hobby group, let’s say taxidermy, which involves men staying at her house until the small hours doing something which they all get very excited about, but which you don’t understand the appeal of. Remember to also imagine that you are insecure about your own attractiveness to your girlfriend, and probably that the long-distance nature of your relationship adds to that insecurity a bit.

How could she tell you about a sexy dream starring one of these men, who hangs out at her house until the early hours of the morning, sharing deeply enjoyable dead animal stuffing sessions, in a way that wouldn’t give you a twinge of concern? Not even necessarily a concern about her waking intentions, but a concern that her subconscious self might think that the conveniently local man who shares her fascination for styling dead dormice is a better bet, romantically speaking, than the remotely located boyfriend who doesn’t see the point of preserving post-mortem polecats?

Would it be better if she did it over the phone, when you were meeting up, over a nice meal, in front of your friends… very casually in passing or as a sit-down ‘I have something to tell you’ moment? Consider which, if any, of those would lend itself to introducing the subject casually. Would you rather hear that she dreamt she kissed him, or that she dreamt he kissed her?

If you were relaxed about the smoochy dreams about Taxidermy Ted, because after all none of us can help our dreams, you still might wonder why she had told you about it. How could she raise that subject to you, with your insecurity, without it seeming like it may contain information about how she feels about you? Maybe you’d be okay if she said that Dream-Ted had kissed her, but boy it wasn’t a patch on how you kiss her!

If you felt hurt by the story and asked her why she’d told you, would you be happy that she’d told you to make herself feel better about transparency, or might you think that she’d just turned her load of slightly guilty feelings into your load of worry?

Be aware that it can be difficult to imagine how a person experiences insecurity if you aren’t prone to such feelings yourself. It can be easy to observe a reaction, that you don’t share, and at some level question its validity or the strength with which it is experienced and find it trivial or exasperating. Insecurity can be as difficult, and frustrating, to be around (and I say this as a person with a tendency to insecurity who took a long time to realise how burdensome that can be for those close to us) as it is to experience.

Being sensitive to insecurity doesn’t mean pandering to it so that truth and reality go out of the window. You don’t have to hide the existence of other women from your partner, but it does (if you choose to be in a constructive relationship with an insecure person) mean picking your battles. It is worth considering where that balance lies between your desire for ‘transparency’ and the potential negative effects on your partner, and how things can be presented such that they don’t actively provoke insecurity.

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    "point of preserving post-mortem polecats?" Damn alliteration had me laughing for a good 2 minutes. On another note, I totally agree about insecurity. My SO tends to get incredibly jealous, so some terms I use when bringing up interesting people I meet are more idiomatic, things like "chick" and "dude". It makes things much less formal, and helps her to realize that they're just a person who I'm referring extra information about, not potential rivals for my affections. – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Mar 6 '18 at 17:31
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    Absolutely! Imagine it was this "I was out with my friends, and this other person was there and they were really cute and and I was really attracted to them and we got closer and closer and I really really wanted them, and they invited me back to their place and I really wanted to go, but I didn't because I love you more". If I went home to my wife with that story, if I did survive as far the end, within 30 seconds she'd be wearing my nuts for ear-rings and I'd be singing contralto instead of baritone. While the OP didn't do that, this is effectively what his girl friend will hear – Binary Worrier Mar 7 '18 at 13:27
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    What I appreciate about this answer is it still effectively gives advice of "how to go about telling his girlfriend" if he is determined to do so (and therefore answers the question), while also suggesting the negative recourse (not telling her) might be the best option. It's a great answer - too many questions are answered with just "Don't do that, it's bad". – Philbo Mar 7 '18 at 14:13
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Your dreams are private and you are in absolutely in no obligation to share any of them. Not to your friends, not to your SO, not to your family.

Forget dreams as basis for any action, I think most of the people here have at least encountered a very weird dream where are you acting completely out of your character (especially if you stayed long up, have eaten too much or have been sick). This is normal and you don't need feel guilty for actions you have "committed" in your dream. Dreams are ten a penny.

Dreams should be only shared with others cautiously. For example, if you have a happy dream with your SO and want to tell it. Or if you had a nightmare and feel the urge to tell it.

In general you only start to care about a dream when it continously comes back (especially nightmares) or you feel the urge to follow the dream.

In your specific case do not tell the dream at all, nothing good can come out of it. If you have the urge to tell the dream, tell it someone which has absolutely no connection with your SO (a professional, a counselor, a distant person living far away where you have a connection, e.g. a brother/sister abroad).

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe posting the question here counts as telling the dream to someone (us) with "no connection with [the] SO". Did you mean a friend or relation or would this interaction qualify? – Kyle A Mar 9 '18 at 21:59
  • @KyleA You don't know if the SO is lurking here. You don't know if the friends and the dream crush are lurking here and could recognize the person. You don't know if a person here believes that (s)he recognizes the person and act on this suspicion. Worse, this question has hit HNQ so, no, I don't count telling it here as having "no connection with the SO" and I absolutely do not advise to tell the dream here at all. – Thorsten S. Mar 9 '18 at 22:39
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In an effort to answer the question:

Easiest way to bring up awkward dreams is to start a conversation about them.

"I had the weirdest dream last night, I was doing 'X'. Did you have any?"

Whilst doing this I would emphasize that it's a really strange dream for you because of the reasons listed above, maybe throw in something about how the D&D campaign might have influenced it. "Crazy how brains work" etc. etc.

If you make it seem like a funny thing you have a slim chance of this not backfiring.


My personal opinion is that you don't need to and shouldn't tell her.

Dreams are meaningless and this is likely just to make her insecure as it's a mutual connection so you shouldn't do this. There's no real funny story or anecdote on this one so I'd only recommend doing the above if you felt like you absolutely have to.

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    both the answers here hold the same theme that the dream isnt much, i should put any telling i think i should do on hold and see if I dream of it again – SomeoneElse Mar 6 '18 at 9:02
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    @someoneelse best idea really. I've had weird recurring dreams where I've bonked people I shouldn't whilst in a relationship, usually people I find revolting, it's just better to keep quiet about them. 100% of the time I wake up relieved, so I think it's my brain going "you've had your fake fun and you know it's not worth it so don't do it" – Connor Mar 6 '18 at 9:06
  • damn, i had those but it was before i was in a relationship. Guess i need to be more closed-lipped about these haha – SomeoneElse Mar 6 '18 at 9:09
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – John Mar 9 '18 at 14:51
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I want to try to answer your question in the sense that you want to tell her, as you ultimately seek a transparent relationship. You find enough warnings in the other posts so I hope you consider these also!

I can tell you that I currently live in a relationship where it is possible to tell each other such things, but it took time (years!) to get there.

So the first thing you should realize that is that jealousy may play a role wether you have sexual motives or not. I fact, your shared interests of D&D and Programming and the fact that you really clicked may be a bigger source of jealousy than even a profound sexual fantasy with an unrelated person (like a movie star). This is especially if she feels she does not share so much of your interests.

You´ll have to build up to that level of trust where it is easy to tell such things to one another. If you have to ask how, you are not there yet. Start small: Does she know when you find another woman attractive and is she okay with it? Or do you still play: Honey you are the only woman I see! Did you share (sexual) fantasies?

If you feel comfortable with those two topics, then is the time to talk about your dreams. Then, its only about timing and honesty. Bring it up when she is relaxed, obviously. Tell her straightforward. Don´t try to play it down if you feel this is something big. Rather explore together with her what it means. If you know each other this well, you won´t be able to fake it anyway and only raise suspicion.

At last: little jealousy is ok now and then - if you are both open about it and respect each other! Jealousy is also a sign of affection, and feeling the affection of your partner keeps you relationship fresh.

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There is absolutely no way ever that you can tell your GF about this dream without hurting her feelings. Never, ever going to happen.

If she were secure, she might laugh it off. But giving this kind of information to a person already suffering from feelings of insecurity is definitely going to trigger those feelings.

What you are doing is serving yourself, rather than your GF. Your desire to be transparent is laudable, but in this case you want to unburden yourself, at her cost. There is no advantage for her in knowing this, but you will feel better.

While there is a philosophy of radical honesty (Brad Branton wrote a few books about it), most of us subscribe to a less extreme version, because truth can hurt, and sometimes it hurts without purpose.

I understand you are asking "how" and not "if", but when you are asking "how can I jump 100m straight up into the air", the truthful answer is that you can't.

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    Pleese spel chek yer boldedd wurds. (This comment based on the unedited version of the answer.) – TOOGAM Mar 10 '18 at 13:51
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I agree the answers that you shouldn't tell her. Your dreams, emotions, thoughts, etc. are completely your own, and no one else has any right to demand access to them

Of course I'm not trying to imply that your girlfriend is demanding to know what you dream about, I'm simply trying to convey that you'd be completely in the right if you didn't voluntarily share your dream.

Beyond that, from personal experience, I can tell you that sharing that dream with your girlfriend will most likely cause more harm than good, because if she's already insecure about her looks it's automatically going to trigger feelings of self doubt and doubt about the relationship and very likely strengthen her fear of you leaving her.

"I knew I had reason to be suspicious of you leaving, you're even dreaming of other girls", she might think.

Also note that I'm not suggesting you lie to her, on the off chance that she happens to ask what you dreamed about however many nights ago. If she does ask, I believe honesty to be the best policy but then at least you have a platform from which to honestly discuss the dream.

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If you want to tell her about the dream, why mention the kiss? From your description, the kiss sounds cursory and not a major part of it. Just tell her that you had a dream about your D&D campaign and focus on the adventure parts of the story, which are less likely to trigger insecurities, given that she's okay with you playing D&D.

I had a crazy dream last night! I think the D&D is getting to me, the crew was going on an adventure, and we did (tell the dream story)...

If she has questions or wants to know more, then you can answer, but there's no need to encourage her insecurities by telling her the gory details. If she questions the role of this girl in the dream, make sure to explain as you have here that it is not at all how you feel, it isn't even reasonable given that you are both in different happy relationships, and that part of the dream made you uncomfortable - reassure her that you are committed to her and thought it was weird too.

As others have said, dreams are private. They are not something you can control, so it's not something you need to feel guilty about. Although transparency is admirable, you're also not obligated to share every little thing with your partner! I am sure there are plenty of little harmless secrets you keep from her already (whether out of embarrassment or simply not thinking to mention it), this is no different.

In this case, where the dream is meaningless to you - meaning, it doesn't reflect on any real feelings you have - but would likely hurt her, it is kinder not to share it with her. If you feel the need to discuss the dream, it is more appropriate to talk about it with a friend who won't be hurt by hearing about it.

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Before you tell her anything, the first thing you need to do is figure out what the dream means to you. Dreams are your brain's means of communicating subconscious ideas to you, so what is your subconscious trying to say? Why this girl, what does she represent to your subconscious? And why a kiss? A kiss can mean many things, not just romantic/sexual intimacy. You have to be honest with yourself before you can be honest with her.

If you decide that it's just some random weirdness and it doesn't mean anything, then I agree with the rest of the responses - don't tell her.

If it does indicate something, use the dream as an opening to discuss what you think it means. In that case, when you are telling her about it, focus more on the meaning behind the symbols, rather than the symbols themselves. For example, maybe it indicates that you want to bring her into your interests. In that case, the conversation could go "I had a dream last night that I want to talk to you about. I think it has to do with wanting to spend more time with you sharing interests. What do you think of joining me for a D&D session? And I can join you for one of your unicycle fencing classes (or whatever she is into)."

You don't even need to mention the specifics of the dream, unless it is indicating that you actually do have feelings for or are attracted to this other woman. In that case, I don't really know what to suggest. That's a whole other can of worms.

  • Hi, welcome to IPS! You can take our tour to get started with this community. As it stands, your answer is more of a comment than an actual answer. You explain what the dream could mean, but do not provide a solution to OP's interpersonal problem. I recommend that you edit your answer such that it addresses OP's problem. – HugoBDesigner Mar 6 '18 at 20:12
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A point no one seems to have hit upon: you say you want to be transparent. Given your description of the event and your feelings, how does this aide transparency?

Have you recounted all of your dreams to her? If not, how is this dream different from the others that you didn't tell her about? If the answer is that you decided not to tell her about it, that is probably why you remeber it: because you you considered it and decided not to tell her. If you hadn't thought about it, it would have most likely have faded away in a few minutes and you wouldn't remember it at all.

You are making a mountain out of a mole hill, and in doing so giving it importance that it doesn't deserve. If you keep this up, it will eventually gain some importance at which time hiding it from your gf will become a problem, especially if she finds out about it.

Let it go while it is meaningless...

  • Occasionally when she wakes up (timezone difference i'm awake by then), she'll share with me about some dreams she had, especially when they stand out from the normal and i do the same. I would guess that this dream stands out exceptionally. but based on all I've read here i think it would be better to wait and see if it occurs again and if it does then i'll gave a little chinwag with my girl about this. – SomeoneElse Mar 7 '18 at 1:32
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    @SomeoneElse: was it an exceptional dream or was it a dream that was exceptional because recounting it might hurt her? By discussing it here, you have increased the likelyhood of having the same or similar dream. It was nothing, you are building it up...it will have the same meaning the dozenth time as it did the first time - none. – jmoreno Mar 7 '18 at 1:54
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    @SomeoneElse to confirm: does she share dreams that involve other men in romantic or sexual settings? Is that why you feel justified in doing the same? That does change the slant of this whole question if so. – Philbo Mar 7 '18 at 9:26
  • @Philbo nope, she had dreams which did involve other men but not in such settings (Horror actually). – SomeoneElse Mar 7 '18 at 9:29
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    @SomeoneElse Since this already has enough answers, I'll leave it here in case someone wants to add it: I'd already say I agree with the answers above not to tell her about any personal dreams that could cause her to worry, but if you must do so, try to stick only to the same type of dreams she tells you. Consider this: if you've had a dream where you kiss another woman (and answers here have told you this is quite normal), she may have had the same (or more) in a dream with a man. 1. Would you want to know this, and 2. If she has, she has deemed it not a good idea to tell you. – Philbo Mar 7 '18 at 12:09
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Definitely agree with the top answers and comments.

Dreams are a very obscure area of science as we do not fully understand them.

On top of that, what are your intentions towards your girlfriend? You know for sure it will make her feel bad and concerned one way or another, it is certainly inevitable if you are saying she lacks confidence in herself.

As already said, it is just a dream. Even if it is your habit to recount your exceptional dreams to her, I believe there is a line you may not want to cross here for the sake of your relationship and your girlfriend's sanity.

But then again, are transparency and honesty worth the risk of hurting your beloved one and maybe even messing up your relationship?

I don't think there is an interpersonal skill here that could justify transparency in this very particular case, as it could well end up badly whatever you decide to do.

Would definitely not recommend telling her about this dream. I mean, who hasn't had this type of dream before? You also shouldn't be feeling guilty or bad that you're "hiding" this from her. Again, it's just a random dream that you said meant nothing and if you have no intentions towards the D&D girl (you really don't, right? You said you two clicked), then there is literally no point telling her.

I can definitely vouch for honesty and transparency in a couple, but when it is constructive and of important matters, telling her that you had a dream about kissing another girl might be destructive and might not improve your relationship and would not be very constructive for it. It may reveal that your subconsciousness has interest in another woman and that will definitely not reassure her.

1

You gotta start by having your girlfriend roll for initiative. If she rolls higher, let her tell you her secret feelings first. Odds are, she's had weird dreams too, and she's been struggling with them, much as lvl 1 warlock might struggle with channeling the eldritch might of the Ancient One.

Make sure you describe the dream in detail: create the world for her. Lead her through it. Show her how the characters react, how they think. If you do it well enough, she will know that you don't have feelings for this other girl, but that you definitely respect this girl as a great NPC, but never a member of your party.

DnD jokes aside: relationships involve openness, trust, and restraint, which at times may seem at odds with each other. You shouldn't have to tell your partner every thought in your head, especially your dreams, which are by definition unconscious: trust that you love/like each other, and the rest will follow.

  • Nice references haha, some light hearted reads help. Yeah, i've decided not to tell her about this dream, thanks for all the advice. – SomeoneElse Mar 12 '18 at 1:32
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I think you're gravely underestimating the risk this friendship poses to your relationship.

You may have the noblest of intentions now, but you will face temptation to let this relationship cross boundaries it shouldn't. Maybe it will start small: one day, everyone but you two in the group is busy and you decide to meet alone. Maybe you confide in her about a problem you're having with your current girlfriend, because she's your friend and you think maybe she can help. Then this becomes a habit, and suddenly you find yourself complaining about everything your girlfriend does that bothers you. And then you find yourself spending more time alone with her. There's no way of knowing exactly what will happen going forward, but as long as there's another woman in your life that you're close to, there is always a significant risk that the relationship will slowly, steadily become more than it should and threaten your current relationship.

Forget telling anyone about the dream. It's nothing but a warning sign: you've entered dangerous territory. For the sake of your current relationship, I suggest nothing but leaving the danger zone. This might mean leaving the D&D group; I can't say exactly what the best way of eliminating the risk is. But you shouldn't underplay the risk here. This is exactly how people start cheating on each other. Drastic steps to protect your current commitment are not uncalled for.

I think deep down you know this. That's why you're hesitant to tell your girlfriend about the dream. It's not just because she's nervous or lacks confidence. It's because you know she wouldn't be comfortable with this relationship you have with another girl. And in fact, how your girlfriend feels should be reason enough to cut off this friendship: if you wish to remain committed to her, then you should demonstrate your commitment and your consideration with your actions.

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    Thanks for the insight here, it doesn't help that she says in the same neighborhood and as such it's easy to meet or take the same bus home when our group meets up elsewhere. I'll try to limit my interactions with her and if things get anyworse i will take the effort to leave. Thanks! – SomeoneElse Mar 12 '18 at 1:29
  • @SomeoneElse Yeah. That does make it tougher. But I'm glad to hear you're willing to deal with it. Good luck and be careful. – jpmc26 Mar 12 '18 at 4:34
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    I really do care for Alice, so i'll make every effort not to do something stupid. thanks mate! – SomeoneElse Mar 12 '18 at 5:48
0

Just don't tell her.

You are making this about you. But it is about her. I understand, completely, you'd like to tell her, to feel 100% transparent, etc. and etc.

But she doesn't want to know. She really doesn't

Let's take an example, she dreams about George Clooney. Do you want to know that?

She isn't going out with George. She doesn't care about him. It was just a dream. It literally meant nothing.

The best outcome I'd suggest is you laugh and say "sorry I don't look that good", right? Or something similar.

But you wouldn't blame her, surely. Its just a dream.

But still... I don't look like George. My gf dreams about George. Does she in any minor way wish I was like him? See the problem? :( It's a minor but negative thing.

If you think it's a problem? Own it. You dreamt about another girl. So you own it - and not tell your gf. It is a little uncomfortable (I personally think you are overthinking how much - but hey, it is your relationship, you are better placed to judge) but take the discomfort.

But really my advice is - if you feel it'd be uncomfortable to tell her, Don't. It's not dishonest. It's just kind. You didn't do anything wrong.

0

Here I see there are two insecurities:

  • Her insecurity invokes your insecurity
  • Your insecurity invokes her insecurity

That's the intrication, the convolution, the complication that any couple has to deal with before they can really "two becomes one".

This depends on the specification of the situation, the unique of the individuals, that both of you have to figure out how to solve this. This takes time, this is hard. But once you reach that point, you can share with each other your deepest dreams, your wildest desires both of you have.

Don't worry. As long as you can make sure that you will love her no matter what, then it will be fine.

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I agree with the widespread consensus. Don't tell her. I have a couple of reasons that may differ a bit from other answers.

I'll give you my two reasons first, and then elaborate on both.

#1: A lot of other people (and including my former self) have ideas/beliefs about dreams and what their role is, and may be prone to judge dreams as having more weight than what I currently believe they should. Therefore, don't unnecessarily open yourself up for judgment for something that you have no control over, especially when you don't know what the other person's attitudes are about dreams.

#2: You say, Alice "has said on a few occasions how she's scared I'll leave her." Your relationship is not on solid ground. There is a shaky aspect to this. I think some relationships could weather such news just fine. Your relationship isn't there yet. Maybe tell Alice another day. Not now.

There. Those are my two reasons in a nutshell. First, I will briefly elaborate on my second point.

I've sometimes blabbed, only to find out soon after that such sharing resulted in causing unnecessary trouble and no significant benefit. Sometimes I've managed to just keep my mouth shut on some things, expecting that to be just temporary, only to soon find out that if I hadn't kept my mouth shut, the conversation would have turned out quite a bit worse. Do not conclude that you are lacking honesty just because you don't share information. Sometimes there may be some truth to the idea that you aren't being fully honest if you aren't being fully revealing, but that isn't always true. To quote Tom's answer, a "desire to be transparent is laudable, but in this case you want to unburden yourself, at her cost." Sometimes sharing information is more harmful than helpful. I'm thinking that would be the case if you tried sharing this detail now. Just learn to "bite your tongue" on this, at least until timing is more right (possibly years later). In a few weeks, you may look back and be glad you didn't blab. Or, if you blab, in a few minutes or semi-seconds you may find yourself quickly regretting such an irreversible action.

Are Dreams Legit?

And now, my lengthy justification to my first point... I will explain why I believe that dreams shouldn't have as much weight as what I once thought, and as many people currently think.

A lot of people don't understand dreams. But over my years, I've learned some things that I didn't know after my first couple of decades dreaming.

I remember being about 16 and having a dream that I remembered extremely vividly. I wrote it down, multiple pages. This dream had an erotically tantalizing element to it, involving a person that I never knew existed. Well, I must have subconsciously been exposed to this person's name somehow, otherwise how did I manage to have this person's name in my dream? When I got to school I checked and found out this person did exist. However, I obviously had no conscious feelings about this person whom I didn't recognize at all.

When I was nine or ten years of age, I committed suicide. Knife to the heart. Literally. All this, in a dream, of course. Once I was dead on the kitchen floor, I was surprised that I still felt pain from being stabbed by a knife. (I previously didn't think I would feel anything when dead.) Unfortunately, since I was dead, I couldn't pull the knife out of my heart to stop the pain. Since I was dead, I couldn't yell for help to my parents who were watching TV one room over, still completely unaware of what I did.

Any feelings of curiosity that my childhood self had about what it was like to die were put into check by that particular incident.

I remember for a few weeks I had dreams which were so realistic that, in the middle of my daytime hours, I recalled memories of recent events and only after thinking hard about them did I realize they were dreams. It started to concern me if my memory was unreliable, but fortunately that phase passed.

Other dreams had content notably different in life. I've done other things, and had other experiences, causing extreme pleasure (flying through the air) and notable turmoil. More than one dream has involved death... I remember when my dad died in a dream once, I cried myself to awakeness.

The dream-making component of my brain doesn't seem to like me analyzing things. Often when I've wanted to analyze some specific topic mid-dream, the dream conjures up some sort of compelling other topic for me to focus on instead.

However, more recently in my life, there's been several times now when the logic part of my brain won this war over attention, as I would refuse to be distracted at all or for more than a couple of seconds before I insist on focusing on one topic of interest that I really want to get figured out. What's happened is that whatever part of my brain was creating the dream responded by trying several times to introduce some new distraction, but eventually gave up, and my dream terminated. The next thing I knew, I opened my eyes and checked my clock as usual, and then realized that my scenery had just drastically changed as I just awoke from a dream. (I could often remember some of the recent details well enough for me to try completing my analysis of the recent situation without newly invented distractions trying to deter me.)

My current beliefs are that dreams are part of a sleep cycle that performs maintenance/repair of the brain. Sometimes my brain has come up with ludicrous scenarios of things that I would never do in real life. I think the brain is trying to stir up some specific emotion. As for why my brain does this, I don't know, because I don't fully understand dreaming or the biology of the human brain. Just as I don't understand why the brain is rather prone to forgetting dream content in a matter of minutes (or sometimes hours). But if the sleep process, including the dream process, is helpful for my health, and specifically some crucial life abilities like memory of things experienced while awake, then I am all in favor of these positive processes (despite not fully understanding them).

Being able to just "logic" myself to awakeness is something that only happened after probably 30+ years of never succeeding at focusing on a task that my dream-maker wanted to distract me from. I figure that I was probably just lightly sleeping at the time. During deeper sleep, the dream component of my brain probably has more free reign to succeed in creating all sorts of tremendous fantasies, both pleasant and terrible, without succumbing to interference by the annoying logic or moral decision-making components of my brain that would affect my decisions during my waking hours.

I know this analysis has been somewhat long and a bit off-topic from the questin's specifics, but I share this because I never logic'ed myself awake until later in life (30+ years), and never heard of this from anyone else before. When I was 20, I often believed that dreams may reflect unconscious desires. However, I now believe my dream making brain chemistry is just inventing whatever craziness it can in order to manipulate my emotions. Since this is all a part of natural sleep, I figure that somehow this ability of my dreams is probably somehow good for my health.

In dreams, I've dwelled on immoral lines of thinking, made immoral decisions, and performed immoral actions that I know I would never allow myself to accept in an awakened state. I've determined that I should not feel one bit guilty over dreams' content because such content can be entirely outside of any decision-making control that I have.

And that's why my current beliefs indicate that dream's contents shouldn't be judged. (But, to recap, since other people have other beliefs, don't go around sharing questionable content to people you closely know until you know what their beliefs are, and how they are likely to respond.)

protected by HDE 226868 Mar 7 '18 at 15:50

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