When the eyes close and we drift off at night, we’re held hostage to the dreams that take shape in our minds. For the most part, one hopes these dreams are comedic at best, that they show us gallivanting and taking up some epic adventure we probably wouldn’t be game to do in real life. In our dreams, we’re James Bond taking on a death-defying stunt, or shooting hoops with the kind of skill that made a household name out of Jordan. But sometimes these dreams are far from kind, like the one where you witness your partner cheating on you. Or, where you are cheating on your partner. It’s enough to see you wake up sweaty and shaking, questioning if there’s something your subconscious is trying to tell you, or if it’s really just a case of your dreams getting the best of you.
If you were at all curious to know what dreams of cheating mean, take some comfort in the fact that affair dreams are common. In an interview with Glamour UK, bestselling author of The A to Z Dream Dictionary, Theresa Cheung, explains that cheating dreams have a constant theme. But as Cheung explains, “During and since Covid lockdowns, the messages about dream affairs have more than tripled. These days, it’s rare for a day to go by without someone anxiously asking me to help them understand the meaning of a cheating dream.”
Cheung explains that even those in the most committed relationships can experience a cheating dream and that the experience is a completely normal and healthy one. Still, it’s hard not to take such dreams personally and in that instance, they do actually serve as a pretty good nudge to reconsider your relationship and what cheating means to you. Consider who in the dream is doing the cheating. If it’s you, are you cheating on yourself in some way? Cheung says one should consider things like short cuts taken in real life, whether it’s cheating yourself out of the self-care or quality time you need for personal growth, all of which prove instrumental in solidifying long-lasting relationships. If it’s your partner that’s cheating in the dream, do you feel you are being cheated out of their full attention?
Alternatively, cheating dreams could also be your mind preparing you for what could happen in the future. It’s not to say that something is awry in the relationship, but when cheating dreams are so realistically you wake up in a cold sweat, the mind wants you to understand the negative impact cheating imparts, perhaps to make you ever reconsider such actions in the future.
If you’re cheating dreams are with someone you’re attracted to in real life, Cheung urges not to stress and that this is also quite common but can be more symbolic than suggestive. Rather than suggest you need to end things and pursue another relationship, the person you dream cheat with could be psychological in the sense that they represent an aspect of your own self that you need to investigate further, resolve or heal in order to evolve.
At the end of the day, cheating dreams are nothing to panic about. They certainly don’t mean the end is near for your relationship or that you’re being cheated on. Instead, they simple serve to jolt the mind awake and cause you to go deeper when it comes to thinking about your partner and relationship. The only time cheating dreams are a concern is if they happen every night and then extend into the day. In that instance, you’re not really dreaming, you’re visualising what it is like to cheat and that’s a sign that someone might be about to get hurt.