Every Couple Should Have A Shared Dream Practice: Here's How To Start One
Most people think dream practices are a solo endeavor, a practice where you spend solitary time journaling and interpreting your dreams. But actually, dream exploration can be something couples can do together—and there may be some significant benefits to a couple's dream practice, both for the individual dreamer and for the relationship.
If you're looking for a way to create more connection between you and your partner at home, consider starting a partner dream practice together.
Sometimes someone else can interpret our dreams better than we can.
Dreams can give us clues to our stress and underlying sources of stress. At night while we sleep, feelings we haven't dealt with come bubbling to the surface in dreams.
What do you do when you can't figure out what your dreams mean? Turn toward one of your best dream interpreters—your partner!
You may be too close to your feelings to sense what a dream means, so sharing dreams with a partner can help. Your partner knows you well and has distance from your feelings. This greater perspective can shed light on the root causes of your feelings.
Using dreams to connect as a couple.
Sharing dreams with your partner can also deepen your sense of closeness. Dreams are full of desires, feelings, and intimate material from our psyche. They can spark conversations that you've never had with your partner on topics you've never talked about before. This might be particularly intriguing for couples who feel like they know "everything" about each other.
When you share dreams with your partner, you can also practice important relationship skills. For example, you can practice validating each other's feelings, creating a sense of understanding and care. These are all essential skills for a healthy, loving relationship and sure to deepen your connection.
And of course, sharing dreams can be fun! Not all dreams are stressful. Have you ever had a zany dream that makes you laugh when you think about it? Or had a dream that inspired you? A dream practice allows you to make a habit of sharing those laughs and inspiration with your partner and sharing uplifting dreams can bring a greater positive and playful energy between the two of you.
How to start a couple's dream practice:
1. Decide when you want to practice.
Decide when and how often you want to share dreams together. Are you both prolific dreamers and dream every night? Then think about a daily practice together. For example, start a new morning ritual where you share dreams at the breakfast table to start your day. Do you dream less often? Then you might want to create a special occasion. For example, create a "dream date" on your calendars once a month.
2. Have one person share and one person listen at a time.
Whenever you share dreams, have one person share one dream at a time and the other person listen. For example, if you share a dream first, have your partner go into listening mode. Make sure they don't interrupt and focus on listening to the details and plotline. As your partner listens, have them pay attention to any parts of the dream that are not clear. Once you're done sharing, have your partner ask clarifying questions to deepen their understanding of your dream.
3. Share interpretations as if it were your own dream.
When one of you finishes sharing a dream, have the other person reflect on what they think the dream means as if it were their own. For example, if your partner finished sharing a dream, share your reflections back starting each time with the phrase "if it were my dream..." Speak using the first person. This empowers you to remember that any interpretation is a personal perspective.
4. Switch roles.
Once one person shares a dream and the listener shares "if it were my dream...," switch roles. If you shared a dream, now it's your turn to listen to your partner share a dream. When your partner finishes, share your own reflections in the first person starting with "if it were my dream..." each time.
The bottom line.
If you and your partner are feeling pandemic stress or any type of tension or staleness in the relationship, a dream practice can be a great remedy. Experiment with a partner dream practice over the next month. See how your feelings toward your partner shift. You'll likely discover that you learn new things about yourself and your partner and deepen your connection.