Dreams of jealousy and infidelity spell relationship trouble the next day

Posted on January 24, 2014

Photo: flickr

Have you ever dreamt of arguing with your partner, or dreamt they were unfaithful, and then - irrational as it may be - found yourself in a bad mood with them the next day? This will be a familiar scenario to many, and yet such apparent effects of dream content on our real-life relationships have only now been studied for the first time.

Dylan Selterman and his colleagues asked 61 undergrads (aged 17-42; 47 women) to keep detailed, morning dream diaries for two weeks. Each evening the participants also kept records of what they'd been up to in the day, including their relations with their partner. Having a partner of at least six months duration was a requirement for taking part in the research.

Overall, last night's dream content was associated with the ensuing day's behaviour in ways you'd expect. Dreaming last night of being jealous of one's partner, or dreaming of arguing, went hand in hand with more rows during the ensuing day. Dreaming of infidelity by oneself or by one's partner was associated with lower feelings of intimacy. These patterns held even after controlling for the previous day's activity, and factors such as gender and relationship length.

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Category(s):Relationships & Marriage

Source material from British Psychological Society

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