Your night time dreams might have more of an impact on your relationship than you think, according to new research looking at how dreams impact our interactions with our partners.
The study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, asked 61 volunteers in relationships between the ages of 17 to 42 to document their dreams, particularly those which were related to their relationship, as well as their interactions and behaviours towards their romantic partners over 14 days.
Findings showed that arguments between couples were often set off when an individual dreamt of conflict and jealousy, while participants who dreamt their partner had cheated had decreased feelings of love or intimacy towards their significant other the next day.
Dreaming about sex also had an impact on the volunteers’ relationships.
Those in good relationships reported a heightened sense of love and intimacy after having a sex dream while participants in weaker relationships experienced a decreased sense of love and intimacy towards their romantic partner.
Results suggested that dreams did play some part in influencing how we react in our relationships.
“A lot of people don’t pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind,” lead researcher Dr Dylan Selterman told The Huffington Post.
The idea for the research was reportedly based on Selterman’s own experience with a college girlfriend who would get angry with him because of how he behaved in her dreams.
“[Dreams] have predictive value. People’s activity changes as a function of the dream they had the night before,” he said.
Selterman believes the dreams might be another form of manifestation between sexual satisfaction and its correlation to relationship satisfaction.
He believes the findings of this study might be a result of a psychological phenomenon known as priming – where certain thoughts or emotions are triggered by certain stimuli such as sights, sounds, smells and are unconsciously relayed to the top of people’s minds.
A recent and separate study on dreams published in the journal Dreaming recently showed that 20 percent of participant’s dreams were about their romantic partners.