Dream Characters: How to Understand People in Your Dreams

Dream Characters

Lately I’ve had an influx of emails and comments saying something like this: “I keep dreaming of the same person, what does it mean?”  Or “I keep dreaming about my crush, are we meant to be together?”

I hear ya… loud and clear.  This is my answer to all your questions about the people you dream about.

Everything is YOU

In this post, I’ll focus on the symbolic aspect of dreams.   Dreams are your own creation.  And everything in your dreams is created by you, for you.  That means symbolically everything in your dreams represents YOU – or some aspect of yourself, your personality, your relationships, your body, or your life.

That includes the people you dream about.  Yes, I know… you wanted me to say that the dream you keep having about your crush means that you are meant for each other.  And that might be true.  But it’s your dream so that means your crush represents some part of you.

What are Dream Characters?

Dream characters are simply any “being” you dream about, such as a person.  The person could be known or unknown, male or female, famous, fictional, magical, or your own creation.

But dream characters are not limited to people.  A dream character could also be a pet, wild animal, humanoid, fictional or magical creature, or even AI.  Broadly, a dream character is any living being you dream about.  And I’m using the term “living” loosely here to include characters that are fictional, magical, or otherwise don’t fit the common definition of living.

For the sake of simplicity, in this article I’ll refer to dream characters as people.  But know that everything here can be applied to other types of characters as well.

The Role of People in Dreams

Dreams are highly visual and the language they “speak” is pictures and images.    Knowing this, how do you visually represent something like connection, loyalty, thoughtfulness, clever, gullible, wholesome, or frank?

Intangible qualities like these are very difficult to represent visually.  Can you draw a picture of frankness? Not easily.  And even if you do manage to do so, will others understand?  Not likely.

Enter dream characters.  Very often the best way to visually represent an abstract quality is by using a person who represents that quality to you.

Now, this is very personal and dream characters will represent different qualities to different people.   So this is NOT something you can use a dream dictionary for.  You need to do a little digging on your own.

Never fear… understanding dream characters is straightforward.

First Associations

Here is a simple way to understand the meaning of *any* person in your dreams.  First, you need to figure out what quality or qualities that person most represents to you.  To do this, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you first think of when you think of this person?
  • What qualities, traits, or behaviors do you most associate with this person?
  • What words or qualities do you associate with your relationship to this person?

Now that you have a quality in mind, here’s what you do:  If the quality is positive, the dream is asking you bring that quality into your life.

On the other hand, if it’s a negative quality, the dream is asking you to remove that quality from your life.

This is easier said than done.  So you might find that you keep dreaming about the same person again and again.  If this is the case keep playing with bringing the qualities into your life, or removing them.  You may need to go back and re-evaluate what that person represents to you.  Keep playing and tweaking until you hit on something that feels right.

What Part of Me?

Another way to understand dream characters is by asking “what part of me does this person represent?”   Remember, symbolically everything in your dream represents some part of you.  And that includes people.

Looking at your dream characters as some aspect of yourself can help you gain insights into your unconscious behaviors and beliefs. For example, a dream about your mother might be bringing awareness to beliefs she instilled in you.  Or ways that you are like her, but might not be aware.

Final Thoughts on Dream Characters

Symbolically, all dream characters represent some aspect of you.  Making first associations and/or asking what part of you this person represents can help uncover the deeper meaning of the dream character.

Dreaming into Life is all about bringing the wisdom of your dreams into your daily life.  To do this, you need to take appropriate action on your dreams.  Since dream characters often represent qualities, it can be useful to bring positive qualities into your life or remove negative ones from your life.

It’s Your Turn, Dreamer

I always love to hear from you.  What dream characters have you encountered and what did they represent for you?  Share your stories and experiences in the comments below.

Sweet Dreams,


Hi! I’m Amy – Certified Master Coach, Dream Worker & Creator of this site. I Blend life coaching & dream work to help you uncover your authentic truth and create a life you love ♥

{ Click HERE to get to know me} { Click HERE to work with me}


  1. Hi Amy
    The most reoccurring dream character I get is Jon Bon Jovi, & Ritchie Sambora, I’m aware they are rockstars, the reason they come in, there is something in my life I believe that’s a broken record, I thought about this for a long time, what does this band do, they make music they tour, they make albums cd’s. I’ve had many many conversation more Ritchie than Jon. I also recognize that what ever it is I need to interpret or work through, might be a long process, eg: touring. I’ve never had any negative meetings with these characters.

    On the negative side, I did have a very intense dream the other night I tried to get out of, the people in my dream were not of earth more alien, lots of attacking going on, the latter part of the dream I had this really creepy guy come up my driveway he beat the tar out of me, my son came to my rescue. I have people in my life that are doing this to me in waking, not the beating but attacks mostly behind my back, I understand mostly that this has more or less gone on my whole life, I guess when I’m in dream state this is what comes out, because I am aware of it. I do try very hard to be a nice person, I never attack anyone physically verbally, etc… I’m also aware of our negative thought process (ego) .

    That’s about it for now

    • Lori,

      Thanks so much for sharing your dreams and your dream characters! I love the connections you made.

      Keep Dreaming,
      Amy xo

    • Well I keep having the same dream about my Husband.telling me he is coming home, and in the other dream about my husband we are driving down the street talking and tell him he needs to talk to a pastor. The next dream about my husband again he is telling me he will be home shortly I don’t know what to make of it. Is it wishful thinking? Thanks Roslind Ruffin

      • Dreams have a way of helping you process traumatic events, like you’re husband leaving home, for example. They allow you to make new connections with what’s going on in your life and in that way simply dreaming about a difficult situation can help the healing process.

        Dreams *can* have future elements to them, so if the symbolic interpretation doesn’t apply, I might consider the possibility that you are having pre-cognitive dreams.

        Finally, Freud termed certain dreams as Wish-fulfillment. These dreams allow you to experience what you want to experience in your waking life, but can’t. So rather than not getting to have the experience it at all, you fulfill your wish in the dream state. This could very well be the case for you too.

        If this was my dream, I would look within myself and see how I’m *really* feeling about the situation. If I truly believe that there’s a chance of us getting back together or not. If there is, I would take steps to try to reconcile. Otherwise, I would continue with my healing process as best as I can and grieve the loss.

        Sweet dreams,
        Amy xo

      • I do so want my marriage to be reconcile I pray for that everyday but unfortanly my husband does not want to reconcile it now has been two months. What do I do

        • If this were my situation, I would pray for “healing” in whatever form that takes. It may not be the form I *want* it to take, but I would turn it over to the God of my understanding and accept what comes.

          It’s a tough situation, I know. I wish you all the best. Bless your life


          • I have a similar dream to this except instead of husband ex fiance I dream every night we r together I am married and have my own family this has went on for 15 plus years,I know I still love him and he me he has never moved on I did bc I got pregnant

  2. Awesome vid. Nothing specific for me lately but I remember having dreams about total strangers interacting with other strangers. Since everyone in a dreams is us, I wonder what my dream was trying to tell me by putting on a stranger mask! Strangely, I always wake up feeling refreshed after dreams like this.

    • Intriguing dream! If this were my dream, I would wonder what parts of my self are “strangers” to me – what parts of myself have I yet to discover or get acquainted with.

      Sweet Dreams,
      Amy xo

  3. Amy,
    It’s Mylène again. I wanna share a dream about my crush. He appeared with his friend(never met in waking life). I walked passed them with our common coach. And then his friend told him something, he stopped me and asked me to tie his shoelace. And suddenly I realize if I helped him, he would know that I like him. He did this to test me, to see if I like him. This is his friend’s idea. So I tie the shoelace tightly, he felt pain and showed a painful face. I saw wounds on his feet and I did it on purpose. although I don’t want to let him know my feeling for him, I still did it. And the dream ended.
    Another flash of him appeared in my house. He acted like me (like a naughty child)–wanna piss me off.i knew his trick so neglected it. Our interactions made me feel like lovers. In reality, he’s a quiet boy and I used to be like a child to ask him do some works.
    My interpretation is he is me in my dream life. I know my childish behavior and I like being like that. Actually I haven’t been like this for a very long time. Last time I said I like to reveal my true feeling to people. Maybe now I realize I am still a child in my deep deep unconsciousness. And I seem to like it.

    • What great insights! I love the direction you took this and that you were able to see this part of yourself in the dream :)

      Sweet Dreams,
      Amy xo

      • Thank you for your encouragement, Amy. It seems like easy to interpretate the dream when i try to analyze it without thinking too much. XD
        Last night i had a bad dream. I am confused about the characters and plots. They aren’t logical. I suddenly have an idea. Is it possible character A is image of character B? Which means I hide character A inside character B, maybe i did it out of avoiding?


        • Mylene,

          Yes, dreams can give seemingly illogical sequences like that to illustrate a point. I always look at what I’m avoiding or hiding from in my dreams – that’s often where some of my greatest insights occur :)

  4. Hi Amy. This is extremely helpful. I now have a clear insight on what my dream characters are indicating. There were these 2 people in my life, who appreciated me and called me special. They are gone now, and I miss them,

    Now I know exactly what this dream is trying to tell me. Thanks so much :)

    • You’re welcome! I’m so glad you found it helpful :)

  5. Hi, I keep having dreams about this boy I stopped communicating with around 4-5 months ago. I guess you can say we ended on bad terms. But I always had strong feelings for him since the day we first started to hang out with each other. Unlike having the same reoccurring dream, I keep seeing him in my dream and everytime I get butterflies and my heart starts racing and it’s always the same …seems like he’s not interested. But tonight I was walking around my neighborhood (for some reason wearing a long tshirt and some comfortable boxers with my hair tied up looking a mess) & he was playing football with some friend, as I try to walk away unnoticed the football comes flying my way and once he sees who I am he immediately starts smiling and so do. He pulled me to the side to ask what happened between us when a female shows up and claims she is his girlfriend (which startled me because he’s not into relationships and having girlfriends or any of that sort) so she pulls him away, she seemed very jealous and he was trying to explain to her that we were just talking, I walked away said GoodLuck then she starts mumbling things under her breath. I look back and we both smile at each other, and then I woke up

    • Hi there,

      When you think of this boy what is the first thing that comes to mind? What quality or trait do you most strongly associate with this guy? Answer these questions then follow the instructions above. That will help you figure out why you are having repeating dreams about this guy and what to do about it.

      Sweet Dreams,
      Amy xo

      P.S. Check out my new video training series on how to understand and use your dreams in your life (it’s free!). And I’ll be hosting a live webinar next week about Nightmares. Get your name on my list, if you’re not already, to learn more about that!

  6. After watching your video, I believe the dream in which I had a wonderful man select me from a group of other women to marry, then get angry and reject me, is about my insecurities over being worthy of love. I have had to deal with many abandonment issues. So I believe I need to deal with my self esteem and insecurity issues…What do you think?

  7. Hi Amy,

    I found your article extremely insightful. I’ve been having this same problem for the last year or so now, thinking and dreaming about the same guy over and over again. I was deeply infatuated with him for a couple of years and I finally got over that infatuation recently, but I still keep dreaming about him. The dreams are mostly negative because things ended sort of awkwardly between the two of us. I just don’t understand why he won’t leave my head, I don’t love him, I don’t even want him in my life.

    • Hey Bunny,

      Glad you found the article helpful. If this were my dream/experience, I’d look at the negative aspects of the dream and then try to integrate those lessons into my life. It can be helpful to ask these two questions: What is this showing me? And what is this teaching me?

      Sweet dreams,
      Amy xo

  8. Hi Amy,

    This has been a really helpful article.

    I’ve been having the reoccurring dream for 2 years now about a celebrity that in my dream I’ve fallen head over heals in love with.
    The first dream I had I remember this actor waiting in his car at my house as I was driving in the driveway and he was waiting for me to get in his car run away with him. Just as I go to get in his car my husband runs out the door abusing him and I’m standing there feeling helpless and torn between wanting to jump in the car and go off into the sunset with this man but I feel sorry for my husband and I don’t want to see him hurt.
    I’ve had a few dreams since then along those same lines then last night I dreamt that I was back living with my mum and packing up all my things to run away with this actor. He had brought his parents to meet me and they were skeptical about him choosing me but he was adamant he was in love with me. I can remember packing all my clothes in a bag and feeling things like I was rushing to leave and I wasn’t going to be good enough for him. After a while we took all my things and got into a car waiting out the front and once I got in I lay on his chest and knew that this is what I wanted and that feeling of being his everything at that moment was overwhelming and something that was familiar yet I was craving. At that moment he answered a phone call from his friend and was telling him that I was the one he wanted to marry and he had never been more sure of anything and suddenly it dawned on me that I would have to go though a divorce from my husband and break his heart but then I think about how I feel with this new man and I don’t want my old life back anymore and accept what has to be done.

    This dream has baffled me for ages as the actor in my dream is not even someone I think about and my husband is a wonderful husband and farther

    • Hi Miranda,

      In dreams, marriage is often about blending or merging qualities or parts of yourself. So, if this were my dream, I would go through the process I outlined in the article and video about how to understand what the actor means for you. And then I would play around with bringing those qualities into my life and “marrying” them, so to speak.

      Sweet dreams,
      Amy xo

  9. Hi Amy,

    I am disturbed by my dream this morning. I dreamed I was at a party at my ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s house. She is wealthy and popular and there were many people in this high end house, (which is not what her real house is like). I think I was invited by my ex boyfriend and he was cruising around look for his girlfriend all the time, not really hanging out with me. I was alone, so I took my shirt and my shoes off and started drawing a full size plan of her property (I am a professional home and garden designer). His girlfriend looked at it and put it aside, not impressed. (Most people, especially my ex, are very impressed by my drawings). I decided to just leave even though I couldn’t find my shoes. I was very hurt after our 5 year relationship and it took me this long to get over it. The thing that hurt me the most was how he pursued this new woman, who I knew, before he even moved out, although recently he told me he’s not getting what he wants from her and is now in therapy because of the way she treats him. It’s disturbing me to dream about her.

  10. Very cool, loved, it helps a lot, thank you for the tips … Amy

  11. Hi, Amy.

    Thank you so much for sharing your insight! I stumbled upon your blog (I guess that what it is :c) when my recurring dream ended one morning with a total shock. Your explanations helped me to understand what it meant. Because of that, I think a lot of things in my marriage are going to improve now.

    I’m going to recommend your website to everyone I know!

    • You’re welcome! So glad you found the article helpful :)

  12. Hi Amy,
    So after reading what you said, I got a big question for you. I don’t want to go into details because it starts “the trigger” again, but I will do the basics. Back at the very beginning of May, I had the worst nightmare of my life. A very scary …”creature” was attacking me in my own room and everything was perfect as if I was awake but I wasn’t. I even woke up our neighbors from my screams. I literally did not sleep for 22 hours straight. The next day I went to the hospital to make sure everything with my heart was ok. I was so scared, and the exact feeling I had during that time, it traumatized me for Five Months Straight, only recently I started to sleep with no light, no sound, and alone. But over the month of May, that creature tried to get me in multiple dreams, I thought I was being haunted by a demon. I got a cross for my room and the dreams died down but a good amount, but I still had the trigger, which is the instant moment I start to get the super scared feeling again. I haven’t had a nightmare about him for about a two months now thank goodness, but I want to know what this creature was supposed to be. I will not say his name, but I can explain hat he looks like and does if you ask.

  13. Hi Amy, I think it’s so great what you provide here on your website and I see you respond to each person’s comment with candor. I’m another person in search of answers and I thank you in advance for whatever advice you can offer. I don’t know if it’s possible to love someone without ever having spoken to them but I feel that was the case for me in high school. I know this person had interest in me too. But nothing ever came of it. He was two years ahead of me and went away to college. I stayed at home for college. I missed him deeply and of course regretted that he never tried to initiate anything with me. Anyway I dealt with the heartache and made peace with it. It has been years since he has remotely crossed my mind. I began to first dream of him when my husband and I were starting our new marriage. They’ve continued steadily. The dreams of him are so sweet. I feel like I’m a foolish teenager again. I feel guilty telling my husband about them. And the thing is I am happy and confident in our marriage. I don’t know why I’m having these dreams. I feel that I am beginning to miss him all over again in real life even though I’m not going to act on these feelings, because I don’t believe in stepping outside of my marriage. Most of the dreams take place in the past. But I’ve had a few where I actually meet him or have lunch with him in the present time. I’ve told him in those dreams that I am grateful to have spent time with him and that I may even still love him but all we will ever have is friendship. If there ever was something I could tell him if we were to meet by chance it would be that. But even doing so in my dream, has not resolved them. I continue to dream of him and they’re so lovely and sad at the same time. It is torture. What can I do??

  14. So for the past 2 months I have been having good and bad dreams. I am married (recently reconciled) and have 2 kids with my husband. We almost divorced due to cheating but I was willing to fight for it. (He didn’t so i felt like I needed to) I never have dreams about him and when I do, they are always bad. So recently I have 2 dreams back to back. The first dream I had was me kicking him out the house. The second dream was I went to pick him up from work one day and as I was waiting on him I saw him kissing another woman and I drove off and left him there.

    Now the good dreams involve another guy (who is attractive). Each dream that I have had either had to do with a wedding where he was the grrom and I was the bride, driving in a car to my Dad’s house and he was driving and we were holding hands, us looking at homes to purchase as a family, having a child with him, at our house and I am cooking dinner, and me rubbing his feet on the couch after he had a long day and we are just talking about our day.

    Please help because I amreally confused on what all this means

  15. Hi I have this Dream of this guy i just dont like because he is obnoxious ….over and over it beenlike 10 years and it bothers me a lot but in my dreams he is soooo nice and its always a family situation where i am married to him …. how do i stop? also i dream t about the tsunami of 2004 long before it happened it was a occurring nightmare and it stopped the day the tsunami happened so i feel a bit crazy

  16. Hello Amy you have helped me understand a little more about recurring dreams. I want to do some more digging before I leave a comment! Thank you for your help!

  17. Hi Amy,
    I’ve had a dream that I just need to find answers to. I’ve researched and reflected and I just can’t seem to make this dream go away. I had a high school boyfriend that I kept in touch with over the years on and off. The last time we spoke he was getting married and his wife didn’t like us talking so the last time I spoke with him the last thing he told me was “don’t forget about me”….he was someone very important to me and not in a romantic way. Since then I haven’t spoken to him but periodically I’ll dream about him. It’s always the same dream in different locations. It’s always a crowded place and he will see me, walk towards me, smile and hug me. He never says anything. I just remember the feeling we have when we hug. It feels like when you hug someone important to you. We hold on and then he walks away.
    Do you have any insight on what this could represent?

  18. Thanks very much. second tactic worked great.

    • You’re welcome… glad to hear it :)

  19. I’m sorry to post again after posting on the recurring dream page, but I found this page after submitting.

    For the past 2 weeks, I am consistently dreaming about my ex-roommate and ex-boyfriend.

    My ex-roommate was once a close friend of mine, but she turned against me, leaving me feel victimized and depressed. I see her as evil, vindictive, manipulative, and cruel. After reading your explanation of what characters mean, I am trying to find any of her in myself, but I am generally a gentle, kind person. I will admit that I was rude to an old co-worker, but that is the only case I can think of. Otherwise, I feel victimized quite often. I recently was forced to resign from a job I loved after being physically attacked by someone I had considered a close friend. I often struggle with the responsibilities of adult life, falling into debt without understanding how, feeling trapped and cornered by big corporations. I think that her part in my dreams is focused on my being a victim more than the rare instances where I have been cruel.

    My ex-boyfriend was very sweet, very kind, but very childish and dependant. He loved me more than I loved him, so I ended the relationship with some difficulty. I feel guilty for how things ended, for even dating him in the first place. I feel responsible for ruining our friendship. In attempting to understand these characteristics as a reflection of myself, I can only think of how I often blame myself for the bad things in my life. I beat myself down and feel guilty for things that are outside of my control, thinking that I should have known better than to put myself into that situation.

    So to summarise, I guess I’m a self-blaming victim and need to stop. I find myself afraid to take the next step in my current situation, afraid of what might happen to me if I do, afraid of making the wrong decision again. This won’t be an easy change to make, but that may be my fear speaking…

    Please let me know if you think I’m on the right track or if you think I’m only lying to myself. I really can’t stand to keep having these dreams.

    • If this were my dream, I would have a similar understanding :)

  20. Hi Amy, this article has been somewhat helpful. What’s strange to me about my dream character is that this person has been recurrent in my dreams through many years. It started in high school – we knew each other since first grade, but it’s not like we were best friends or had any sort of intimate relationship when we grew up. As a matter of fact, we hadn’t talked in a few years. I got updates from mutual friends when we would catch up, but for the most part we’ve lived separate lives.
    My first vivid dream was towards the end of high school, I had an extremely intense dream with him in it where i could feel his sadness. He never said a word to me, but i knew something was terribly wrong. That same week i found out through a mutual friend his little sister had died in an accident and they were having the services and a memorial the following week.
    I didn’t get to see him or the family, but the entire week the dream had stuck with me, because i had woken up crying and it was the first intense dream i had had.
    Throughout the years at different, random times i would have dreams with him in them, sometimes representing other people, but mostly himself. And a week or two later i would find out some significant moment in his life had happened – moving to a different state, most recently having a child.
    I can’t figure out why i have such an intense connection with this person, someone who i haven’t seen or spoken to in ages, but somehow i always seem to know when significant moments in his life are happening. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I haven’t been able to find much to help me out.

  21. So I have been having this recurring dream about this guy. I have been taking to this guy and all that jazz but I haven’t seen him or really talked to him since I went home for summer break. Every dream is a different situation but the same outcome where he basically tells me it was a one night thing and that he didn’t want anything to do with me anymore. It’s making me second guess myself because that is totally opposite to everything his friends told me about him and in real life he is the sweetest person, and I do have feelings for him and he has some for me. I don’t really know how to interpret these dreams because everything about him in real life is positive and in my dreams it’s negative.