Dream Interpretation: My Ex-Hookup Shows Up with a Huge Backpack

backpackphoto by kevindooley

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means (after the jump). This week, a woman asks Lauri:

I hooked up with a guy at a party several months ago. We met through mutual friends and clicked right away. I’m a 20-year-old virgin and I don’t have much experience with flirting, etc.; in fact he was the third person I’ve ever kissed. I ended up at his place and I spent the night. We didn’t have actual penis-in-vagina sex (I told him I wasn’t “that kind of girl” and he was okay with it), but we fooled around. The next day I gave him my number and we texted and flirted the entire evening. He, however, told me he wasn’t interested in anything (ie. a relationship). Our flirting via text ended there.

Then a month ago I texted him again asking if he would like for us to meet again. I didn’t really want to text him (I found it embarrassing), but my friend forced me to. We had been talking about him and she “dared” me to text him, or else she would call him. He didn’t reply to my text and a few days later I had this dream:

I am at my parents’ house, sitting in the living room, when I see him outside. He is carrying a HUGE backpack (it looks like one of those backpacking-backpacks and it’s the size of a human; six feet tall). I freak out and go to the bathroom to put on some makeup. My parents greet him while I’m in the bathroom. As I make my way to the front door to greet him I pass my mom, and she says, “What a lovely young man!” I get to the front door, but I can’t see him. The backpack is outside lying on the ground. I then see he is coming down the stairs. The light is weird, so I can’t see his face until he is right in front of me at the bottom of the stairs. He smiles at me and says (with a very strong accent, which he does not have in real life): “Let’s put on a smile on that face!” He walks outside to get the backpack, I assume, but instead he suddenly takes off running and laughing.

I didn’t wake up from this dream, but when I woke up in the morning I had a feeling I had cried in my sleep. It was the first time I dreamed about him and it really weirds me out. What does it mean?

Lauri: That was pretty uncool of your friend!  She brought back a lot of unnecessary pain for you — as evidenced by this dream — for her own pleasure. What a tool! Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s piece this dream together…

The living room setting of your dream reflects that you were minding your own business going about living your daily life when this guy is suddenly thrust into your world again (thanks to your uncool friend), which forces you to put up a front that is not truly you (rushing to put on makeup), nor what you truly wanted.

That very large backpack represents the amount of emotional baggage this is for you right now (the bigger something is in a dream, the more weight it holds in waking life).  The emotional baggage is also being shown to you in the form of a backpack because this is something you thought you had put “behind you,” but lo and behold here it is again being laid at your psychological doorstep…thanks to your uncool friend.

In the dream he is coming down the stairs because he was a letdown for you in real life.  The light is weird because you felt weird about being forced to contact him again.  You are unable to see his face because this was something you didn’t want to face but were forced to.  You were only able to see his face once he was right in front of you because he was thrown in your face by that uncool friend!

But what he tells you in the dream is really what you are telling yourself and what the message of the dream is: “Let’s put a smile on that face.” In other words, chin up! Don’t let this bring you down yet again.  He takes off running in the dream because not getting a call back from him is like he told you, all over again: he isn’t interested.  I think his laughing at the end of the dream is connected to your uncool friend’s cheap thrill she got out of putting you through this.  Did I mention that she was a tool?

Response from the dreamer: Thank you so very much! It all makes so much more sense now. I had not realized that the dream might be more about me (and what my friend made me do) than it is about this particular guy. I’m actually glad that the “let’s put a smile on that face” is myself telling me to cheer up because I felt it was just him being mean (because he took off running right after that), when in reality the only person who has been mean to me was my friend. Before your interpretation I felt as if the dream was telling me how cruel this guy was to me, and that has probably let me to resent him quite a bit. Now I feel as if I can let go of that resentment (because he really hasn’t done anything consciously to hurt me…) and finally move on, which I had been doing before my friend goaded me into stirring up that long gone feeling. With all this being said, it still hurts to be rejected three times over; via text first, by not getting a reply second, and in the dream the third time… Also, I’m going to show this analysis to my friend and have her apologize many times over.
Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it. Anonymity guaranteed! And don’t forget: you can get access to Lauri’s free Dream Dictionary on her site.