With or without you? Dreaming about the romantic partner – A case study

  • Michael Schredl (Author)
    Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
  • Annabelle Neuhäusler (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


Romantic relations do not only play a major role in pop songs like the U2 song “With or without you” but also in “real” life. Empirical data support the continuity hypothesis of dreaming as romantic partners are quite prominent in dreams; however, content analytic studies of partner dreams are quite scarce. The present dream series over a four-year time period (included a romantic relationship) of a female dreamer included 132 dream reports. Partner-related activities (sexuality, friendly interactions) are more prominent in dreams with the partner compared to dreams without the partner. After separation, the friendly interactions in partner dreams decreased and negative emotions increased. This single-case study might stimulate research to take a closer look on ex-partner dreams and test whether they are helpful – also within a clinical context (psychotherapy) – in coping with the separation.


Dreams, Continuity hypothesis, Romantic relationships
How to Cite
Schredl, M., & Neuhäusler, A. (2019). With or without you? Dreaming about the romantic partner – A case study. International Journal of Dream Research, 12(1), 141–146. https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2019.1.59638