When dreams come true: The relation of salient dreams to the future satisfaction of waking needs

  • Richard Coutts (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


The relation of salient dream content to the satisfaction of needs in the future was explored for 1,106 visitors to a dating website. The online participants completed a survey that included a recent dream report, demographics, measures of waking activities, and information about whether their dream incorporated romantic or sexual attraction. Follow-up surveys collected their relationship status at 3 and 12 months. Findings included participants who were single at study outset and dreamed of romantic or sexual attraction to former partners were 83% more likely to report themselves to be partnered 3 or 12 months later. Participants who were partnered at study outset and who dreamed of attraction to current or former partners were more likely to report as partnered in both follow-up surveys, while those who dreamed of attractive non-partners, including acquaintances, famous people, or strangers, were more likely to break up. Single women were more likely to subsequently partner if they dreamed of attraction than were men, and younger participants were more likely to partner after dreaming of attraction than were older participants. Measures of dating activities and waking concern for being in a partner relationship did not confound results. Findings are discussed in the context of functional hypotheses of dreaming.


dream, dreaming, romantic relationships, human needs
How to Cite
Coutts, R. (2023). When dreams come true: The relation of salient dreams to the future satisfaction of waking needs. International Journal of Dream Research, 16(1), 6–14. https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2023.1.89054