Ever have one of those dreams about someone for your past that is so compelling, you dive into Google to try and find out what they are up to these days? A few days ago I had a dream about a guy I had a crush on in high school. I was a freshman, he was a senior…I thought I was being so subtle and keeping things under wraps…it wasn’t til after he graduated that I found out that pretty much everyone knew about my crush.
Oxytocin is a hell of a thing, isn’t it? I’ve been wondering a lot since then why I developed such a crush on him. It’s not like I frequently crush on people. And there are perfectly nice guys that I’ve dated and felt nothing for. Oxytocin is sometimes called the “falling in love” hormone. It’s also the hormone released during labor.
All these years later, I’m still not sure why I had such a thing for this guy. In my dream, the guy I had a crush on had some kind of head injury or brain injury and I was trying to take care of him. It was a disturbing enough dream that I felt compelled to look him up, which took a little obsessive Google searching.
Without going too much into the woo-woo, I’ve dreamed the future before. One of the reasons I started writing down my dreams, and one of the reasons I wrote a book on dreamwork, is because I have had a number of precognitive dreams. Some dreams have that particular “ping” to them that nudges me to take an action, even if it’s just doing some research. Last year I had a dream about a train derailment that pretty much matched a derailment that happened in New York. Precognitive dreams aren’t really super useful for predicting and changing the future; usually they are fairly vague, and if they are specific, it’s often too late to do anything about it.
Plus there’s the “what would you actually do” factor. I had dreams about skyscrapers falling for a decade before 9-11, and dreams of a terrorist attack just two days before. What am I going to do, call the Pentagon and tell them about my dream?
Even so, whenever I get one of these intense dreams I like to dig around and find out anything I can.
It took some time, but I eventually found a marriage announcement from a few years back which gave me some of his school and job history. Ultimately that led me to his LinkedIn profile, but that’s where the trail stops. It’s an unsettling feeling to have that dream-emotion-compulsion to find out what’s going on, but to not be able to find out answers. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, and probably won’t be the last.
More than anything, this has me thinking about romance, and story, and attraction, and why we fall for the people we do. I often ask myself, is it just chemistry? Is it just oxytocin? I once heard about a study that says that heterosexual women are attracted to men that smell different from their fathers, and by smell, specifically that meant the men were genetically different from their fathers, and that they had a different immune system. Apparently we can detect that in pheromones.
But then there’s also brain attraction. A few years ago I met someone online and he and I clicked together so quickly that we both committed to meeting up even though it was long distance. And we had great chemistry in person, though things didn’t end up working out long term.
Dreams like the one I had stick with me for a while. It’s those potent dreams that are often the foundation of a lot of my fiction. And in this case, it has me thinking about romance in books. So often I see people reviewing books where they can’t possibly believe that the hero and heroine just fell for each other like that. But I know I’ve experienced that kind of unstoppable chemistry. In my case, it’s always been one-sided, but I know that it happens where it’s reciprocated. Sometimes we fall for someone and there isn’t a reason. Maybe it’s pheromones. Maybe it’s oxytocin. Maybe it’s a soulmate. Who knows.
For that matter–just because we fall for someone, doesn’t mean it’s going to work out. That’s one I’ve learned the hard way too.
I have no real desire to ever see this guy again; my crush is long gone and mostly I’m embarrassed for how I acted. If it weren’t horrifically socially awkward, I’d be happy to offer him an apology if I caused him any embarrassment too. Mostly at this point I’m interested in knowing if my dream was giving me a flash of warning about something going on in his life, or if it was just the usual “brain dredging up things from subconscious” types of dreamwork.
Or maybe it’s just the inspiration that I need to finish up my second book on dreamwork.
How about you? Ever have one of those dreams that just sticks with you? Or a dream that came true?