He’s Still Around In My Dreams – Teaching Me About Love

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This is a personal story about a man who didn’t “work out” but who still shows up from time to time in my dreams….

I was 12 years older than him, but we didn’t know it. It was a long time ago, and I’ll always think I almost married him – white picket fence and all.

I met him in a computer store, in the early days of computers, when I was an actress writing screenplays, and he made his living pulling the backs off computers and switching the parts around inside before he closed them back up.

On our first date, the chemistry was through the roof, but the conversation was stiff and almost weird, as though we were in two different Universes trying to discover a common language.

At the end of the dinner part of the date, we got into his car, and he leaned in to kiss me. The moment his lips touched mine, it was all over, I was his, he was mine, and only 20 seconds (I think I must have counted) after the separation of our lips, the weirdness crossed my mind and I said “how old are you?” When he told me, I thought I’d die of the weirdness, and when he asked me back and I had to tell the truth, I thought I’d die of embarrassment.

And then he took me home to where he lived with his father and mother (yes, he had a private entrance in the back), we had sex, and for the whole next year there was no weirdness, just his love and devotion and mental brilliance along with a deep sense of impossibility.

I believed that white picket fence was truly just around the corner. He was a genius, I thought, and he’d be in demand as soon as he graduated from college. As it turned out, he was – very much – in demand. But I was gone by then. And not because of the weirdness, and not because he didn’t want the white picket fence with me, too, and not because he was so young. I was gone because it was impossible.

We really were from different Universes, and we never really learned to speak the same language. You can bridge age, you can bridge personalities, you can even bridge timing. I suppose some people can even bridge Universes. What we couldn’t bridge was fear. Mine. The fear that made me push him away..

I still think of him. I wonder where he is and what he’s doing, and who he’s with and how many children he has. and I wonder if in some parallel Universe we’re together, because he’s still in my dreams.

He doesn’t haunt them, or hurt me in them. In my dreams, he still loves me, carries me around, kisses me, makes emotional and physical fire with me, and it seems as if he’s always taking me somewhere better than the place I’m in when he enters the dream.

So he’s still in my life, somewhere. Impossible, yes, futile, no. Gone, yes, gone forever, no. Everything he was to me and everything he taught me, and everything he brings me in my dreams – I use in the fantastic marriage I have now with my fantastic husband.

Whenever I think of him, I feel in my heart how he once gave me, and continues to give me, a new piece of my ability to move beyond fear and into love with the man I love now.

Love is strange and mysterious, and impossible is just a word – so don’t ever give up.

Love, Rori

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  1.  #1Daria on October 23, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    oh Rori that feels heartbreaking! I know you are saying that this is a good thing… but to me the idea of losing someone like that out of one’s life is the ultimate sadness… it is why until I learned your tools I would break down at every love song that was about loss… It may be a cultural thing since there are lots of stories I know about people wasting away from heartbreak or loss… or living their whole lives in misery and despair from losing the one they love… I have somehow really imprinted this fear or idea in my heart… I feel awful just thinking that you can be living your life and dreaming of a man that is no longer in it except in your dreams… I know this is not how you see it and I feel so glad for you but I just feel like sobbing and sobbing right now! I love myself for this and I know I can heal this in me but it feels so beautiful and sad…

    THANK YOU for sharing this… please help me and if anyone else sees it this way with getting to see and feel it in the happy way you do…

  2.  #2Reshi on October 23, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    What an amazing, beautiful story! I don’t have any past lovers in my dreams–actually come to think of it, I don’t have any past lovers, period. My husband was really my first love and my first sexual partner–everyone before him was just a crush or an icky, sexually pressuring boyfriend that I didn’t even want.

    My husband does show up in my dreams, frequently. Sometimes it’s just plain awful and I watch him pay attention to other women (and MEN–and he’s really not very high on the gay scale), withdraw from me, and just generally fade away from my life. Sometimes I get so angry at him that I yell at him and even beat him physically, and it is always completely futile, never gets me what I want, and always makes me lose him. And other times he tries to connect with me, or I try to connect with him, but it just never quite reaches completion. In my dreams with my husband it’s never good and it never has been–even when we were dating and he was my perfect knight in shining armor. I didn’t dream about him, or any other man, back then.

    Only once in my life did I ever have a dream of a lover who came close to fully connecting with me. He was tall and Hawaiian and imaginary, connected with a character from my own personal mythology, and he made love to me–and it was absolutely incredible–and he got me pregnant. (And then my Stranger, another character from my personal mythology, rudely awakened me by pouring 7-Up on my face.) This happened a few months ago, shortly before my husband stopped saying he loved me–though after things had definitely started going bad with him–and I think my dream lover was showing up to tell me that I DO deserve a fully loving, passionate connection with a man, no matter how bad things looked in my love life at the time. And that it IS possible that such a man would just simply COME TO ME, without my having to lift a finger to seek him.

    I just dropped a tear or two wishing I’d had a wonderful past lover like yours, deeply regretting having saved my virginity for marriage because, contrary to my desires, it did NOT save me from heartbreak.

  3.  #3Chloe on October 24, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Hi Rori, that was such a beautifully written piece.

    I wonder if I can ask your (and anyone who wants to chime ins) opinion about something? I’ve been working with Modern Siren for about a week now and it is really changing my thinking. I;ve been seeing a man for about a year and a half, we don’t live together but about 30 minutes away. Lately I’ve had a lot of doubts about the relationship mostly because although he says he loves me and is super affectionate and attentive and I know his parents and best friend, there is still a part of his life that I am not allowed to see.

    Anyway last night he came over and immediately I started feeling really sad about him being there, I’m not sure why and I said nothing (wrong I know) Later when we were making love I just lost it, tears just started flowing and I have no idea why other than I just feel so insecure about this relationship and don’t know how to say so.

    Of course he wanted to know why I was crying and I told him I felt sad and confused about our relationship but didn’t know why. He asked if I wanted to see other people and I told him no, then I asked him if he was seeing or wanted to see others and he replyed that “he wasn’t the one acting weird”

    I just don’t know how to communicate my sadness and insecurity. I don’t even know what it is myself. Sorry this is so long and thank you so much for the help and hope you give us all here.


  4.  #4Andrea on October 24, 2008 at 8:27 am

    It’s funny Rori. I don’t usually remember my dreams and I don’t usually dream about my ex’s but last night I remembered my dream and it was about my ex so this article of course caught my eye as I have been wondering what my dream was about all morning. However my dream wasn’t as touching.

    In my dream I was sleeping and I was awaken by Jim. He was trying to sleep with me. At first, in my dream, it took me awhile to realize what was going on. Then it came to me and I was wondering where he had been and what he was doing and I told him to leave me be. Then the dream changed it was still Jim but in a different form. He turned into the Joker, like from Batman – the Heath Ledger version not the Jack Nickelson version, and I remember feeling he was lurking around in my home and I was trying to keep him away so I could change – change my clothes shower etc. There were many people in my home like they worked for me almost like they were my PR as if I was a celebrity or something. I’m not sure what to make of it but I woke up at 4am with a bad stomach ache. I don’t know what’s up with my stomach lately I’ve never had stomach aches before. I suppose it is stress. I’m not sure what to make of it but it’s interesting.

  5.  #5Reshi on October 24, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Rori, this is a completely unrelated question, but I have been working with several of your programs and I still don’t understand specifically how Leaning Forward/Leaning Back/Overfunctioning works when you’re married. Can I really never speak to him unless he speaks first? What about handling practical matters such as household chores? I dialed way back on what I perceived as “mothering” (cooking and cleaning) a few months ago and now he complains that he doesn’t want to be with me because I don’t take pride in keeping a clean house. And I feel that now that I don’t cook, I’m missing out on good food and potential togetherness by sharing a meal. I’m missing out on my sense of accomplishment that I used to get from making a good meal. And there’s definitely a feeling of Trading going on (he has picked up on it and said something to the effect of I won’t cook for him unless he has sex with me)…I could definitely use some clarification on the specifics of how this works in a marriage as opposed to a dating situation.

  6.  #6Rori Raye on October 24, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Reshi – The truly important thing here is to tune into YOU. If you ENJOY cooking, then cook. If you feel RESENTFUL when you’re cooking, then don’t. If you want to straighten things in the house for YOU – then do it. If you feel like you’re doing it to please HIM, then don’t.

    You’re going to have to discover who you are.

    And then you must talk with him. You must say, I don’t want to be “Trading.” This has nothing to do with not cooking until he has sex with you. This is about you feeling BAD, and angry, and simply not feeling MOTIVATED to do things.

    I’m going to suggest a counselor or therapist or life coach for you right now, because I can’t give you the complete attention and accountability and follow-through you need and deserve from here.

    You also have to find a way to be HAPPY. If you are stewing in resentfulness, and so you are doing nothing that makes you happy at home – then find stuff that makes you happy to do OUTSIDE your home.

    Is he completely unwilling to see a counselor together? I’m not saying that would be a magic bullet – sometimes it makes a divorce happen faster – but it’s something to consider.

    The shift you’ll feel will be in YOU. You will detach from the situation without feeling anger, and simply go about taking care of yourself. When you are at the point where you wish you could date other men, because they seem interested in you and it feels good, you may feel very detached from your husband. If you still are able to stay warm to him, open, and feel happy about yourself and your life OUTSIDE of him – and he does NOT move toward you…that’s when you go back to the divorce option.

    Just do all of this FIRST.

    Leaning Back and Stepping Back are all accompanied by Opening up, Warming Up, and being inviting, happy, and full of the energy of life. I know it sounds hard to do when you’re disturbed by what’s going on in your marriage, but it’s the only way to go…Love, Rori

  7.  #7Reshi on October 24, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Rori, thank you so much. You’ve given me a framework that makes sense. He’s moving toward me in tiny little ways now. I was dancing by myself in the living room while he was playing online games in the computer room and I was actually kind of annoyed by how *quickly* he came toward me–I hadn’t hardly had a moment to get into my dancing and forget he existed! 😉 But I did manage to be open and warm to him and even get out a proper Feeling Message or two, and we ended up cooking *together* and spending the evening playing video games. He did nothing affectionate, and we interacted more like buddies, but realistically I don’t expect a whole lot more from someone who 5 days ago told me he was completely done with being together. We’ll see what the future holds.

    You are right, I do probably need a counselor of some nature at this point. My husband has agreed to attend a weekend relationship seminar with me though he doubts it’ll do any good at this point. I am putting some high hopes on that seminar because it will involve work in a safe space with healing past wounds, etc, and right now he is in a place where he’s pretty much completely being run by past wounds, at least as far as our relationship is concerned. But of course, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. We’ll see what actually happens…it could allow things to heal, or you’re right, it could just speed us towards divorce.

    Your posts on sex, and the Modern Siren program, have helped me TREMENDOUSLY. I would say I feel a hundred times better after putting those things into practice. I mean, I still often get depressed and dread seeing or interacting with my husband–but now I know that I don’t have to STAY depressed. And it’s so freeing to know that I can turn myself on and ENJOY it, any time I want, regardless of what HE is doing. It makes me feel a lot more alive and definitely helps me to shift my mood almost instantly. I’ll know I’m doing the right thing when I’m able to feel like 100% Goddess even while I’m in his presence–I’m not there yet but I feel I could get there. And that feels awesome.

  8.  #8Reshi on October 24, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    This is completely random and off-topic but I just made up a Tool today that might help some women. I don’t know about most people, but I believe that the music you listen to has a huge subconscious effect on your emotional and mental programming. And if you listen–really listen–to the lyrics of most of the songs on the radio these days, you’ll hear a lot of women leaning forward, women pining after an imaginary relationship, and men generally being insufferable bastards who don’t know what they want but don’t want the woman they’re with.

    So here’s what I did: I went through my ITunes library and made a playlist consisting ONLY of love songs sung by men who I felt were coming from a Masculine Energy, Leaning Forward place (the 1950’s is a great decade for that, btw)…and then just sat back and listened to it and pretended that every single one of the singers was singing to or about me.

    It was amazing how hard that was at first–just to let in that energy and not try to turn it back by singing along and turning MYSELF into the guy! And then I realized that it was in fact a deeply ingrained habit of mine to take some wonderful, manly love song and turn it around, make myself into the guy, and express those Leaning Forward emotions towards some imaginary man–or even towards some real man that I was pining after! Ick, how awful! And I also realized that I was, on a deep level, SCARED to let in all the wonderful loving masculine energy coming from the songs. But when I was able to do it, I felt so warm and open and free, it was amazing. Try it!

  9.  #9Daria on October 25, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Hey Reshi! I am so glad you said that! I thought I was the only one who sangs along in the place of the guy… YAY I am so glad I am not alone. Listening to those kind of songs sounds like a great idea and I was thinking the same thing (about songs nowadays being about women leaning forward) yesterday as I was listening to the radio.

    I’m feeling super happy and excited right now… I feel afraid to confess why… but I have been honest so far so here goes… yesterday after I went to the dance club with some of my girls (where I met 2 men but didn’t really find them super attractive) I …ahem… called some of my guy friends … lol… I had had a couple drinks… I actually called this guy I never call anymore because I had had an imaginary relationship with him for a long time (read: I was most attached to) he also doesn’t call me but he sees me in the neighborhood and Rori’s tools work on him… well it turns out one of our friends is getting married today… so I went over to his house where they were and had a great time chatting watching female comedians on tv and watching him play videogames (yes this was fun the videogames nowadays have great graphics). It felt so good… this guy has this awesome warm energy… and also it feels like coming home to me… like I’ve known him for my whole life and kind of like being around my cousins or my mom… (good feeling not weird feeling lol). He did stuff I used to hate when I was trying to date him (he talked on the phone with another woman) I also talked on the phone with another of my guy friends before his convo (this seemed to bother him a little though he never says it). I was not super bothered as before …my energy was not really caught up into him and when it did I pulled back and turned my attention to our other friend… then later he asked me to go get something from downstairs … (I noticed he starts acting rude right before he starts hitting on me lol)… so instead of doing that I said I’m going to leave (it was late) and did. I felt good driving home and now I feel like I changed worlds… lol … I woke up with my chest filled with pink clouds! … also my other guy friend that I texted to come out last nite texted me back today to say good morning and how am I feeling…

    So whats going on these things are supposed to make me feel bad… and instead I feel super happy!

  10.  #10ann on October 25, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Rori-thank you so much when I first read Reshi post I wanted to respond to her to cook if she enjoyed and felt like it. She should do what felt good to HER. But I wasn’t sure if that was the right advice to give, so I decide be quite, let Rori answer that. I’m working on stop doubt myself. Anyway, when I read your response I felt good because I knew I was on the right track.

    Reshi- I believe music touches us deeply. Would you please share some of the songs you have on your music tool playlist? Thanks

  11.  #11Cassandra on October 25, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    The experience that you shared above is so inspiring in that just 5 days ago your husband had stated that he was done with being together and now you two are relaxed, enjoying one another playing video games and cooking dinner together. That in itself deserves a celebration! Your story is inspiring to me with my situation and gives me hope that maybe things will be ok for me and my finace’ although I am not really sure that that would be in my best interest. Thanks for sharing what you are going through and how you are working through it….it is helping me tons!

    Hugs to you and again….congratulations on focusing on you! (maybe I will get there one day too?? 🙂 )

  12.  #12Rori Raye on October 25, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Reshi – Thank you so much for the idea about the music – I put your whole comment and a bit more into a new post – here-> Love, Rori

  13.  #13Andrea on October 26, 2008 at 6:27 am

    What a wonderful tool, Reshi! Can you share your playlist with us?

    Rori, I tried going to the new post about the music and it was not available for viewing.

  14.  #14ann on October 26, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Andrea I tried to follow the link but it wouldn’t come up for me either. So I went to the home page of the blog it is here:


    You might have to copy & paste the link.

  15.  #15DocK on December 2, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    One of the things that I picked up from your “dream” man is that it ended because of fear. I am using your tools. I have listened to them more than once and they have really helped me STOP before I made some poor choices in communicating BUT I don’t know how to stop the fear. I know that I have a tendency to try to sabotage a relationship because of it. I have done soooo much soul searching lately and work on myself but I don’t know where this fear and mistrust comes from. My father cheated on my mother (I was 10 years old) and the marriage ended but I have not ever actually experienced someone cheating on me but TRUST – I don’t seem to know how. I do like men and don’t put them in that “all men are pigs” category that some women seem to do. I get a lot of attention from men. I have a doctorate. I know my self-esteem isn’t where it should be but, again, WHY?

    How do I stop being so afraid of being hurt? How did you do it?