26 Meanings when you Dream about an Old Friend

It’s amazing the things we can discover through our dreams. Sure, they’re sometimes a simple reflection of the day’s activities. But they can also be our subconscious trying to tell us something we need to know.

And it’s incredibly common to dream about someone from your past. However, it doesn’t imply you’re thinking of them – instead, it could well symbolize something else.

But what? Let’s find out as we explore 26 meanings when you dream about an old friend.

Meanings When You Dream About An Old Friend

Do you still talk to your old friend?

The meaning of the dream changes depending on whether you are still in touch with the old friend or not. And many people think it’s a sign that you should get back in touch with a person you no longer talk to. However, there’s a strong case for this idea being incorrect.


You don’t necessarily miss that person. Instead, they’re a symbol for something else that’s happening to you. In most situations, they represent you or a part of your life that’s on your mind.

What does it mean when you dream about an old friend?

There are a huge number of meanings for dreaming about an old friend. And the best way to interpret it is to look at your life. Your brain is telling you that something needs attention, and it’s up to you to recognize what that is.

1. What’s in a name?

Picture it: you’re strolling down the street in your dream, and you run into your old friend. But wait! You can’t remember their name!

As you probably already know, names have meanings. If you’re struggling to think of your friend’s name, then it could be because you’re also struggling to recognize something in yourself. Look up the meaning of the name and see if it resonates with you at all.

2. Missing simpler times

This doesn’t necessarily mean you wish you could have your childhood back. Instead, it relates to a feeling associated with that friend. Perhaps that feeling is currently missing from your life.

Think about the friend in question. What’s the feeling or aspect most linked to them? It could easily be the thing you’re secretly longing for the most.

3. Childhood wishing

Having said that, an alternative meaning could be more straightforward. Childhood was a simpler, more carefree time. It’s no surprise that many people have an unconscious longing to return to that.

In this dream interpretation, you want to be free of the stress that comes with being an adult. We had so many fewer responsibilities during childhood, didn’t we? While it doesn’t mean you want to be a child again, you do want to get back that freedom you had.

4. Overworked and overwrought

Similar to a few of the previous meanings is this idea that it’s a reflection of your stress levels. Let’s face it; the world is a difficult place to navigate these days. Everything’s getting more expensive, we’re all working more hours, and it certainly takes a toll.

There’s a very good chance that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, especially in your job. This dream is your sign to see where you can cut back. You’re feeling overwhelmed and need to take some of that pressure off.

5. Hopes and dreams

A dream about an old friend can also show you something you’ve been secretly hoping for. And it’s likely that you’re not aware of it yourself. Your friend may have something you crave.

It’s all too easy these days to keep up with what old acquaintances are up to on social media. Perhaps you’ve noticed someone with a new job, a great vacation, or a much-longed-for pregnancy. There’s a good chance that you want the same thing.

6. Is anyone filling your emotional needs?

Everyone needs a little love in their life. Whether this comes from family, friends, a lover, or even a pet, no one can live without love. And this old friend in your dream might signify that.

What were your feelings towards this friend back when you knew them? Was it a crush or more of a platonic love? That might be something you think you’re missing out on.

7. Do you need a hug?

On a similar note, hugging an old friend in a dream is a clear sign that you’re in need to comfort. It’s common for these dreams to happen during a traumatic time. You need support and warmth, and you’re looking for it in your past.

But it doesn’t need to be related to just one event. If you’re having long-term problems at work, then it stands to reason you’d need a friendly hug. And it also could be related to ongoing issues in your romantic life.

8. Shame and guilt

Next, in my rundown of the 26 Meanings when you Dream about an Old Friend, we all have memories from when we were younger that make us cringe! And some may go even further, bringing up a sense of shame or guilt. It’s hard to let go of these feelings, and they can bubble up under the surface many years later.

Maybe the thought of your friend brings back those emotions. If so, it’s time to deal with them. Instead of letting them drag you down, start looking at ways to release them.

9. Accept yourself

On the flip side of the previous meaning, a dream about an old friend can mean you’ve come to terms with a past memory. It’s all about letting go. The friend isn’t a reminder of your past; it’s rather a sign that it’s over.

Think about it: it’s not healthy to hang onto old emotions. Seeing that old friend and no longer experiencing the same feelings that you’re used to is a great sign! It shows that you’ve finally moved on and are in control.

10. What is it you desire?

How does the friend behave in your dream? Do they stop for a chat, or do they ignore you? If it’s the latter, it might show that you’re hiding a repressed need.

Everyone desires to be noticed. If the friend knows you are there but chooses not to acknowledge you, then it’s a sign you’re craving something. Try looking deep within to work out what that might be.

11. Warmth and companionship

The friendships we make as children are often incomparable to those we make as adults. Our feelings are much bigger when we’re kids. It’s harder to control our emotions, so friendships can seem far more intense.

A dream about a childhood friend often means we want those strong connections again. Adults often pass as ships in the night and find it difficult to form platonic relationships with real meaning. Try reaching out to a few people, or take up a new hobby to meet some new pals.

12. The death of an old friend

Don’t panic! If you’re trying to kill your chum in your dream, it doesn’t mean you actually want to do it. Instead, it’s to do with killing some hidden emotions or memories.

You may be hanging onto some residual resentment from the past. It might not be linked to the friend in question; it’s more likely to be related to that time in your life. If there’s something you’re still angry about, this dream shows that your brain wants to start healing.

13. Making a connection

Another surprisingly common dream is when someone you barely knew suddenly starts acting like your closest friend. What has changed? Why do they suddenly like you?

Let’s look at the friend’s other past relationships. Were they something of a social butterfly, and you perhaps felt jealous? It’s probably a sign that you want to be more popular and make more connections too.

14. Nobody wants to be lonely

We often think friends will remain with us for life. But that is rarely the case. Everyone moves on; they start new relationships, new careers, and eventually drift apart.

A dream of one of those old friends can signify loneliness. It’s not necessarily a sign that you want to rekindle those old friendships. But it can show that you feel as though you’re currently missing out on relationships of this sort.

15. A secret crush

We’ve all had crushes that we didn’t confess! This could have been in grade school or perhaps while in college. And dreaming of this crush can be a great sign!

You’re remembering those feelings again! So, who have you been noticing a little more often recently? Or, more excitingly, who have you noticed noticing you?!

16. Party on!

Are you partying with your old friend group in your dream? Well then, that sounds like good news! A celebration is coming your way.

It’s possible that something has already happened that you’re happy about. But it can also be in anticipation of a joyful event. It shows you’re feeling jubilant about something on the horizon.

17. History repeats itself

What if the friend is someone you used to work with? This doesn’t only mean people from your place of employment. It could be a study project buddy or an ex-camp counselor you spent a couple of summers with.

Examine any similarities between your current workplace and your situation back then. You could be repeating unwanted behaviors, such as acting a certain way to get benefits at work. Think about your actions and see if there’s a way you could improve.

17. Getting closure

It’s not a nice feeling to have unfinished business. Sure, you can try to push it out of your mind, but a part of it will remain lurking there. A dream about an old friend can be a reminder of that.

It could be that the friendship ended badly, and you want to make peace. Or it could be something unrelated to that friend, but from the period that you knew them. Either way, it’s important to figure it out, or it will be eating away at you forever.

19. Under the influence

It’s easy to be influenced by the people you surround yourself with. And those influences aren’t always good. It’s easy as a child to get sucked into doing the wrong thing.

It could be that you’re experiencing something similar now. Even adults are susceptible to peer pressure. Your subconscious is telling you to be wary of those you surround yourself with.

20. Level up

It’s easy to compare yourself to childhood friends. It can seem like they have things together so much more than you. They might have achieved a milestone you hoped to, or made great leaps and bounds in their field of industry.

Dreaming of them can show that you feel you need to be on par with them. It’s a way of telling yourself to grow up. But remember to take care not to measure yourself by someone else’s standards!

21. A change is better than a rest

Perhaps there’s a quality you have that you don’t like. It’s sometimes hard to face that about yourself. But your subconscious won’t let you forget.

Think carefully about your dream friend. What personality trait do you associate most with them? You could be seeing this in yourself and want to change it.

22. Taking the blame

Did you ever have an argument with the person in your dream? Or were they blamed for something you were both responsible for? They might be nudging at your conscience.

It might be that you want to make amends for something that happened in the past. But it’s more likely to be related to your life at the moment. If you’re feeling guilty about something, it’s time to consider coming clean and putting things right.

23. What’s their job?

A person’s profession can have a special meaning within your dreams. It reminds us of other things going on in our lives. In this case, it has little to do with the friend themselves.

Do you have a sick family member? You might dream of an old friend who is a doctor. Having money trouble? Maybe you’ll dream about a friend working in finance. Their career is a reflection on you, not on them.

24. Who are they to you?

Not all your friends are equal. Some you only met up with to do homework or for study sessions. Others were there when you needed a shoulder to cry on after getting dumped.

Considering the dynamic of your relationship can help to interpret the dream’s meaning. It might be that you want someone to help re-enact these friendships now. Or it could even be a prediction of what’s going to happen soon.

25. Lose yourself

As stated many times throughout my look at 26 Meanings when you Dream about an Old Friend, dreams of an old friend are generally about returning to something. But sometimes, the meaning isn’t that deep. It can be straightforward.

Simply put, it means you miss who you were. You’ve changed too much, whether through intention or circumstance. You’re feeling lost and want to get back to the person you once were.

26. A recurring dream

When the same dream happens over and over again, it’s usually for a reason. It clearly involves an important topic. Your subconscious is desperate to be heard!

In this situation, you need to take a good hard look at yourself. It’s the only way to shut your brain up! Plus, it’s also a potential sign that you just miss the one the dream is about.

How to interpret your dream

It’s very difficult to give a meaning to a dream about an old friend. After all, you’ve seen how many interpretations there are here! That means you need to look carefully at things.

Why not try using a dream journal? It’s a guided way to track your dreams and assist with analysis. You could also try simply keeping track in a meaningful notebook to study later if you have the time.

Want to Know more about what your Dreams Mean?

Dreams can have a large number of different interpretations. However, there are a few symbols that help us understand what the subconscious is trying to tell us. So, check out our in-depth guides to the meanings when you Dream of Running, the different Elephant Dream Meaning interpretations, the Swimming Pool Dream Meaning, our thoughts on Dreams About Turtle Meaning, and the Crying Dream Meaning in 2022.

You may also enjoy our guides to the meanings of a Dream Of House On Fire, Dreaming About A Dog Attack, Dreams About Murder, Dreaming of Hotel stays and locations, Dreaming of someone dying who is still alive, and all about a Dream About Bears.

26 Meanings when you Dream about an Old Friend – Final Thoughts

Dreams need to be studied carefully. Things would be so much easier if they were straightforward! But unfortunately, they’re not, and require a lot of careful scrutiny.

Don’t be afraid to write them down as soon as you wake up! And check as many meanings as you can. Before long, you’re sure to find one that makes sense for you.

So, sweet dreams, folks!

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About Sophia Wilson

Sophia is our head writer, here at Rockridge Institute - The Spirit Magazine, and is a Certified Dream Analyst, author, podcast personality, speaker, and a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. The IASD is a worldwide organization that conducts and encourages research into the function, nature, and significance of dreaming.

She is obsessed with updating her dream journal, capturing all the strange and fascinating adventures she experiences while asleep. And uses this information to help her analyze and decipher dreams for tens of thousands of people worldwide. She is also working on her first book, 'Dreams and their Meanings' which is due to be published next year.

Sophia also writes for a number of newspapers, monthly publications, and websites, sharing her knowledge and love of dreams and their meanings.
She enjoys playing the piano, dinner parties with friends, and taking her German Shepherd, Ben, for walks around her home in Boston, Massachusetts.

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