I’ve been having a series of very sexually explicit dreams for about 6 months.
It’s kinda funny because I thought that part of me died off as my hormones have shifted during perimenopause. The dreams first caught me by surprise, because they suggested that some part of my sex drive was still alive.
The dreams keep happening, though, and my sex drive is gradually coming back, too–although it’s also heavily affected by stress and worry about my husband, which may be why my dreams feel like a safer place to express it.
The weirdest part of it is that almost all of my dreams include someone of mine who’s an old friend. I have known him for at least 30 years, and yes, I’d say that I find him attractive.
Today, he posted online that he was having a really hard time dealing with his mental health and his self-image, so I sent him a private message. I said something like, “Hey, I don’t know if I’ll regret saying this and it’s meant to be flattering rather than as a come-on, but I’ve been having several..ahem…sexual dreams about you.”
And that led to a very interesting conversation that left me feeling good about myself and good about the way the issue was handled.
First, he said that he was “flattered to pieces.” And then we had a very long, interesting discussion about dealing with attraction to friends and having fantasies about them (and he admitted that he also has occasionally felt the same about me, too.) He also admitted that he has been attracted to me since the 90s but thought I was “too cool and too smart and THOSE EYES” and was just way out of his league.
I can also say that we kept the conversation very appropriate whenever it seemed like it could veer off into inappropriate territory. He was very good about stopping himself, which I greatly appreciated. We’re both married with no intentions of cheating on our spouses and he knows and likes my husband, too. We were very careful to keep our discussion appropriate and mindful of our marriages.
This is dicey territory, though, for sure. The hurtful part of my husband’s former porn addiction (which I haven’t mentioned in a good long time, since I no longer think of it often at all) was two-fold: one was that it substituted for interaction with me and the other is that he was often fantasizing about people I knew.
Where is the line of what’s an appropriate amount of fantasy during an otherwise healthy and committed marriage? I imagine that depends on a lot of factors, the biggest of which might be how the two parties feel about it and how much it interferes with the relationship.
If you can’t be intimate with your spouse without fantasizing about someone else, that’s very unhealthy and is a huge problem. I’m definitely not in that category.
But what about having fantasies about someone else, period? I don’t honestly know.
These are only dreams, not intentional fantasies I’m having, which may make a difference. I obviously can’t control my dreams.
What I can say about this experience with my friend is that it was very healing for me, just because it gave me hope that there may be life after J. I might be able to find love again someday, which so often feels impossible.
But to be honest? It just made me feel a lot better to know that someone else besides J finds me attractive, even at my age and with all my physical imperfections. That was my intention behind telling him about being the subject of my dreams and I made it clear enough from the beginning that I was trying to cheer him up, rather than looking for a hook-up.
My friend and I left the subject of our mutual attraction in the category of “maybe someday, in another life.” We both agree that we are not willing to throw away our marriages over it and our love for our spouses is deeper and more meaningful than our attraction to each other.
But in the meantime, I feel like it has deepened our friendship and we’ve talked a lot since then about mental health and loneliness, which are topics we have in common. Maybe this is just meant to be an additional means I can use to get through a tough period of my life.