Although the following dreams can occur at any stage of your life, you may find that the focus of your relationship dreams shifts during your lifespan. In your teenage years, dream scenarios in which you are suddenly thrown together with someone to whom you are attracted are very common. The goal of the dream is to help you determine if someone is or is not interested in you in waking life. By the mid-twenties, however, relationship dreams move beyond initial attraction and begin to explore who is or is not right for us. This is the time when strangers, celebrities and friends tend to appear as dream lovers and partners. You may find the images shocking but it is important to bear in mind that the images are unlikely to represent the real person and more likely to represent qualities that you are evaluating.
During your thirties and forties, romantic dreams focus on explanations for why relationships may have disappointed in the past and offer dreams that can show you what to go after or avoid in the future. Dreams in which your current partner or lover is unfaithful are extremely common at this time; it is as if your dreaming mind is urging you to pay attention to your relationship, and secure or safeguard what you have.
During your fifties and sixties, dreams shift their focus onto things you have learned to value in your life. Past and present partners become shorthand symbols for the quality or experience you had with them. For example, your first lover represents passion and excitement or the partner who was unfaithful represents someone who cannot be trusted. Although you may dream of people from your past, your dreaming mind is using them as symbols to refer to your current relationships. From your seventies onwards, dreams are more likely to zoom in on the very nature of love itself to help you gain a deeper understanding of love and affairs of the heart.