Is it OK to Dream About Other Men?

Are our bedtime fantasies healthy - or some kind of warning sign about your relationship?
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Is it OK to Dream About Other Men?

Are our bedtime fantasies healthy – or some kind of warning sign about your relationship?

-April Daniels Hussar


A few weeks ago, my husband and I were driving somewhere, and something reminded me of the dream I’d had the night before. I shared it with him and then, almost as an afterthought, said: “And Clive Owen was there at the end, flirting with me!” I laughed. My husband did not.

I couldn’t believe it. He was miffed that I’d dream-flirted with Clive Owen. “Oh come on… it wasn’t anything racy,” I laughed. “And don’t tell me you never dream about other women?!”

If he does, he wasn’t telling me.

I decided to change the subject, but it got me thinking. Is it normal to dream about other men when you’re in a committed relationship? Or is it equivalent to having a wandering eye when we’re awake?

A quick survey of my friends, colleagues, contacts and experts backed up my feelings on this subject: not only is it totally normal to be dreaming about people other than our partners, it’s quite common and basically harmless.

Most of the women I talked to seem to enjoy their dreams, but prefer to keep them to themselves:

Alice*, 22, has been with her boyfriend for about seven years. She confesses: “I’ve had a couple crushes while we’ve been together and these men always end up in my dreams. It’s usually someone I met while out with friends or an old friend I ran into that I never thought was attractive in that way. I tend to forget most of these dreams, but usually they’re pretty intense.”

Does Alice tell her boyfriend? “It’s not that he’s insecure, but I think things like that aren’t necessarily something to discuss. Truthfully, if it was the other way around, I’m not sure I’d want to know either. It’s only a dream.”

Read Why Women Lose Interest in Sex

As psychotherapist and relationship educator Dr. Gilda Carle says, “It’s absolutely natural for us to fantasize about other men, even while we’re having hot sex with our regular honey.”

But, she cautions, “Whatever the case, do not, under any circumstances, tell your sweetie. He may already be intimidated by your gawking at Brad Pitt or even Dexter, so don’t rub salt in his wound. Keep your fantasies to yourself.”

Sounds like good advice for me, but I was surprised to discover that many women feel totally comfortable sharing their naughty dreams with their husbands – who, in turn, have figured out how to enjoy some fringe benefits.

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9 thoughts on “Is it OK to Dream About Other Men?

  1. Yes, I have sex dreams about men other than my boyfriend, even though we have a very good sexual relationship. I’m not sure why I have sex dreams with other men, but I know in my waking life I love my boyfriend and we have great sex, and I have zero desire to cheat.

    I’ve also had dreams where I was a monkey, a murderer, a flying superhero…and so on – so it’s hard to take dreams too seriously.

  2. I think that if you dream about a person other than your SO, it’s okay as long as it’s not frequent and that it doesn’t take over your mind and life. If you’re still thinking about it while waking, then it might be starting to get out of hand.
    But that said, I’ve dreamed about men other than my husband, but typically I’m with the man because something has happened to my husband: he’s gone missing (somehow), dead, etc. In other words, something horrible has happened. In the dream, I HAVE to be with the man for whatever reason: we’re in an arranged marriage, I have to be married, or some such reason (often the reason doesn’t make sense, not really even in the dream). And most of the time, I don’t even want to be in the relationship, like I said I often HAVE to be with the man. Eventually, I realize that that’s not the case (while in the dream) and realize that my husband is alive and well and I feel better. Occasionally I enjoy the dream, but not very much.

    P.S. Just FYI, I’m newly married 🙂 Maybe that’s why my dreams are like that…or I’m just weird 😀

  3. I dream frequently about a co-worker who i find very attractive but we are both married…my most recent dream was about him telling me that he was going to leave his wife because he wanted to be with me and he asked if i was willing to leave my husband for him…what i find strange being that it is a dream and we tend to go for anything because its a fantasy i had to tell him i had to think about whether i would do it or not….i mean if this were the case in reality of course i wouldnt do it but why not in my dream? why not just say yes and go for it? thats whats really been bugging me about it. If anyone can give me some insight on this i would appreciate it.

  4. face the fact,no matter how hard we try to be to our partner, we cant help to dream and sometimes fantasize about other person. shouldnt be no harm to imagine as long as it doesnt become an obsession… 🙂

  5. Of course it is normal to have attractive feelings for other men, and yes sometimes the mind wanders and begins to fantasize. Anytime that starts to happen, I stop myself and immediately focus on fantasizing/daydreaming about my fiance instead. And I do tell him when it happens, and when we dream about other people we tell each other. It really strengthens our relationship and our openess with each other. It helps us to understand each other as well and help each other out when struggling with lust. And if we ever get jealous or hurt feelings we share those as well. It always ends with deeper communication between us. It’s not good to hide things from your spouse.

  6. I keep having this repeating dream where I am at a party at this huge house and I end up having to sneak around all of the parents and neighbors to “mess around” with the guy. Every time I have have the dream though, its a different guy. I have dreamed about my significant other’s best friend, to friends from high school, to celebrities. I think its healthy for women/men to dream about others. Although, in my case at least, I always feel soooo guilty about it and it makes me feel like I am cheating. Its made it ten times harder since our relationship went long distance.

  7. I know it's normal to think of other people but what happens when its reoccurring? Does that mean you may actually have feelings for that person? I've been having this dream that my boyfriends best friend and I fool around. I deny him at the beginning but always give in. Sometimes we even get caught by my boyfriend. We've been dating two years and this has never happened. How do you go about this? I just feel so guilty but I love my boyfriend to death

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