Do the Anxious-Preoccupied Dream (More) of Love?

Dream Sex

Dream Sex

The answer seems to be yes. A study by Patrick McNamara and his team at the Evolutionary Neurobehavior Laboratory of the Boston University School of Medicine confirmed the hypothesis that many dreams would be triggered by sexual and attachment desires, and would therefore tend to be more frequent among the anxious-preoccupied (who are more motivated to improve their love lives than the other types.)

Now if dreaming somehow reflects our sexual wish-fulfilment, then dream recall, dream content and dream sharing should be relatively lower in those who are satisfied with their current attachment orientation (secure, dismissive, and avoidant) and relatively higher among those who want to change their status (the preoccupied/anxious group). To test this idea, my team at Boston University recruited hundreds of volunteers until we had enough in each attachment category. We asked them about their dreams, and coders who were blind to the purpose of the study painstakingly analysed them.

When we collated the results, we were startled by what we found. The anxious, preoccupied group was far more likely to recall dreams than the securely attached; they took less time to enter REM sleep and had many more dreams featuring aggression against competitors. But both the anxious and the securely attached recalled more dreams than avoidant participants. That is precisely the pattern one would predict if dream sleep were directly related to long-term sexual strategies. The anxious individual is passionately interested in getting into a relationship with a romantic target, and thus recalls more especially vivid and emotional dreams filled with content concerning intimacy. The avoidant individual, conversely, suppresses the subconscious call for sexual closeness as reflected in dreams.

Read the whole thing for more interesting speculations.


More on Attachment and Personality Types:

What Attachment Type Are You?
Type: Secure
Type: Anxious-Preoccupied
Type: Dismissive-Avoidant
Type: Fearful-Avoidant (aka Anxious-Avoidant)
Avoidant: Emotions Repressed Beneath Conscious Level
Serial Monogamy: the Fearful-Avoidant Do It Faster
Anxious-Preoccupied: Stuck on the Dismissive?
Anxious-Preoccupied / Dismissive-Avoidant Couples: the Silent Treatment
nxious-Preoccupied: Clingy and Insecure Relationship Example
Domestic Violence: Ray and Janay Rice
Malignant Narcissists
Teaching Narcissists to Activate Empathy
Histrionic Personality: Seductive, Dramatic, Theatrical
Life Is Unfair! The Great Chain of Dysfunction Ends With You.
Love Songs of the Secure Attachment Type
On Addiction and the Urge to Rescue
Sale! Sale! Sale! – “Bad Boyfriends” for Kindle, $2.99
Controlling Your Inner Critic: Subpersonalities
“Big Bang Theory” — Aspergers and Emotional/Social Intelligence
Porn Addiction and NoFAP
Introverts in Management

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