What Your Dreams About The Future Really Mean

Dreams are one of life's greatest mysteries. Why we dream is still subject to "significant debate," according to Sleep Foundation; even with extensive research in the fields of neurology and psychology, it may not be possible to ever "conclusively prove" exactly why humans dream.


That's not to say that dreams are totally mysterious, however. The majority of theories suggest that dreaming can help the mind build memory and process emotion which can help hard decisions in waking life (via Aunty Flo). As Psychology Today notes, what you dream typically centers on "the most important emotional concerns" in your life, and dreams can be "especially intense and meaningful at times of crisis and uncertainty."

Dreams can be even simpler than that, though. Certain events can originate from your or someone else's dilemmas, as well as any recent movies you've seen (via Dream Glossary).

But what does it mean when you dream about your future?

Dreaming about the future can often be a precursor to something you want to change in your life

Dreaming about the future can take many forms, but it can generally indicate that unexpected changes may affect your life. Of course, it all depends on the context and how you interpret it.

Sometimes it can be clear as to what dreams are trying to tell you, like wanting a new job or relationship, and other times it can be very cryptic. But the imagery or circumstance you are dreaming about can often point towards something hidden in your subconscious, and "dreaming of the future represents the projection of events the way you currently see them" (via Dream Glossary). Dreams of the future can also point at how you want your future to look (via Aunty Flo).


If your dream constitutes a broad future, whether good or bad, it can signal there's something buried in your subconscious that you want to change but you just don't know it yet. According to Dream Glossary, dreaming of a beautiful future can mean that you're starting to resolve the things that have been bothering you, while a bad future can correlate to the worries you have to address.

Letting these worries take over your dreams often can often lead to visions of a future alone, which suggests that you're afraid of your loved ones leaving you for some reason in real life. It can be a signal that you want to change your behavior to prevent this from happening.

Making plans for you and others is a common occurrence for those dreaming about the future

Occasionally, dreaming of the future can have an even clearer meaning. If you dream of making plans for yourself, this can be a precursor to "hear[ing] good news from an old friend" (via Dream Glossary) — perhaps it's something good that's happened to them, or that they want to meet up.


On the contrary, if your dreams of the future involve other people making those plans, this can indicate "that you feel pressure, because you are directly responsible for other people." This is often a recurring dream for those entrusted with someone's care or well-being, such as parents, teachers, or business owners.

If you dream of predicting the future in general, this can be a warning that something good isn't going to happen and that you're making the wrong choices in life. On the flip side, if you dream of having your future predicted by someone else, it can mean "that you are on a good track to achieve" a goal, perhaps receiving a good business offer, or finding a mentor to guide you towards your goals. 


There's actually a term for when you dream of the future and it happens in real life

Dreams where you work to alter your future can suggest that "you are afraid of uncertainty" and that you've most likely "fallen into a routine and you don't know how to get out of it," per Dream Glossary. Dreaming about your future life, like a spouse, children, home, or job can suggest that you're at a place in your life where this change may be on the horizon — it's what your subconscious wants, essentially, and it's telling you to do it.


On a more negative note, these dreams can indicate an overarching fear about the future of humanity too, and can occasionally predict future events. This is often referred to as "precognitive dreaming" (via Healthline), where you dream about something that later happens. While there's currently little evidence to support prophetic dreams, a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Dream Research suggests that selective recall could be a possible cause.

Then there's just plain old coincidence. As Healthline notes, through the thousands of dreams that you'll have in your lifetime, "it's only natural that occasionally something in your life will match up."