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What Your Dreams About Cheating On Your Partner Really Mean

No, you're not a horrible person.
PHOTO: istockphoto

Dreams often feel incredibly, well, real. So when you have a dream about blatantly cheating on your partner, it's freaky AF. But rest assured, you’re not the only one who's done this.

Nearly 60 percent of women have had a dream about cheating on their partner, according to a new study of nearly 1,000 people by bedding company Leesa.

Don't worry though: Dreaming about doing the dirty with an ex doesn't actually mean you want to cheat on your partner, according to relationship psychologist Karin Anderson Abrell, Ph.D. Those dreams are more about your brain cycling through the day's thoughts and experiences than anything else, she says.

Dreams about a past partner can be triggered by anything from running into them IRL (awkward), to spotting something they posted on Instagram, to going to a bar you used to frequent together, Abrell explains.

The fact that you dream-cheated with an ex is likely just the result of your slumbering brain returning to a familiar place—rather than you actually wanting to get back together with them.

If the person you cheated with was totally random, it may be that you saw a stranger on your way to work, and thought they were hot (which is 100 percent normal), and then they stuck in some random corner of your mind, Abrell says.

Ditto if you happened to dream about a love affair with Peter from To All The Boys I've Loved Before—it's more because you him and noted his hotness, rather than actually wanting to cheat on your partner.

So, if you have a random dream about cheating on your partner, don't read too much into it. "People freak out about this, but they shouldn't," Abrell says.

But, if you find that you're having nightly dreams about stepping out on your partner, maybe it's time to take a beat and think about whether there’s room for improvement in some part of your relationship.

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Again, it could be nothing, or it could be your brain trying to clue you in to something.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.