Wanting is a primal drive which, through socialisation, we may crush and thereby lose contact with what we want from our own feelings and needs. In doing so we may also lose much of our decisiveness and creativity.
Example: ‘1 still want him all to myself. We never touch or kiss or anything in the dreams, and I want him to, but would never let on I wanted this. I am a bit coy in my dreams’ (Pauline B). Pauline is dreaming about a past lover whom she has tried to forget, but when we pick out the wants’ we see how strong her feelings are. Looking at dreams in this way helps us define what our desires are.
Example: The older man still wanted something from me. I didn’t want to be involved with him at all and yet had to be polite, etc., so he wouldn’t hit out at me/us. We needed some kind of contact with this man, I lent forward and kissed him on his face and drew back quickly as I didn’t want to give any more than that, I had a fear that he would want more’ (Sandra O). Sandra had divorced an older husband, and was living with a younger man.
The complication of her wants’ is shown in the dream. When it is a ‘don’t want’ in the dream, it is helpful to change it to a positive. ‘I didn’t want to go with my mother’ could become ‘I wanted to do my own thing.’
Because what we want is complex and often in conflict, our dream characters may want something which we oppose, as in the following example. Example: To escape from a man chasing me, I decided I must get a taxi home. Got in one driven by a woman who wanted to take me to the man who was chasing me. Woke up sweating’ (Ann G).
The urge to integrate the male pan of herself, seen as the taxi driver, is in conflict with Ann’s fear of it. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences