Hello Doctor Toby,
Can you explain my dream to me please?
I am in the ocean, it is sunny and warm and peaceful. I feel safe and relaxed for the first time in ages. Then a dolphin comes to see me. He is happy, and this makes me happy. And then his dolphin friends come and see me too and they form a circle around me, just below the water.
As I float effortlessly all I can see around me are their long noses above the gentle waves, glinting in the sun, occasionally spraying me with jets of water. This gives me an enormous sense of well-being and happiness. What does it mean?
I see from your other letters that you like a little bit about the person, so I shall sum myself up as follows: I am a 42 year old divorced father of three teenage girls who I never see. Their mother left me ten years ago citing 'irreconcilable differences' and moved back to Scotland taking the girls with her.
I've had a few relationships since, but nothing ever developed seriously as I tend to push people away if it gets too emotional. Does my dream mean I need to swim with the dolphins in real-life to regain my happiness?
Thanks for contacting me with this dream, one which is not unusual amongst men in your situation, a divorcee who's also separated from his children.
Firstly you are in the sea, a warm and comfortable place for you. This suggests a subliminal longing to return to the safety of the womb with all your needs catered for. This is not uncommon especially amongst men who've been used to an all female environment.
With your admission that your failed relationships have been because you've pushed people away when they get too close, it's seems obvious you have some Oedipal issues which may have affected your relationships with women. You associate women who are not your mother with pain and unhappiness.
The fact that you are swimming with dolphins is, of course, highly significant. Dolphins are gregarious, friendly, playful creatures and they represent a desire to return to your childhood – a time when laughter and smiles were prevalent in your life as you frolicked with your chums in your bathing suits.
Of course, when the dolphins spray you with water we are entering a whole new, and unseemly, part of the dream, a part where your subconscious has moved on from the playfulness and innocence of childhood to the more guilty pleasures of puberty and adulthood.
Freud would have a lot to say on this matter, but suffice to say I would suggest that this 'spraying' by the dolphins indicates some dark, perverted sexual desires that you were unable to fulfill with your wife, do you sometimes have little ‘accidents’ in the night which actually give you a feeling of warmth and excitement?
If this is the case I would suggest a visit to Hamburg in Germany, where there are many clubs which cater for those who are curious about urinary watersports inolving other men. Only by having a taste of these peccadilloes will you be able to satiate your curiousity and sustain a fulfilling and loving relationship.
Hope that helps,