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A Cold Character

I am in love with a younger man who refuses to enhance our relationship physically. Last night was the first time I dreamed of him. He was with me in an antique shop and questioning me about the use of a silver piece (a small little dish). I felt very uncomfortable. I did not know the answer and realized with pain in my heart his “cold character.”

When looking into the mirror later on, I saw that all my teeth were half broken and I was surprised I had not noticed it before.

The dream caused some fear in my heart. Although it doesn’t sound cruel, I told the man after the dream not to call me for the next four weeks. I have not dreamed of him since.

–mary, Germany

Hi Mary,

Wow! You are a woman who acts upon her dreams! And, based upon what you have told us of your relationship with this man, I think you made a wise decision to cool off on this “cold character.”

Dreams of teeth falling out are surprisingly common. (Ask any of your girlfriends if they have had this dream. You will discover that most of them have.) They always are disturbing, and their symbology, similarly, is puzzling. Our teeth fall out when we are in public (we often try to conceal this fact from others), when we are alone, and when we are in the middle of a conversation with friends. What is the significance? Is it time for a dentist’s appointment, or is there a deeper meaning?

The key to understanding “teeth” dreams is to recognize how important our smile is in our presentation to others. Because of this connection, we find that dreams of teeth falling out almost always are associated with concerns about appearance. And, while the dreams often indicate concerns about our physical looks, it is important to recognize that they also signal concerns about our social, intellectual, and emotional appearance. All of these concerns are reflected in your dream.

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Based upon your dream report, we know that you have every reason, currently, to be insecure about your physical beauty. You have told us that you are in love with a younger man who “refuses to enhance our relationship physically.” This scenario, naturally, would drive any person crazy. But it would also cause us to perform an immediate inventory of all our potential shortcomings. “What’s wrong with me?” we would ask ourselves, perhaps as we stood looking in a mirror, as you did in your dream. “Why doesn’t he want me? Am I too old? Have I lost my attractiveness? Have I lost my sex appeal?”

Not only is your physical beauty challenged, but your social and intellectual gifts also are questioned. In the dream you feel very uncomfortable when this man asks you the function of a certain small silver dish in an antique shop. At this point in the dream you realize his “cold character.” The choice of the dream to represent your feelings of inadequacy in the context of an antique shop is poignant. Antiques, generally speaking, are collected and used by the aristocracy. Silver also frequently is a gift at weddings. Does this man come from a “higher” social class than you, and does he refuse your love based upon this distinction? If so, then I suggest this is the “cold character” which you perceive inside him.

I am impressed that you have decided to distance yourself from this relationship based upon this dream. I think you have correctly perceived, in your partner, some stumbling blocks to its success. If you are looking for a long-term relationship, I think you are wise to look elsewhere for a relationship of equals — partners who love, accept, and support each other with open and warm hearts.

Charles McPhee is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a master’s in communication management from the University of Southern California. He received his board certification to perform polysomnographic testing for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in 1992. McPhee is the former Director of the Sleep Apnea Patient Treatment Program at the Sleep Disorders Center of Santa Barbara, California; the former coordinator of the Sleep Disorders Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA , and the former coordinator of the sleep research laboratory at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD. Please visit his website for further information.

A Cold Character

Charles McPhee

APA Reference
McPhee, C. (2020). A Cold Character. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 29 Jul 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 29 Jul 2020
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