A Pattern With Men Repeats Itself: “Barb Sanders”

Young man at a party.

In part three we continue this summary of the dream diaries of “Barb Sanders.” Sanders was a pseudonymous dream enthusiast Calvin Hall studied and who kept a dream diary for much of her life.

In late 1994 and into 1995, Barb Sanders’ longstanding friends grew worried. Once again, she seemed not to be seeing relationships for what they were.

In early October 1994, she met an attractive man at a party, Derek. Both the man and Barb had friends in common, an interest in both the theater and in dreams.

Over the next year and a half, Derek would feature in 43 different dream reports, notable for their high rate of friendly and sexual interactions, and low rate of aggression, as compared to the Howard dreams, according to Hall.

Derek and Barb became friends and joined a group that wrote plays. Later, they joined a dream-sharing group together.

Twelve years younger than Barb, Derek didn’t seem interested in more than friendship. Yet Barb still entertained hope for a romantic relationship.

Most of Barb’s friends felt nothing would come of the relationship—except for two friends who felt it would spice up her life no matter how it ended.

Over the next year…

Over the next year, Barb and Derek had a number of heartfelt conversations. She started to feel betrayed when the relationship didn’t progress. Then she really became annoyed when he expressed affection for another woman in her presence.

The friendship ended in April 1996. She only saw Derek once or twice in passing after that.

Derek stars in 43 different dreams

Derek appears in 43 dream reports during the time period covered by the systematic analysis. He then appears in another four dreams in the portion of the dream journal written after the study began. The first dream occurred on October 7, 1994, just a few days after she met him. Thereafter, the frequency and content of the dream reports reflect the rise and fall of her hopes about a relationship with him.

Overall, the dreams have a very high rate of friendly and sexual interactions, and a low rate of aggressions, especially physical aggressions, as compared to dreams with her ex-husband in them.

They were a continuance of a pattern of impulsivity in her romantic relationships.

“Barb Sanders” dutifully wrote her dreams down but didn’t seem to understand much about them. If she had, she might have been able to change many of the patterns in her life to a more positive one.


Also on the blog…


James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 


We use some affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission. This has no effect on our opinions. 



There's gold (figurative) in your dreams.
Join our list today.