The Meaning of Looking for the Toilet in a Dream

What do you need to do to create a bit of privacy in your life?
What do you need to do to create a bit of privacy in your life?

Needing to go really badly in our dreams, but not being able to find a place that is appropriate, can be frustrating, embarrassing and really quite stressful.  We may be frantically hunting for somewhere we can go, or we may find a toilet, only to discover that other people can see us.  We may feel too ashamed to relieve ourself, and feel increasingly “blocked” and “restricted”.  There can be issues of privacy and space here, but this can also be a dream about our most basic needs.  We can also look at how we are able to express ourselves in waking life, how we may feel our personal energy can flow freely or where we are placing barriers and rules on ourselves, or letting other people do that to us.  Going to the toilet in most cultures today is an intensely personal thing, so it is important for you to understand what your needs are in order to understand this dream.

Looking at how we feel in these dreams can be a clue to what these dreams might be saying to us.  We can consider if we feel angry and frustrated, humiliated and shameful, urgent and frantic, and so on.  Dreams of trying to find a toilet invite us to consider:

  • Where in my life do I feel frustrated or blocked?
  • Is there something quite normal and human that I feel ashamed of?
  • What basic functions am I preventing myself from doing?
  • What emotions do I just need to let go of?

Thinking about going to the lavatory or bathroom in a symbolic context can take away a bit of the “eewww” factor, that cringe-worthiness that might stop us from even remembering or reflecting on this kind of dream.  Try thinking of “relieving” yourself in a more abstract context, like getting toxins or un-needed things out from not just your body, in a physical way, but also from your mind, as in getting rid of negative emotions.  This can be things like left-over fear, anger, jealousy or sadness.  We need to purge our minds as much as our body – or else we do literally become “blocked.”

If we can’t find the toilet in our dreams, it can be a sign that we are not allowing ourselves the basic needs in life.  We may be too busy, too engrossed, to caught up with caring for something or someone else, that we forget to take care of our most fundamental requirements.  This kind of dream suggests that maybe we need to create a little time and space in our life to fit in some of the basics.  Just as in waking life that special privateness you get when you close the bathroom door is a moment of calm, so too do we need that same space of private to attend to our psychological needs.  It doesn’t have to be a long time, but the important thing is that we start paying attention to the messages our sleeping mind is trying to give us.   The urgency of needing the toilet can be a powerful motivator to stop and pay attention!

Needing the toilet in a dream may often come after a troublesome relationship – either in our personal life, of maybe a business sense.  There may be a sense of lingering unpleasantness that we know deep down needs to be dealt with.  If at the end of this dream we do find a way of finally going to the toilet, that is usually a good sign that our dreaming mind is finding ways to purge or relieve us of our negative “baggage.”  But even if the dream doesn’t end that way, simply paying attention to the dream and acting on its message to honour ourselves better with the fundamental care we need, can be enough to transform this dreaming experience into a far more pleasant one.

Of course, these symbols are all only relevant if the dream truly is symbolic, and not caused by your body screaming at your sleepy mind to wake up because you really do need the toilet!  If you are bursting and dream of needing the toilet, it is far less likely to have any great meaning, and probably is just one of the fascinating ways our subconscious knows what is going in our body before the conscious mind does.  And in this case, we are particularly grateful for that!

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15 Comments

  1. Or it could simply mean we have to go to the bathroom. I find whenever I have a dream that I have to go but can’t for some reason, I will wake up to realise I have to go for real. I think it’s just my body’s way of letting me know so I wake up and relieve myself.

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  2. Very good. I always have those kind of dreams where I try to find a toilet but loads of things get in my way, of even when I find it and its never good enough or there’s loads of people there… Its quite frustrating

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  3. I always have this reoccurring theme in my dreams and it’s bothered me for a while. Your post helped me gain clarity to what it is my subconscious is telling me. Thank you.

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  4. If you find a toilet in your dream for the love of God don’t use it wake up immediately and piss in a real one. You pee in the dream you pee in the real world!

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    1. That’s false. I have heard that rumor as well as the “You die in real life if you die in your dreams!” rumor, and it’s obvious to me that you haven’t actually experienced either! I have urinated in my dreams and died in a dream from a fall, nothing happened to my waking body, so please dont spread uneducated garbage like it’s a cute fact about dreaming.

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    2. Not false. It has happened to me also, many years ago. I’ve since learned to jolly well wake up if I start looking for a toilet in my dream! In every case I have actually needed to go to the bathroom.

      Just because it hasn’t happened to you, it doesn’t make it “uneducated garbage”. Please respect the fact that different people have different experiences.

      As for the dying one, not heard that before… it’s not even logical considering that no one would be around to tell the tale if there was an ounce of truth to it!

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  5. This one had me stumped ,this dream was reoccurring and very disturbing for months. Your explanation here pretty much sums up my life for the last few months.
    Thank you website . thank you google for bringing me here. mystery solved

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  6. I had this dream last night. My life has gotten a bit hectic with end-of-year projects coming due. Add to that the fact I am constantly being interrupted for smaller-but-supposedly-urgent things, my experience definitely reflects your explanation. I was just relieved that this is a common-enough dream that I’m not alone! Here’s hoping I never have it again because my life calms down!

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