I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at with questions or ideas!

What does "Dream Boy" by Waterparks mean?

What does "Dream Boy" by Waterparks mean?

“Dream Boy” Lyrics Meaning

Waterparks’ “Dream Boy” is written from a man to a woman he is interested in, maybe even a girlfriend, to reveal to her the expectations she doesn’t realize she’s placed on him.

“Living in your subconscious” 

This woman has subconsciously created the perfect man in her mind. The narrator (the main character of the song could be the singer or someone else so for simplicity he will be called “the narrator”) is aware of these unrealistic expectations. He takes on the role of this dream boy, and talks from this perspective, breaking role only to ask if he is the boy she dreamed of. In doing this, we understand more about the reasons she has set up these expectations through the eyes of her real-life love interest. 


Build your expectations

Saturated and inflated

'Cause I was born to be your favorite

Make me complicated

I'm modern and I'm dated

Because I was born to be your favorite

The narrator, speaking as if he this woman’s unrealistically ideal man, says that her expectations have become “saturated and inflated” because he was “born to be” her favorite. Because he’s imagining the point of view of the part of her subconscious mind, here he implies that she unknowingly believes that it is helping her to build her expectations, because she thinks here is someone who will meet them. This person would“modern” and “complicated” to feel more real. Still, the narrator knows he can’t compete with the dreams in her head.



Pick my pieces


Never leave your

Heart destroyed

I'm your boy


Your beloved getaway

I'm your favorite holiday

You'll never be alone with me

This woman has, without realizing it, picked the best qualities or “pieces” of different people to create her ideal partner. Her motivation for this is a very human one: she is afraid of being hurt. This person would “never leave [her] heart destroyed.” He’s her “custom-made” soul-mate, and she will never feel like she’s alone with him. 


Am I the boy you dreamed of?

Living in your subconscious‚ oh

Do you believe in love?

And is it because of me?

Yeah‚ if it's up to me

Say it all

As evident as the frustration is from being measured against her fantasy, the narrator knows she isn’t doing this to hurt him. It’s an idea that she’s created, likely after being hurt, to help her “believe in love” until she meets the right person. He asks if he is the person she has dreamed of, or if he falls short. Their relationship can still go on if she either matches her expectations with reality or if her expectations are not as high as he is perceiving them to be, and he really is the kind of person she’s wanted to be with, even with his flaws. More likely, her subconscious expectations need to be made more realistic. He wants her to “say it all” so he knows what ideas are “living in her subconscious.” What expectations isn’t she aware of that could cause them trouble down the road if they continue the relationship?

Deeper Meaning of “Dream Boy” by Waterparks

Many, if not most, people have false or unrealistic expectations going into a relationship. If you do, don’t beat yourself up. It’s normal to start with at least some. It’s how we learn to make those desires more realistic while learning more about the truth of how relationships work that matters. Learning to deal with the unhealthy standards is important, as is not allowing others expectations to put strain on you. We are all flawed, and no matter how good someone is, they can’t be perfect. “Dream Boy” is about the pressure of trying to not just live up to another person, but an idealized version of a romantic partner. It’s normal for us to have hopes about a relationship. We just need to be careful not to go too overboard and cause someone we care about stress because they don’t live up to our expectations perfectly. Instead we can find the things we love about them, even through their imperfections, while they do the same for us.

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