Love is a complex idea in the dreamscape because dreams are portraying inner dynamics. You may be in a fulfilling relationship and dream of intimacy with past partners. At some point in your life - you projected the power for self love upon your mate. It is as if they hold/held the power to make you feel good about yourself. Consciously you may feel that you are functioning independently in a current relationship, but since you dream of what you are not facing, the appearance of an 'old flame' can be activated when you feel uncertain about your value in a current relationship. These past partners embody the idea of self love - they appear as we explore and merge (sexual intimacy) with this potential to love ourselves. This must occur independently from the feedback we are currently receiving.
All types of characters can appear in dreams in which you have a strong sense of attraction. Consider the adjective you would use to describe this person - or what they portray as a representation of you. A woman in a man's dream can portray the budding of his sensitivity - while the man in a woman's dream can portray her ability to be powerful and provide for herself. The attraction becomes symbolic of bringing some part of your own potential forward for exploration and integration. Intercourse symbolizes the merging.
The desire to be loved and accepted is a strong motivating force in life. When you dream that your love is rejected -you may be rejecting the idea of self love. Dreams are always a wake up call to be authentic, fulfilled and independent. Through the development of self love - you grow strong enough so that nothing anyone says or does can make or break your day. See also Rejection, Sex, Anima/Animus and People.