The modern meet-cute doesn’t begin with a meeting, but with a positive thought.
Megan Fox said she believes she’s been manifesting her fiancé, Machine Gun Kelly, since she was four years old. “I think I made him. My thoughts and intentions grew him into the person that he is,” she told Glamour UK. Priyanka Chopra Jonas joked to Oprah that she believes her mom manifested her husband, Nick Jonas.
But is it possible to manifest a partner out of thin air? For some people, the answer is a resounding yes. Julio Alvarez, a 34-year-old tech leadership coach from New York, told TODAY he met his husband the week after he wrote that his intention was to “let love in.” Elizabeth Kechejian, a 31-year-old teacher based in Houston, said she met her boyfriend after writing down a list of qualities. “I am a bit surprised by the specificity,” she told TODAY.
Indeed, this concept may be permeating culture: Dr. Wyatt Fisher, licensed clinical psychologist, told TODAY he’s noticed an uptick in clients manifesting love.
“More and more, people have the mindset of if you think it will happen, or if you put it into the universe, it’s going to appear it’s going to manifest. So it’s not surprising that now it’s also being applied to love life,” Fisher said.
But as to whether manifesting a love interest is actually possible? It’s complicated. Here are steps for manifesting a new partner — and some helpful reminders.
First up: What is manifestation?
Charlotte Kirsten, a trauma psychotherapist and founder of Typically Topical, defines manifestation as the belief that you can “intentionally create your reality through beliefs or pattern actions.”
While manifestation has become a New Age buzzword, Kirsten points out that the concept is grounded in psychology. Manifestation, according to Kirsten, works by swapping out a “negative cognition” with a “positive cognition,” or a negative belief with a positive belief. “When you do that, you’re actually changing the lens in which you see the world,” she said.
According to Kirsten, we’re manifesting every day, all the time — but often not consciously. Manifestation is essentially taking a more intentional approach to life. “Look at the behaviors, action, and belief systems in your life, and then ask yourself, ‘Does this serve the reality that I’m trying to create?’”
The key, Kirsten said, is believing in what you may have ruled out previously, whether consciously or unconsciously. “The more you believe something to be true, like you’re worthy of love, the more you behave that way — which then attracts more of what you want. The key to that is believing wholly, fully, completely in that belief, so you have to fully embody it,” she said.
Here are expert-approved tips for manifesting love into your life
Step 1: Get clear on what you want
When working with new clients who are in search of a partner, sex and intimacy coach Charelle Thomas focuses on endings, not beginnings. “You have to know where you’re going. You have to get clear on what you desire,” Thomas said.
But how do you know what you want? Grab a notebook, and start with one of the most popular manifestation techniques: list-making.
“It’s not about the list. It’s about the kind of life you want to live and who the ideal partner is to reach that sort of shared self-actualization."
Matchmaker Maria Avgitidis concludes her dating intensives by having participants write down a list of qualities they hope to see in a future mate, after spending three days analyzing their priorities on an emotional, intellectual, financial, spiritual and physical level.
Tips for writing a manifestation list
- Ask yourself “why.” Thomas recommends people ask themselves why they’re including each quality, especially when it comes to more superficial attributes. “People write, ‘I need him to have blond hair and blue eyes.’ But why do you want them? Is it because it’s going to serve you or is it because you want to look a certain way, and are you feeding your ego? Are you seeking this in your partner so that he can fulfill a void that you have?” she said.
- Reframe the negative. Pyrgiotakis asks clients to switch out negative statements for positive ones. Rather than “not a liar,” write, “a person with high integrity.”
- Concentrate. “I tell people to read their manifestation list every single day or at least on most days. Memorize it. Sometimes we meet people and we get so excited by the attention that what we are really looking for gets lost. The list helps us refocus,” Pyrgiotakis said.
Alyssa P., a 30-year-old based in Brooklyn, said this exercise helped her on her dating journey after a break-up.
“I had written in it the things I wanted in a relationship, like honesty, compatibility, trust. I tucked the letter away, forgot about it, and some time later, not really looking to enter into anything serious, I met my fiancé. I had found another copy of this letter somewhere after we were dating for a while and realized how our relationship embodied all the things I had asked for,” she told TODAY.
Even though you’re thinking about someone else, this is essentially an exercise in self-reflection. “There’s value in knowing yourself. That’s a key characteristic in finding what it is that you want — knowing your limitations, and who you’ll be compatible with,” Dr. Lauren Kerwin, a licensed clinical psychologist and DBT therapist in Los Angeles, told TODAY.
Step 2: Make it feel real
It’s one thing to write down a list of qualities. It’s another thing to believe a relationship like that is possible — experts say that’s the most important part.
After devising their manifestation, Thomas has clients identify the feelings that they want to feel when they are in this relationship. “Who is this version of you in this relationship? How will you be different from what you are today? What will you be feeling? How would you spend your time?” Thomas said.
Kirsten has clients draw on their five senses during this stage of the process. “Create a movie in your own head, and let it play out scenario by scenario. What’s your perfect date look like? What does communication look like? How happy do you feel? What can you, I guess, see, hear, touch, taste, feel engaged, like every single sense that you have?”
Step 3: Believe it’s possible
Manifestation, according to the pros, requires a leap of faith: You have to believe the life, or partnership, you want is indeed possible.
Thomas said to cultivate the feeling described above — and believe it can, and will, be true.
She compares it to the feeling children have on Christmas Eve when they go to sleep with the expectation of waking up with presents on Christmas morning. The same energy applies to relationships: "You have that expectation. It’s a different energy when you expect it to happen,” she said.
By imagining these possibilities, you may conquer limiting beliefs, or the voices in your head that said it’s not possible. You will “create a new pattern and create a new belief,” she said.
Step 4: Take aligned action
Until now, manifestation has been a reflective, introspective journey — but actually taking action is necessary. “There has to be an element of doing,” Kirsten said. “That can be as simple as putting yourself in completely new scenarios that you wouldn’t have done previously.”
In doing so, you’re taking these new beliefs out for a test drive. How will your approach to dating look when you have a clearer idea of how you want to feel in a relationship? Will you be more open once you’ve accepted the idea that you deserve more?
"Going out there and meeting people, experimenting with different partners, combined with doing the work to better ourselves, can increase the odds of meeting a match," Fisher said.
Step 5: Sustain the manifestation process
Manifestation involves internalizing new beliefs — which means it doesn’t happen overnight. Lisa Stardust, the author of “Love Deck,” a collection of exercises and rituals for people looking to invite romance into their lives, provides a few tips for keeping the process going.
- Journal. Stardust recommends regular journaling, both free-form and prompt-based. "By writing things down, you can release negativity and allow yourself to feel confident in what you want,” Stardust said. A few prompt ideas? Write a love letter to yourself or dream up a fairy tale.
- Recite positive affirmations. Affirmations are one-sentence, positive beliefs like “I will open my heart” or “I am ready for love.” Stardust you can close your eyes and meditate on a card; you can say affirmations in a mirror; or you can carry it on a piece of paper along with you.”
- Look to the moon. Not sure when to begin? Look up. Astrologers believe each of the moon’s phases offers a different energy and manifestation opportunity. For example, you can set intentions during the new moon and release burdens during the full moon.
No matter what form it takes, the idea is to make space for reflection and reinforcement.
Remember, patience is required
When it comes to love, there’s no way to predict timing — even if you’ve done all the manifestation techniques in the world.
“It can go overboard when people think that if we have a correct posture, or if we’re in this correct space, that automatically guarantees that we’re going to attract the right person, and they’re going to be our soulmate,” Fisher said.
Rather than focusing on the when (like when you’ll meet someone), remember the why. “You have to be rooted in the fact that you know you deserve better,” Kirsten said. “You’re not settling for what’s in front of you. You’re creating your own destiny.”
While dating, Kerwin said, remember to ask yourself this: “How do I feel around them?” After the process of manifestation, with more self-knowledge, hopefully you’ll be clear on the answer.
“In your heart of hearts and your quietest moments when you look within, is the right person for you to create whatever it is that you want to create? You’ve got to tap into that inner wisdom that we all have — and make sure it’s not distracted by the fast, good feelings that come with falling in love,” she said.