It was the summer of 2009. I was a 21-year-old college student who had just returned home from an amazing six months studying abroad in South Africa. I’d taught dance to schoolchildren at a local township. I spent four days in silent meditation on a Buddhist retreat.
I sipped a few too many glasses of vino with my gaggle of new friends. I engaged in an assortment of brief romances with an Afrikaans beach bum, a singing/song-writing Jack Johnson doppelgänger, a saxophone-playing Texan and an elusive Nietzsche-reading hipster.
Though my experience was amazing and soul enlivening, I craved something more when it came to my love life. It had been three years since my last real boyfriend, and I ached for a meaningful connection. I didn’t want another fling; I wanted to fall in love and be loved deeply in return.
Around this time, I was also getting more in touch with my spirituality and reading countless self-help books. One day, as I browsed through my mom’s library, I stumbled across a book that caught my eye: "The Soul Mate Secret."
The book's author, Arielle Ford, claimed that The Law of Attraction -- the belief that “like attracts like” and by focusing on positive thoughts, you can bring about positive results — can manifest an ideal romantic partner.
Hesitantly, yet hopefully, I decided to test Ford's theory and, as she put it, prepare myself on all levels for love. This included:
1. Clearing out the past
I wrote a letter expressing my hurt feelings toward an ex-boyfriend and wrote one back to me from his perspective. Then, I burned both letters.
I also cleaned out my room and tossed everything that reminded me of past partners (love letters, photos, etc.).
2. Getting specific about what I want in my next relationship and what I have to offer this person
I made a list of the 10 qualities I most desire in a partner and a second list of my own most appealing traits. I also wrote down my non-negotiable deal-breakers for my next relationship.
3. Visualizing what I want and acting as if it was already happening
I listened to a guided meditation, which urged me to feel the feelings of love and joy I would experience once my new man entered my life. I also sent myself a text message from my future boyfriend, telling me how much he loved me and how glad he was that we’d met.
Lastly, I created a visual collage using magazine clippings, which represented what I wanted in my next relationship. It included a couple holding hands on a beach and phrases like “sexy,” “exotic” and “treats me like a queen.” I put the collage under my bed.
Then, I returned to school and pretty much forgot about all of it. I went about my life, took my classes, attended frat parties, binge-watched "Grey's Anatomy" with my roommates, etc. For fall break, I decided to stay on campus to catch up on work and relax. That weekend, I ventured into to a near-deserted gym to get in a workout.
Not expecting to see anyone I knew, I wore no makeup, some baggy, old sweatpants and pulled back my hair in a bun.
About 10 minutes into my routine, a guy hopped onto the elliptical next to me and asked me what music I was listening to. He had an appealing energy and was definitely attractive, but I immediately dismissed him because of the Ed Hardy t-shirt he was wearing and the way he gelled his hair.
Undeterred by my disinterest, however, the guy continued to chat me up and somehow convinced me into giving him my phone number. Texting turned into phone calls, which turned into actual dates. Even though I loved the way talking to him soothed my nerves and how adored he made me feel, I still resisted. He was just so not my usual type.
But, despite my initial hesitation, pretty soon, we became an item.
When I went home for winter break that December, I found the collage I made the summer before. It may sound silly, but at that moment, it suddenly clicked: He was the guy I manifested. As I held the collage, I literally felt chills. It was eerie how much our relationship resembled what and who was in front of me.
That Valentines day, I gave him the collage as a gift; he was floored. He didn’t believe I made it before ever meeting him.
Long story short, we dated for a year, but ultimately parted ways after he moved to India and I went to DC post-graduation. It was a wonderful experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
While the relationship didn’t last forever, the lessons I learned certainly will
First, I realized I have the power to manifest love (or anything else I want) to existence in my life. Since that experiment, I have used the above exercises to manifest a job, a cute apartment, my business, other boyfriends, a trip to Costa Rica and even jewelry.
The key to manifesting each of these things/experiences was getting super clear about what I want and focusing on the feeling behind the goal.
Second, I learned that while you can essentially order whatever you desire from the universal buffet, it might not come in the exact flavor you imagined. Self-help guru Gabrielle Bernstein nails it when she advises focusing on the picture of what you want, rather than the frame in which it comes.
In the case of my boyfriend, the picture was how he made me feel and our chemistry together. The frame was the Ed Hardy t-shirts and gelled hair (which, if I’m being honest, still make me cringe when I think about them).
If my story inspires you, and you’re ready to manifest an amazing partner, follow the steps I outlined above. Clear out the past, crystalize what you do and do not want, visualize your desire and act as if it has already come to fruition. This process may sound overly simple, but I have seen it work time and time again.
And, if you have any additional tips or questions about calling in that special someone, feel free to post them in the comments below!