Growing up, most of us learned about dating, sex, and relationships from an issue of Cosmopolitan or an episode of Sex and The City, not by knowing how to manifest. But a few years ago I was introduced to manifestation and it quite literally changed my life (which, by definition, is the whole point of manifesting). As more and more people started to swear by the Law of Attraction for increasing their wealth, popularity, or happiness, it only made sense that it would be used to improve love lives too.
After all, some of the biggest questions throughout human history are matters of the heart (“They love me; they love me not”), and everything from Shakespeare’s sonnets to Nancy Meyers’ rom-coms tries to explain the secret to a happy relationship. So could manifestation really be the answer to kicking ass on dates and dating apps, improving your relationship, or overall feeling more satisfied in your relationship status? I asked Dana Lord Lewis, a manifestation expert and founder of Energy Think, for all her tips and tricks on how (and why!) manifestation can transform your love life. Take a break from swiping and read on to achieve a fulfilling love life in 2023.
What is “manifesting” and how does it work?
Manifestation is all the buzz across TikTok and The New York Times Best Seller list, but the concept of the Law of Attraction is nothing new, rooted in ideas that come from various philosophical and religious traditions. The idea of manifesting has been covered in dozens of self-help books and discussed by thought leaders around the world, from Oprah to Deepak Chopra to Iyanla Vanzant. The concept is essentially creating reality or bringing something tangible into your life based on attraction and belief. For example, if you think it, believe it, and then act on it, it will come (the key words being “belief” and “action,” since hoping for something alone isn’t enough). But that’s not all.
“When people talk about manifestation, it typically has to do with bringing something intentional to fruition,” Lewis explained. “But manifestation also comes from potentials of the unconscious mind. Many people do not realize that they have, on an unconscious level, called it in.” In other words, manifestation does not only come into play when you want a dream promotion, relationship, or house; whether consciously or unconsciously, our thoughts, worries, and beliefs can become our reality too.
How can manifestation affect your dating life?
Since we are constantly manifesting thoughts into existence (whether consciously or unconsciously), it can affect every area of your life—including your love life. Lewis said that she often sees the negative effects of unconscious manifestation in relationships because of worry and fear. “A lot of limiting beliefs play themselves out in the dating world. Our insecurities are triggered, and therefore, we feel fearful and we take action that comes from that fear.” Maybe this looks like sending a text out of insecurity or not sending a text to protect your vulnerability. Maybe this means you tend to date multiple people at the same time because it feels scary to get serious, or maybe this means you always need a serious partner because it makes you feel safe.
All of our insecurities look different in our dating lives and relationships, but they can be holding us back from a happy love life. “What you do with your energy when you are emotionally challenged is the most important thing to ensure you aren’t sabotaging a love life you may want,” Lewis suggested. But just like we want to get out of certain thought patterns and behaviors to avoid the love lives we don’t want, we can also manifest what we do want.
3 steps to manifest a better love life:
1. Develop self-awareness
The Laws of Attraction are not about stating what you want and expecting to get it like a spoiled kid in a toy store. Instead, the Laws of Attraction state that the way you behave or feel about yourself attracts certain energies to you. When it comes to dating, that means the energy you’re giving out is what you will attract in dates or a partner. “How you treat yourself internally is going to be projected out onto others,” Lewis explained. “This means what you put out, you will get back, perhaps in a different form but with the same character.” So the first important step is to know what you are attracting by developing more self-awareness. What do you do when you feel under pressure? How do you handle insecurities? Why do you want (or not want) a relationship?
2. Shift out of energy habits that don’t serve your goals
Once you’re aware of the energy you’re giving off and what you truly want, you can make adjustments to get what you want. For example, if you’re looking for a healthy, lasting relationship but have rooted insecurities that cause you to be jealous or controlling, you may unconsciously attract partners who will give you reason to be jealous or controlling. Work on your own insecurities and prioritize self-love, and you’ll begin attracting partners who will love you like you love you.
3. Take ownership of your life
Lewis said the most powerful step is the last one, which she calls “Radical Self Ownership.” You must truly believe and realize that your life is in your control. Life doesn’t happen to you; it happens by you. “The third step is where you realize that you are the creator of your reality, both its pleasure and its pain,” she explained. “When this power is recognized and embraced, everything changes—especially the way you relate to those closest to you. Ultimately, the more you can learn about yourself and accept yourself, the more you will experience love with others.”
How to improve your love life if…
If you’re feeling exhausted or stressed out about the dating apps, online profiles, and planning IRL meet-ups, don’t push through in hopes you’ll achieve the love life of your dreams (because you won’t!). PSA: Dating does not have to be tiring and should be enjoyable if you’re going to manifest a better love life. “Dating feels tiring when there is fear experienced around it because fear is immensely draining,” Lewis explained. “When you take away fear, dating is a source of energy.” In other words, dating should be fun. If it’s not, you might be dating out of fear of being alone or feel too much fear of rejection in order to actually enjoy the process (more on that below).
Instead of dating from a place of fear, date from a place of enjoyment. “There are so many benefits to this phase of life,” Lewis said. “If you are single, it is a gift. If you’re single and want to be in a relationship, singlehood is a gift that won’t last forever.” Lewis recommended spending time getting to know yourself better and to try something different to “shake up your current understanding of the world.” Also, remember that all situations exist to benefit you—and yes, that means even single phases, bad first dates, or hurtful ghosting. “Take this opportunity to go beyond the desire for a relationship, and connect to the part of you that feeds this idea that being ‘alone’ is negative.”
You’re in a relationship…
So you’re in a relationship but looking to kick it up a notch? Maybe you’ve been together forever and it’s feeling a little complacent, or you’ve recently coupled up but your communication is off. There’s a lot you can do to manifest a better love life too, and—no surprise—it also starts with getting to know yourself better. Lewis recommended getting to know how you like to cycle energy, which can cause patterns in relationships. For example, if you’re a very giving person, you may fall into a pattern of putting others first and yourself last, or if you’re a perfectionist and self-critical, you may be overly critical of your partner or relationship as well. Also, if you have the mentality that your relationship is holding you back from other dreams (like moving across the country, having kids, or getting your dream job), it can lead to disconnect and resentment.
Lewis explained that (as long as there are no toxic behaviors) the areas where your relationship needs improvement is a reflection of your own energetic state and the way you see yourself. If you give too much to your partner, work on giving more to yourself (instead of expecting them to give more to you). If you’re critical of your relationship, work on being kinder to yourself, and the way you talk about your partner or relationship will follow. “There are so many things you can do to make yourself more in alignment, which will bring happiness and improve all relationships,” Lewis said.
But beware: Since the work is coming from working on yourself, it can be tempting to think that you’re “doing all the work” and fault your partner for not doing the same. Lewis claimed the best advice she has for couples is to not have expectations of your partner to better the relationship to the same degree that you do. In other words, don’t keep score, which can manifest a relationship you don’t want. “To depend on someone else for your better life (even in a relationship) is a losing battle and puts dependency on them for your happiness,” Lewis explained. “To be truly happy in your relationship, the utmost priority should be your own alignment, independent of all others.”
You’re worried about rejection…
And now for the majority of us: the ones who avoid going on dates because we’re worried we won’t be liked, or the ones who put too much pressure on our relationships because we don’t feel secure. When you’re worried about rejection, you are literally manifesting a negative love life. Instead, shift your perspective to believe that rejection is not real (no, really). “When we experience the feelings of rejection, we are experiencing it because we have rejected ourselves,” Lewis explained. In other words, everything you know about your relationships to other people is from your own perception. Therefore, you can shift your perception of a bad date, break up, fight with your partner, or Tinder match who never responded to not include rejection at all.
All it takes to make this shift is a few key changes. Lewis recommended spending more time on the people and things that fill you with joy. For example, maybe limit the happy hours with the coworkers who complain about their relationships or gossip about the office and spend more time with the friend who’s really into yoga (and is good at motivating you too) or your sister who is so passionate about her non-profit. Beyond the people you spend time with, spend more time on your own fostering your interests, taking care of your body, and making the effort to heal wounds by going to therapy or gratitude journaling. We only experience fear of rejection when we believe our worth is tied to whether we fit the bill of what another person thinks of us, so work on your own worth. “When you live in alignment and are nourishing yourself, it genuinely won’t matter to you if people vibe with that or not,” Lewis agreed.