Can a single thought turn into reality? The hype surrounding manifestation has been building for over two decades. It’s unlikely to be a coincidence.Of course, visualizing your ideal life and willing it into reality sounds too good to be true. All skepticism aside, though, there are countless individuals who claim that this method has worked for them. If you’re open-minded and wondering how to manifest love, it’s time to take a deep dive into its theory.
We spoke to manifestation coach Maria Concha, therapist Julia Bartz, LCSW, and manifesting expert Roxie Nafousi to get the lowdown.
Meet the Expert
- Maria Concha is a manifestation coach, speaker, and founder of Manifesting Ninja.
- Julia Bartz, LCSW, is a clinical social worker, therapist, and author of the My Pleasure: The New Psychology of Sex, Dating, and Self-Care blog.
- Roxie Nafousi is a self-development coach, manifesting expert, and host of The Moments That Made Me podcast. She is the author of Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life.
What Is Manifestation?
So, what on earth is manifestation? Chances are, you’ve heard of this practice from books like Rhonda Byrne’s 2006 bestseller The Secret or in the niche corners of internet land (hello, TikTok!). Regardless of how you’ve stumbled upon the topic, the central idea is likely to be the same. “Manifestation is intentionally creating your reality through your beliefs and actions,” explains Concha. As she puts it, we’re continuously manifesting whether we like it or not. So, you might as well take control of that power and make some positive changes.
“Being conscious and deliberate about our beliefs is key,” she continues. “To simplify it, think about it like this: I want you to see yourself as a magnet attracting what you are thinking and feeling, which leads to the action you take. What you see in your reality now are the seeds (thoughts and emotions) you planted at a certain point in your life and if you pay close attention, you will see the correlation between your thoughts and what you have in your reality.”
Concha adds, “Your emotions are your guidance system. Paying attention to the way you are feeling when you are thinking about something or someone is an indication if you are in the process of attracting something you want. Essentially, you get what you think about whether you want it or not. The cool part is that you always have the option to choose better thoughts; ones that serve you.
So manifesting isn't exactly the magic, quick-fix it's marketed as. In fact, it isn't without its fair share of work. "What people often don’t realize is that manifestation takes a lot of 'behind the scenes' work, from uncovering potential barriers and challenges, to figuring out exactly what you do want, to taking action steps in order to reach your goal," explains Bartz. "Our beliefs about the world often dictate our actions below our level of awareness. For example, if you say that you’re looking for a partner but, deep down, you don’t believe you’ll be able to find one, then you will act in ways that subtly support your belief, and you will likely have a difficult time in this goal."
How to Manifest Love
Now, let’s get to the good stuff. If you want to try manifesting love for yourself, Concha says there are five relatively straightforward steps you can follow. Here’s what you need to know.
Whether you’re looking for a new love interest or want to strengthen your current relationship, the manifestation method is the same.
Step 1: Decide What You Want
First things first, figure out what your ideal relationship looks like. Take the time to really consider what you’re currently looking for in a partner. “Decide on the kind of relationship you wish to be in (this is you planting the seed) without thinking about the how,” explains Concha. “Remember that your job is to stay in a vibrational match to what you wish to see, not to figure out how exactly this intro will go down, leave that up to the universe.”
Step 2: Visualize It
"Dream it up in your mind and allow yourself to get excited about it! This is you matching the vibration of what you wish to attract into your life,” says Concha. You might have already dwindled hours away picturing your dream partner but now it’s time to get serious. How do you envision your relationship? What qualities do you hope they have?
Step 3: Embody It
"Embody the person that already has this love in their life,” says Concha. “Act and behave as if your dream person has already manifested. Embody the version of you that has this relationship. How would you be showing up? Most likely not obsessing over an outcome, taking self-care time, doing things that make you feel good regardless of a partner being in your life or not.”
"The most important thing is believing you are worthy of true love," adds Nafousi. "We manifest what we subconsciously believe we are worthy of—and a lot of us hold a lot of limiting beliefs around love and relationships. We may have had traumatic experiences in relationships, or we might have insecurities that have built up throughout our lives and that is our biggest block—it's also what causes us to settle for less than we deserve in relationships."
Step 4: Align Your Actions
When you’ve done all of the above, you might find that your ideal person "presents" themself. Don’t ignore that sign. Do something about it. "Taking aligned action is about pursuing and saying ‘yes’ to potential partners that have the qualities that you desire to have in your life and ‘no’ to the ones that don’t,” says Concha. “Don’t entertain or pursue someone who doesn’t match what you truly want. That’s you telling the universe that this is the kind of person you want and so you will keep attracting more of those types of people whether you want it or not.”
Step 5: Surrender
The final step is perhaps the hardest. The love that you attract might not look how you imagined so Concha says to prepare yourself for some surprises along the way. “Surrendering is simply you allowing love into your life without attachment to one specific outcome or person. It doesn’t serve you to be this rigid, linear thinker,” explains Concha. “In fact, when you’re open to creative possibilities for love, the universe may surprise you and you’ll meet someone totally unexpected. Ten years later you’ll look back and understand why it didn’t work out with all the other ones.” Well, it’s worth a shot, right?
How Long Does It Take to Manifest Love?
There's no time limit on love. "It can be incredibly fast or take time for you to believe you are worthy of it," says Nafousi. "Healing does not happen overnight!"
Concha notes that this is the most exciting part of the process: "It can happen at any given point after you decide that you are inviting love into your life and aligning your thoughts and actions with it."
Signs Your Love Manifestation Is Coming True
Okay, so we may not be able to pinpoint exactly when those true love manifestations will come to fruition but there are a few ways to know you're on the right track. "If you find yourself meeting and dating people who seem like they might be a good fit for you, even if they don’t turn into a relationship, then you know that you’re on the right path," says Bartz.
Concha suggests checking in with your internal compass. "It depends on what you are desiring to feel with this love that you have called in. For example, if your idea of love is to feel supported, loved and cared for, some signs that it's coming is that you start to feel this way before this person arrives," she explains. These feelings don't need to come from a romantic source. A friend could make a thoughtful gesture that makes you feel loved. Or, you may take some time for yourself and feel cared for. "All of this aligns with the vibration of the love that you are manifesting, and you can only attract from the energy in which you are already in."
If you're feeling frustrated or like the universe has been testing you, don't worry. Nafousi says this could be a good sign. "Interestingly, I always say that you know your person is on the way when exes start appearing in your life. Exes are often a 'test from the universe' which you have to overcome," she says. "Exes appear to test your self-worth: Do you fall back into an old pattern, or do you recognize your worth and see how much more you deserve now?"
Can You Really Manifest Love?
Apart from a million dollars and perhaps a private yacht, the number one thing people want to manifest is no secret: true love. But whether you can attract a special someone into your life using manifestation is most certainly open to debate. While many may dismiss the idea as new-age nonsense, Concha says it worked for her and can for you, too.
“You can absolutely manifest love! I did and 10 years later here we are,” says Concha. “And you can also manifest to strengthen the love you already have if you’re currently in a relationship. The longer you focus upon something or someone, the more powerful it becomes and the stronger your attraction.”
Bartz agrees that manifesting love is possible, but discernment is key. "If you’re having a difficult time finding a partner, or you feel that you attract the wrong partners, you may be up against unconscious barriers–meaning ways that you are unknowingly blocking yourself from your goal," she explains. "You may need to understand and heal attachment trauma stemming from your childhood." This can show up as attracting partners with incompatible attachment styles, unconsciously searching out partners to fix relational patterns, self-sabotaging healthy relationships out of fear, or having unrealistic expectations of perfection vs. compatibility. "When you have this information about yourself, that’s when you can begin to make conscious dating decisions and search out partners who are looking for the same type of relationship you are. At this stage, you can do more typical manifestation practices, such as putting out a spiritual call for a healthy partner, or meditating on how it will feel to meet and spend time with your partner," she adds.
If you’re hoping to cast a magic spell on your office crush or that attractive stranger on the train, you might want to think twice. While Concha says you can use manifestation to bring a specific person into your life, you cannot make them fall truly, madly, deeply in love with you. “The law of attraction finds others who are offering a similar vibration and brings them into your experience. You can target a specific person which may look like them coming into your life somehow, however, you cannot manifest someone to love you back. You can only manifest for yourself.”