If you’ve been on TikTok long enough, you’ve probably seen at least one or two videos on the For You Page on how to manifest a significant other into your life. The TikTok technique is primarily focused on repetition in thought and writing. The creators within this subgenre (usually dressed in witchy attire and surrounded by glowing candles) claim that if you focus on something intently enough, you can make it reality. Some even go as far to say that you can manifest a specific person: with certain techniques, you can make them miss you, influence them to think about you, and even appear in their dreams.
The idea that you can write someone’s name down enough times and make them fall in love with you is a little creepy. However, this content remains wildly popular, which can perhaps be attributed to the effects of holiday season loneliness, mixed with the isolation of the pandemic. In a world where singles have virtually no options to meet people organically, the sense of desperation is heavy. After all, those videos did make their way onto your For You Page.
Manifestation is a practice that originates from the Law of Attraction, or the idea that “our thoughts about ourselves and our identity are what define who we are and what we’re capable of.” The Law of Attraction teaches that our mindset influences our destiny, and that if we believe something about ourselves, the outer reality will adjust accordingly. Throughout history, similar beliefs have been witnessed in Christian and Buddhist teachings, but were brought to the forefront of public consciousness in the 19th century.
How do these ideas relate to the trendy version of manifestation being shared through TikTok? Is it true to the origins of an ancient spiritual practice, or is it a cheap alteration of a process-based, meditative skill that feeds the obsessive vulnerabilities of lonely singles?
Juliette Conner, an award-winning manifestation coach and intuitive healer based in Queensland, Australia, has devoted her life to teaching these practices to those who hope to manifest jobs, money, and soulmates. According to Conner, manifestation isn’t as simple as wanting something, or someone, badly enough. Often, people struggle to manifest what they want because their intentions are rooted in the belief that they need to change themselves, which is fueled by a negative self-image.
“The most common things I see that are blocking people from manifesting what they want are subconscious limiting beliefs that they picked up when they were children,” says Conner. “Before the age of six we’re in a theta brainwave state, which is like a state of hypnosis, and certain things that are said to us at this time can be subconsciously picked up as truth. For example, if something happens when you’re younger that makes you feel like you aren’t special or lovable, that belief is going to play out in your future until you do something to create another one.”
A crucial step to climbing this hurdle, Conner says, is limiting your attachment to specific ideas of what or who you need. The three main things she says will help in this process are daily meditation to calm the mind, appreciation practice, or appreciating the things already in your life that are good, and visualization of the thing that you’re trying to call into your life.
One of the most common errors that Conner sees in her clients is being too specific in what they’re visualizing. If you’re trying to manifest a significant other, you should focus your energy on the feelings that connection will give you, and relinquishing attachment to a specific outcome.
“Meditation and appreciation practice are going to help you quiet the mind and connect you with your intuition, which is going to put you in the right energy to attract more positive experiences,” Conner explains. “Visualizing and taking yourself through a mind movie of the thing you want to call into your life, and feeling into the energy of what you’re trying to attract will give you. If you’re trying to attract a romantic partner, you might spend a few moments after you’ve meditated imagine what it would be like to be with that person, how they would make you feel, and the emotions you’d experience.”
To help detach themselves from a specific person or outcome, Conner encourages her clients to establish what she describes as Stable Energetic Foundations, or ways to find fulfillment through things that are already accessible in their daily life.
“If you’re trying to manifest a loving relationship — what is that relationship going to give you that you need from it? Probably love and connection. So find ways to start giving yourself love and connection now, like through spending time with friends and family, practicing self-love, doing things to fill your cup, and give yourself the end result that that manifested desire would give you. You’re going to notice that you naturally start to let go, and drop into a state of surrender because you’re not relying on that thing to give you what you want — you’re giving yourself that ultimate end result in other ways, therefore you stop coming from a place of attachment.”
The techniques trending on TikTok focus on manifesting specific people coming into your life and are mostly writing-based, such as the 3-6-9 method, which involves writing a person’s name down three times, your intentions with them six times, and what you want them to say to you nine times. Although these techniques are alluring because of their simplicity — for that reason, they’ve taken a spot as one of the trendiest content types on TikTok — Conner warns that they could be counterproductive to your goals.
She says, “I wouldn’t recommend [these methods], because oftentimes the ones that choose them are needy and desperate to begin with. It’s actually only creating more of a sense of lack within them which is going to push what they want away from them. This is why I always tell my clients they need to get themselves to a certain vibration around their manifestation before they start using things to obsessively call something in. If you’re not in the right vibration to begin with, using those techniques is just going to make you more obsessive and is going to push those things away from you.”
Manifesting the person for your highest good involves a lot more internal work than some TikTok creators portray, but there are several small steps you can take every day to start truly aligning yourself with the person or future you desire. Conner shared with me one of the first steps she recommends to her clients: “Start by making a vision board that depicts how you want your life to be, but it should focus more on who you want to be rather than what you want to get. Then do things in your daily life to align yourself with that energy. So rather than thinking, ‘I want to manifest money and a car, and a person,’ first ask, ‘Who do I want to be?’”
Conner says that focusing on these things also causes you to naturally detach from the things that build “blockers,” or thoughts that deter you from your destiny. “When you do this work first, the deeper work to connect with your intuition and finding peace from within, it puts you in the perfect energy to call in those things you desire.”
Although I have always considered myself a skeptic in every way, when I mentioned to my stepmom that I was writing this article, she asked me if she had ever told me the story of how she manifested meeting my dad. They are one of the most compatible couples I’ve ever known, perfect for each other in all the right ways, so I was surprised when I realized I had never heard it.
After recently moving to a cabin just outside of the town we lived in, she sat down one night and decided to write down the things she wanted to manifest, her goals for the future. The further down the list she got, the more specific the items became. “I knew I wanted someone who loved music as much as I did, who cared about family, who had a sense of adventure, and who had younger kids,” she says. She started using this list as a guide for her daily affirmations, and met my dad, a music producer with two young children, three months later.
Even if you don’t manifest the things you initially hoped for, the things you thought that you needed, Conner’s strategies train your inner monologue to be a more welcoming, uplifting space to exist in. What is there to lose from that?