Most people believe that the Law of Attraction is the key to finding a life partner. However, with more than a decade of experience as a relationship coach, I believe the Law of Attraction will actually ruin your love life and sabotage your ability to experience deep emotional intimacy.
I realize that’s a radical thing to say because for decades people have been singing the praises of the Law of Attraction. From Napoleon Hill to Normal Vincent Peale, to Abraham Hicks to Oprah Winfrey to the host of teachers that appeared in The Secret, the conventional wisdom on how to “call in the one” is to use the Law of Attraction.
And the starting point of the Law of Attraction is to have a clear idea or picture of “the one” you want to attract, your ideal partner. For how can the universe (or God) bring you your ideal partner if you don’t describe who that ideal partner is?
From that perspective we make a list of qualities we want and don’t want in a partner, or we create a vision board, or perhaps we even spend time on our knees praying. No matter how we express our wants, the first step to attracting “The One” is to describe “The One.”
Now, I’m not questioning the basic idea that in order to attract or manifest something we first have to define or visualize it. That’s true to a certain extent. I’m challenging the Law of Attraction on a deeper level. I’m questioning the reason WHY we use the Law of Attraction in the first place.
And it’s the reason why we use the Law that is the problem. Our motive for using it is what ruins our loves lives. Allow me to explain.
Let’s begin with a very basic question: Why do we want…anything? Not just an ideal partner, but what’s the motive behind the desire to attract anything? Where does wanting itself come from?
Doesn’t it arise because we don’t feel ok with our present experience? Don’t we seek because we feel something is lacking or missing, that life is somehow not ok—as it is? In other words, if we felt fulfilled, would we want or seek or crave or chase…anything?
For example, five minutes after eating Thanksgiving dinner, are you raiding the fridge? If you have a fulfilling marriage, would you be dating online? If you won the lottery, would you be sending out resumes?
The point is obvious, isn’t it? We must feel some level of “not-ok-ness,” some level of inner dis-ease or discontentment or dissatisfaction for us to want to attract…anything, including a life partner.
The Chain Reaction
If we reflect on this, we’ll discover that our desire to attract a life partner comes from a felt sense of lack or loneliness or not-ok-ness on the inside. And I’m not saying we’re wrong for feeling that way. But I am saying it has consequences. In fact, it sets off a chain reaction that ends up ruining our love lives more than enhancing them.
Here’s the chain reaction: When we don’t feel ok on the inside—and for those who are seeking a partner I think it’s fair to call this feeling “loneliness”—the mind sees that as a problem and it sets out to fix it.
And the mind’s strategy to fix loneliness is to find a partner. But not just any partner. The mind tells us that we have to find our ideal partner, a person that has the exact qualities we need to fix this lonely, not-ok feeling we experience on the inside.
So here’s the chain reaction: The lonely, not-ok feeling >> find a partner >> find the ideal partner >> fix the lonely, not-ok feeling.
This is why we use the Law of Attraction: We feel lonely and we believe that finding our ideal partner is going to fix that.
How to Ruin Your Love Life
Now, at this point you might be thinking, “Hey, Roy, what the hell’s wrong with that? I’ll admit I feel a bit lonely. And, yes, I think finding a partner would fix that, and of course I don’t want just any partner, but one with a certain set of qualities. And so I’ve made a list of those qualities. And I just don’t get what’s wrong with that?”
Well, for starters, it doesn’t work, and here are 7 reasons why:
1. I Want Ice Cream!
First, I have serious doubts about whether or not we know what’s best for us. Remember, by describing our ideal partners, what we’re actually doing is telling the universe (or God) that we know what we need, that we know what’s best for us. That’s a pretty arrogant perspective and it might not be very smart.
Imagine a 2-year old telling its parents that a steady diet of ice cream is exactly what they need to grow! That’s nuts, right? But essentially, that’s what our list is. We think we know what’s best for us—but do we? Wouldn’t it be better to scrap our lists, realizing that it comes from a very limited perspective and understanding, and instead trust that if or when a relationship would serve our evolution, that the universe will put us with the person that’s best for us?
2. Mission Impossible
Second, have you taken an objective look at your list lately? Does that person even exist? “I want someone who has a great career and is financially stable. They must have impeccable character, spiritual depth and a great sense of humor. They need to be physically hot, emotionally available and great in the sack. Oh, and they have to love dogs, children and Jesus!” Do you see what I mean? Who could measure up to that? Hell, would you qualify to date yourself?
3. A Weird Threesome
Third, how do we come up with the things on our list in the first place? Answer: from our pasts. Our lists don’t describe our ideal partners; they describe the emotional baggage we’re holding on to from the past! Fear is writing our lists. It’s describing what we haven’t let go of, what we’re still hung up on and that keeps the past alive in us.
So when we meet someone, we’re not seeing him or her, we’re seeing that person through our past. Our baggage stands between us and them. It’s like having a really weird ménage a trois! We’re not interacting with the reality of who they are, we’re interacting with the projections and pain from our past, and consequently, our relationships don’t stand a chance.
4. Don’t Ever Change
When I signed yearbooks back in high school, I’d often write, “don’t ever change.” It’s sweet but utterly ridiculous. Nothing and no one stays the same. So even if you could find someone who meets your criteria (and you can’t), they won’t continue to meet your criteria for very long.
The qualities a person possesses today will change because experience constantly alters the psyche and soul. So even if you could find your ideal partner, you can count on them not staying ideal for very long. So why bother with a list at all?
5. Physician, Heal Thyself!
Fifth, the lonely, not-ok feeling that we experience inside, if we can’t fix that ourselves, what makes us think someone else can? The idea that a person outside of us can fix something inside of us is like thinking that if I’m hungry and you eat a sandwich, I’ll feel full! Yet that is exactly what we’re doing.
We ask someone outside of us to fill a void, fix a problem or finish some story—inside of us. But nothing a person says or does can fix anything going on inside of us. That’s a job only we can do and I’ll have more to say about this later in this article.
6. Are You “In Love” or “In Get”?
When we have a list of the qualities we want in a partner, we’re revealing that we have a “GET” mentality, not a “LOVE” mentality. We’re saying, I want a relationship for what I can “get” out of it, not for what I can give to it. (Don’t believe me? Have you ever heard of a person having a list (or an online profile) that describes what they wanted to give in a relationship? I rest my case.)
Having a list reveals that, deep down, it’s all about what we want. The Law of Attraction is fundamentally self-centered. It’s about what I want. It’s about what I need. It’s about what I want to attract. Having a list means we want to “fall in GET” not “fall in LOVE,” because love is not about I. In my first book, A Drink with Legs, I wrote this about love:
“Love asks nothing, needs nothing and requires nothing. It needs no response, no return and no reason. Love has no strings, it has no memory, it incurs no debt. It needs no vow, it needs no future and has no job description (and has no list!)… Love, if it actually is love, is unconditional. Always.”
7. Relational Waterboarding
Finally, if we have a list, we will interrogate those we date. Yes, we’ll do our best not to make it obvious, but we have to find out if they meet our criteria. We have to find out if they fulfill our requirements. What’s the purpose of having a list if we’re not going to find out if they measure up to it or not? So dating becomes an interview at best, or an interrogation at worst.
Dating can turn into relational waterboarding: “Tell me who you are! Don’t you dare lie to me. Tell me the truth! Are you this or that? Do you have this quality or that quality? Tell me what you’re about and what you’re up to!”
Instead of enjoying the unfolding mystery of dating, instead of simply being present with the incredible human being that is right in front of us, instead of being open to the flow and feel of moment, we’re in our heads analyzing and evaluating them.
In summary, then, the Law of Attraction might help you attract a relationship, but is it the kind of relationship you want? Based on the 7 points I just made, I certainly hope not.
How To Choose A Partner
At this point you should be wondering, “If I don’t have a list, how am I supposed to choose a partner? Should I have no standards? Should I just go out with anyone?” Obviously not.
You will quite naturally, without any list, be drawn to and find yourself interested in certain people and not in others. If you drop your list, you’ll experience relationships easefully forming all by themselves. Life will unfold. One day you’ll wake up and see a person lying next to you in bed and think, “How did this happen? This is so cool!”
People meet each other. People like each other. Relationships happen. You don’t have to order or orchestrate them. You can let go of control. You can let go of trying to figure it out. You can stop dictating to the universe what you think you need. You can let go of thinking it’s your responsibility to manifest or attract your partner. You can relax and trust that Life will fix you up with someone when the time is right.
I’m a believer in arranged relationships and arranged marriages. Arranged, not by your parents or family as was done and is still done in some cultures, but by Life itself.
I’m challenging you to drop your limited ideas about the kind of person you think you need and open yourself up to the person the universe thinks you need. I’m inviting you to stop telling God what you want and instead say what Jesus said, “Not my will be done, but Thine.”
However, the first order of business is to deal with that lonely, not-ok feeling going on inside of you. It’s not your job to find your partner, but it is your job to fix what’s going on inside of you. That void, that empty, not-ok lonely feeling, if that’s not dealt with you’ll never be able to experience a healthy relationship.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to describe how to do that so please reach out to me if you’d like to discuss this or any other topic impacting your love life. I offer a free 30-minute coaching session to anyone interested in how I might be able to help them attract lasting love. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me directly at 407-687-3387.
Roy Biancalana is a certified relationship coach, a TV personality, and the author of two books, the latest of which is the #1 best-seller, Attracting Lasting Love: Breaking Free of the 7 Barriers that Keep You Single. For the past 10 years, Roy’s mission has been supporting single people in the art of attracting and creating conscious, lasting relationships. He offers a complimentary 30-minute coaching session to anyone interested in working with him. You can learn more about him by visiting, www.coachingwithroy.com.