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MGK Megan Fox
via Instagram (@machinegunkelly)

Can you really manifest love?

Be like Megan Fox, who believes she manifested Machine Gun Kelly into existence when she was just four years old <3

I’m flicking through my FYP when one particular TikTok grabs my attention. “Did you know that you can literally have whatever it is you want?”, the monotone text-to-speech voice bleats. “Grab a paper and a pen, let’s manifest a boyfriend.”

The creator, May (@maylikethemonthh), then goes on to write a list of affirmations like “my boyfriend respects me” and “my boyfriend is loyal to me”, explaining that simply believing your future boyfriend is out there will bring him into your life. Speaking to Dazed, May explains that she’s successfully manifested a relationship before. “I would manifest him reaching out or me bumping into him,” she tells me. “I did it by writing down his name on a piece of paper over and over again, and how he was in love with me and all he thought about was me.”

Manifesting isn’t new – the ‘law of attraction’ principle, which claims that thinking positive thoughts will bring about positive experiences, first gained traction in the 19th century. But manifestation has been given a new lease of life over the past few years, with Google searches for ‘manifesting’ rising by a staggering 669 per cent between March and July 2020.

As manifestation has gone mainstream, it’s unsurprising that many people are keen to learn how to use the practice as a way of attracting a relationship. May certainly isn’t the only person who believes it’s possible to achieve this through the power of manifestation: on TikTok, the ‘how to manifest a boyfriend’ tag has over 125 million views, while ‘bf manifestation’ has over 16 billion. On YouTube, creators rack up thousands of views by teaching their subscribers ‘how to manifest a specific person’. Even the shitposting Instagram account @afffirmations often posts memeified affirmations like “My crush stalks my Instagram”.

Notably, in a recent interview with Glamour, Megan Fox revealed that she believes she manifested her relationship with Machine Gun Kelly. "He’s literally my exact physical type that I’ve been manifesting since I was four. I’m also four years older than him. So, I think I made him,” she said. “My thoughts and intentions grew him into the person that he is, who knows what he would’ve looked like or been like if it wasn’t for me.”

As Fox’s comments show, however, there is a danger that believing you can manifest a partner can be a little… narcissistic. There seems to be little room for considering what your partner wants or needs – much of the focus appears to be on how your partner can serve you. It’s also worth noting that some manifestation TikToks verge on being obsessive or just plain creepy, like this one which encourages you to write your crush’s name on a piece of paper and place it under a candle to make them “think of you 24/7”. Is it really healthy to want someone to be “obsessed” with you? Or, more importantly, is it healthy for you to be so obsessed with someone that you wish for them to “never leave” you? Even May admits that her previous relationship quickly turned toxic and “took a toll” on her mental state. “Instead of manifesting someone who’s obsessed with you, you can end up being obsessed with them,” she says.

To Evie Sparkes, law of attraction coach and author, manifestation is more about letting go of attachment to a particular outcome, rather than trying to force things to go your way. “I have found that less is more when it comes to manifesting. Effort is not required, and in actual fact, usually hinders your progress,” she says. “Providing you don’t obsess over the how and when, you will meet that person. Don’t try to work out how they will appear or where. Leave that to the universe.” May agrees that this is a better approach: “When you’re grateful for the people in your life, you’ll be able to attract more people to be thankful for.”

Sparkes adds that you should be intentional when it comes to attracting the kind of partner you want. “Decide what sort of person you’d like to be in a relationship with – how might you feel when you are with them? Write it down as this gives you clarity. Now you’ve set your intention,” Sparkes explains. “Your next job is to have fun. If you are using a dating app, don’t live in expectation of each date being the ‘one’. If you do, you’ll be attached to the outcome and this won’t result in success. That comes when you are going about your life and enjoying other things. The more relaxed you are, the faster it happens.” Ultimately, this sounds like good advice for anyone who’s dating.

“You may get an introduction to someone from a friend, you may meet someone in the supermarket. If you get a sudden urge to join a club of some sort or go somewhere different, go with it. We never know what the bridge of incidents will be. The universe will lead us and sometimes in the most unexpected ways,” she says. “If it feels natural and good, then action is inspired. Go with it. If it feels forced, unnatural or uncomfortable, then it’s not for you.”

“Think of those times that you have imagined something or briefly thought about something and it has shown up in your life as if by magic. What’s stranger: coincidence, or the fact that you created it?” – Evie Sparkes

Initially, I was a little sceptical of manifestation, but this makes me think. Why did I spontaneously decide to go on a date with a guy from Hinge – my now-boyfriend – two years ago, even though I’m chronically afraid of meeting new people and I’d never properly used a dating app before in my life? “Think of those times that you have imagined something or briefly thought about something and it has shown up in your life as if by magic,” Sparkes says. “What’s stranger: coincidence, or the fact that you created it?”

Maybe the universe brought us together. Maybe I was just very horny after lockdown and we got lucky that we were compatible. Either way, it worked.