Law of attraction: Deception?

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    Does anyone else sometimes get swept away by the law of attraction belief that the universe will “grant” them a great partner if you just believe, keep the faith, think positive thoughts, etc…?

    I feel like I’ve figeratively bargained with “the universe” and thought, “Okay I’m going to put love out there and then I’ll eventually be granted a wonderful partner!” Only this never actually happens.

    I believe his was Chapter 13: You need to put it out into the universe.

    This is one of the most frustrating wrong reasons for me. This advice always come from the girl who met her husband at some random event and called it “fate.” I have a friend who said she knew what she wanted, but as soon as she stopped looking she got together with her current boyfriend at a 4th of July party and the rest is history.

    Did the universe intervene… or did they just happen to have plans to go to the same party, hit it off, and decided they liked each other enough to stay together? I’m going to go with the latter.

    I read an article on writing down every characteristic of your ideal man, creating space in your life for him (like literally getting ready for him by purchasing a spare toothbrush and cleaning out a drawer in your place for his things when he does “arrive.” I’ve actually had moments where I considered doing all of this just because I’m really at a point of wanting life long companionship.



    Girl, read my mind AGAIN, lol.

    Seriously, this has been on my mind and a big huge issue for me. I think it made things worse for me because I was on this hopeful high that I WOULD meet the man I would marry by a certain date and even followed steps towards my prayers being answered. I have a friend who is a HUGE believer in it and she prayed to not be single any more by her 30th bday and sure enough, she’s engaged and to be married in Jan. Another friend BELIEVED that she would meet her husband by the end of her school program and that’s in fact what happened.

    So color me frustrated when “this trick” doesn’t work for me. And then add to that meeting married women who tell me “Oh I did NOT even want to get married. But then someone introduced me to him and…”. V_V

    So, I don’t know what to tell you. I think it’s good to keep being positive and hopeful and at the same time, not putting too much emphasis on a specific date or time or whatever, because everything happens when it’s supposed to and if we only believe it can happen at THIS time, it’ll be a big crash of disappointment if it doesn’t (which I know “the secret” says is the reason why it won’t happen…because of that inkling of feeling that it won’t. But I think it’s the opposite).



    Hey Courtney,

    Yes!! I went through a big law of attraction phase several years ago, when I was in my late 20s. I watched The Secret, created a vision board, and made a conscious effort to try to put the right energy out into the universe to attract the things I wanted (and much of that was focused around finding a great boyfriend). I’m cringing even writing about the vision board because in hindsight it sounds pretty ridiculous! But I think I bought into it because I’ve always had this deep-rooted belief that when it came to finding love, everyone else knew something I didn’t. The Secret played right into that for me. And the law of attraction was an intriguing concept, both because it gave me the “answer” I was looking for and because it meant my problem was fixable. That felt really empowering at first. Until it didn’t work. And then I felt horrible, because the problem was no longer just me, but the entire universe working against me.

    This was one of my favourite chapters of Sara’s book too, and I totally agree with you that a lot of people attribute their own life experiences to some greater force within the universe when really they’ve just had some good luck on their side. And I think the concept gets reinforced in people because sometimes the law of attraction does seem to work, but indirectly, and for things in life that we have a greater level of control over. For example, if i set the intention that I want to buy a house, I might start being more careful about how I spend my money and end up saving enough for a down payment (this was the part of my vision board that actually did end up happening, so I guess it was good for one thing at least…haha!). It would be easy to attribute that to the law of attraction, when really I was just making better choices. Same for something like wanting to lose weight. But there are certain experiences in life that we want to believe we have control over when really we don’t (definitely falling in love, but also things like surviving cancer, another place where, in my experience, this concept always seems to come up). Even when we make efforts to achieve those things, the outcome is bigger than we are, so it’s easy to attribute it to some greater force in the universe. And I think for a lot of people, it just makes for a better story to tell it that way. But as Lonestar pointed out, it’s super frustrating to keep hearing those stories and wondering why it hasn’t happened for us too. I still fall into that “the universe is against me” trap sometimes, but overall I’m doing better at not getting caught up in it quite so much (but I still have to resist the urge to scream or start debating people on luck vs. fate when I hear their law of attraction stories!). I guess we’re all just looking for an answer, when really there isn’t one. And that’s both freeing and frustrating all at the same time.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  mariposa.


    Posting again because I’m still thinking about this an hour later (thanks for a great topic Courtney!). What do you guys think about karma? I feel like this is where it gets more complicated for me, because while I don’t buy into the law of attraction so much anymore, sometimes I still struggle with the idea of whether or not karma exists. Not so much the obvious side of karma where you’re aware of it (like when you know you’ve been selfish or rude to someone), but that maybe there’s this aspect to it that we can’t easily see or don’t know about. The logical side of me knows that it doesn’t make sense, and I’ve certainly seen enough examples of crappy things happening to people who don’t deserve them to support that. And on good days, I get that it’s luck, I really do. But on bad days, I still go back to that question of if I’m a good person and making good choices then why isn’t this happening for me? And on really bad days, in my search for an answer, I start coming up with all these potential reasons why I don’t deserve to have what other people do. I guess it’s kind of like a negative spin on the law of attraction, instead of asking what can I do to attract good luck, it’s what did I do to attract bad luck? I know it isn’t healthy or productive to go there, but sometimes I can’t shake this sense that maybe there’s more to it than what I know. Anyone else struggle with this too?



    What do you guys think about karma?

    From what I remember about this from Sara’s book (in the chapter “you should have married that guy”) Karma isn’t what people think. It’s a consequence of your decisions on that actual situation. So if someone chooses to spend all their money gambling and loses everything, that’s karma.

    But what you’re talking about, I know I can relate to and I think that goes back to shame. Brene Brown talks a lot about this (she has a whole ted talk about it). Shame is that gremlin in our mind we’re not enough (pretty enough, nice enough, good enough, young enough, etc), for a relationship. It comes from different places for everyone.

    Whenever these thoughts enter my head (and it’s more often as the years drift on and more people end up getting married), I think about good people I know who are divorced and not nice people who are married.

    There’s no formula for who gets the marriage card and who doesn’t. I believe in Divine Decree and for whatever reason, it just hasn’t been decreed for me or any of us. I do sometimes think that there is some special key I need to find, some lesson I need to learn or some amends I need to make (with myself or my Creator or something) to “unlock” the door, but I don’t think this has to do with how good of a person I am or whether I deserve it or not; (’cause, again) there are some pretty terrible people out there who are not single and lots of pretty terrific people who are.



    “There’s no formula for who gets the marriage card and who doesn’t.” Yep.

    I’ve thought a lot about Mariposa’s post, and I think LoneStar hit it. I’d add, from my own experience (which includes a decent amount of therapy), that I don’t like to think about romantic partnership in terms of luck. I see luck just another potential vehicle for comparison that separates things into “good” and “bad.” My friend has a parter = good luck, I don’t = bad luck? My friend has a partner, but that has nothing to do with me.

    As much as I wanted to punch my friends in the face whenever they said it in the past, I think they’re right about it being about timing, and I simply haven’t met anyone who wants and values the same things as me. I think a lot of us want a deep explanation as to why we’re single so we can “fix” it, and I still do sometimes, but the answer probably really is that simple. Things maybe just are what they are.



    Thanks LoneStar. Brene Brown is great and I can really relate to that. I’ve definitely struggled with single shame and still do. I like your strategy to think about people who don’t fit into the typical karma narrative. That makes a lot of sense. And thanks for the book info too. I remembered Sara writing about karma but couldn’t remember which chapter yesterday. I’m off to go read that next. :)

    And Reds10, this was a big aha moment for me:

    I see luck just another potential vehicle for comparison that separates things into “good” and “bad.”

    I’ve totally been thinking about it this way and didn’t even realize it until you wrote that. I’ve had my share of “bad” luck over the past few years while many of my friends have had a lot of “good” luck during that same timeframe, and even though in a lot of ways I do believe luck to be random, I have absolutely been attributing meaning to those experiences. Thank you, sincerely, for writing that. I definitely have some reflecting to do on this, and will work on shifting my thinking to see luck for what it really is – neutral, meaningless, and arbitrary. You’re so right that we often try to look for meaning in our lives when really there just isn’t. I need to get better at turning my brain off and not overthinking things.

    Lots to think about for sure… thank you so much to both of you for your responses.



    Thank you all for the great replies! Mariposa, your question of “What do you guys think about karma?” is a great one and something I’ve struggled with for awhile now.

    I feel like the Law of Attraction and karma go hand-in-hand. Just a little bit of background on why I struggle with karma when it comes to relationships: I was in a relationship several years ago which ended in a broken engagement that my partner blind-sided me with. I felt that because I’d been a faithful partner, made our relationship my top priority, and valued honesty- I’d be “rewarded” with a great marriage. I was putting out as much positivity as I could… so according to karma, wouldn’t I end up happy with the person I loved? Apparently not. He left me absolutely heartbroken.

    Same thing with dating. I always try to put my best, most authentic and honest self out there… and then I’d get ghosted, seemingly conned into a purely “physical” relationships (which I’d have to end because that wasn’t what I was looking for), or lied to.

    Aside from karma being nothing more than simple “cause and effect,” I don’t believe it has bearing on other factors in life. I don’t think I was ghosted because I did something bad and karma was coming back to get me. I think I was ghosted because I chose to date a particular person (cause) who was comfortable ending the relationship by ghosting (effect).

    I’ll admit that in my time of being single I’ve had moments where anger and sadness gripped me in a pretty bad way and I did some things I’m not proud of (like not being honest with someone new that I was dating because I didn’t know if it would work out with them anyway). I’m ashamed of this and I do still have a superstitious part of me that thinks because of this dishonesty, I’m destined to attract bad things into my life.

    My lesson and take-away: it’s still worth it to live in accordance to values that will support your emotional well-being as well as the people around you. Will it attract good things into your life? Most likely, but only in the sense of cause and effect.



    I am very pragmatic in this area. This whole Universe thing I think a lot of people overdo. It’s really no different than believing in a religion and praying within the context of that religion and hoping that your prayers are answered. Both rely on their really being a G-d or in the Universe truly being the concept as represented in the Law of Attraction/Secret which none of us can really nkow. I choose not to put my eggs into that basket. There are too many things that happen in life that neither religion nor The Secret can explain. And I’ve been disappointed too many times in the ability for a deity or belief like this to come through.

    I’m also a guy, and I wonder if that has something to do with my different attitude.

    I choose to run my life based on being a good son, being a good friend, always trying to help people, being charitable, and trying my best to be kind to others. Just my 2 cents.



    Met yet another woman (in her 60s, widowed) who said “I didn’t want to get married” when she got married to her husband. So, if the law of attraction was really about only getting what you want, all of us would be married and none of the ones who didn’t want it would be.



    I don’t believe in the law of attraction. It just sounds like another one of those outrageous myths we’re taught to believe that can cause many people harm. There are aspects of life that are and are not in our control. I don’t think finding a compatible partner is one of those things people necessarily plan. Life isn’t methodical in all circumstances.



    Lonestar: You brought up an excellent point! I never thought about the law of attraction flipped around like that. What about cultures where arranged marriage is common? I also know people who 1) Didn’t want to get married, but it was the cultural norm. 2) Got married young and basically settled into a pattern of marriage, buying a home, having kids… done. Like they were just checking things off of a to-do list and then years later they say it wasn’t necessarily what they wanted. I’m actually thinking of a woman I know who described growing up like this.
    So yes, there are actually people out there who don’t want to get married, but do because of certain circumstances (or are literally forced to).

    Lurline93: I agree, I do not believe finding “the one” is in our control. All I can do is put myself out there in hopes that things will fall into place due to timing and circumstance.



    What’s funny is that according to “The Secret” your thoughts , both positive AND negative, attract whatever they’re about. So for example if you keep thinking I don’t want to get sick, I hope I don’t get sick”, you’ll get sick because you were putting that word out there into the Universe. (I can almost visualize a few people rolling their eyes lol).

    So if someone thinks “I don’t want to get married” they get married just as if we keep thinking “I don’t want to be alone/single” that’s exactly what we get. :| O.o

    I believe in a Creator and can’t believe the Creator would be as petty and meticulous as that.



    I’m a bit late to the party here and I concur on all of these sentiments/thoughts/feelings. I have a friend of mine who’s about 5 years younger than me; we met through church and shared feelings on numerous occasions about wanting to be married with kids. In 2010, she met her future husband and flash forward 6 years later, they are now expecting their second child. How did they meet? Through a photography class. Admittedly, I Have a hard time with her telling me of her impending expecting, given this is something I have wanted my entire life….

    I’ve prayed about marriage and kids for so long that i’m somewhat hopeful, but not entirely. Having just turned 40, I still hope that marriage will happen or me, but the kids thing may not. I will say that I do sometimes find myself falling into the mindset of, “it’s never happened for me before….why would it ever change?”, which is realize, is not helpful…but when one doesn’t find things ever coming to fruition, I don’t know how one changes that mindset.

    My point in all of this is, as someone mentioned above, life most certainly never goes by our timelines (except in rare occasions where people do get lucky). I do believe my friend got lucky.

    In the last few years especially, I am finding how to learn to live my life with acceptance or gratitude for what I do have, and still remaining hopeful, but also being realistic.

    I also don’t think there’s a reason as to why people are single. Maybe in a small percentage of cases, yes, but otherwise, I swear it’s all timing.

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