photo: Breonna Rodriguez

I recently decided that my dating life would benefit from a massive shift in consciousness. I’ve had seven major relationships — four of them with cheaters, two long-distance, two emotionally unavailable guys going through a divorce, and one figure that my low self-esteem conjured up and only excelled at making me feel even lower about myself.

I’ve luckily dated some great men as well. Fantastic lovers some of whom have turned into some of the best friends I could ever ask for. Just recently while at SXSW, for instance, I slept with someone I still text daily and have already helped improve his online dating profile. And a one night stand in Barcelona just invited me to a wine tour in San Francisco. They are my biggest fans, sincerest advocates, and kindest cheerleaders in my life.

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The common thread, however, is that I honestly asked for each man that has entered into my life. Both good and bad, I put my order into the universe, reverberating from the very place I was standing, both emotionally and spiritually. So in Barcelona, for instance, I was post-breakup and I ordered a lover who would show me how good romance could feel. And when I broke up from my worst relationships, I asked for a man to just make me feel safe and love me as I was. Both times, to varying degrees, I got exactly what I asked for. But in both instances, I forgot to ask for other qualities that would lead to a healthy, happy, long-term relationship.

How we manifest better. Imagine your mother gave you a pair of sunglasses with blue-tinted lenses. And for your entire life you never took them off and thought everything had a blue tint to it. You never even looked for greens, pinks, or oranges, because you were filtering everything through the lenses you were given.

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When we are manifesting love, we have to first understand the lenses we have placed on ourselves that shape how we look at the world. And in order to do that, we have to ask ourselves some very hard questions. In Arielle Ford’s The Soulmate Secret, she invites readers to take a minute and understand what they expect from dating. On the first few pages she asks, “Do you believe your soulmate is out there? Are you ready to meet them today? Is your home ready to receive your soulmate? Are you psychologically and physically in your best condition to meet your soulmate?”

Often, we get so desperate to be with someone or get preoccupied by the thought of not being not being with someone — with little downtime in between. And with that sort of consciousness, it’s hard to answer Ford’s list with a solid "Yes, I am ready." More often we answer it with no, and go out into the dating world anyway, trying to find our next great love, only to attract more bad relationships. It’s a cycle. To truly manifest a better relationship, we must first understand where we are, take off the blue lenses — and really get in shape for love.

Spring clean. After thinking about my dating life, and starting Ford’s book, I had to really stop and think about my beliefs about love. What did I think? Why wasn’t I ready to meet a soulmate? I quickly looked around my apartment and saw my answer. Old magazines in bookshelves, overstuffed closets, and a kitchen I absolutely abhor. This was not even a home I wanted to make love in. And if my home wasn’t where I wanted to be, what kind of energy does that create for the man who walks into my home? Why would he want to be there?

With more investigation, I found evidence in my Spotify. My music was all moody AF — everything about a breakup, getting over someone, being an independent woman, being angry, or disenchanted or just flat -ut depressed. Zero love songs. “There is a tremendous power in making a clear declaration that you are willing to ready yourself on all levels for attracting your life partner,” Ford writes. And by all levels, she definitely means all levels.

So I got to task and started cleaning up. Keeping a journal helped me get a soul bath to get past drama, failed relationships, and good-haired Beckys that had soiled my image about love. Then I attacked my music playlist. Creating a collection of love songs that not only made me remember how much I enjoyed feeling good in love, but to hear other people — and men — who could healthily express the same sentiment. And finally, I decided to stop mirroring the opinions of all my old loves, and beefing with love. 

The final step. Once you clear the way from all the patterns and behaviors that are blocking your light, the next step of manifesting is both the hardest and simplest of them all: Live like your order to the universe has been received and is being processed.

Imagine yourself, as Ford says, like a bright light shining as bright as possible so anyone around the world can see it. And that soulmate — who has been running around the world, looking for you like a damn fool — is finally going to know where to find your ass and start making their way towards you.

And it feels weird. Almost like you’re playing pretend, but let’s face it: We’ve always been playing pretend anyway, pretending like we are these unlovable creatures that can’t find the perfect person for us. It’s so dumb. The universe is your Burger King, and it’s totally waiting for your order. To prove it, here’s my order. Let’s see how fast he shows up:

I’ll take an order of one seven-inch penis with beautiful eyes, a cute butt, a great smile, handsome face, and a fantastic sense of humor, please? Also, can I have some extra loyalty, honesty, transparency, monogamy, and kindness on that? Ooh! And a side of a good family, great values, fiscal health, and excellent hype-man to all my ambitious endeavors? And I’d like an extra large order of the best friend I’ve ever had and a side of someone I can be incredibly proud of. Ooh! Oooh! And an extra super-sized version of the best sex of my life. That’s an absolute must. Thanks! 

We’ll see how I do.

Breonna Rodriguez is a Founding Creator and love and relationships blogger. When she's not writing for Vivala.com, you can find her at zenfulie.com.