One of the questions I received recently asked whether I have practices, tools or thoughts regarding “calling in a partner” or “calling in a man”. I don’t personally relate to this practice as I have never gone through any process I would define as ‘calling in a man’, but what did resonate with me about this topic was when I thought about the steps I took myself through during my No Man Diet. While I don’t think that everybody needs to do a specifically-masculine cleanse like my No Man Diet, I will use it as an example here because I want to note that in my experience, when we devote ourselves to the process of something, and when we let go of our expectations for the outcome of that process, it’s always better. It’s natural and human to go through a process with our eyes on the outcome, but we need to relinquish that expectation in order to truly benefit from the process itself.
Devotion to the Process
For me, I see this in myself and how I worked through the No Man Diet process. I went into it thinking, ‘I want a partner at the end of this.’ I’ve seen this in so many other women, too: women who think to themselves, “there’s still a part of me that’s doing this so I can get a man/partner at the end”. And that’s okay, as long as we can be honest about it and still return to devoting ourselves to the process without putting too much emphasis or energy on our goal, or outcome. It really is so much more about who we become in the process, and that’s what inevitably creates the outcome.
A lot of women who’ve participated in the No Man Diet have found themselves part way through and admitting to themselves, for the first time, that they’re afraid of becoming whole. They’re afraid of the process working so well that, by the end, they won’t care if they’re in a relationship or not. And the part that’s always funny to me about this is, that’s kind of the point. And, if you truly don’t care if you’re in a relationship…..you truly won’t care if you’re in a relationship! You can want a partnership, and your goal can still be to find a man to be your partner, but you need to be in a deep relationship with yourself first, in order to viscerally feel that you don’t need one in order to be complete, successful, or happy. That being said, if what we ultimately want is to be in a partnership, then we must make it a priority. And this can be tricky, because we don’t want to be needy, or give ourselves tunnel vision about being in a relationship. If we decide this is truly one of our top priorities right now, and if we want to call in a partnership, or a man, we actually have to put it front and center.
Understanding Your Priorities
There’s a piece I often reference about the idea of a “top 25” list of things you want to accomplish in your life. As an exercise, give it a try. If you can narrow it down to 25, you can narrow it down to the top 5, so do that next. Now, think about what you should do with the other 20. You may think, well, you’ll put most of your time, attention and energy into the top five, and then when you have extra time, you’ll work on the other 20. But I’m here to remind you that, actually, the other 20 things must be on your avoid-at-all-costs list. They are what will distract you from the top five priorities, and they become your enemy.
Let’s take this idea back to the question of a partnership and where it lies on your priorities list. For me, one of the first times I went through this priorities process, I put ‘partnership’ on my “top 25” list, but when I began to narrow it down, I realized that it actually wasn’t in the top five – even though I was always telling people it was one of the things I wanted most. And because it wasn’t in the top five, it was far better for me to set that desire completely aside for the time being. Now I do prioritize my partnership, and that means sometimes other things need to take a back seat.
Maybe for you a partnership or a relationship is one of those top five. In that case, it simply must be prioritized. You can’t shift it aside or prioritize other aspects of your life and still expect the partnership to magically fall into place. There are so many ways to make calling in a partner or a relationship our priority, but we need to remember these things take time, attention, and space in our lives. Prioritization doesn’t mean you ignore other aspects of your life; definitely continue having your relationships with other women, continue your self-care, and continue creating your work in the world, but make sure you are checking if there is a real space in your life for a relationship – if that’s what you say you want. Is there space for the kind of relationship you say you want? Is there actual space in your mind, brain, and heart for true partnership? What about in your home and in your body?
Living Your Life for the Kind of Relationship You Want
We must live our lives for the kind of relationship we want. We have to ask ourselves, if I was in the relationship I think I want, how would I be spending my time? If I had the perfect partner, how would I be moving my body and breathing? What am I holding off on, or saying I can’t do ‘until I’m in my perfect relationship’? Once we’ve determined that we do have space for a potential relationship, we need to put ourselves out there. You could meet that person anywhere – you could stumble upon them on a hiking trail, or meet them at the farmer’s market. They could be standing in front of you in line at the grocery store. They could be a friend of a friend who you meet at a party. So you don’t need to be actively seeking, but you need to live your life ready for the relationship you (say you) want. You have to put yourself out there and say to the universe, “Hey, are you here, because I’m here”. This is how you accomplish real availability, both physically and emotionally.
Part of real availability is noticing that what we desire already exists. Actually being out in the world, not just looking for the one right person, but noticing where they already are. You may see parts of what you desire in different people around you, and even if you don’t find that one perfect person right away, you can let yourself be nourished by the experience that that which you desire does exist in the world. At the same time we allow ourselves to be nourished by receiving that which we desire, even if it seems like it’s in these little bits. Maybe it’s in the way that someone talks to their child, or in the way that someone calls their dog, or in the way that another person stands, or the way someone smiles when they turn to speak to you. It’s really important to see what we desire from a partner even before we find that partner. Our willingness to experience & receive moments of ‘what’s right’ rather than always focusing on how it’s not perfect, is actually what magnifies that which we desire in the world, and around us in particular.
So who do we become in the process of this? Who do we become when we see, all around us, every single day, that which we most desire in the world, and when we let the parts of ourselves that desire those things actually be nourished by them?
It’s not about checking off the list of things that you want in your partner, and then going through life trying to find that person who checks all the boxes. It’s about creating that dynamic around you in everyday life, to call in that partner and cause that perfect person to gravitate naturally towards you. That person you’re going to be with might show up in all kinds of different ways. In fact, it doesn’t even matter who shows up because no matter what, this is the dynamic you are committed to. Practice this dynamic now, with everyone around you, so that when that person does show up, even if you don’t know it at first, you will begin cultivating that ideal relationship dynamic with them from the beginning. Become the woman who is so devoted to this dynamic that it shows up in every relationship in her life.
I had been in this on-again, off-again partnership with my daughter’s father for a long time, and there came a point where I realized, I wanted partnership and I loved this man, but it wasn’t the kind of partnership I wanted. There wasn’t the togetherness or the solidity of being together that I wanted. So I told him that, and I told him what I wanted and that I welcomed him to step into it with me if he wanted, but told him that I would be opening myself to the idea of something beyond him if he couldn’t do that with me. And nothing changed, so eventually I fell in love with another man. And I told my daughter’s father about this, and things got really complicated for a while until I realized that none of these men were able to provide me with the kind of partnership I needed, and so when I started my No Man Diet I truly had to let go of both of them. And that was hard. Again, I want to say that I don’t think everyone needs to do a No Man Diet per se, but it brought me to that place of truly letting go of relationships that were important, in order to not let those dynamics pop back up again in future partnerships.
Soon after my No Man Diet, I had a friend who set me up on five blind dates. One of the things that allowed me to go on these dates without taking them too seriously was choosing to enjoy them no matter what. I just went in to them saying, this is going to be a good date even if I don’t like the guy. It’s going to be a good date, and I’m going to let myself be taken out, and we are going to have a good conversation, because I’m going to channel whatever relational dynamic I want to be in on the first date.
Essentially, I was able to be exactly who it is that I would be if I were being loved by the most perfect man, without needing to know if he was or wasn’t that perfect man. If you can be that person on every date you go on, you’ll be able to sit back and just watch the world change around you.
PS: This is not just a practice for calling in a partner – it’s an essential practice for creating a long-term fulfilling relationship too!
For a more in-depth look at this topic, watch my video here.