The reality star shares details about how she uses manifestation in her daily life.
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Headshot of Vanessa Villela
Credit: Tom Fraud

While Vanessa Villela met her now-fiancé Nicholas Hardy through a dating app, the Selling Sunset star credits their connection to a less tangible force. A believer in manifestation, Villela says she attracted Hardy into her life.

The two first connected virtually in 2020, with Villela living in Los Angeles and Hardy in England. Villela initially thought Hardy — a photographer who uses the pseudonym Tom Fraud — seemed more like a friend than a potential romantic partner, but her perspective shifted when she began to realize he was checking all of her boxes.

After months of talking and FaceTiming with Hardy every day, the actress-turned-real-estate-agent made a bold move: She invited Hardy to Mexico to celebrate her birthday. Upon meeting in person for the first time, Villela started to believe that Hardy was the person she'd been manifesting.

"I wasn't like, 'I want a man with beautiful, hazelnut eyes, [and] salt and pepper hair. I wasn't thinking about that," Villela tells Shape. "I was like, 'I want someone who is loving, caring, sweet, funny, respectful, loyal, humble, a hard worker, all of those things. I thought about how I wanted to feel in a relationship." (Related: 6 Green Flags In a Relationship to Look for When Dating)

A trip that was planned to last 10 days was extended to two months. Then, Hardy went to Los Angeles with Villela, instead of returning to England. A few months later, around their one year anniversary, they got engaged.

For the uninitiated, manifestation is a concept that suggests how you think and behave can affect your reality. Villela first started to understand the power of manifestation when she set out to deepen her meditation practice following the death of her sister in 2018, she says.

The reality TV star will sometimes write down things she wants in her life after a meditation or use "flipping lists," which involve releasing a negative thought and replacing it with something positive. She tries to maintain a high vibrational frequency, which makes manifesting what you want easier, she says. That includes working out, spending time at the beach, and listening to meditation recordings to uplift herself.

Villela sometimes uses manifestation in her career, too. "In real estate, I want to have the taste of success and then the listing comes to me," she says. "Not that I don't have to hustle or work hard, but I just think that I accelerate things by believing things are there and available to me." (Related: How to Manifest Love — and the Kind You Deserve)

Villela and Hardy have been collaborating on Lascivious, a lingerie line that counts Hardy as creative director, and the two are looking forward to getting married in the fall.

All things considered, the Selling Sunset star is quick to praise the practice of manifestation. "You can see yourself with something in the future and it will happen," she says. "If you believe that something is possible, it is. You have to combine the thought with a feeling and a vision."