Why are other people lucky in love, while you’re stuck with short-term strikeouts? Do your relationships fall into painfully predictable patterns, always ending in heartache? My next guest reassures you that there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not at fault, you deserve to love and be loved. However, we have some work to do.

Welcomed back to the Author Hour Podcast. I’m your host Hussein Al-Baiaty and my next guest is Morgan Anderson, who is with me to talk about her new book, Love Magnet. Let’s flip through it.

Welcome back everyone to the show. Today, I have Dr. Morgan Anderson with me and she has an amazing book that I feel like everyone needs to get their hands on personally. It’s called The Love Magnet. Dr. Morgan, thanks for joining me on the show today.

Morgan Anderson: Oh, I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, absolutely. I love just giving people a little bit of a background, about all the authors that come on the show, all the people that come on the show, because I feel like there are rich stories in those historical backgrounds of ours that really enlighten who we become or how our work is connected and I also just like to hear about people’s stories and where they grew up, so that’s just a personal thing. Can you share a little bit about sort of, where you grew up, how you came to be where you’re at today?

Morgan Anderson: Yes. So I will try to keep it short but like many people who find themselves drawn to clinical psychology, I did experience childhood trauma. I lost my mom at a very young age, I was six years old and then I went on to see my dad go through a couple of marriages.

He’s actually on his fourth marriage now, he’s like happily married. But I went through the evil stepmother experience, was locked away in my room during the day, and forced to be homeschooled. I had all the childhood trauma but really from a young age, I just knew that I wanted to help people and I think it was through my own pain that I just knew how important it was to help people.

So you could have asked me at age 10 and I would have told you I want to be a clinical psychologist. I knew, from a very young age but then fast-forward, I am in my second year of my Ph.D. program in Portland, Oregon and I had been in so many terrible relationships and then I think that I finally met the guy and it’s this fairytale connection but like many narcissists, what had happened is he was like love bombing me in the beginning of our relationship.

And fast-forward a year and a half into that connection with him, I had hit complete rock bottom. There had been emotional abuse and isolation from friends and family and I tell this story in the book but I was filing a police report in the lobby of my apartment building, literally sitting on the floor because I couldn’t stand, I was in so much emotional pain. And I just had this moment of, “I cannot do life like this, and I cannot have relationships if this is what it feels like, something has to change.”

And from that moment, I actually dedicated my research to understanding attachment theory, understanding relationships and I just threw myself into learning, “Okay, how do you have a healthy relationship?” because I didn’t have models for it, I didn’t know what it felt like. So I thought at least I can research it and I can understand it and I can help other people.

At that point, I didn’t even believe it was possible for me but I thought, “Hey, at least I can understand it for other people.” But then fast-forward, I really did the healing work on myself. I went through all my own messy inner child, like all of the healing work through NLP and going to therapy, et cetera.

And finally, now, I can tell you, I have built a program that has helped over 400 women move to secure attachment, have great relationships and I myself am in a really, really healthy place. You know, healing is never fully done but I show up securely attached most days. I’m in an incredible relationship with an incredible man and I’m really, really happy.

Basically, my mission is just to help as many people as possible have great relationships, no matter what their past was. Like, I never want you to feel like you’re too broken or it’s too late or you’ve had too much trauma. I am living proof that you can change your life and have healthy relationships.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, that’s so beautiful and I feel like there’s nothing better to point at as far as like, all the research in the world, than your own self and your own experience and what you’ve been able to overcome because you know that’s truth, right?

And when you’re able to point to that and reflect and share from those pain points and joyful points, then I feel like you’re able to really deeply connect with others because it’s just real. So I commend your honesty and your transparency of sharing about your childhood and you know, just growing up.

I mean, that sounded like very much a rough beginning. You know, from my own story, I was a refugee, I was a little kid, four years in the desert, came to America, like, I had to start. So in a lot of ways, and I tell this to a lot of people who are like, “Oh, you went to a refugee camp?” Like, no, no, no, I don’t want you to feel bad for me or anything, right?

I’m sharing that story because we all go through something, whatever it may be, and difficulties are there, and however you perceive them and you know, who you choose to become because of them is a really distinct path. You really share that transformation that happened to you. That must have been really powerful.

But it led you on this journey that you really kind of go into in the book that really breaks down the process of what you call the love magnet journey and I appreciate that. I want to talk about the sort of the internal work that you started leaning into and what does that mean to your reader to start doing that internal work.

Because in that moment of where you’re feeling absolutely broke, there’s a decision that happens and there’s almost like no looking back and it’s completely like, “I have to rethink everything,” and that’s internal work. Just being able to get to that awareness, sadly, I feel like, for a lot of people, it’s a place of pure pain.

100% it could be emotional pain and I’m no psychologist, I’m no doctor or whatever but I’ve been in those very painful moments in places where I’m like, “Okay, tomorrow morning, I am 100% F this, you know? I’m changing everything.” But tell me sort of what happened in the weeks, the months, the years to follow and how you started to really start, we’re doing this internal work and the understanding of attachment theory?

Knowing and Loving Yourself First

Morgan Anderson: I think what is really important for people to realize is that all of us can easily blame the dating pool. We can really easily say like, “Ooh, I just haven’t met the right person,” and that was me for at least a decade of my dating experience, was just saying like, “Oh my gosh, all these guys are emotionally unavailable, nobody wants to commit, like, I just haven’t met the right person, these people are assholes,” you know?

But the real empowering moment is when you say, “Oh, I am the common denominator in my relationships. What is it that I can take ownership of? What is it that I have control over?” and when we stop, blaming everyone else and we stop blaming the dating pool or the apps and we take ownership of ourselves, we get to decide, “Hey, I can heal and I can learn to embody the one. I can become the kind of partner that I want.”

And when we do that, you become a magnet for love, which is why the book is called that. Like this is not some tips and tricks of this is like the text messages that you need to send people to get them to want you. This is not like how to go out and make it happen. This is about how to transform internally, so that your partner is effortlessly attracted to you.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: It’s so powerful because I feel like, when we turn that compass inwards, there’s a lot that happens, you know? I think the first being that you really have to get to know and love is yourself. The more your partner or your partners or whatever it is, the people around you, your community, family can really start to, I guess, come to you in that way as well, right?

The person who really is paying attention to their health, their mental health, their work ethic, whatever they’re trying to do, their dreams, whatever it is, when they’re working on themselves, that’s attractive. That’s an attractive thing and we are attracted to that and we are attracted to success but success looks different in so many different ways. So it’s, you know, for me, in the last two years, success was just like, getting my mental health you know, all together.

Like, my trauma all came up, you know what I mean? So and then, I wrote a book and like, doing all these things to deal with it and then you know, get the therapy, and for me, for a long time, I thought success was just dumping as much money as I can in my account or whatever it is, right?

Morgan Anderson: Yeah, external.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Or the male identity of what it looks like in the culture. And I’ve always been like internal and like, really aware and all these things. Just growing up from a different culture, you just kind of have this added layer, right? But it wasn’t fine-tuned. It was like a kaleidoscope and I was just trying to figure it out. So I really appreciate that that’s where you start that journey because going inwards and figuring out what the heck is going on.

Morgan Anderson: You know, just to your point, I think the majority of us, and this certainly was me for a large part of my life, is it’s really easy to just be in a place of suffering. Like, we’re not even aware that we’re suffering but we are and we’re numbing it out through getting a degree. You know, I got a doctorate for a reason, I was really busy achieving in order to avoid my stuff, right? Or we’re watching Netflix or, you know, we’re drinking.

Whatever it is, we avoid our pain but then we find ourselves in a place of suffering and most people will spend their whole lives avoiding their pain. I wrote this book because I know that it’s really hard to go internal. I know it’s so painful to look at yourself and look at your past and we need support but what you realize is if you’re brave enough to open that door and go internal and yes, you deal with the pain and it is painful, then you are free of a lifetime of suffering.

So really this book for me is like, I want to give you a guide so that you can go through that pain so that you don’t have to experience that lifetime of suffering, right? So anyways, to your point of like, we have to go internal.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: I just appreciate that perspective and it all begins there and I think, you know, whether I have entrepreneurs on the show, the variety of people that come on the show is amazing but it really always seems to stem, you know, whenever you’re trying to change something, it always starts with yourself, right?

Whether you start to question, and that’s the most powerful thing. Like, it begins with you and it ends with you. In the middle, you can learn to start deciding and you decide to make some serious changes and really start to understand this idea of attachment theory. Can you just share a little bit about what that is with our audience and how that impacts people?

Attachment Theory 101

Morgan Anderson: Absolutely. So I always tell people, attachment theory is the missing piece to the dating puzzle because it really helps you understand why you do what you do when you’re dating and in a long-term relationship. It also explains why your partner does what they do and it will also tell you why you are attracted to certain kinds of people.

So really, when you understand attachment theory and then you apply it to your dating life, it will make everything make sense and you and I both know that when you have understanding, then you can start to make different choices but without understanding, we just do the same things over and over. So it’s really this beautiful gift to help you understand why you do what you do in your relationships.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: So powerful. I love that and like you said, yes, I agree in the understanding component and it may take you three, four times to read something through, listen to a few podcast episodes, you know, watch a few videos of people like yourself that really break down these ideas so that you get to know, again, what you’re going through.

It’s not like you’re the only person that’s going through that, that others have too, in some way, shape, or form and they’re out there trying to help you right now and I think that’s what’s really powerful is that we come from spaces that were painful, traumatizing and all of these things but they ignite our empathy, our generosity, our curiosity, and our urge to help others, right?

But that pain, yes though you suffered through it, once you learn to alleviate it or help yourself through it, then you realize you can kind of start figuring out a way to light up other people’s candles, right? I think that’s what is so profound about a lot of the amazing people that I have on the show including yourself is that you started learning all this stuff to help yourself of course and I don’t mean to call it stuff. Forgive my vocabulary here but it’s profound all that you do. So in your next section, you talk about this idea of securely attached dating and relationships. Can you elaborate on that and what you mean to the people that you work with and potentially your readers?

Morgan Anderson: Absolutely. One of the reasons I felt really compelled to include attachment theory in this book is I have spent so much time reading a bunch of research articles and there’s all this information in clinical psych that has a ton of jargon and clinical terms and it just felt really inaccessible to the everyday person and like I said, I knew that understanding attachment theory is such a gift.

So in including it, I really wanted to make it accessible to anyone and not just accessible but actually fun to learn about and it was really important for me to include this section on secure attachment because a lot of the people that I help have never experienced what that actually feels like or looks like.

Like maybe they have some friends who seem to have a great marriage or a cousin or something but they haven’t actually experienced it themselves because I have a lot of people I help, they’re like, “Oh, I don’t even know what a healthy relationship is.” So it was really important for me to articulate that and to help you understand what it actually looks like and feels like in your dating life and how to actually do it because that was me for so long of like, “Oh my gosh, I have never actually seen a healthy relationship up close. I don’t even know what it’s supposed to feel like or what it looks like in practice.”

So that’s really what that part of the book is about as anyone can read that and understand, “Okay, this is how I can show up securely attached and how I can build a long-term, healthy—” yeah. So I’m really passionate about it.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah. No, trust me, I can feel that coming through the mic. That’s why you wrote the book, right? It’s this wisdom that’s intermixed with the knowledge that you know and of course, your personal experience. I mean, I don’t think there is anything more powerful than that, right? That wisdom is what you are sharing and when wisdom is shared, it comes off really passionate and I appreciate that.

It enlightens me in a way that not only as this is a subject that matters to you and you believe in but it is something that you are really trying to leverage to help others, right? That is the most, I feel like, important component of your book. So how can we indulge? You know, you wrap this up with this book in a very beautiful way, the love for life mantra towards the end of the book but before I get to that question I want to know, what was the most challenging part of writing this book?

Morgan Anderson: That’s a really great question. I think really give people what matters because there’s just so much that I could have shared or things that are, you know, little tangents or things that might be interesting but my real goal was, “Okay, how do I create something with zero fluff that if someone reads this, they will be a different person after they read it and they’ll be able to have a healthy relationship and how do I make it less than 200 pages and something that is so fun to read?”

So like there’s different books out there but I didn’t feel like they were fun to read like you know, if it is talking about attachment theory, it is just kind of dry. So that was my goal of like anyone could connect to this book, laugh out loud and they will become a different person after reading it and they won’t feel like there is a ton of fluff. And you know what? It is so funny, I think I kind of like overshot the zero fluff because we’re like less than 180 pages. But I mean, hey, like you will be able to get through this and make a huge impact on your life and it’s not going to take you a month to read it like it will make an impact and it will make it quickly.

The Writing Process

Hussein Al-Baiaty: I totally felt sucked right in. I mean, the stories, you start off the chapters with are just so – they’re witty, they’re real, they’re experiential and I just wanted to know what happened next. Very interesting but then you also take me through your wisdom, the knowledge, and how to actually approach things and, “Here is what I thought, and here is what I found out, right?

Then, “Here is what I did to fix that or heal that or repair that or move towards something better.” I love that and I think book writing in and of itself is not only challenging but it really challenges us in a different way. It is a different kind of attachment, I think, right?

Morgan Anderson: Oh my gosh, it was –

Hussein Al-Baiaty: “Oh my god, that has to go in the book,” and then you write down something and then you wake up in the morning like, “What is even this?”

Morgan Anderson: It was such a journey I think even just talking about that writing process of I’ve always thought that I really don’t care what people think about me. I am an Enneagram 8, I don’t care what people think about me, and then I tried writing a book. So it’s like –

Hussein Al-Baiaty: And then you care, yeah and then it’s there.

Morgan Anderson: And then all of a sudden, and you care. So that was a whole new level of personal growth for me. I really appreciated that as kind of like a bonus in the book-writing process.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yes, I love that because you know as an author, people who want to just write down their wisdom, like you know, “Okay, cool. I know all of this stuff, just going to write some stories, you know?” But then when you actually sit down and go there, I feel like a new door being unlocked and like you writing the book is fastening the key and it’s a struggle because it’s something you haven’t done before and it is all these things that you think about.

Very beautiful, well-articulated. So what’s the one thing you learned from that challenge? What’s one thing you hope your book would pass on to your reader?

Morgan Anderson: I think that I guess one thing I learned through the book writing process is there really is so much in our own experience that’s really valuable and I know we’ve talked about this so much in this interview but so much of what I talk about is my felt and lived experience and I think when I allowed myself to acknowledge that along with all of the research and the clinical trials and all the things that go in.

But when I stopped trying to be like, “Ooh, I have to sound like a scientist,” and I allowed myself to bring in my personal experience, it just flowed. So I think just that experience of ownership and really owning my voice and just taking what I am already an expert in and what I’ve helped hundreds and hundreds of people do and putting it into this format, it’s so funny. It’s like even if it helps one person, I will have already won.

Like I really do genuinely feel that way of like it is just this gift, how can I help as many people as possible?

Hussein Al-Baiaty: I love that because I feel that. Meaning like when I sat down to write my book, it was excruciating at some points, right? To talk about the war and all these things but I just wanted to show my nephew a different perspective like his heritage, you know. I just felt and I knew like my brothers and siblings like my mom and dad — unfortunately, my father passed and I wanted him to write our story so bad because I knew it would help someone, right?

I didn’t realize who it would help until I sat down to write and I was like, “I really want this to just help my nephew and my nieces,” you know? Just give them a little bit of hope and perspective because they are going through and will continue to go through all the things that I went through growing up in America but they were born here, I was not. So I have this added perspective, right?

And it did just that. They lit up when they all sent me messages after reading it and you’re right. Honestly, like all my marketing efforts and everything, I just kind of deflated for like a couple of weeks because I was just like I really got what I wanted, which is my nephew to read it and feel really good. It just changes you in that way. At least for me, it did.

Morgan Anderson: That’s beautiful when you can write with someone specific in mind and I can tell you, I was thinking about my 21-year-old self who was completely lost, who had placed all of her self-worth whether or not she was a single, a person who had so much shame, who felt like she was so broken and there was something wrong with her. That’s who I wrote this book for. I know that anyone that struggled in finding the one, they will benefit from this book.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: I love that because this whole idea of finding the one is like a part of that, for me at least my understanding thus far in life is like finding yourself is the first one you need to find, right? Knowing yourself, you know, we talked about this, right?

Morgan Anderson: Oh my gosh, yeah.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: But yeah, the one is right in front of you in the mirror, right?

Morgan Anderson: Totally.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: That is half the equation, man.

Morgan Anderson: It is. It so is and I think it’s funny when we talk about this like that was part of my motivation for writing this too is I was sick of seeing books come out of like, “Ooh, what to text him to get him to like you,” or “Oh, men are either a lion or a mouse.” There are like the weirdest titles out there for dating and I just thought, people need the real stuff. They need the core changes that are actually going to make lifelong differences.

We don’t need more info on how to play games or what text to send. We just need real human transformation and to create better connections, like that’s it.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Man, I want your book everywhere, like today, you know? Like everywhere because I feel like again, you know this idea of just adding more and more labels into the culture of everything, right? Just tacking more labels like a lion, a this, an alpha male, a sigma, it is like all of those things can be valid in a way, right? But just being who you are, I feel like you have to, to a degree, disassociate with all of these things and really replant yourself in new soil and grow yourself.

You know, how you think about yourself, how you see yourself, the conversations in your head, those things, once they start to change and manifest to be just genuine and real with yourself, I feel like then you don’t have time for games. I think for me when I started dating my wife, you know, this was obviously like eight years ago when we were first starting to date, before that I was just like, you know, I owned a business, I was doing really well, I was late 20s but I was like, “I don’t have time for games.” If I am going to text you, I expect a text back. I don’t care and within a reasonable amount of time, whatever, whatever but it’s like I don’t care to wait three weeks and do this and do like no. No, I don’t have time for that. I am a real person and I want you to respect that because I’m living on earth in a limited fashion, right?

And I know you are too, so it’s like and I think once I met my wife, she also understood that about her life and that’s what I loved and respected the most was someone who just cared for their way of living a healthy life and she added, oh my god, 100% probably way more than 75% to my life, you know what I mean? I brought forth this brokenness and she helped put it together and yeah, it’s so beautiful because like you said, when you start to really hone in on yourself, everything else starts to turn inwards.

I just appreciate that perspective, being a love magnet. Morgan, I want to say congratulations to you, on your book. I learned so much today, your experiences are fascinating and I pray that more and more people every day will pick up your book. The book is called, Love Magnet: Get Off the Dating Rollercoaster and Attract the Love You Deserve. Now, besides checking out the book, where can people find you? I know you have a podcast, some other things going on.

Morgan Anderson: Thank you so much. Yes, I have a podcast. It’s called Let’s Get Vulnerable and it is very all over in terms of attachment theory, dating tips, how to have healthy communication, it is a lot of really great relationship info that we wish that someone would have taught us as we are growing up and then I am also on Instagram and my Instagram is just Dr. Morgan Coaching and I have a daily post there. Yeah, those are the main places to find me.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Well, thank you so much Dr. Morgan Anderson. I appreciate you so much for coming on the show. Again, everyone go check out Love Magnet right now on Amazon. I promise you, you will not be disappointed, get some real good stuff in there. Thanks again Dr. Morgan, I appreciate you.

Morgan Anderson: Thank you for having me.