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Psychology of Attraction: 6 Types & the Ones that Make You Fall In Love

There are many different types of attractions, it’s hard to figure out what you’re feeling sometimes. The psychology of attraction is a complicated beast!

types of attraction psychology

We all know you need attraction in order to have love. If you’re not attracted to someone, why the hell would you be around them in a romantic situation of any kind? The truth is, there isn’t just one kind of attraction. There are a few different types of attraction you need to have true love, or any romantic connection at all.

You see, throughout your life, you’re sure to have many different types of relationships. Every person you meet and feel something towards will cause a different type of attraction.

The key is to know and understand what you’re feeling so you can enhance the connection and help drive that relationship where you would like it to go – as long as the other person feels the same, of course. The truth is, the psychology of attraction is more complicated than you might think. [Read: Science of attraction – 17 Things that are far more sexy than looks]

Why love can’t survive with only physical attraction

There are people out there who marry someone just based on their looks. While you’re sitting there thinking those people are shallow, pay attention to those you’ve fallen for. What’s the very first thing you usually find attractive about a person? Their looks.

Let’s be real, though. True love can’t last over the long-term if you’re only attracted to someone’s looks. Physical appearance fades significantly as you get older. That’s why the love forged on physical attraction can never last. [Read: Attraction theory – What makes you desirable to someone else?]

It’s also true that when you feel a true emotional connection to someone, and you fall completely in love, you care very little about looks. That’s the basic psychology of attraction. Those things simply fade into the background and you care more about their health, wellbeing, happiness, and your future together.

Focusing on looks alone is nothing short of superficial. You cannot build a lasting relationship on looks, simply a fake trophy relationship that has very little depth at all.

The different types of attraction

The psychology of attraction and how we get to the point of being in love is very complex. There are many things involved when it comes to you finding the one person you want to spend your life with.

If you’re curious as to what it takes to find true love, here are the different types of attraction, what they can do for love, as well as how they make you feel. [Read: The rules of attraction as explained by science]

1. Aesthetic attraction

We all have celebrity crushes, the people we think are hot as hell. Okay, so maybe you would have sex with them if given the chance, but more likely, you’re simply attracted to their physical appearance. You appreciate their beauty. This isn’t necessarily linked to sexual or romantic attraction.

Perhaps you’ve eyed the coffee guy at the local cafe for a few months, and you think he’s literally one of the most beautiful people you’ve ever seen. You can’t stop staring at him. See, that’s aesthetic attraction. [Read: Law of attraction and how it can change your love life]

2. Platonic attraction

This is usually confused with the “friend zone.” We’re putting it in quotations because we don’t actually think it exists. Usually, the person is either scared to commit or genuinely doesn’t see you in that way.

Anyway, platonic attraction is the need to have a relationship with someone that isn’t sexual. Simply based on love and friendship. This form of attraction can be a difficult experience because you might like a person; whereas they see you only as a friend, nothing more. [Read: 34 subtle ways to get out of the friend zone and make yourself very desirable in their eyes]

3. Emotional attraction

This is probably the most important type of attraction there is. Without it, there won’t be much for you to like about a person. As we’re moving into the most common and intense types of attraction, we’ll focus on these more and the general psychology of attraction.

So, what does emotional attraction feel like? It’s deep, it’s all-encompassing. It’s the attraction that just feels like ‘more’. You don’t care about anything other than them being okay. You want to be their biggest cheerleader in life and help support them to be the best they can be.

It’s the ‘pulling at the heartstrings’ type of attraction, and in terms of deep love, it’s probably the most important one.

Signs of emotional attraction

Here are the signs of emotional attraction. [Read: How to build a strong emotional connection]

a. You like the way they think

This is the core of emotional attraction. If you like the way their mind works and the way they think about life and situations, you’re emotionally connected to them. You crave their attention, and you want to take in everything they have to say.

b. You care about their values too

When you have similar values, that’s immediately an emotional connection. You relate to them on a level that’s deeper than just what they look like. Having those values match up bonds you closer emotionally than anything else can. [Read: 30 deep questions to reveal someone’s true values]

c. You feel connected while speaking about your interests

If the more you get to know someone, the more you like them, it’s an emotional attraction. When you learn new things about them, and your feelings just keep growing, you’re emotionally into them.

d. You care about their happiness

The psychology of attraction states that when you want someone else to be happy, you’re attracted to them emotionally. You want them to feel good and be in a positive mindset always.

If you want their emotions to be high and are upset when they’re sad, it’s definitely this type of attraction. [Read: How to cheer someone up and make them happy]

4. Physical attraction

We all know what this type of attraction is. You might think it’s not important at all, but in many ways, it is. It won’t give you lasting love, but it is often the initial thing that pulls you toward someone.

In many cases, without physical attraction, you’ll never get to know a person and fall in love with their personality.

Signs of physical attraction

Nevertheless, here are the signs that you’re physically into someone. [Read: How to make a girl want you, desire you, and think of you sexually]

a. You think they look good

This is super obvious. If you see a person and immediately recognize them as a good-looking person, it’s a physical attraction. Your mind is attracted to their appearance – even if you don’t know anything about them.

b. You feel turned on while thinking about them, or when you’re near them

Physical attraction is definitely when you start feeling hot and horny for someone. This is particularly true if you don’t know them very well – if at all – but you still want to get down and dirty with them. [Read: 13 signs of lustful physical attraction to keep an eye on]

c. You want to kiss them, and more

Just like we said above, physical attraction is when you want to hook up. You want to have sex with them, basically. If you see someone from across the club and you immediately wonder what they’re like in bed, you’re physically attracted to them.

5. Intellectual attraction

This is one of the different types of attraction that many people don’t differentiate from emotional attraction. However, in terms of the psychology of attraction, intellectual connections are a little different.

When you’re intellectually attracted to someone, you’re interested in what they have to say. You want to hear their thoughts and opinions because they actually matter to you. You can have long conversations with them about different subjects and you don’t feel bored.

This type of attraction definitely overlaps with emotional attraction in many cases, but it is possible to be intellectually attracted to someone only.

Signs of intellectual attraction

Not sure if this is what you’re feeling? Here are some signs. [Read: Attracted to intelligence? This is what it might mean]

a. You love how smart they are

Being attracted to someone who’s highly intelligent is a unique form of attraction. You’re intellectually interested in them. When their level of intelligence is a huge factor in you liking them, it’s intellectual attraction.

b. Their theories and opinions are captivating to you

If you could sit and listen to them talk about their theories of different things in life for hours, you’re intellectually attracted to them majorly. Their knowledge just draws you in. [Read: How to be a better listener in your relationship]

c. Their intelligence makes you like them even more

If you find that you’re more attracted to those who are smart and show off their intelligence, you’re a sucker for intellectual attraction. This is one of the different types of attraction that may be difficult to notice right away. However, when you like those who are smarter, it’s sure to be this type. [Read: Sapiophile – What it is, how it works and how it’s different from a sapiosexual]

6. Sensual attraction

If you think this is the same as physical attraction, you’re wrong. It’s the desire for physical contact but not necessarily sexual. It’s based on sensual touching such as hugs, cuddling, and massaging.

Signs of sensual attraction

Have you ever been next to someone and their touch soothes you? It makes you feel like you’re floating on a cloud. [Read: 16 non-sexual touches that prove you’re connected]

a. You want to be close to them physically

This isn’t in a sexual way. It can be, but it’s not for this one of the different types of attraction. When you just want to be physically close to them, it’s sensual.

You feel satisfied just being near them – even if you’re not on top of each other.

b. You want to cuddle with them

You want to be held in their warm embrace and feel their affection through touches. This is sensual attraction. When you crave their hugs, you have this type of attraction for them. [Read: These are the best ways to cuddle]

c. You want to spend the night wrapped in their embrace

It has nothing to do with getting naked in their bed. It’s more about being in bed with them and sleeping by their side.

It’s about waking up in the morning and being able to wrap your arms around them. That’s what it feels like to be sensually attracted to someone.

Why does all of this matter when identifying whether you’re in love?

It’s entirely possible to feel one type of attraction toward someone. For example, you might be intellectually attracted to someone you work with because you find their ideas and opinions fascinating.

Are you physically attracted to them? Ask yourself carefully, and you might find that the answer is “no.” [Read: What does love feel like? 20 feelings you experience through love]

Love is such a complex thing that we often mistake it for something else, or think it’s another thing when it’s really love we’re feeling. To truly love someone, you need to have at least four types of attraction ticked off – emotional, physical, intellectual, and sensual.

Sure, you might feel more of one type of attraction than another, but it’s there nonetheless. For example, physical attraction is sometimes dependent upon external factors, such as how you’re feeling outside of your relationship, any stress you’re experiencing at work, etc. It fluctuates, but it’s still there in the background.

Understanding the types of attraction matters because you’ll know that you’re in love when you feel all of the main types.

 [Read: Does true love really exist? 10 signs that’ll make you believe]

So which of the different types of attraction is the most important for true love? That’s a trick question. Because you need ALL types of attraction to truly fall in love with someone.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...