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Psychology of Attraction: 4 Types & the Ones that Make You Fall In Love

Attraction is a multi-faceted thing. It’s confusing and it’s complex. There are many different types of attraction – which one are you experiencing?

different types of attraction

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 in order 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.

Of course, we all want that fairytale love. We all want to fall head over heels in love with someone for everything that they are. If you’re looking for real, true love, you need more than just physical attraction. You even need more than just emotional attraction. You need a blend of the two that helps you to grow together as a couple. [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 exist 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. Those things simply fade into the background and you care more about their health, their wellbeing, their 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 process of falling in love is a very complex one. 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 and what they can do for love, as well as how they make you feel. [Read: The 12 rules of attraction as explained by science]

1. 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.

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, and 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. [Read: How to build a strong emotional connection]

Here are the signs of emotional attraction.

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 question 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

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]

2. 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 a lasting love, but it is often the initial thing that pulls you towards someone. In many cases, without physical attraction, you’d never get to know a person and fall in love with their personality.

Nevertheless, here are the signs that you’re physically into someone.

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 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

The 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 go 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.

3. Intellectual attraction

This is one of the different types of attraction that many people don’t differentiate from emotional attraction. However, I think it should be in its own category because it’s quite different. [Read: Attracted to intelligence? This is what it might mean]

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 on its own.

Not sure if this is what you’re feeling? Here are some signs.

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.

4. Sensual attraction

If you think this is the same as physical attraction, you’re wrong. Sensual attraction is deeper and on a slightly different level. It’s hard to explain without examples, so here’s what sensual attraction is and why you need it. [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

BUT, you definitely want to be on 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 at 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. In order to truly love someone, you need to have all four types of attraction ticked off the box. 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 four.

 [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 of the types of attraction to truly fall in love with someone.

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Bella Pope LovePanky
Annabel Rodgers
Annabel is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog,...