What Are The Different Types Of Attraction And What Do They Mean?

Updated September 23, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Melinda Santa

It's easy to think of attraction as existing in only one sense, only thinking about it as being physically attracted to another person in some way. However, the truth is that there are many different types of attraction, and each one is important and significant in different ways to your psychological health and overall well-being. You must know how to form different types of relationships with people as you go through life. Within these relationships, you're going to have different dynamics with each person, and each of these types of attraction will likely be represented in some way.

Different Types Of Attraction

Sexual Attraction

There Are More Types of Attraction Than You Think
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This is one of the main forms of attraction that comes to mind when people think of the word "attraction." Feeling physically attracted to someone and having the desire to be sexually intimate with another person is a significant form of attraction and one that's controlled by the same part of your brain that's in charge of the things like eating and breathing. This may be a common form of attraction and the easiest to pinpoint when figuring out what you're feeling towards another person. Still, there are far more factors involved in feeling drawn to somebody in addition to this basic and instinctual type of attraction. The impulse and wish to be intimate with someone is where sexual attraction comes into play. Still, it can exist as a form all on its own or even be combined with other forms of attraction, such as those present in certain relationships. You do not have to be feeling anything else in an emotional sense or any other sense for you to be sexually attracted to someone.

Romantic Attraction

Romantic attraction is ideal when present right alongside the feeling of sexual attraction towards a person. Instead of just being about physical intimacy, this type of attraction is where the main interest is in who another person is on the inside becomes a factor. This specific type of attraction encompasses the desire to want to have a deep and emotional relationship with that other individual, which extends beyond just the physical aspects. However, it generally involves both types of desire at the same time. The types of romantic relationships are fairly important for those seeking companionship in their lives and wanting to experience a deep bond with another human being. When coupled with a strong sexual attraction for the person, that combination helps form a strong bond and a strong foundation for the two significant others for the future. Combining these two factors is the mixture of feelings and desires that will lead you to most likely commit to settling down with someone or at least being involved in a long-term relationship with somebody with high hopes for the future.

Physical Attraction

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This is not the same as a sexual attraction, even though it does involve physical contact as its primary form of expression. Sexual contact is pretty straightforward and remains in the sexual attraction category by itself. Still, with physical attraction, there is generally a strong desire to touch others in ways that are not sexual.

These are other expressions of different levels of attraction, affection, or admiration. Some examples would include kissing (sometimes romantically but also in a friendly manner like kissing a good friend or a baby on the cheek), hugging (which anyone can enjoy for any number of reason ranging from being family or friends to hugging someone in celebration of a great accomplishment), cuddling, and other various forms of touching or being the recipient of touch in different ways. Physical attraction and physical contact can be between friends or family members, but it's very specifically a type of attraction and the associated physical contact found in platonic relationships. Remember, there is no sexual component or desire behind these types of touch-related interactions. These are the feelings similar to wanting to hug a friend or relative you haven't seen in months or even snuggling a little baby-you are not romantically attracted to either of these. Still, you are drawn to interact with them lovingly and affectionately about expressing yourself towards them.

Emotional Attraction

Everyone generally needs to be emotionally open with someone in their lives, and this type of attraction encompasses that particular variation of appeal. When you can be open about what's on your mind with other people and connect and share information about your life, hopes, dreams, desires, and even more with them, it's a crucial part of your overall well-being emotional and mental health.

Everyone needs to have people they can feel comfortable with within any context. You may have several close friends or family members who feel content being open and honest about nearly anything in the world. This is going to vary based on the individual. Still, each person needs an outlet of some sort, and especially a social one allowing them to have a significant connection with another person, even if it's not of a romantic or physical nature. Some people have no problem opening up to many other individuals without restriction. Still, there are plenty of people who struggle to form these types of deep and trusting connections and have difficulty opening up to even one or two others in their lives whatsoever.

Aesthetic Attraction

Have you ever looked at a celebrity or someone walking down the street and thought they were nice to look at? Have you ever looked at a photograph or a painting and thought it was beautiful? If you have, then you've experienced aesthetic attraction. This is the type of attraction where you recognize something as beautiful, special, and appealing visually. Still, you don't necessarily have a desire for physical or sexual interaction with whomever or whatever it may be. This type of attraction is important, even though it may not seem like it, because it allows us to understand the beauty that is all around us.

Visual stimuli can be a great benefit in being inspirational or simply positive in a way that can improve your mood and mental state. Aesthetic attraction ties into why people will choose certain homes or certain decorations with which to surround themselves. These things, usually specific to each person, are visually pleasant and stimulate positive feelings of joy and comfort when they are exposed to them.

What Is Attraction?

There Are More Types of Attraction Than You Think

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Attraction is a fluid concept that can change at any time and for any number of reasons. Just because you find yourself aesthetically attracted to someone or something right now does not mean that you will feel that same way within a year. Our preferences change, just like a child that wants everything they own to be pink or blue, but then grows into an adult that can appreciate all types of colors and styles later on. Just because you are emotionally attracted to a person, for now, does not mean you'll continue to be attracted to them in the future. Life happens, and feelings change, especially those involved in our relationships with other people. Just think about the friends that you may have had in high school and how that has changed over the years since you left high school. Are you in touch and closely bonded with every single individual like you were before? Some people may be able to maintain these relationships. Still, many folks go their ways and go separate directions with their own goals to pursue for the rest of their lives, be it job-related, family-related, or the desire to live somewhere besides a certain hometown they grew up in. Presently, you have also probably made new friends since those times that you're close to now, right? The different types of attraction that you feel for people can change, and it's a perfectly normal part of life.

The important thing is that you experience each of the different types of attraction. You should have someone you feel close enough to share your emotions, thoughts, feelings, and needs. You should have people that you want to be physically close to and connected to. Touch is an important part of life as human beings; we were made to be social creatures. Though you don't necessarily have to, it's healthy for you to have people you would want to be in a relationship with and share mental and emotional intimacy with. It's also natural and healthy for you to have people you want to be physically intimate with. All of the different attraction types make you who you are and determine the friends, family members, and loved ones you will surround yourself with.

Figuring It Out

If you have trouble forming relationships of different types or you have difficulty with processing the different types of attraction, you may want to take a look at finding yourself a mental health professional to lend you some guidance and valuable input. Talking with a professional can help you better understand the things going on in your life and the things that may or may not need to be acknowledged and adjusted. This professional input can help you understand what you may need to form healthy relationships with others and feel comfortable with the people around you. Whether you struggle with intimacy in all forms or just a few, it can be a great benefit to you to talk with someone who can help shed some light on these issues.

The experts at ReGain can help you with the entire process from the comfort of your home. All you need to do is log on to the website, and you will be able to connect with a professional located anywhere in the country. This convenience factor opens up your opportunities for finding assistance and makes it far more likely that you'll find someone you feel comfortable speaking to about your concerns. Not only that, but you'll be able to schedule and participate in your appointments no matter what might be going on in your personal or work life or even outside in your community. All you have to do is log on, and you'll immediately be able to access someone ready and willing to help you, with no complications or waiting for unreasonable amounts of time. All you need to keep your appointments is an internet connection, and you'll be ready and off to a great start in improving your personal life and relationships with those around you.


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