What Are Different Types Of Attraction?

By Sarah Fader

Updated May 09, 2019

Reviewer Merlena James Leger, LPC

When we talk about attraction, many people immediately jump to the conclusion of sexual attraction. It's the one we hear the most about, after all, and so we assume that it's the only one that's out there, but that's not the case at all. There are some different types of attraction,and each one of them is important to who we each are as individuals. Each of these types of attraction leads us to different people and helps us to become the person we are.

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Different Types Of Attraction

Sexual attraction is only one of the many different types out there. Alongside it is a romantic attraction, physical attraction, emotional attraction and aesthetic attraction. Each is entirely different, and though you may feel each of them for one person, you may feel them each for someone different. They're also not entirely up to you. Something in your body or your mind (or both) tells you how you feel about someone and though that feeling or type of attraction may change as you get to know them better, there's always going to be some level of intrinsic feeling in your mind.

Sexual Attraction

This is the one that we hear about the most,and it's the one that most people think of as soon as they hear the word 'attraction.' It's about looking at someone and feeling something toward them in a sexual way. We think this about our sexual partner and hopefully the one that we choose to spend our lives with as well. But you may also feel sexual attraction to other people around you. It is a desire toward sexual touching and activity with another person. The level of strength of those feelings and their occurrence,however, could vary from person to person.

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Romantic Attraction

This is entirely separate from sexual attraction though you may feel them for the same person. This type of attraction is where you want to be in a relationship with the person. You may want to be with them without necessarily wanting the sexual aspect of the relationship. This isn't the same as friendship,however, and the feelings will be stronger than the attraction you would feel toward a friend (we'll get to that later). In this type of attraction, you want to be romantically involved with the individual,but sex is not required.

Physical Attraction

Also called sensual attraction, this is a desire to be around others, to be physically cared for and treated with love and affection. It can occur with romantic relationships,but it doesn't have to. When we are children,we have a level of physical attraction to our parents who hug and cuddle us. As we grow older, we may develop these types of relationships with our friends. These are attractions and desires for physical contact but those types of contact that are non-sexual. You may feel a desire for your friend to hug you when you've had a bad day, for example, this is an example of physical attraction.

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Emotional Attraction

This is where you want to be emotionally present with another person. When you want to share with them the things that you are feeling you feel an emotional attraction. You may have this with friends, family or romantic partners (or you may have some level of it with all three). Having healthy emotional attachments and feeling as though you can share your feelings with others is extremely important and it makes for a healthier lifestyle. You should have several people that you feel you can share your emotions and feelings with.

Aesthetic Attraction

Finally, this type of attraction is what happens when you see someone walking down the street and think that they look good. Many of us look at celebrities this way and think that they are cute, hot, gorgeous, insert favorite descriptive term here. This type of attraction is not the same as physical attraction or sexual attraction because you may feel no desire to touch or be touched by the person that you find aesthetically pleasing. You simply notice the way that they look much in the way you might notice when someone has a nice car or when there is a sculpture in front of a building. It doesn't mean that there can't be a physical or sexual attraction at the same time, but there is not necessarily.

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Overall, each of the different types of attraction is important in our lives. They occur with different people,and they tend to ebb and flow throughout our lives. The person we have a sexual attraction to at 19 or 20 may not be the same person that we do at 40 or 50. The person we have an aesthetic attraction too definitely won't be. But that's part of how we grow and develop.

Getting Help

If you have trouble forming attachments or don't feel any of these types of attraction to anyone,you may want to seek out professional help. Sexual attraction is not present in everyone, but having an emotional attraction or physical attraction is something that helps us to grow in healthy and positive ways. It means having someone that can be there for you to support your feelings and to comfort you, which are two extremely important parts of your life.

BetterHelp is one place that you can find out more about different types of attraction and how they are occurring in your life. With this online service, you get to connect with professionals from all over the country to find out more about what you're going through and about yourself. You'll be able to talk with someone anywhere you want,and from anywhere you want, which makes it convenient. No more going downtown to the psychiatrist's office, you can instead just log on to your computer from your favorite room in the house and your most comfortable spot and just like that you're ready to go and ready to get help.

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