Are There Different Types Of Attraction?

Exploring The Surprising Findings

When most people talk about attraction, they are usually discussing sexual attraction, but that is only one of many types of attraction. It is also possible to be attracted to someone in multiple ways and that can be a good thing for healthy relationships.

Being aware of the different types of attraction can help you determine the ways that you feel about other people. It can also help you see how your attraction changes throughout a relationship or as you get older and more mature.

Furthermore, knowing the types of features and qualities that you are attracted to may help you choose a better partner. 

Knowing the things that affect attraction and how to tell when someone is attracted to you can also help. BetterHelp has tons of great articles to help you understand how attraction affects relationships and how unique certain perceptions of attractiveness and beauty can be. 

In addition to physical, sexual, and romantic attraction, there are other types like emotional attraction or intellectual attraction.

Let’s look at what each of these types means and how they can work together to form your level of attraction to someone. 

Sexual Attraction

This is the type of attraction that most people refer to when they talk about attraction and occurs when we have sexual feelings and desires that arise in connection with another person. 

While we feel this type of attraction towards sexual partners and many people feel this way about their spouse or partner, you may also feel sexual attraction toward another person. 

Sexual attraction is characterized by a desire to engage sexually and may also correspond with emotional feelings in some situations.

The level of sexual attraction toward a particular person can change over time as well. 

Everyone has different sex drives that can influence the level of sexual attraction. Not only that but many factors can influence who, if anyone, makes you sexually attracted like sexuality and gender. 


Romantic Attraction

Romantic attraction often coincides with sexual attraction but is a separate type that can also be felt on its own. This feeling is associated with a desire to date someone or to pursue a relationship with them.

It is a separate type from the desire to be friends and it involved romantic interests instead of interest in friendship. 

Unlike sexual attraction, this feeling involves the desire to date, start a family, and get married and is unlikely to occur with people that you do not personally know like famous people.

Like other forms of attraction, your romantic attraction toward someone can grow or decline over time. 

Are There Different Types Of Attraction? Exploring The Surprising Findings

Emotional Attraction

While romantic attraction can certainly involve a variety of pleasant emotions, emotional attraction is a separate type of attraction. Emotional attraction can occur with romantic partners, of course, but it can also be felt with friends and family.

The feelings of emotional connection and the desire to share our feelings with someone else are related to emotional attraction.

This is an important type of attraction for growing a support system of any type and we must share this type of attraction with someone in your life so that you can share your emotions comfortably. 

Sensual Attraction

This type of attraction is the desire to be around others physically and involves non-sexual affection and touch as well.

This often occurs with romantic relationships and as part of the emotional attraction but is separate and involves friendships as well as relationships with parents, siblings, children, and other platonic relationships that you may have.

Sensual attraction is also an important type of a support system because it involves hugging and comforting with and without touch. 


Intellectual Attraction

Intellectual attraction is the desire to interact with people with similar intelligence or in a scholarly way. You may have shared intellectual interests or want to discuss certain topics with the person to who you are intellectually attracted.

This is often part of friendships and romantic relationships, but can also be felt with colleagues, teachers, or anyone else with whom we have a cerebral connection. 


Aesthetic Attraction

This type of attraction is associated with the ability to see someone as good-looking without the sexual attraction or desire to be around them. It is often compared with the way we like to see a pretty flower or artwork.

You can notice that someone looks good without having any desire to become involved with them further, and that is referred to as aesthetic attraction.


 What Factors Influence Attraction?

There are a lot of factors that can influence attraction depending on the type of attraction.

For some types of attraction, physical attractiveness is the primary factor, but other types like emotional or intellectual attraction may involve other factors. Many unique factors can be associated with romantic attraction as well. 

Proximity is important for sensual attraction but is also a factor in other forms because we need to be around someone to develop many types of attraction.

Similarity is another factor that can influence attraction in significant ways. We are often attracted to people who hold similar ideas and interests that we do. 

Reciprocity is an interesting factor as well and refers to the mutual feelings of attraction. While this is often discussed as part of romantic or sexual attraction, it can definitely be involved in emotional, sensual, and intellectual attraction as well. 



There are many different types of attraction and once you think about it, it is pretty obvious that you aren’t attracted to a spouse in the same way you are to a family member or friend.

However, different relationships can involve multiple types of attraction and in many cases, this can be a good thing because it adds complexity and value to the relationship.

Knowing the ways that you are attracted to people can also help you navigate relationships and social interaction.