When talking about attraction, no one ever thinks of different types of attraction.

Attraction isn’t just purely physical or, better said, sexual, yet it’s the most common one that everyone’s heard about.

It may be the most popular one but it’s definitely not the only one.

Somehow that desire for the physical, a desire for touch, ends up being the easiest attraction to admit and talk openly about.

Other attractions, like an emotional one, have remained in the shadows because people are not comfortable openly talking about their feelings.

The society we live in represents itself as open and understanding, yet most people have no idea there are different types of attraction.

They think everything is black and white—meaning either you like someone or you don’t.

That is kind of true but what happens to the relationships which are not purely physical? Well, actually, I have a great answer to that question.

You know all those times when you’ve been confused because you didn’t know how you felt about someone?

You weren’t sexually attracted but you felt something and you didn’t know what?

What you felt was another type of attraction that you had no idea about.

You probably passed on that relationship and exactly that relationship could be the relationship of your life.

You failed to see attraction because you didn’t know something like that existed.

What is attraction?

10 Types Of Attraction (And Their Meanings Explained)

When you see an object or a person which causes a reaction in your mind making you want to touch it, hold it or have it—that’s desire.

Desire causes you to do something you can’t explain. You just feel the need to do it. Well, that is the closest explanation of attraction.

A lot of things can attract you, like objects, humans, events and surroundings, and what you feel toward each of these is attraction—well, a different type of attraction.

When it happens that you feel different things occupy your mind more than usual, you’re definitely feeling a strong attraction and your body is reacting to what goes around in your mind. Your body is reacting to desire.

You need more types of attraction if you want your love to last.

Love can’t survive just on the basis of physical and sexual attraction. Sure, it’s the first thing you notice about someone.

Looks really play a huge role in hooking up with people but what really matters for a healthy and long relationship is what happens next.

You can’t survive in your relationship just on the basis of how that person looks.

As we grow older, good looks fade and if you don’t have anything else that attracts you to that person, that love will fade.

Physical attraction is the most popular one because it’s the first one you feel and notice.

All the other attractions come in time but only after you get to really know the person you’re with.

Many of us never stay long enough to find out or we just break up because sadly, we don’t feel anything other than physical attraction.

The 10 main types of attraction

You can feel different types of attraction for one person or for more people. It’s an unexplainable feeling which no one has control of. It’s something you feel and certainly can’t obtain.

1. Sexual attraction

10 Types Of Attraction (And Their Meanings Explained)

Sexual attraction is a desire to touch someone sexually. However, sexual attraction has nothing to do with your sex drive.

A person can be sexually attracted to another person (the opposite sex or the same sex) which doesn’t have any effect on the amount of sexual relations that a person is having.

When people hear someone talking about sexual attraction, they usually falsely assume that sexual attraction is the only attraction but that is not true. It’s the most obvious attraction because it happens first.

When you’re attracted to someone you see for the first time, you’re attracted to them because of the way they look and the way their body is built. Usually, sexual attraction is the foundation of a romantic relationship.

As time goes by, other attractions slowly develop, which puts the sexual one in the background.

Actually, that kind of attraction is no longer important to keep the relationship alive.

You can feel sexual attraction to people other than your partner.

That sexual attraction is the main thing to blame when someone cheats on their partner—usually  it’s just as a one-time thing to satisfy their sexual needs.

2. Romantic attraction

Romantic attraction is often confused with sexual attraction but they are not the same thing.

When you feel romantic attraction, it means you’re craving a romantic relationship with another individual.

That romantic relationship doesn’t necessarily involve sex.

It’s different when you feel sexual and romantic attraction toward one person. For a sexual being, that’s a perfect relationship.

As far as asexuals, people who don’t feel the need for sexual relationships, are concerned, romantic attraction is the first thing they feel when they meet someone they like.

Actually, as different the two attractions are, they are also the same; just replace the sexual feelings a person has for someone with non-sexual feelings and you get the same kind of relationship.

Romantic attraction is similar to friendship but it’s not the same.

The feelings you have for a friend are similar but they are not romantic because you want to touch a friend in a non-sexual way.

3. Physical attraction

10 Types Of Attraction (And Their Meanings Explained)

Physical attraction is also called sensual attraction and frankly, every one of us feels physical attraction.

It’s not so much toward someone in particular as much as toward the touch itself.

We all have the need to be kissed and to be hugged in a non-sexual way.

We all have the need for a friend, to have someone to talk to and someone to comfort us when we are sad.

No one wants to be alone. And those who are alone are very unhappy.

Physical attraction is present in all kinds of relationships, it’s not just connected to sexual and romantic ones.

You experience physical attraction with your family, especially with your parents.

Every child has the need to be hugged and kissed by their mom and dad. Parents have the same need.

In our childhood, we depend on our parents as far as physical attraction is concerned but as we grow older, we look for that attraction in our friends.

4. Emotional attraction

Here it is, the trickiest attraction of them all but probably the most important one.

It’s normal that the level of attraction varies from one person to another but has it ever happened to you that for some reason you feel more open to sharing your emotions with particular people?

You can’t do it with everyone, you can’t be equally emotionally open with every person you meet.

The reason why you are more open to some rather than others is that you are emotionally attracted to them.

You feel you can be honest with those people and that you can trust them.

Emotional attraction is not strictly reserved for romantic relationships.

You feel an emotional attraction to your friends with whom you talk to and confide in, you feel an emotional attraction to your family.

The point is, you can feel emotional attraction toward anyone, just at different levels.

In the end, this kind of attraction is very important because it affects your health and your mind.

When you’re holding in everything you feel, the chances of an unhappy life are enormous.

You should have more people to share your emotions with if you want to have a happy life.

5. Aesthetic attraction

10 Types Of Attraction (And Their Meanings Explained)

The last main type of attraction is aesthetic attraction, which is often confused with sexual attraction.

This is wrong because aesthetic attraction happens when you see someone and you think that person looks good but you have no need to touch them or to be touched in a sexual way.

Aesthetic attraction is when you see a person, usually a celebrity, and you admire how great they look.

You don’t have any other need than just admiration for their physical looks.

Put it this way: you’re simply looking at the person like you would look at a nice car or a beautiful painting in a gallery.

But just to be clear, you can feel sexual or physical attraction while feeling aesthetic attraction but they are not necessarily related.

You can feel more than one attraction at the same time.

Other types of attraction

Now that we’ve covered the 5 main types of attraction every person feels at some point in their life, let us explore more types which are not as important but are still present.

6. Intellectual attraction

10 Types Of Attraction (And Their Meanings Explained)

Although it’s very close to emotional attraction, intellectual attraction should get a category of its own.

Being attracted to someone’s intelligence is a unique form of attraction.

Some people find intelligence the most important trait a person can have and it can easily become a deal-breaker.

To some people, hearing someone’s theories and observing the way they think can be more important than any other feature.

It can be just that something that makes those people different from others.

7. Uniattraction

Attraction and love are two completely different things.

You can hate someone’s guts but feel some kind of attraction toward that person—usually, that’s sexual attraction.

With that being said, uniattraction is attraction a person feels for a long period of time or even for their whole life.

Just to remind you that has nothing to do with love, that is pure attraction. Actually, love is born from different types of attraction.

8. Alterous attraction

10 Types Of Attraction (And Their Meanings Explained)

Otherwise called queerplatonic attraction, this is very similar to romantic attraction but it’s not entirely romantic, nor is it entirely platonic.

When a person enters a queerplatonic relationship, they feel a deep emotional connection but that connection is somewhere between friendship and a romantic relationship.

Alterous attraction creates queerplatonic relationships which are similar to friendship but more intense.

For example, you would do things with your queerplatonic partner that you wouldn’t with your friend.

In order to be in a queerplatonic relationship, you have to be the type of person who can endure this mixed feelings relationship.

9. Social attraction

This is similar to physical attraction, except the part with non-sexual physical touch.

Social attraction is something that likable people possess.

It’s simple actually; those who are popular at social gatherings and those people you enjoy to be around are socially attractive.

It is said that people who are socially attractive have more chances of being attractive in different spheres of life.

10. Protective attraction

10 Types Of Attraction (And Their Meanings Explained)

This is the kind of attraction a person feels toward a child, a pet or a person who needs help.

People who possess protective attraction are people who are needed.

There is something about them that makes you feel safe—for some reason, you trust them.

A person who rises up to a challenge and leaves their personal issues behind to help someone in need creates a sense of attraction in others.

Look carefully into these attractions and you’ll probably find the answers to the questions you have about relationships and love.

None of us function the same way and none of us are attracted by the same things.

If you feel emotional, intelligence or any other attraction except the obvious one (sexual attraction) there’s nothing wrong with you, so don’t think you aren’t like others and that is the reason you can’t find happiness.

You are a person who functions differently, that’s all.

10 Types Of Attraction (And Their Meanings Explained)

Maria Parker
Hi everyone!! I'm Maria, but all of my friends call me Mare (meaning the sea in Italian). I was born and raised by the sea in a small town in the Mediterranean. I'm an "accidental" writer and a passionate singer. Alongside with being a mom, I spend my free time doing gigs which my friends never miss. I think that family and friends are the most valuable thing you can have in your life. That is what I see every day when I look at my son and the loving people around me. Would you like to join my little group and become my friend, too?
shares