Have you ever been in a situation where you felt really close to someone, yet couldn’t imagine kissing or getting intimate with him or her? How about a situation where you could definitely imagine kissing someone, but couldn’t image having a deep conversation? You were probably feeling the difference between emotional and physical attraction.
Emotional attraction is when you’re attracted to someone’s mind and spirit, and you may or may not be physically attracted to them. Meaningful romantic relationships are formed when emotional and physical attraction are combined. That’s when the real magic happens.
“Emotional attraction is a spirit of kinship. You spend time together, you can have conversations all night long, you find yourself engaging in funny text banter all day,” explains Amica Graber, a relationship expert. “When you’re in a relationship just based on physical attraction, you may feel unsure as to how they really feel beyond the bedroom. Emotional attraction feels a lot more like friendship, with a little extra electricity.”
Perhaps you’re emotionally attracted to someone that you work with because you spend every day together, and communicate about life in and outside the office. This is a pretty common scenario. Though you may feel like you could never sleep with this person, you’ve grown to trust and confide in them.
Emotional attraction comes in a variety of forms, notes relationship expert and star of BRAVO TV’s Untying the Knot, Vikki Ziegler.
“When a person is kind to you, when they do little things to make you happy, it triggers an emotional connection and releases endorphins,” she explains. “When someone relies on you and looks to you for guidance, you in turn feel worthy and highly regarded.”
Another trigger could be someone who’s your mentor and helps you. You connect on a deeper, less superficial level, which makes you feel secure.
“When someone compliments your mind, you feel confident and compatible around them, and are able to discuss mindful topics. When someone supports you during the good and the bad times, and you know they’re loyal through thick and thin, this brings a level of emotional connection that is impenetrable,” says Ziegler.
A common example of emotional attraction can also be when someone joins in on your hobbies, or takes an interest in your likes. It gives you a sense of fulfillment that you can partake in experiences together. This is why many experts say the best place to meet a potential partner is doing things you like to do, like cooking classes or adult-league sports.
Physical attraction, on the other hand, is only skin deep. “It is fleeting, and based solely off appearances that are likely to change at one point or another,” says Ziegler.
If you find yourself emotionally attracted but not physically attracted to someone, this can change over time.
“For some people, physical attraction can manifest over time if the emotional attraction is strong enough. Likewise, an emotional attraction can develop from something purely physical too.”
And that’s what many are looking for… That best friend you can talk to for hours about anything and everything, who you’re also completely attracted to and can’t wait to be with.