Emotional attraction describes feeling attracted to someone’s personality, spirit, and mind. It’s something almost all of us will experience at some point in our lives. Whether it’s as you’re falling in love, during a casual just-sex fling, or as a result of a new friendship, we’ve likely all experienced emotional attraction at some point in our lives.
So, what is emotional attraction, what triggers it, and how does it differ from physical attraction? We’ve tackled all this, and more, in our extensive guide below!
What Is Emotional Attraction?
Emotional attraction is defined as feeling attracted to another person based on their personality, traits, and characteristics. If you have strong feelings towards someone but you’re not quite sure how to interpret those feelings — that is, you don’t necessarily want to get physical with them — you’re likely experiencing emotional attraction. This can be completely platonic, yet still an intense and powerful feeling.
What Triggers Emotional Attraction in a Man and Woman?
A lot of different factors can cause us to become emotionally attracted to a person, and they’re surprisingly varied. But, what triggers emotional attraction in a woman is usually very similar to their male counterparts. Typically, emotional attraction is triggered by things like:
- Experiencing kindness
- Having a mentor
- Connection on a deep level
- Sharing adventures or hobbies
Below, we’ve looked into these triggers in more detail to understand the role they play in fostering emotional attraction.
1. Experiencing kindness
If someone shows us kindness — whether on a great level or in a more minor way — it’s likely we’ll feel some degree of emotional attraction to them. Acts of kindness and compliments cause us to feel a rush of endorphins, especially for those whose love language is acts of service.
This rush of endorphins generates feelings of joy and pleasure, which can in turn lead us to desire to be around that person more often.
2. Having a mentor
When we’re in a position where somebody is teaching us or guiding us, it’s common to feel some degree of emotional attraction toward them. Often, this is due to our reliance on them, and the feeling of security that accompanies that.
Laughter is attractive. Like compliments and kindness, it releases pleasurable endorphins. That means that, if somebody is a constant source of laughter, it’s natural that we’ll want to be around them more often.
4. Connection on a deep level
Having deep and meaningful conversations can attract us to a person emotionally. While superficial conversations lead to superficial bonds, more intense and personal interactions can cause us to feel closer.
Intelligence is famously attractive. Although, just because somebody is intelligent, you might not be physically attracted to them, making the relationship more platonic.
Even if it’s somebody we don’t know very well, loyalty can be intensely emotionally attractive. It might be that somebody defends you in an argument or remembers you when others forgot.
Experiencing loyalty makes us feel valued. This causes deep feelings of emotional attraction to the person, even when the physical side might not be there.
7. Sharing adventures or hobbies
Shared activities, whether it’s a sport, hiking, or a teaching class, can be a great bonding experience. Sharing new experiences and creating memories together helps to foster deep, meaningful connections. But, if the physical attraction isn’t there, this bond may be platonic.
How to Build Emotional Attraction
Now that we know what emotional attraction is, and the factors that commonly trigger it, you’re probably wondering how to build this with another person. There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for this. Every situation is different but there are some common themes to look out for. We’ve outlined these in more detail below!
1. Developing over time
When it comes to knowing how to build emotional attraction, it’s important to bear in mind that it’s usually not a quick process. It typically develops gradually, whether that’s through lots of meaningful conversations or a long period spent together.
Building emotional attraction can’t really be rushed, it needs to happen naturally over time. But, if you have a genuine connection with another person, you’ll likely start to feel this sooner rather than later.
2. Developing from physical
Many relationships begin with physical attraction. Whether it’s spotting somebody in the office who turns your head or catching someone’s eye across the bar. However, despite starting as a more skin-deep attraction, a relationship can develop as you get to know the person on a deeper level and realize how much you have in common.
If somebody is physically attractive, as well as kind, loyal, and able to connect with you on a deep level, a stronger infatuation (and potentially even love) is likely to follow.
Commons Signs of Emotional Attraction to Look Out For
The signs he/she is emotionally attracted to you aren’t usually too difficult to spot. But, what are the most common emotional attraction signs to look out for? We’ve laid these out below!
- Listening intently: If somebody is experiencing intense emotional attraction, they’ll be hanging on your every word. They’ll value what you say and your personality, and will be eager to hear what comes out of your mouth next – whatever the situation.
- Seeking your company: Part and parcel of being attracted to somebody emotionally is a desire to be in their company — it’s one of the strongest signs of attraction. This doesn’t necessarily mean you want to leap into bed with them though. They might just enjoy being around you and feeling good in your presence.
- Laughter: When we’re emotionally attracted to someone, we want them to like us. Laughing at somebody’s jokes — no matter how bad — is a common sign of emotional attraction. So, if you notice that somebody in your circle laughs at even your very worst jokes, there’s a good chance they’re emotionally attracted to you.
Physical Attraction vs. Emotional Attraction: What’s the Difference?
In most cases, for a relationship to be successful, a mixture of emotional and physical attraction is important. If you connect intellectually but aren’t attracted to them physically, the relationship may struggle to get off the ground. A combination of the two is the basis of a good relationship.
That being said, it’s important to differentiate between physical attraction vs. emotional attraction. Here are the key differences between them to keep in mind!
1. Skin deep
Physical attraction doesn’t require us to even speak to a person. We might see somebody across a crowded room and find them attractive, without knowing a thing about them.
2. Quicker to form
While physical attraction is often instant (though not always), emotional attraction takes longer. Even if it’s only a few minutes more, this usually happens through conversation or an act of kindness.
3. Physical attraction is usually more sexual
In most cases, physical attraction stems from a biological attraction to someone. It typically involves a desire to touch and be physically intimate with another person. Emotional attraction, on the other hand, can be experienced without any desire for physical intimacy.
4. Differing investment of feelings
Being physically attracted to someone can involve investing fewer feelings and less emotion. Often, a purely physical attraction means a straightforward desire to be physically intimate with the person, with no other strings attached.
A Winning Combination
Feeling intense emotional attraction can be a powerful and often overwhelming experience. But, knowing the signs to look out for, and how to build on them, can really help when it comes to creating real, meaningful relationships.
When you feel this alongside physical attraction, it’s a good sign that you’re ready to take a relationship to the next level. Good luck!