What is love?
Do you remember when you were in elementary school, and you started developing feelings for your classmate? Your teacher probably called it puppy love. Your parents probably said it was just a crush. When it comes to love, what commonly comes to mind is Puppy love, infatuation, and real love. Do you know what is the difference between an infatuation and a crush? In reality, love and attraction are a lot more complicated.
Types of attraction
You feel sexually attracted to someone when you are willing to engage in sexual intercourse with him or her. You may have sexual thoughts, erotic dreams, and secret desires about that person. If you watch sexually explicit films or porn, it may trigger some sexual thoughts about the other person.
You are attracted to the person, not just platonically, but you think that the person would make a great boyfriend or husband. You want to hug and kiss him or her, not necessarily have sexual intercourse with him or her.
3. Physical attraction
Contrary to popular opinion, it has nothing to do with his looks or physical appearance. You yearn for his physical touch and you actively seek his embrace. You feel safe when you are around him, just like how you clamored for your parents’ hugs and affection when you were younger.
You feel like you can depend on him/her for a shoulder to cry on when things get rough. You feel like you can disclose a lot of intimate details about yourself with him. You also look for him when you need to ventilate your feelings or talk about your deepest emotions.
5. Aesthetic attraction
You are aesthetically attracted to the person if you like the color of his eyes, or his chiseled six-pack, or his tall stature. However, you have no desire to enter into a romantic relationship with him. It is like admiring a beautiful statue or model from afar.
Well, I heard you like intelligent men, huh? Do you like guys with an IQ of 140, and a degree from Harvard, with the neurons in their brain firing at full speed? Then you must be a sapiosexual, or someone who is attracted to another person because of his/her intelligence. Intelligent men make good conversationalists and they have a wide perspective about a range of issues. They make good problem solvers also. I think it’s natural to gravitate towards people smarter than us so that we may subconsciously assimilate some of their behaviors or habits which make them smart.
Socially confident people are very attractive and gregarious party-goers can light up an entire room with their personality. They also have a lot of charisma and charm. Some people are blessed with more social skills than others, thus, they are more popular and likable than the average person, and people tend to warm up to them more easily.
You have been attracted to him/her for the longest time, but you can’t pin down any reasons for being attracted to the person. maybe, you are just in love with the essence of him/her, or his or her beautiful soul.
9. Protective attraction
We have an instinct to protect small or helpless animals, children, and people who cannot fend for themselves. Usually, this savior complex occurs more commonly with men, as they feel the need to “save the damsel in distress”. However, you may possess a protective attraction for a man who may seem weaker or more vulnerable than the average person, such as a man mired in addictions or a homeless person.
10. Alterous attraction
An alterous attraction happens when you experience a queerplatonic attraction to someone, on the border of a friendship and a romantic relationship. This feels like friends with benefits situations since you like him/her more than a friend but you don’t like him/her romantically.
Steinberg’s triangle of love
Steinberg probably defines love a little differently. The three key tenets, namely, intimacy, commitment, and passion, form the cornerstone for understanding his theories and definitions of love.
Passion-Having romantic feelings for the person and feeling physically attracted to the person as well as finding him or her aesthetically pleasing.
Intimacy-involves being emotionally connected and being able to self-disclose your deepest feelings and secrets to the person.
Commitment-Making the effort to stay together as a couple and make the relationship work
When you like someone, you have intimacy with the person, however, commitment and passion for the person is usually absent. You would not consider that person’s boyfriend or husband material. Thus, the person usually remains in the friend zone territory.
This type of love is compared to the highs in bipolar disorder, as it is obsessive. Usually, you have a strong physical attraction to the person. Every waking moment, your mind is consumed with thoughts of him. You are so deliriously giddy with happiness, and you feel like your heart is going to explode. However commitment and intimacy are lacking, and it may be a one-sided affair.
Fatuous love is the opposite of infatuation. Fatuous love might lead to shotgun marriages or one night stands since those are usually impulsive in nature. Passion and commitment are present in the relationship, however, intimacy is usually lacking and there is very little self-disclosure.
In this relationship, the love between you and your partner probably died down long ago. The commitment level is high, due to issues that cause you and your partner to stay together, perhaps, to pay off a housing loan or familial commitments. Thus passion and intimacy are gone.
15. Romantic love
The levels of passion are at an all-time high, and there is a lot of self-disclosure between both parties. However, you may have no plans to marry your partner in the future, as you are afraid that the spark may die out between both of you. Hence, both of you may be unwilling to commit to the relationship.
16. Companionate love
Your spouse or partner feels like your best friend or companion. There are intimacy and commitment, but no passion. However, both of you have vowed to stay together no matter what.
17. Consummate love
This is the most ideal type of attraction as passion, commitment and intimacy are present. This is very common in newlyweds, or couples in the honeymoon phase of their relationship. Couples who can make their relationship last for a few years without their love for each other dying out also fall into this category.
Your love for your significant other may evolve and change over the years, as you go through thick and thin together. Generally, in new couples, there is a lot of intimacy and passion, and as time goes by, commitment comes into play. You should keep things exciting with your partner to ensure that your love lasts a long time and to keep the spark going. These 17 varieties of attraction that you experience in a relationship are probably the most common forms of attraction, popularised by famous love gurus. You may experience an attraction that does not fall into any of the abovementioned categories. Love is abstract, polymorphic, and intangible after all.