17 Types of Love and Attraction You Experience in Dating

So what is the love and attraction you are feeling now?

By Bella
17 Types of Love and Attraction You Experience in Dating

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 is a lot more complicated.

Types of attraction

1.Sexual 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.

2.Romantic attraction

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 clamoured for your parents’ hugs and affection when you were younger.

4.Emotional attraction

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 colour 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.

6.Intellectual attraction

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 too. I think its natural to gravitate towards people smarter than us so that we may subconsciously assimilate some of their behaviours or habits which make them smart.

7.Social attraction

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 likeable 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. Perhaps, you are just in love with the essence of him/her, or his or her beautiful soul. 

9. Protective attraction

We have a natural instinct to protect small or helpless animals, children and people who cannot fend for themselves. Usually, this saviour 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 a friends with benefits situation, 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

11. Liking


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 boyfriend or husband material.Thus, the person usually remains in the friendzone 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 is lacking, and it may be a one-sided affair. 

13.Fatuous love

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 is present in the relationship, however, intimacy is usually lacking and there is very little self-disclosure.

14.Empty love

In this relationship, the love between you and your partner probably died down long ago. The commitment level is high, due to issues which cause you and your partner to stay together, perhaps, to pay off a housing loan or familial commitments. Thus passion and intimacy is 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 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 is 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 newly weds, or couples in their honeymoon phase of their relationship. Couples who are able to make their relationship last for a few years without their love for each other dying out also fall into this category. 

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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 which does not fall into any of the abovementioned categories. Love is abstract, polymorphic and intangible after all.