The 8 types of attraction between men and women

If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “I like her, but I don’t like-like her”, or the dreaded “I like you…as a friend” then you’ll know that the word “attraction” is simply too broad for all the different ways we can be drawn to another person.

The 8 types of attraction between men and women
The 8 types of attraction between men and women
11 Mar 2015

The 8 types of attraction between men and women

PHOTOS: Ingimage

In an article from Psychology Today, Dr. Helen Reeder said that there are four types of attraction between men and women: friendship attraction, romantic attraction, subjective physical/sexual attraction, and objective physical/sexual attraction. In other words, it’s entirely possible to be attracted to your male or female BFF without necessarily wanting to climb that person like a tree.

But with all due respect to Dr. Reeder (who analysed hundreds of interview transcripts and surveys to devise these four categories), we think that her list could be slightly more comprehensive.

Read on to learn about the four different types of attraction, as well as the others we have noticed in relationships between men and women.

 

1. “Friendship attraction”
1. “Friendship attraction”
11 Mar 2015

1. “Friendship attraction”

Tagline: “You’re like the brother/sister I never had.”

“Friendship attraction” is basically the type of attraction you would feel toward your same-sex friends, except with a member of the opposite sex. Even though you’re not romantically or sexually drawn to each other, he’s the first person you want to talk to every day and the first person you want to talk to every day and the one person you can talk to all night even after spending the entire afternoon together. While this type of attraction tends to bloom into something else, when sustained, it can be a thing of beauty – and convenience (automatic date for movies and weddings? Sign us up!).

2. Romantic attraction
2. Romantic attraction
11 Mar 2015

2. Romantic attraction

Tagline: “I love you.”

Well, this one needs no explanation, but do bear in mind that you can feel this way toward someone without necessarily finding him attractive. Dr. Reeder describes it as the “desire to alter the friendship into a couple relationship.” You know, realising that the person you ruthlessly friend-zoned is, in fact, the One. Go get ‘er!

 

3. Subjective physical/sexual attraction
3. Subjective physical/sexual attraction
11 Mar 2015

3. Subjective physical/sexual attraction

 Tagline: “OMG, so hot.”

In your eyes, the other person possesses pure physical, animal magnetism. You could stare at that face all day. He or she might not be the type that you’d actually marry, but you’d be lying if you said you didn’t occasionally daydream about doing more than just holding hands.

4. Objective physical/sexual attraction
4. Objective physical/sexual attraction
11 Mar 2015

4. Objective physical/sexual attraction

Tagline: “He’d make a great husband…for someone else.”

Here’s where things get interesting. You will be the first to admit that your friend is attractive. You can understand why other people throw themselves at him or her. But for whatever reason, you just ain’t feelin’ it. But this scenario sets you up to be the perfect wingman. You’re more than happy to tout your single, attractive friend to all the worthy candidates, but you wouldn’t get jealous since he’s not your type.

 

5. Spiritual attraction
5. Spiritual attraction
11 Mar 2015

5. Spiritual attraction

Tagline:  “I really like you…as a person.”

Now onto our own categories. Have you ever met someone whom you didn’t have much in common with, but whose values were uncannily aligned with yours? You are attracted to this person’s soul. This person shares your standards of loyalty, commitment, and integrity. They have the same ideas you do about vision, ethics, and hard work. You might not watch the same TV shows, and you might not find each other physically attractive, but you know that this is one guy (or gal!) who would never try to pull any funny business – and who would forgive you anyway if it happened.   

 

6. Entrepreneurial attraction
6. Entrepreneurial attraction
11 Mar 2015

6. Entrepreneurial attraction

Tagline: “We make a great team!”  

This person has all the talents, experience, and abilities that you lack. Not only are you guys friends, but you make an amazing team. Think Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy, Captain America and the Black Widow, or Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. With your brains and his brawn, your pragmatism and his idealism, or your business-savvy and his interpersonal skills, the two of you are completely unstoppable. Sure, you can keep each other company on the weekends, but it’s highly likely that you will also start a company together one day.

 

7. Mental attraction
7. Mental attraction
11 Mar 2015

7. Mental attraction

Tagline: “Talk nerdy to me.”

You guys connect primarily on an intellectual level. You’ve never met a person who had such great taste in music, whose book recommendations were so on-point, or who could be counted on for obscure movie recommendations. Even better, the two of you can go for hours just talking about one film, one article, or the ideological differences between American sci-fi and British sci-fi. He’s the second brain you always wished that you had. You feel smarter just by being around him.

8. Undefined sexual tension (UST) attraction
8. Undefined sexual tension (UST) attraction
11 Mar 2015

8. Undefined sexual tension (UST) attraction

Tagline: “I hate you! But I love you! But I hate you!”

Now we’ve arrived at the most thrilling type of attraction: straddling the thin line between love and hate, a zone that doesn’t seem to exist outside of rom-coms and Jane Austen novels. While it’s pretty rare for men and women who hate each other in real life to fall in love, once you’re in a relationship, it’s entirely possible to feel angry at the person while still finding him irresistible. 

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