How do I know whether my relationship will last? Is this the real deal? At one point in life, everyone asks themselves these questions. Getting answers is hard because love is a complex emotion. What?s more, not knowing the definition of romantic attraction throws a spanner in the works.
The truth is, there are many different types of attraction. However, for most relationships, romantic attraction is essential. Without it, breakups are more likely. So, what is this type of attraction? How can you differentiate it from other types? How can you sustain it in a long term relationship?
Romantic attraction is a combination of emotional and sexual connections. It makes one ready for physical, emotional, and mental intimacy in a relationship. It is hard to differentiate from sexual attraction because both are exciting and overwhelming feelings.
Are you questioning what type of attraction you feel toward your long term partner? Have you just met an attractive guy, and are wondering whether what you feel is the romantic attraction? Below is a breakdown of the difference and signs of this feeling
- Romantic attraction is a combination of emotional and sexual connections.
- Without romantic attraction, relationships do not work.
- Professional counselors can help you understand and deal with romantic attraction.
Is It the Same as Sexual Attraction?
The jury is still out on whether romantic and sexual emotions go hand in hand. Some people have felt romantic feelings without sexual urges and vice versa. We will discuss this in detail further along in this article. What is obvious, though, is that the two types of attraction are very different.
The sexual attraction is simply the urge to be physically intimate with someone. It is one of the basic, most primal instincts humans have. It is commonly referred to as lust. When you see a good looking person and immediately picture their thick biceps wrapped around you, that?s sexual attraction
Note that sexual attraction is simple, immediate, and quite shallow. It does not look beyond the physical attributes. Most times, it leaves no room for consideration of personality, likes, dislikes, or the future. All it wants is a roll in the sack, so to speak.
Romantic attraction, on the other hand, takes all these things into account. It makes you curious about the other person?s personality, interests, and ambitions. It makes you want to buy special gifts that they will love. Wanting to spend your life with that person is the most distinguishing quality of this type of emotion.
6 Signs to Watch Out For
How do I tell if what I am feeling is the real deal? First off, you should know that relationships based solely on sexual attraction do not last. So, if you only want to bed that guy, you should ask yourself whether you feel more than lust. That said, below are six signs that what you have is a romantic feeling.
You Notice Little Things About Him
Can you tell when he creases his brow in annoyance, or when he lets out a genuine giggle? Perhaps you are so in tune with each other?s emotions that you can tell when he is uncomfortable in a social situation. It is a sign that you have a romantic attraction to him.
Most people would not notice these subtle changes in your partner?s behavior and looks. But, because you care about him, you do. What you feel is more than lust; it is love.
You Constantly Do Something Special for Him
When you walk by a book store and see a book he loves, do you rush in to buy it for him? Maybe you know how he likes his toast and makes them exactly the same way. At times, you opt for grand gestures that he appreciates.
When you are constantly finding ways to express your love to someone, it is a sign of deep emotions. It means that you care so much about that person that you want to let the whole world know. Grand gestures have always been a hallmark of romance.
You Can Enjoy Time Together Without Sex
Can the two of you cuddle for hours just because? Do you go on dates, take vacations and spend a lot of time with each other? Do you enjoy each other?s? company? If so, what you are feeling is a romantic attraction.
Lust leaves no room for more than a hookup. In most cases, people who do not have romantic feelings do not spend much time with each other. If they do, it always leads to physical intimacy.
You Have Thought About Living Happily Forever After with Him
Marriage is not for everyone. But, if you have romantic feelings toward someone, you will want to be around them for a long time. Most times, these feelings lead to marriage, kids, and growing old together.
Even if you do not want to get married just yet, these feelings will make you spend your days with your partner. You might choose to see each other often, move in together, or even get married. Wanting to share your life with each other is proof of a deeper emotional connection.
You Can List Several Qualities That You Love About Him
If you love nothing about the guy, you probably should not be together. For romance to blossom, there must be several things that you love about your spouse. It is quite common for women to fall in love not for physical looks but because of positive attributes.
You Can Be Emotionally Vulnerable Around Him
Can you let your guard down around him? Are both of you comfortable with expressing your emotions to each other? Being open and honest is one of the key qualities of a healthy, romantic relationship. It is proof that you trust each other enough to show your weaknesses.
When to Be Cautious About Romantic Attraction
Everyone needs love. At one point or the other, every human being seeks out companionship. The downside to this is that it may not always be the right time or person.
It is good to be cautious if you experience any of these:
- Constant urge to be with someone ? you should learn how to be okay on your own; leaving one relationship and heading into another immediately is a bad idea.
- Inability to express romantic feelings to your partner ? you need to find out why you cannot express your emotions.
- Obsessing over past romantic relationships ? if you are finding it hard to let go of a past lover, you might need professional help.
- Unexplained fear of romantic relationships ? if you are too scared, yet you need companionship, you should find out what is holding you back.
For romantic attraction to bear fruit, you have to be emotionally and mentally whole. As they say, you cannot give what you do not have. If you are not happy, fulfilled, and in love with yourself, you cannot make your partner happy.
Romantic Attraction FAQ
Do you still have doubts about what you are feeling? The truth is, romantic attraction is such a vast topic that one article may not cover completely. However, the answers to these common questions about romance might give you clarity.
How Can I Tell If I Like Someone in a Romantic Way?
If you care about a person enough to want to spend time with them, you might have romantic feelings for them. Other signs are enjoying time spent together, and getting to know them on a deeper emotional level.
Can I Have Romantic Attraction Without Sexual Feelings?
Yes, it is possible. Asexual people are not interested in sexual relationships. However, they still have needs for companionship, love, and mutual consideration. Their needs are fulfilled in romantic relationships.
How Can I Tell If Attraction Is Mutual?
Reciprocation is the biggest sign of mutual romantic attraction. If your partner seeks you out, spends time with you, and cares about you just as much as you do him, that means it?s mutual.
Can Sexual Attraction Lead to Romantic Relationships?
Over time, sexual attraction can lead to emotional attachment. If the emotions are reciprocated, a romantic relationship can develop out of it. It is not uncommon to hear about people who got married years after what was to be a one-night-stand.
When to Seek Help
Do romantic relationships always work? No. Like everything else in life, relationships are tested in numerous ways.
If you are uncertain about how you feel towards your partner, talking to a professional might help. It does not matter whether your uncertainty stems from a new relationship or one that has been around for a while. What matters is that you are confused about how you feel.
Talking to a therapist might stop you from getting into a one-sided relationship, or passing up on a potentially good one. It is even better if you can get your therapist on the phone for a quick session whenever you need it.
We have an online therapy service run by licensed professionals. Our experienced therapists can help you understand whether what you are feeling is a romantic attraction. Because our goal is to help you improve yourself, we let you access therapy at your convenience.
We offer 24/7 access to your therapy room. For your convenience, you can schedule sessions at whatever time you like. If you need to, you can switch therapists at any time. We do not charge any extra fees for the switch.
Have you had enough of the confusion in your love life? Are you ready to sort out your feelings once and for all? Use our services today!
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has worked in healthcare since 2017. She primarily treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, and grief, as well as identity, relationship and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience has focused on individual and group counseling, emergency counseling and outreach.Read more