The Psychology of Attraction: what attracts us to certain people?

Attraction to certain people is a phenomenon that has always been a subject of interest and research in the field of psychology. As a psychologist who deals with relationships between men and women, the question “Why are we attracted to certain types of people?” is very common in my work.

Attraction is an inexplicable feeling that “pulls” us towards a certain person. If you notice the tendency that you feel attracted to men and women who are the same person with a different face, then you must be wondering what the reason is. The more interesting question that excites all of my clients is whether the attraction can turn into real love or is due to something else.

Why do we feel attracted to someone and how can we tell if that strong feeling is real love or something else? I will try to answer these questions in the following lines.

What makes us feel strongly attracted to someone?

Being attracted to certain types of people and repeating certain patterns in our relationships is based on a complex combination of physical, psychological and emotional factors. This phenomenon not only shapes our intimate relationships but also influences our decisions.

Each factor plays a role in how much and why we feel attracted to someone. In my practice, we often discuss the factors to consider next to help my clients realize why they are experiencing this strong magnetic feeling for someone and if there is a deeper meaning to it.

  • Physical attraction

When we meet someone to whom we feel a strong attraction, it is most likely initially due to that person’s attractive appearance. Physical beauty is relative, but there are people who exude a strong charisma and often become the object of a strong attraction to another person.

  • Attraction on a psychological level

Besides appearance, psychological aspects also play an important role in attraction. People are usually attracted to those with whom they share common interests, values, goals and beliefs. A shared sense of humor and intellectual compatibility can also be factors that attract you to someone. This coincidence may be due to seeking a sense of closeness and connectedness with another person.

  • Emotional connectedness

We are emotional beings and it is extremely important for us to create connectivity not only on a physical level but also on an emotional level. People are drawn to those who show them attention, care and understanding. When we find someone who understands us and with whom we can share our emotions, a strong emotional connectedness develops. Emotional intelligence and the ability to express ourselves emotionally are important to creating long-term and healthy relationships.

How long does sexual attraction last?

Most often, the primary force sensation, which we call attraction, represents a sexual desire for a specific person. This attraction is very likely to be mistaken for falling in love, but very often remains only on a physical level.

Sexual attraction can be explained by the creation of different chemical processes in the brain, in which the hormones dopamine and oxytocin are released. These processes can amplify the attraction and make it more intense, but their duration can vary.

Some people may experience intense sexual attraction to a particular person for a short time, while others may experience longer-lasting attraction that lasts for months or even years. The duration of sexual attraction can also be affected by the creation of an emotional bond between two people. If people connect emotionally, this can increase the duration of their attraction.

The duration of sexual attraction is an individual and complex topic that depends on multiple factors. It is important to clarify that there is no single “right” way to experience sexual attraction, and all relationships are different.

Why do we always attract the same type of partners?

Another question, which is again related to attraction and excites many of the people I work with, is why our relationships always go the same way. This again depends on several factors:

  • Comfort zone

We usually feel comfortable and secure in relationships with people we already know and have been able to build successful relationships with. These patterns are familiar and preferred because they are associated with positive emotions and memories.

  • Similar physical traits

When we are attracted to certain physical and psychological traits, we tend to look for people who fit these criteria. This cycle can repeat itself because people continue to look for partners with similar appearance and character traits.

  • Unfinished business from the past

If you have unresolved issues or misunderstandings from previous relationships, they may steer you towards similar relationships because that’s how you think you’ll find the answers you’re looking for.

Difference between attraction and love?

Attraction is usually the first stage in a relationship between two people. It is based on physical attraction, chemical reactions and sexual desire. Attraction often involves a desire for closeness and intimacy, but not a deepening emotional bond. It is a temporary and superficial stage that may be based on external criteria such as a person’s appearance.

Love is a more complex and enduring feeling that develops after attraction and involves deeper and more sincere emotions. It involves caring, mutual respect and a willingness to express support for the other person. Love usually leads to stable and long-term relationships in which both partners strive for co-development and a happy existence.

There is also an essential relationship between attraction and love. Very often a strong physical attraction brings two people together between whom love can be born. Attraction can be the initial impulse that is felt at the beginning of a relationship. The awareness of sexual attraction and the chemical bond can be very strong, but it does not always lead to love. Love develops more slowly and is built on a foundation of trust, empathy and emotional intimacy.

Attraction can be a temporary feeling and changes over time, while true love remains stable and enduring. The degree of attraction can vary according to the different people it is felt for and change with new encounters and opportunities. However, love can remain steadfast and grow with time. It is expressed by the desire to give care and happiness to the other person. Love involves respect for the partner’s needs, desires and boundaries. Attraction, on the other hand, can be more self-centered and focus primarily on the satisfaction of personal desires.

Attraction and love are two different stages in interpersonal relationships. Attraction can be the beginning of a relationship, but it becomes stronger and more stable when it turns into true, mutual and lasting love.

How can we change our patterns of attraction?

Changing attraction patterns requires awareness, introspection and practice. If you often find yourself in repetitive relationships that always end in a disappointing way for you, it may be time to rethink what is causing this and how to change the patterns that are not working in your favor.

Start by becoming aware of your habitual patterns of attraction. How are we attracted to people? What attracts you to the opposite sex? What type of people do you have relationships with? Think about these questions to find the answers you’re looking for. You might seek help from a professional to guide you on how to recognize your patterns of attraction.

Sometimes the problem lies in a lack of self-confidence. Work on your self-esteem and accept and love yourself as you are.

To change your patterns of attraction you need to forget about your current habits regarding dating. Try getting out of your comfort zone and open yourself up to new opportunities and people who may not fit your usual attraction patterns.

Reflect on your previous relationships and try to learn valuable lessons from them. This experience can help you avoid repeating negative attraction patterns.

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