What Is the Difference Between Finding Someone Attractive & Being Attracted to Someone?
People often treat attractiveness and attraction as the same thing, but they really aren't. In reality, these two concepts get at similar but different ideas. You can find someone attractive, but you still may not be attracted to them. This distinction may help you better understand your own feelings towards other people.
1 The Grand Distinction
The difference between being attracted to someone and finding her attractive lies in your feelings. Dr. Heidi Reeder, writing for "Psychology Today" online, points out that people experience attraction in different ways. Attraction as many define it is often romantic, in which you desire an emotional relationship, or physical, in which you want a physical relationship, in nature. These forms of attraction aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. Finding someone attractive, on the other hand, just pertains to feeling as though someone is objectively beautiful or appealing, but not wanting a romantic or physical bond with her. Attractiveness can be based on other things, too, such as how similar you are in your hobbies or overall mood. These feelings certainly may overlap -- you can find someone attractive and be attracted to them.
- 1 Psychology Today: Can You "Love" Your Friend
- 2 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Implicit and Explicit Preferences for Physical Attractiveness in a Romantic Partner: A Double Dissociation in Predictive Validity; Paul W. Eastwick et al.
- 3 University of Notre Dame: Attraction and Relationships