Sexual attraction vs. romantic attraction – is there a difference, and how do you know which one is in question? Sometimes people get confused and overwhelmed by different or new emotions and can’t really tell the difference. If you’re unable to tell if you’re attracted to someone just physically or if there is something deeper, this guide might help you solve this inner dilemma.
Sexual Attraction vs. Romantic Attraction – Is it Hard to Tell the Difference?
For ages, people have been trying to explain the laws of attraction. There are different types of it, and they often intertwine, making it harder for people to distinguish what they are really feeling. A lot of times, sexual and romantic attraction go hand in hand, but that is not a general rule.
No poem or a scientist has ever managed to describe this fine combination of hormonal and emotional activity that makes us “crazy” about some person. If you’re currently facing a dilemma – romantic vs. sexual attraction, this article might help you understand the way you feel better.
When you’re only interested in someone sexually, you only make plans to hook up with them and nothing more. On the other hand, when you’re romantically involved, you’ll want to get in a relationship, and usually, you’ll start making plans right away for things you can do together. You’ll probably want to spend more time with them cuddling, talking, traveling together, and getting to know each other, so it goes much beyond just the physical attraction.
How to Recognize Sexual Attraction?
It is pretty simple to tell if you’re sexually attracted to someone. You can even develop some physical symptoms that are a sign that you’re into someone, such as sweating or increased heart rate. You will also recognize a strong desire to be physically close to your crush and probably think about kissing or having sex with them, which is completely normal. Sometimes these fantasies turn into reality, and sometimes they don’t.
The sexual attraction is important. It can happen that you’re romantically interested in someone and dream about a happy relationship, but if it turns out that there is no “chemistry” or sexual attraction between you two, that might not work. Experts claim that for a quality relationship, you need to feel both types of attraction – if not, you and your partner will probably face some problems, which is when you should seek couples therapy.
This is why it is important to learn how to distinguish romantic attraction vs. sexual attraction and figure out how you feel about someone – do you wish to upgrade your relationship and grow it into something bigger, or you’re fine with the way it is.
Signs of Sexual Tension You Need to be Aware of
Sexual vs. romantic attraction – these are two different things, and it can be easier to distinguish them if you know to recognize the signs that tell you are sexually interested in someone:
- The desire to be around that person – If you are feeling sexually attracted to someone, you’ll want to be with that individual all the time and use every chance to get closer to them.
- Eye contact – You and your crush constantly looking at each other or even staring into each other’s eyes is one of the most common ways of nonverbal flirting.
- Touching – You have a strong desire to physically touch each other, no matter if we’re talking about long hugs or short, almost accidental touches. Even these innocent touches can make sparks fly, so you’ll want to repeat them over and over again.
- Voice changes – You can tell that something is happening if their or your voice changes when you are together. For example, you could notice that your voice suddenly becomes higher and more expressive.
- You laugh more – You’ll probably notice that everything seems funnier when you’re around someone you like. This can also be a sign of nervousness, or you could simply be happier and more carefree, so everything is better and funnier.
- You dream about them – If your crush suddenly pops up in your dreams, that could be your subconscious sending you some signals. You might not be aware that you fantasize about them or trying to neglect the way you feel, but the attraction is strong enough to show up at least somewhere.
- You’ll probably have awkward conversations – This is one of the more unpleasant signs, but people often lose their communication skills for a while when they find themselves around their crush. It doesn’t mean they are bad at communicating, but they simply feel like their tongue gets tied, or they start talking about random things without much sense.
How to Recognize Romantic Attraction?
Being romantically interested in someone is great, but unfortunately, many people are afraid to express their feelings only because they are afraid they might be rejected by the person they like. This is why some choose to stay in a so-called friend zone (hiding romantic feelings and acting like a real friend). However, a friend zone can actually hurt more than a rejection. While rejection is never easy, at least you know where you’re at, and sooner or later, you’ll move on.
On the other hand, if you don’t express your feelings, you’ll stay in a friend zone, potentially hoping your crush will develop the same romantic affection for you. This is equally hurtful as falling for someone who only feels sexual attraction towards you.
You need to consider working on your communication skills and clarify the status with your partner – you can get some great help through therapy and women’s counseling. A lot of times, women who need more time to get over a breakup or even walk away from a bad relationship struggle to open up again and fall for someone new. Therapy for women can really help you build your confidence and start believing in love again.
Signs of Romantic Attraction That Show You Might Be Falling in Love
Besides blushing, there are many other signs that indicate you are starting to have romantic feelings towards someone. Don’t be surprised if your friends and family notice it before you. Here are some signs that might be easy to notice and read:
- You think about this individual a lot – Even if you’re miles away from them, something will still remind you of them, and you’ll want to talk to them about everything that happens to you.
- You feel safe and complete around them – There is no better feeling than when you care for someone, and someone cares for you. This is when you know that you have serious emotions about someone – you are safe around them, and their presence relaxes you.
- Your heart skips a beat when you see them or talk to them – No matter if you plan to see this individual or meet them spontaneously, your heart will skip a beat when you see them, and you might start feeling nervous (or feel the famous butterflies in your stomach).
- You become jealous – You might start feeling like you want this person only for yourself and become jealous of other people in their lives, try to control that.
- You’ll probably start using their slang and habits – You can start developing an interest in some things you never liked before. Picking up the phrases your crush normally uses is another clear sign that you really like this person.
If You’re Feeling Stuck or Confused, Therapy Can Help
In case you’re confused about your emotions and wonder if you need to see a therapist to learn more about dating and self-love or learn how to recognize your emotions, you can always book a counseling session with WOC Therapy. In case you’re experiencing some bigger emotional issues and feel your mental health is in crisis, going to therapy is always a good idea. You might as well need emotional support to get through some hard phases, but after that, you’ll be able to gain emotional clarity and be more reasonable in making important steps in your love life.