When we think of falling in love, one of the first things that often pops into our head is love at first sight.
But, this suggests that we fall in love with someone’s looks, rather than the actual person.
You might have found yourself wondering whether or not the opposite can be true.
Can we fall in love with someone we aren’t physically attracted to?
The answer is yes.
In fact, falling in love with someone’s personality actually makes for a longer-lasting relationship.
Let us explain how.
Can love exist without physical attraction?
Yes, it definitely can.
Love can involve an emotional connection, intellectual connection, and a physical connection – and all these connections are completely separate.
If we can love someone based on their looks alone (helllllooooo Chris Hemsworth) then it stands to reason that we can also love someone based on their personality or their mind alone.
There are so many different things that attract us to a man, and it goes much deeper than just looks alone.
For some, it’s a matter of falling in love with their brain. This person challenges you on a daily basis. You love this about them and that’s enough for you. The physical side of things simply doesn’t matter.
You may fall in love with the emotional connection the two of you share. An emotional connection is powerful – and once again can be enough to sustain a relationship.
Does emotional/intellectual attraction always lead to a romantic connection?
Now that we know that the emotional and intellectual connection can be just as strong as a physical one, does one eventually lead to the other?
Appreciating someone’s personality doesn’t mean that you necessarily have deeper feelings for them. This works the same way that appreciating someone’s body doesn’t always mean that either.
It’s about working out whether or not your attraction is love.
Once love is in the picture – which is completely possible – then the romantic side is up to you and your relationship.
You might both be happy sharing an emotional/intellectual love for each other without a huge focus on the physical side of things.
It’s true that at times this attraction does grow into something more – even when you aren’t expecting or willing it to.
You find yourself connected on a deeper level, which you can’t ignore. Even if you don’t find them attractive physically.
Physical attraction often comes in time. The more you fall in love with who they are, the more physically appealing they will become to you over time.
Is sex important in a relationship?
This is one of the questions many people ask themselves when they find themselves attracted to someone they don’t find physically appealing.
Just how important is sex in a relationship?
Many people consider sex the thing that sets a romantic relationship apart from all other relationships in your life.
Without sex, how do you separate this relationship from others?
In this line of thinking, it’s the sexual chemistry that makes the relationship.
But just like everything else in life, just because some people find it important, doesn’t mean you have to. It comes down to your relationship and what the two of you find comfort together.
It’s about setting clear boundaries that might not be so obvious when sex isn’t in the picture.
Acknowledging that this goes further than a platonic relationship and ensuring you’re both on the same page about where you stand and what you want out of the relationship.
Now we know that this emotional attraction is a real thing, here’s why it can lead to love and a lasting relationship: with or without the physical attraction.
15 signs of emotional attraction, and why it makes for a lasting relationship
1) You feel like they “get” you
Finding someone in life who actually gets you is a huge moment.
And it’s not something you want to let go of easily – no matter how you feel about their looks.
Having someone you can communicate with easily and effortlessly is a life goal for many people. And for some, much more important than the physical attraction that often comes with a relationship.
This person understands you on a whole other level as you have never been understood before in life. And this is something worth holding onto.
2) You talk every day
One key indicator of an emotional connection is being able to rely on this person when you need them.
They’re not playing games with you.
They’re here for you when you need them to be.
They won’t leave you waiting when it comes to replying to your texts. They respond quickly when they can.
You find that your conversations go far beyond day-to-day life and you connect with each other daily, often meeting up when you can.
No matter how you feel about this person physically, there’s no doubt you have a connection that’s worth pursuing.
3) You can’t get them out of your head
No, this isn’t a steamy dream about Chris Hemsworth in Thor.
Instead, you find your mind playing over the conversations and laughs you had with this person.
It’s a different kind of steamy – one that pulls at the emotional and intellectual heartstrings. It’s very fulfilling.
You find yourself drawn to this person and they constantly crop up in your mind throughout the day.
Each time, it’s a reminder of just how you feel about them and the connection the two of you have.
4) You share the same values
This is an important one.
When it comes to your personal life and what you want to get out of your life, your values drive everything you do.
Finding someone who shares those same values is important and suggests there’s a future in it for the two of you.
After all, you’re on the same page about the direction you want your life to take, and that’s a huge step.
As you share the same views on family, work, and other core beliefs, you’ll find that the emotional bond between the two of you is stronger than ever.
5) You trust them with your secrets
How many people have you connected within your life that you have felt safe enough to share your secrets with?
My guess is not too many.
Without a strong emotional connection with someone, you might find yourself holding back for a number of reasons.
You’re worried they won’t be able to be the rock you need.
You’re worried they might break your trust and tell someone else.
You’re worried that they simply don’t care.
If you’re in a place in your relationship where you feel comfortable telling him all your secrets, it’s a good sign that you have a strong emotional connection together.
You genuinely both want to share in the ups and downs of life and know you can count on each other for support.
6) You sense each other
When something is wrong with one of you, the other person tends to sense it straight away.
This means you don’t need to walk in and state the obvious: “I had a bad day today”. Instead, your partner will immediately know something isn’t right and step up to comfort you.
This is the makings of a lasting relationship.
Your communication is next level, which means all your emotional needs are being met by someone who intuitively understands you.
7) You don’t get sick of them
It’s no secret that relationships are hard work.
Living with someone and seeing and being with them around the clock can be exhausting. It’s no wonder some people find the need to step away for a breather.
But this isn’t usually the case in an emotional relationship.
No matter how much time you spend together, the relationship doesn’t get old.
You never have those feelings of needing time apart or a breather to yourself.
You simply feel a sense of connection to this other person while you’re in their presence and this is what sustains you.
8) You love all their qualities
When you’re physically attracted to someone, it’s quite easy to overlook some of their ‘not-so-nice’ qualities.
But when the connection is an emotional one, you find that you love everything about them.
Each one of the qualities is one you can relate to and understand and that’s the reason you fell in love with them in the first place.
Whether it’s their amazing sense of humor, their gentle personality, or their kind soul, loving these things about them goes much further than a physical relationship.
This is an attraction that won’t die over the years.
9) You hold each other accountable
This is another great sign of a strong emotional relationship. You hold each other accountable for your actions.
If your partner isn’t living up to what you signed up for, or vice versa, you hold each other to that and bring them back into the fold.
For example, if they start putting different values first and following a new life path, or perhaps they develop some unhealthy habits, you’re the one to tell them and bring them back again.
If it’s you in that position, then your partner will do the same for you.
It’s an important part of any relationship.
10) You don’t mind putting their happiness first
Being able to put someone else’s happiness ahead of your own is a truly selfless act that not many can do. Even when married and in a committed relationship.
It’s the emotional connection that tends to bring this out in people.
You both understand each other’s wants and needs and are willing to compromise to meet them.
Both of you are willing to put the other person’s happiness first if they need it in that moment in time because you understand each other on a much deeper level.
11) It’s the little things that count
Having an emotional connection means that you remember the small things that matter to each other.
Of course, we’re only human, and we all tend to forget things from time to time.
The difference is that in an emotional relationship, you can tell what the other person wants to remember. They let you know in small ways that they’re listening to you.
It makes you feel even more comfortable opening up to them and sharing all the little details in your life as well.
12) You don’t need to fill the silence
Despite the fact that you can talk to this person for hours on end, you simply don’t need to.
When silences happen in the conversation, the two of you are simply happy being there in each other’s presence and are comforted by that feeling alone.
Rather than frantically trying to come up with something to say to break the silence, you sit back and enjoy it together.
13) You care about their opinion
When you’re emotionally attracted to someone, it’s natural for you to want their approval and opinion in all matters of your life.
You know that they have your best interests at heart, which means you can rely on them to offer up an honest opinion on your situation to help you through.
This also takes a large degree of trust, which is important in any relationship. It shows you appreciate their thoughts and you value them as well.
These feelings stem from something much deeper between the two of you.
14) You can be vulnerable with them
In life, there are some things you will face that you’ll find hard to share with others. It will mean letting your guard down.
When you’re in an emotional relationship, this doesn’t matter.
You don’t even think twice about it.
You know you can be vulnerable with this person, without being judged, or made to feel less about yourself.
You can rely on this person no matter what.
15) You love each other’s friends and families
This is a big one.
It’s always nerve-wracking introducing your other half to friends and family.
When you share an emotional connection, you have no issues with this step of a relationship.
You want it to happy and are even the least bit worried about what the other person might think. You have a deeper connection and know the other person will love your friends and family as much as you do because you share the same values and genuinely care about each other.
Why this emotional attraction is so important…
The fact is, while a physical attraction seems like the be-all and end-all at the beginning of the relationship, it isn’t one that stands the test of time.
You actually can’t have a relationship without an emotional connection. Not a lasting one anyway, here’s why:
1) Looks fade
As we age our looks tend to disappear over time. That’s simply the way that life works, as much as we want to bury our heads in the sand in our youth.
It’s easier to just ignore this fact, right?
After a time, you may not find yourself physically attracted to someone anymore, but if the emotional connection is there, you’ll still feel the same love for them you did at the beginning, and that’s what counts.
2) You have a deep connection
That deep connection that is built through an emotional relationship is what ties you both together for the long term.
You talk about your thoughts and feelings, your ups and downs, and everything in between. It’s what brings the two of your together.
Without this connection, your feelings only go surface deep, which won’t last through fights and other hurdles life throws at you along the way.
3) You focus on what’s important
With an emotional connection, you fall in love with a person for who they are and realize this is what matters most in life.
If you’re only in love with someone for their looks, you’re going to face issues over time. You won’t both see the world the same way, or be willing to compromise for each other.
4) It’s always there
An emotional connection is never going to disappear. It’s who the two of you are and it will see you through all things in life.
Unlike looks, you can rely on that emotional connection well into your later years in life. It means your relationship will continue to flourish for years to come.
Does an intellectual relationship work the same way?
The attraction of the mind tends to work quite differently from the emotional or physical attraction.
It’s true that intellectual love can be romantic, and it mostly occurs within more mature minds.
Younger people tend to find the idea of intellectual love boring and dry. Intellectual love is often much harder to maintain than an emotional love for the following reasons:
1) Egos clash
In order to have an intellectual love, both your minds have to be attracted to each other. This means to a degree, you’re on the same level as each other intellectually.
Down the track, this can lead to a clashing of the minds.
When two people have very solid beliefs about how they want to lead their life and why their way is the best, it can be hard to find a middle ground.
2) Too serious
There is truth to the saying that opposites attract.
When you have two intellectual minds in a relationship together, you have two like-minded people getting through life each day.
This can be quite intense and often the fun and spontaneity that often comes with a relationship is missing.
That’s not to say it can’t work. But when you have an intellectual connection without a physical connection, there’s more room for problems to arise in the relationship throughout the years.
Can you fall in love with someone you’re not physically attracted to?
Now that you know exactly what it means to be emotionally attracted to someone, does the physical side seem so important anymore?
While it might be nice to have the trifecta of being emotionally, intellectually, and physically attracted to someone, if you had to choose one, then that emotional connection has the best chance of a lasting relationship.
The emotional connection accounts for the building blocks of your relationship.
It’s what is holding it together.
This is why it’s not only possible but very common to fall in love with someone you’re not physically attracted to.
Compare it to a physical attraction alone.
What sort of future will this relationship have without the emotional connection to go with it? You might find each other on completely different paths in life and traveling towards very different goals.
The relationship is very unsustainable over periods of time.
Especially, since that sexual attraction often dies down later in life. Without a solid foundation for the relationship, there isn’t much left to cling to afterward.
The fact is, this emotional/intellectual attraction isn’t for everyone.
There are some people who need passion and chemistry in their relationship and would never be able to fall in love with someone they don’t feel this way about.
But this is up to the individual.
And just because one person thinks it’s not possible for them, it doesn’t mean it isn’t possible for you.
In order to know where you stand, you have to ask yourself one key question: how important is sex in a relationship?
You can have a very fulfilling relationship without it, but it’s not for everyone. And it’s better to understand this from the beginning before it’s too late.
Finding that spark
A spark in a relationship can stem in many different forms, and it isn’t always a sexual attraction.
While a physical attraction is a thrilling experience, it’s quite often a fleeting one.
Life is messy, and it’s full of ups and downs that you need to be able to navigate with your other half while staying on the same page and sharing the same values.
These shared experiences that you go through together are what bring you together and create a lasting relationship that you can depend on.
Find out what works for you and your partner and make sure you’re on the same page from the beginning about what sort of relationship you’re in and where you see it going.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.