subscribe: Posts | Comments

We’re Just Friends: Kinds of Attraction You Might Have

According to an article by Sophie Hong, author at CLEO Singapore, if your friend listens while you talk about anything, buys you things, compliments you frequently and smiles when around you, these might be the signs that he has a thing for you! Then soon you might automatically think he is going to go after you and may be considering dropping your pointless friendship to connect romantically. But what if it was like his attraction to cars, antiques or paintings? Would you feel sad? Or think it’s unbelievable?

Many are convinced that if an attraction between opposite sex doesn’t lead to a romantic affair, it’s either delusional or a sad story. But according to Heidee Reeder PhD and author of COMMIT TO WIN: How To Harness the Four Elements of Commitment to Reach Your Goals, different kinds of attraction do exist and develop between opposite sexes. Reeder’s extensive experience in analyzing hundreds of interview transcripts and surveys for both men and women towards their closest friend enabled her to identify four different ways attraction is experienced within the boundaries of friendship.

According to Reed, this can change over time or overlap; and as what we are all aware, one type of attraction for a friend doesn’t mean it’s reciprocated the same way. Here are the 4 kinds of attraction:

Friendship Attraction

Apparently, this type of attraction is neither physical nor romantic in nature, but it is the type of attraction that draws you to someone because you like him/her and enjoy your time together. In short, this is the kind of attraction straight people feel towards their same sex friends.

Romantic Attraction

Basically, this is the kind of attraction that seeks to change the friendship into a romantic partnership. Be that as it may, it is imperative not to confuse this attraction with sexual attraction. Romantic and sexual attraction can go together but it is also possible to have physical attraction to someone without having romantic affairs with them. In Reed’s study, almost half of the respondents said they had romantic attraction to their friend at the earlier stage of their friendship but has lessened now.

Subjective Attraction

It is a physical attraction where engaging into intimacy is desired as part of the relationship. Just like romantic attraction, this can change for a period of time and is more likely to decrease. In Reed’s study, majority of respondents did not have such type of attraction to their friend currently while almost a third of them do.

Objective Attraction

From the word objective which means unbiased, this refers to understanding why their friend is admired generally but not feeling the same attraction by themselves. “This kind of attraction was experienced by over half of the people I surveyed” Reed says.

While studies and media concentrates on the romantic and physical connections that occur between men and women, investigation of cross-sex relationship reveals other information on the bonds that can play between friends of the opposite sex. The movie My Best Friend’s Wedding represents a tiny part of friendships in which romantic attraction stays and grows over time. So the next time you notice your friend showing off signs he/she is attracted to you, challenge yourself to understand and remember that you operate attraction in a variety of ways and by far the most common one is simple and straightforward—friendship.