Physical attraction is fun. It piques your interest and makes you excited about someone new for some time. But if you're looking to take things to the next level with someone you're into, experts say you may want to learn
how to create emotional attraction.
"All successful romantic relationships need both emotional and physical attraction," relationship expert
Emily Mendez, M.S. EdS, tells Bustle. As many of us know, physical attraction is easy. Research has found that it usually takes between 90 second to four minutes to decide that you like someone. The problem with this however, is that it's fleeting. "Physical attraction can change," Mendez says. Emotional attraction, on the other hand, endures.
According to the Gottman Institute,
emotional attraction means "being attracted not just to your partner’s body, but also to their hearts, minds, and dreams." As Mendez says, "It's what keeps both partners engaged and invested in the relationship over the long haul."
emotionally attracted to someone, you're more likely to invest much more of your energy into pursuing a relationship with them. "For example, when you find yourself suddenly sexually attracted to a long time friend, it's usually because the two of you developed a solid emotional connection first," Mendez says. That deeper connection makes you want to keep that person in your life in comparison to someone you just have a surface-level attraction to.
So here are some ways to create an emotional attraction with someone you're interested in, according to experts.
Give Them Your Undivided Attention
"Presence is powerful," licensed professional counselor
Julie Williamson, tells Bustle. You don't necessarily need to have an in-depth conversation to establish an emotional attraction and connection with someone. "Being present and fully attuned to what the person you're interested in is saying can communicate genuine care and interest," she says. So whenever you're around them, eliminate any distractions. Put the phone on silent and give them your full and undivided attention. It may not seem like much. But as Williamson says, it can lead you to listen better, which can help you ask more "intentional questions" to keep the conversation going.
Make Meaningful Eye Contact
Nina Rubin, Life Coach and Relationship Expert, tells Bustle that the foundation of an emotional attraction doesn’t have to be content or story-based. It does, however, need to be feelings-based. "When you relate to the other person with genuine empathy and positive regard, an emotional connection can be made," Rubin says. One way to do that is to make meaningful eye contact. Don't make eye contact because you think you have to. Do it because you're genuinely interested in what they have to say.
Enjoy The Superficial Stuff Later
As dating and relationship coach Laurel House
the "Man Whisperer", tells Bustle, relationships that move super fast early on typically end up burning out pretty quickly because they're often built on superficial grounds. But when you make that the basis of your relationship, House says you end up falling in love with those aspects of them and not necessarily the real person behind that. That's why working on the emotional attraction first before the physical stuff is important. "If you want to build a love that lasts, think about a skyscraper — create a foundation first," she says. "Go down before you go up. Create your foundation down deep, then enjoy the superficial stuff later."
Turn Your Shared Interests Into Shared Experiences
One of the best ways to create an emotional attraction is to turn your shared interests into shared experiences, dating coach
Anna Morgenstern tells Bustle. For instance, if the person you're interested in is someone you see on your hike every morning, strike up a conversation. Turn that thing you typically enjoy doing by yourself into an experience you can share with that person. Who knows? One conversation can turn into two, and then it can become a regular thing. "After the shared experience, offer to grab some drinks and do your best to flirt," she says. "Let them know you're open to taking the friendship to the next level by smiling, laughing and touching their arm every so often."
Don't Play It Safe When It Comes To Talking About Yourself
"The only way to create an emotional attraction is to make the decision to be vulnerable," House says. That means, you don't always have to stick to "safe" subjects like your career, your pet, or how your weekend went. "Get raw," she says. "Open up and share." Remember, emotional attraction is supposed to be deep. If you treat the person you're interested in like a casual acquaintance, they're going to keep seeing you as that even if they are interested. If you want something more, don't be afraid to open up and be a little too honest about yourself.
Be Around Them As Often As You Can
If you want to build an emotional attraction with someone you're intrested in,
Andi Forness, Online Dating Coach tells Bustle to utlilize your five senses. For instance, if you want to build an emotional attraction to someone you met online, but haven't met IRL, use your voice. Pick up the phone and call them or leave voice texts. According to her, these can help to start increasing the emotional attraction between the two of you. If it's someone you see regularly, try to be around them as often as you can. This can help build and keep a connection between you and the person you like.
For the most part, people enjoy being around people who can make them feel comfortable and relaxed. So if you want to build an emotional attraction with someone, Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for
Maple Holistics, tells Bustle, just enjoy spending time with that person in the moment. "Try not to think about the future or worry that they won’t become emotionally attracted to you," Backe says. "You’re more likely to form an emotional attraction with the person you want when you’re relaxed." In other words, don't overthink it.
Similar to physical attraction, doing any or even all of the above can't guarantee that the person you like is going to feel emotionally attracted to you. But these things can open up the possibility of having a bond that goes beyond the surface-level stuff. So if you're interested in having a more emotional connection with someone, stay open, relaxed, and fully present whenever you're around them. You may be surprised to see where that takes you.