What is the difference between “emotional attraction” and “physical attraction?” While there are varying opinions on this matter, I’ll share the general consensus from men I have asked to put their feelings into words.
Physical attraction is the desire to look and touch because what you see is pleasant to look at or arousing on a biological level. Basically, your sexual desire is triggered.
Emotional attraction is a feeling that you want to kiss someone on the mouth and meld the story of your life with hers. You want her to love you back and you feel a possessive romantic drive to be important to her – to share life with her.
Physical attraction is far simpler, and far less sustainable than emotional attraction. It is more of a one-sided attraction (at least the way men feel it). This may or may not be a surprise to you, but men can feel a sexual attraction toward a woman without necessarily feeling a need to posses her exclusively. It’s kind of like he can feel a wild biological drive to have sex with a woman without much concern for what she does the next day (non-possessive physical attraction).
On the opposite side, emotional attraction is driven by the respect a man feels for a woman he would like to experience a two-way relationship with. He wants her to think highly of him and respect him. He wants her to value him above all the other men she could be with. Emotional attraction is necessary for him to experience a true, deep sort of jealousy when her interest seems to be drifting toward another man. It is a possessive desire for shared oneness.