Home Love & Relationship 11 Different Types of Hugs and Their Meanings

11 Different Types of Hugs and Their Meanings

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If you think every single hug is the same, you’re sorely mistaken. There are so many different types of hugs and you should know all of their differences. Why? Because you wouldn’t want to mistake a friendly hug and someone having feelings for you, would you? No.

That’s why I’m here. Knowing the different types of hugs can save you from extreme embarrassment and even confusion. You’ll be able to know just what people mean when they hug you in different ways. Here’s how you can tell which hug means what.

  1. The Tight Squeeze

You know the hug I’m talking about. The kind that your friend gives you after you haven’t seen each other for way too long. The kind your grandma gives you every time she sees you because she never knows if it’ll be her last. These hugs pull you in and squeeze you so tight your eyes might pop out. These are the hugs that mean the most and have the most emotion behind them. These hugs are the real ones.

  1. The Long Hold

If you’ve ever been hugged long and hard, you know just how meaningful it is. These are the hugs you get from your loved ones who are hurting or from your significant other after a long day. They’re the hugs that say, “I need help,” without uttering a word. They also mean that the person regards you as someone they care for an awfully lot. Hugs like this are used as a means to make the other person feel better. If you get hugs like these just know that the other person sees you as someone who can make them feel much better.

  1. From the Back

These are the sneak attack hugs that shock you and leave you feelings really loved. They’re the hugs from your significant other and they’re really important ones to get. These hugs basically tell you that your partner is feelings especially affectionate toward you. It means they’ve been missing you and are excited to see you again. It’s a very intimate hug that should leave you feeling loved and excited to be in someone else’s embrace.



  1. The Back Stroke

These hugs are very common amongst friends more so than family or lovers. These are the hugs where you embrace and give each other a little back rub with the hug. They’re really common hugs that basically tells the other person that you wish them well and hope they’re doing well. It’s the friendliest hug you can get that’s genuine and meaningful. It’s more than just your average, quick hug. Know when you get this hug that the other person is wishing you well and is actually happy to see you.

  1. The Straddle Hug

If you want to know if someone is trying to get frisky or intimate with you, this is the hug they’ll do. Basically, it’s a hug where one person is elevated and the other person stands between their legs and hugs them. It’s one that requires a lot of emotional trust and openness. That’s why it’s usually only done between couples and people who are romantically involved. It’s sexy, exposed, and usually something done in private.

  1. The Around the Waist

Being hugged around the waist is a very intimate thing for someone to do. By allowing your arms to go above theirs, they’re being very open and vulnerable with you. This is the kind of hug that suggests someone trusts you deeply and is happy to see you. This is also a genuine way of showing someone that you care for them and are in a position to talk and be open with one another.

  1. The Quick Pat

We have definitely all seen this type of huge before. Normally, this happens between two guys who don’t really want to be seen in a hugging embrace with one another because they don’t want to be seen as not masculine. However, this is also a hug that shows two people who are very uncomfortable around each other. If you get hugged very quickly with just a pat on the back, the person is telling you they’re embracing you out of politeness but they would rather not be.



  1. The Slow Dance

This is also known as a lingering hug. Have you ever been in an embrace with someone and just move apart far enough to look at each other, yet your arms were still around each other? That’s this hug. It’s the type where you want to talk to the person, but you don’t want to move away from them because you’re enjoying being in their arms. This is definitely a hug that happens when two people are either dating or want to date. It’s intimate and emotional.

  1. The London Bridge

If you’ve ever had a really awkward hug with someone you didn’t like, this is the kind it would be. This is where you stand far away, but lean your torso in so you barely touch them when you hug. This is an obvious sign that someone doesn’t want to hug you but is only doing so because they have to. AKA, this is the kind of hug you give your weird uncle or the cousin who is always gross and dirty. It’s not a kind hug.

  1. The Alternating Arms

I’m sure you’ve had a hug like this before. Normally, hugs have your arms either going above theirs or below. However, with this kind of hug, you have one arm that goes above one of theirs and the other goes below theirs. This is a very proper, friendly hug. It means they’re happy to be in your embrace, but they don’t feel comfortable enough around you to fully be open. Basically, these are hugs between long-lost friends or people who are just doing it as a formality.

  1. The One Arm Reach

This kind of hug is the one where someone reaches an arm around you in a half hug. It’s used a lot when walking somewhere to just being next to each other on the couch. It could mean a number of different things. When it’s coming from someone you like, it means they want to protect you and hold you close. If it’s coming from just a friend, it means they’re offering their help and comfort if you want it.

Hugs are really not as simple as they seem. There are a lot of complex things involved in the type of hug someone gives you and it’s important to know just what they all mean.

24 COMMENTS

    • This may be a sign of physical attraction. It may also be a sign that he is emotionally attached to you. Either way, it is likely that he wants to develop a relationship with you. If you want to develop a relationship with him, then reach out to him. Speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Ana!

    • These types of hugs are reflections of strong emotional connections. They may be positive signs from family or close friends. They may be signs of attraction from other people in your life. If you want to learn more, then speak directly and honestly with this person about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Candace!

  1. i asked shy guy for hug as he was leaving for good! and I gave him a friendly hug 1 arm under and 1 arm around neck,
    But he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me in very close and hug seemed to go on for at least 10 seconds!
    Help so confused

    • He likely has an interest in developing a relationship with you. He certainly has a strong emotional connection with you. He may think that you are interested in him as well. He may feel very comfortable with you. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. If you want to develop a relationship with him, then speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Sarah!

  2. I have this friend and I call him my brother and he calls me his sister. But he acts like he likes me. He’s always around me and hugs me from behind and if I don’t hug him he gets sad. And people are always telling us it looks like we are dating. But we aren’t. What does this mean

    • It is certainly likely that he has a strong emotional connection with you. His feelings toward you may be stronger than you feelings toward him. He may be interested in establishing a relationship with you. He may be attracted to you. Look inward and determine if you want to develop a relationship with him. It is likely that your relationship would be strong. Have a great day, Emma!

  3. An old school buddy of mine moved in my area after we reconnected on fb after 25 years , we hang out of and on I’m engaged he’s single anyway , we had just hung out with him the night before, but he happened to run into me in a store in the town I love in he lives 45min away, but he sneaks up and surprises me in the store both arms stretched out ,mine above his , but he hugged me really tight and rocked me back and forth and it lasted for 15 which doesn’t seem long but when hugging in a store lol. Anyway does he like me like me …

    • It is likely that he likes you. You said that you are engaged. Focus your emotional energy on your current partner. Share your kindness and compassion with all of the people in your life. If your current relationship ends for a reason unrelated to this person from your past, then feel free to reach out to that person. For now, focus on your current partner. Have a great day, Shelly!

  4. Me and my crush are really close friends. We’re also very used to hugging each other, usually tightly around the waist. He doesn’t like nuzzle my neck or anything but when I snuggle into his neck he smiles brightly. Help.

    • The hugs that the two of you share may be signs of strong emotional connections. They may also be indications of attraction. Take this time to determine if you want to develop a relationship with him at this time. If you do, then speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Give him an opportunity to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, Isabela!

      • Hugs have a variety of meanings. It is likely that you can best determine the meaning of the hug that you shared. You may have felt an emotional touch to the hug. You may have felt attraction. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. If you want to develop a relationship with her, then speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Keef!

    • Hugs have a variety of meanings. It is likely that you can best determine the meaning of the hug that you shared. You may have felt an emotional touch to the hug. You may have felt attraction. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. If you want to develop a relationship with her, then speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Keef!

  5. I brought a girl I like some food while she was at work and we talked for a while. After her break she walked me to my car and hugged me with her arms below mine, and when we ended the hug she left her hand lingering on me and made eye contact with me. What does this meaaaan?

    • This may mean that she appreciates what you have done for her. It may mean that she is interested in developing a relationship with you. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. If you want to develop a relationship with her, then speak directly and honestly with him her about your thoughts and feelings. Give her a chance to share herself with you as well. Have a great day, Dalton!

  6. So i brought this girl I’ve liked since last year some food while she was on break at work. We talked for her whole break and when she had to go back work she walked me out to my car and hugged me and i hugged back. She hugged with both arms below mine and mine above hers and when we separated her hand lingered on my and we made eye contact. What does it mean?

    • This may mean that she appreciates what you have done for her. It may mean that she is interested in developing a relationship with you. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. If you want to develop a relationship with her, then speak directly and honestly with him her about your thoughts and feelings. Give her a chance to share herself with you as well. Have a great day, Dalton!

  7. I’m confused about my feelings towards this guy, but we’ve been kinda friends for a year. We also do plays together, and we’re always casually holding hands or just casually hugging backstage or around other cast members. We never think anything of it, especially bc my hands are ice and he warms them constantly. But when I went to hug him after the matinee, he wouldn’t because there were people still in the audience. Does that mean he probably likes me or doesn’t?

    • It is possible that he is not comfortable sharing his emotional with the public. There are people who do not like to display their affections in this way. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. If you want to develop a relationship with him, then speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Hannah!

  8. My crush and I are friends and we hugged for the first time.He offered the hug.I had one hand wrapped around his back near the neck and he had his hand on my waist.We both rubbed each other’s back.After the hug he could not help it but stare at me.He also walked backwards paying attention to what i was saying.What does this mean ?

    • It is possible that your friend is interested in developing a relationship with you. It is possible that you want to develop a relationship with him as well. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. If you want to develop a relationship with him, then speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Trisha!

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