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.

71 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, I’ve known this guy for over 20 years and always thought of each other as family, he lives in another state but over the past 20 plus years he always come visit his family here and I’m close to his family he always ask me for a hug which he places his arms around my waist it’s always last for a long period of time then he kisses my neck and whisper in my ear, look what you do to me. I’m confused because I thought we were like family.

    • He is interested in developing a relationship with you that includes physical interactions. Take this time to determine if this is what you want for your relationship. 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, Carolyn!

  2. Hi, there is a guy I have known for the better part of 20 years and we recently ran into one another again. The physical attraction is obviously there, but he has a long distance girlfriend he doesn’t see much. We have hung out together as friends, and each time he leaves, he makes sure to give me a hug. Not the one-arm, not a half a**, full embrace, bodies touching, embracing hug. One of these times he also kissed my forehead after the fact. He said he highly respects me and doesn’t want to do anything that would ruin the friendship he hopes to have with me because he wants to be a “handy, good looking friend.” But has also admitted to just wanting to be around me for selfish reasons that he doesn’t know why he does, he just does. Help!? I am so confused. I try to pay attention to his hugs a little closer each time, and they are always full embraced, chin on my shoulder, “You smell good” type of hugs.

    • It is highly likely that he is interested in developing a relationship with you. If he is in a relationship, then do not attempt to establish a relationship with him at this time. Continue to share your kindness and compassion with him. Take this time to determine what you want with this relationship. Speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Ashley!

    • If you are interested in developing a relationship with someone, and you are concerned that you are unable to flirt with them through hugs, then speak directly and honestly with them about your thoughts and feelings. If you do not want to be direct, then simply attempt to spend additional time with them in person. Have a great day, Hannah!

  3. What can you say about this hug?
    He’s a 19 year old male befriending with 12 year old girl. His arms are wrapped around her back and her arms are wrapped around his waist under his arms. Her head is leaning towards the neck of him and their pelvis to pelvis attached. They are both smiling and the 12 year old girl said it’s an older brother/friendly hug but it’s too close and full frontal contact. I am just concerned for the girl.

    • If you are concerned about this hug, then speak with the girl and her parents about your thoughts and feelings. If you are comfortable, then speak with the 19 year old as well. Continue to monitor their actions if you believe that his actions may lead toward illegal behaviors. Have a great day, Joy!

  4. Today a man I am interested in hugged my friend to say thanks – it was a brief one armed hug. He then came and hugged me. Two arms, longer hug than my friend got and two long squeezes. After the hug he made eye contact. What could this mean?

    • It is likely that he feels a stronger emotional connection with you that he does with this other people. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. 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, Charlie!

        • There are many hugs with a variety of meanings. Your best option is to take this time to determine what you want for your future. 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, Rolex!

          • Thank you so much
            But I wanna confess u something dat ummm
            Actually I had already proposed him last year but he was like not interest in relations now as he is not frm ma nation
            V have many differences in culture traditions and language
            Actually I can’t live without him I tried to love someone else instead of him but aah I can’t
            PLSs let me knw wht shld I do to make him to ma way and aftr all he is ma best friend too
            V both shares everything with each other
            Hope u will help me❤️

          • It sounds as though the two of you are no longer in a relationship. It sounds as though the two of you are not living in the same country. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. 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, Rolex!

  5. Today a man I am interested in hugged my friend to say thanks – it was a brief one armed hug. He then came and hugged me. Two arms, longer hug than my friend got and one to two long squeezes. After the hug he made eye contact. What could this mean?

    • It is likely that he feels a stronger emotional connection with you that he does with this other people. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. 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, Charlie!

  6. I work with this guy and whenever we see each other, he initiates a hug. Usually he pulls me in close, side hug, my arm around his waist, his around my arms, a strong, tight hug. At times, I notice he’ll pull me in to hug from the front and press me into him, chest to chest.

    • It is possible that he is interested in developing a relationship with you. It is possible that he feels a strong emotional connection with you. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. Speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Allow him to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, Chris!

  7. Hi. There’s this guy I dated. Not really for long. It was less than 6 months or so. It was great while it lasted. It was a really complicated situation that’s why we couldn’t continue our relationship. Long story short. It ended. We were devastated. We saw each other again after 3 or 4 years coincidentally. I was just about to say a casual hi but he pulled me into a long and tight hug and called my name. I was taken aback. So I hugged him back. Both of us have long time partners so I don’t think a hug was appropriate. Got me really confused.

    • Both of you are in a relationship. There is no reason to establish a relationship with this person. If you believe that the hug was inappropriate, then ensure that you do not risk your relationship for this person. Focus your emotional energy on your partner. Have a great day, Lisa!

  8. Hi, I have been seeing this guy for days. What does it mean when he wants to hug me? He mentioned he likes it when I hugged him from behind?

    • He has shared his emotional connection with you. He enjoys being near you. He likely is interested in developing a relationship with you. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. 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, Chick!

  9. hey so I always meet with a good friend and I’m pretty sure everytime we hug I always hug around her neck you know? And she obviously hugs my body I was wondering if there was a difference in the placement of our arms and what they mean. Like my more neck hug and her more body or I guess waist hug, what do they mean?

    • It is possible that she may have different meanings with her hugs. She may be in a different emotional or social mindset. The best way to determine the meaning behind her hugs is to speak with her. Regardless of her meaning, it is clear that she cares for you. Have a great day, Maggie!

  10. Been dating this guy for a few months, and every time we see eachother I never get to leave without a hug it’s always my arms around his waist and both his arms around my shoulders he squeezes me like a bear and always says text me when you get home.

    • It is possible that he is interested in a developing a relationship with you. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. 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, Vicki!

  11. There’s this super shy girl that I like, and I think she likes me back, but I went to give her a hug the other day and she didn’t want to. I asked her about it later and she said she doesn’t want a hug, because it might give other people the wrong idea. I think she likes me because we constantly talk and flirt, but she
    Is really shy. What does all this mean?

    • If she does not want people to see you hug, then her feelings may be less strong than yours are. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. Speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings. Give her an opportunity to share herself with you as well. Respect her desires as you move forward. Have a great day, Tim!

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