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.

182 COMMENTS

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. There is a guy who seems to be so interesting to me. We first met 1 year ago. At first, whenever I asked….he used to meet me & tried to hug me so tight for a long time & even kissed me. But nowadays he’s not even interested in meeting me. So did he change ? Is he a flirt ?? Am i a time-pass candidate for him ???

    • It is possible that he was uncertain or confused about your feelings for him. His feelings may have changed for you as well. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. Speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Marie!

  4. I’ve known a guy online (we never met personally) for almost two years, and I woke up today with him in my dream, he first kiss me on the cheek then hug me from behind. So when I woke up I send him a message asking him if his okay, because my interpretation of my dream is he may not be okay, and then he told me that he didn’t like me dreaming of him, I never think of him before I sleep so I didn’t see any connection why his in my dream.

    • He has shared his thoughts and feelings with you. There may be a reason why he is not interested in having you dream about him. 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, Jhane!

        • There are a wide range of possibilities. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. Your best option is to be direct. Have a great day, Jhane!

          • Thank you, I guess I’ll go just naturally, if ever that there’s something fate will do something about it. 😊

          • It’s off topic, but I do have a dream again last night seeing him on a hike, it’s like I am heading towards him.

          • Your dreams are reflections of your desires and influences. Determine what you want and take appropriate action. Have a great day, Jhane!

          • Hi good day!

            Can i ask, i do have a dream of a guy whom I never met in person. I saw him staring at me, what does it mean? I only met him online though

  5. I’m a female. One of my male friends of 2 years has hung out with me and my sister a few times. He’s in a relationship with kids. My sister, he and I are all friends.

    The last time the 3 of us went out for a gathering, he hugged both of us as greeting when we saw him. However, I did not notice how he hugged my sister, but when I went out with him alone the other day (my sister was back in another state), I became aware that his hands were on the top of my bum, even though it was one-handed.

    Does that mean something? Or could this be a habit that he has developed, as in how he hugs his girlfriend? We talk like friends and nothing flirtatious, but he has planned future events such as movies, etc. I know he used to admire me a lot, and I have actually declined going out with him using excuses such as busy studying. What could he have meant in his hugs?

    • He is in a relationship. It is possible that he feels a close connection with you. Do not entertain his advances. Allow thoughts of him to fade. Do not attempt to damage his relationship. Have a great day, Snowflake!

  6. My partner and I have been together for 3 years. He hugs me really closely and tightly whenever we see each other. He’s strong. Before he would almost squeezed my lungs that I felt like they would collapse from the pressure. After I told him I couldn’t breathe, he has hugged tightly but less forcefully, but that’s how tight he hugged me. However, he always has both of his arms around my upper back. Sometimes I would adjust his one arm so that he embrace my lower back as well, because I feel more secure this way, as my full body is protected. I thought when 2 people are in a relationship, the man would usually put one or both arms on lower body. Is that true? How come my partner has both arms on my upper body?

    • People hug in different ways for a variety of different reasons. It is clear that he feels a strong emotional connection with you. Do not concern yourself at this time with his type of hug. Speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Selena!

  7. Hi, So This Boy Named Khamari That I Like Know I Like Him Because My Friend Told Him Came Up Behind Me And Wrapped His Arms Around My Waist From Behind And Is Always Talking About How I Like Him To His Girl Bestfriend. What Does This Mean??

    • 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, Deborah!

  8. I have a friend of mine that whenever he hugs me he lingers his arm and hand through the back of my waist to the front slowly and today he hugged me and lifted me off the ground and a tight bear hug type way

    • 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, Hailee!

  9. I have a friend who is a male and I’ve only seen him that way. He has always shown some slight interest in me but a girl can never be to sure. Yesterday he hugged me in a very weirdly intimate hug. He walked over to me, put him arms over me, hugged me really tight. It was chest to chest when I say really tight it was really tight. Then his head was in my neck and he sounded like he was smelling me. The hug lasted literally maybe 3-4 minutes of just being in that position until he let go. I don’t understand what this means. Boys are very confusing any intel about this behavior could help me determine what to do with it. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply!

    • 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, Lilian!

  10. I get that you basic advice is to talk to the other person after deciding what it is the asked wants. I imagine it will be no different for me.

    I do wonder what, if anything, do you think about inconsistent hugs mean. Me & my guy friend, both guys, who are a little gay. I’ve had sex with a dude & he’s done oral when he was younger.

    We’ve cuddled, we’ve gotten close over the years but his hugs are inconsistent so I’m confused. At times he’ll hug from behind, front, close with pelvis touching, and other times, he’ll do the bridge and keep his distance. I mean, when I was sad he jumped on top of me & even let me kiss him on the cheek.

    I was going to just ask him but I’m afraid of ruining the friendship. I’ve been combing the net but it seems my situation is unique & risking the friendship is the only way. 😞

    • It is clear that the two of you have a strong emotional connection with each other. You two also may be sexually attracted to each other. Simple advice is often the best. Determine what you want. Take appropriate action. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Give him an opportunity to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, ひろ!

      • I really appreciate the response & I guess I know the simplest advice could be the best.

        You’re right, we definitely have the emotional connection but even I see this guy as a brother but occasionally those feelings change.i guess I need to figure out what I want first and go from there. I know I want to always be best friends but that’s it.

        Still, thanks again.

        • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Please feel free to share more of your insights and experiences in the future. Have a great day, Hiro!

  11. Hi, my brother inlaw pulled me in for a long full body hug, he held onto the lower part of my back. We didn’t talk, just stood there hugging. I am really confused what this means??

    • It is likely that he felt that it was appropriate to hug you in that way. It is possible that he is attempting to share other thoughts with you. Take this time to determine what you believe is appropriate. If you believe that he needs to change his actions, then speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Sam!

    • I hooked up with this guy a couple times, and when I saw him after a few days he hugged me and asked if I wanted to hang out this weekend. If he’s interested, why didn’t he try to kiss me? Does the hug mean he was feeling guilty and was trying to politely friendzone me? I think I’m over thinking it, but without asking him about it it’s driving me crazy

      • This person asked you to spend time with him. This means that he wants to nourish a social or emotional relationship with you. He may have hugged you for a variety of reasons. It is likely that he felt shy or uncertain of your feelings, and that may have prevented him from kissing you. See him this weekend and nourish your relationship. Have a great day, Stacy!

  12. Hi. So i’ve got this friend (my best and only friend) and she just LOVES hugs… and i don’t.
    She would just hug me out of nowhere. Not just a pat on the back or ‘the back stroke’ but a freaking 5 MINUTES LONG ONE. I mean… no one could be confortable hugging for that long…
    She would suddenly hug me from the back and put her head on my shoulder, put her arm around my waist and such. I rarely even hug my own parents for gods sakes…
    And i don’t have the guts to tell her to stop and make her sad 🙁 i thought maybe i was being weird for not liking it. There’s a group of girls in our class that would just get in a long group hug and stay like that for minutes. And whenever this happens i feel left out, so i convinced myself to just ‘go in’.
    It didn’t get any less uncomfortable…
    What should i do? 🙁

    • Your friend is interested in hugging you. It is likely a social and emotional connection that she wishes to share with you. If you are not fond of hugs, then determine what you believe is most appropriate for this relationship. It is possible that hugs ensure that she feels positive. Speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Zahra!

  13. I have a friend ( Probably the only Friend I feel love with ) who squeezes me Super tightly and hugs me from the back often and since I’m not really a hugger I don’t know what to do with my hands in time and I’ll be standing there awkwardly.

    • This friend may be interested in developing a relationship with you. It is possible that they simply feel 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 your friend about your thoughts and feelings. Give you friend an opportunity to share themselves with you as well. Have a great day, Roseanna!

  14. Ok so theirs this guy and we are friends but when we went to jump time he kept on hugging me from behind and putting his head on my neck and when we said goodbye he hugged me by the waist so I’m confused cause I’ve always liked him but he doesn’t know

    • It is possible that he is interested in developing a relationship with you. He clearly feels a strong emotional connection with your. 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, Lydia!

      • Thank you for sharing your positive comment. Please feel free to share more of your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Logan!

    • It is possible that close physical connections have a strong emotional component for you. Allow these thoughts to influence you in a positive direction. Treat everyone in your life with kindness and compassion. This will ensure that positive energy and people will enter into your life. Have a great day, Prajna!

  15. My close frenemy friend gave me a strange hug yesterday. Only with one arm as we were saying our goodbyes. It was unexpected, as he did hugged me before (same but shorter) he held me tight with just one arm around my shoulders and it lasted more than 10 seconds. What does it mean??

    • It is certainly possible that he feels a strong emotional connection with you. 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, Josie!

  16. When I hug my partner, even though I’m taller I will stand on my toes. I’m not really sure why but I feel weird doing this, so I guess what I’m saying is, when you hug someone, what footing should you have?

    • It is possible that your actions are caused by your emotional connection with this person. It is clear that you feel a strong emotional connection with this person. There is no proper footing. Allow your actions to be manifestations of your emotions. Have a great day, Danny!

  17. I’m a male and a female friend hugs me with the london bridge, but she is the one who usually starts talks in person and when we do hug, it’s warm and she’s smiling and it doesn’t feel awkward. What does this usually mean?

    • It is certainly possible that she feels a strong emotional connection with you. She may view you as a friend or she may want to develop a relationship with you. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. Attempt to spend additional time with her in person, as this will strengthen your relationship. Have a great day, Pen!

    • Thank you for sharing your positive comment. Please feel free to share more of your thoughts and feelings in the future. Have a great day, Pramod!

  18. I’m a girl and my bestie is a girl as well(actually she’s my soul sister n a lot more than a bestie).She herself expressed that she loves longer and tighter hugs.we sometimes ask for hugs as well.The thing is when I hug the very first thought that comes to mind is she comfortable or not n second thing is I get confused where to place hands because I don’t want to seem sexual.what does my action of rubbing her back mean?

    • You feel a strong emotional connection with your soul sister. It is perfectly normal to be attracted to the people in your life. Determine what you want for your future. Decide what is appropriate for your relationship. Speak with him her about your thoughts and feelings, if you feel as though it would be acceptable at this time. Give her an opportunity to share herself with you as well. Have a great day, An!

  19. Hey so I have this boyfriend who hugs me like from the back sometimes and like i like it because it makes me feel safe but i feel awkward but during school we barely talk at all what would this mean ??

    • If you feel awkward, then share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. He likely is not aware that you have negative feels when he hugs you. It is possible that he does not speak often. If you want to speak more with him, then spend additional time with him. This will help strengthen your relationship. Have a great day, Linda!

  20. Hi so my crush likes me and he got dared to hug me. And he did from the back for about 10 seconds. Do you think he wanted to hug me or was it just a dare?

    • It is possible that he felt as though he could hug you because of the dare. He held on for a while, which may be a sign of his desire to hug you. Determine what you want for the future of this relationship. Perhaps attempt to hug him. Share your kindness and compassion with him. Have a great day, Logan!

  21. My best friend’s crush hugs me everyday. I’m worried about what my friend thinks about this. Will it ruin our friendship or not? What should I do if she doesn’t like it?

    • She is interested in developing a relationship with this person. It is possible that he feels a strong social connection with you. Speak with your friend about your thoughts and feelings. Allow her a chance to share herself with you as well. The two of you should make a decision. You may need to speak with her crush about the decision. Have a great day, Vashti!

      • My friend knows that her crush hugs me. I believe that she is worried that I might come between her and her crush. I acknowledge her worries but I kind of like the hugs I get. I kind of like them because I need some hugs but I am not brave enough to give a friendly hug to my own crush. I think of her crush as one of my friends. How can I deal with this?

        • It is possible that she becomes confused or feels negative emotions when you hug her crush. You should feel comfortable continuing to act in this manner, as she is not in a relationship. However, you will find great benefit in speaking with your friend about her thoughts and feelings. If you value this friendship, then you will respect her wishes and support her. Have a great day, Vashti!

  22. My friend knows that I hug her crush everyday. Is this a risk to our friendship? He always gives me a tight squeeze when he hugs me.

    • It is possible that she becomes confused or feels negative emotions when you hug her crush. You should feel comfortable continuing to act in this manner, as she is not in a relationship. However, you will find great benefit in speaking with your friend about her thoughts and feelings. If you value this friendship, then you will respect her wishes and support her. Have a great day, Vashti!

    • Determine what you feel awkward at this time. Figure out a way to remove this obstacle. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Perhaps attempt to spend additional time with him in person. This will strengthen your relationship and cause you to feel more comfortable. Have a great day, Peanut!

      • How can I get him away from his friends to talk to him? Because every time I see him we are always with our friends

        • If you are with a group of friends, then perhaps stand next to him while the two of you are in a group of people. Speak with him about your thoughts ans feelings. Ask him if he would talk with you alone. Perhaps ask a friend to help you if that would make you feel more comfortable. Have a great day, Peanut!

    • It is always beneficial to share positive energy. All concerns and fears are best addressed with kindness and compassion. You may find benefits in doing the same. Have a great day, Justin!

  23. Me and my guy bestfriend hug like i put my hands over his neck and his hands are on my back and I could feel him hugging me tightly and last time I didn’t know if I should give him the hug I always do so I gave him a side hug and he was like aww a side hug ? So then I hugged him again like I always do what does this mean can you tell me ?

    • He feels an emotional connection with you. He likely is interested in nourishing this relationship. He may used hugs as a sign of affection. He may have felt uncertain about your side hug, so he teased you. Determine what you want for the future of this relationship. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Jackie!

  24. Hi, I met my friend from high school sometime ago we hugged but i noticed his left hand was on head and his right hand on my back. Please what those that mean.

    • The placement of his hands may have been caused by a variety of influenced in his life. The media that he consumed may have caused him to act in this way. He certainly feels comfortable with you and wants you to know that he supports you. He may want to develop a relationship with you or leave the opportunity of a relationship open. Determine what you want for your future. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Victoria!

  25. Hello! So I met a boy online. We became friends, ended up dating (Virtually), and eventually broke up. We remained friends after the break up and even agreed to meet in person. When we met I hugged him by wrapping my arms around his neck and he hugged me by leaning in and putting his hands around my waist. We didn’t make eye contact but after I pulled away his hands lingered on my waist until I stepped back… What do you think the way he hugged me meant?

    • This hug is a reflection of your strong social and emotional connection with this person. It is possible that he has strong feelings for you. Determine what you want for your future with him. Decide what you believe is appropriate and viable. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Give him an opportunity to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, Kay!

  26. Three days ago I was at my guy-best-friend’s house. He was sitting really close to me constantly finding excuses to touch my hand or rest his palm on my leg. Then he layed down on my lap and had me stroke his hair. After gazing in my eyes he looked away and he fell asleep. Yesterday we went out and we sat at a stone bench. He layed on my lap again, only this time he wrapped his hands around my legs; one over my knees and ont under my upper leg. He slowly moved his hand to my bum and the whole time he kept squeezing me. Before we left he hugged me for a LONG time (kinda like the straddle hug) and he slid his hand from my neck to my back and all the way down to my waist and then he squeezed my bum. He kept squeezing me like never before. He’s always cared about me but never so intimately. I’m extremely confused. Can you help me?

    • He is interested in developing a physical relationship with you. The two of you share a strong social and emotional connection. Take this time to determine what you want for the future of this relationship. Decide what you believe is appropriate for your current relationship. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. If you want to strengthen this relationship, then spend additional time with him in person. Have a great day, Athena!

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