These 15 different types of hugs reveal what your relationship is really like

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Image credit: Shutterstock - By InnerVisionPRO

There is nothing quite as comforting as a hug from the right person. Whether between parents and children, friends or lovers, hugs strengthen our bonds while making us healthier and happier.

You may not have thought about it, but there are different types of hugs that convey different messages between people.

This is also true of hugs between potential life partners.

Hugs can say a lot about your relationship. Let’s see what these fifteen different types of hugs reveal as shared by Bright Side.

1. The hug from behind

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You are busy in the kitchen cooking or cleaning up, and your guy comes from behind and puts his arms around you. In this hug he is covering your body from behind, protecting you while pulling you close to him, making you feel wanted.

This man is ready to protect you and is not afraid of responsibility. Even if he hasn’t said the words yet, a guy who holds you like this is in love.

There’s actually a new theory in relationship psychology that goes to the heat of why men hug women like this.

It’s called the hero instinct.

According to this theory, a man will only fall in love with a woman when he feels like a provider and protector.

In other words, he wants to be your hero.

I know it sounds a bit silly. In this day and age, women don’t need someone to rescue them. They don’t need a ‘hero’ in their lives.

And I couldn’t agree more.

But here’s the ironic truth. Men do still need to be a hero. Because it’s built into their DNA to seek out relationships that allow them to feel like a protector. When he hugs you from behind, it’s clear he wants to protect you.

Click here to watch an excellent video about the hero instinct.

2. The hug at the waist

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Even if the man hasn’t confessed his feelings to you yet, this embrace speaks for itself. This kind of hug is an intimate gesture, and it shows that he wants to spend as much time together as possible. He trusts you and is happy to see you.

But be careful, these men are often quick to fall in and out of love in a relationship.

3. The hug with a pat on the back

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We all know this hug, and it’s not a romantic one. If he is your friend, the hug is just that, a hug from a friend and the friendship is unlikely to go any further.

If you are already in a relationship and this is the kind of hug you mostly get from him, you might consider that he’s not really than into you. You are more like a preferred buddy. Maybe time to move on and find the one that will really be into you?

4. The hug while looking into the eyes

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A tender hug from him while looking into your eyes spells a deep connection between you. He cares for you deeply. Hold onto this one!

RELATED: 3 ways to make a man addicted to you

5. The “London Bridge” hug

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In this hug, there’s an actual distance between you and the whole affair looks awkward. If a guy hugs you like this, he’s not into you and most likely doesn’t want to hug you in the first place. If the distance between you is spontaneous, then obviously you feel the same and are only doing the polite thing.

6. The one-handed hug

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When he embraces you by pulling you close with one arm around your shoulder, it is a vivid image of him taking you under his wing. This guy will protect you and be ready to offer help and support when needed.

If you are only friends, then the man offers his help and support. Likewise, a girl who hugs a guy like this is signal that the guy is just a friend and things will probably not go any further.

7. The naughty hug

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This is the hug where the guy’s hand travels down your back and maybe rests on your buttock. He’s ready for some bedroom action. No patience here.

Even though you might not be in a relationship yet, he is quick to establish his “claim” on you as his.

If indeed you are not in a relationship, his behavior demonstrates lust, not love. If however, you are in a relationship, his clearly still has the hots for you.

8. The strong hug

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If a man hugs you firmly and gently strokes your back, you have everything you need: someone that both protects and cherishes you. He is committed and wants a long-term relationship that includes the whole nine yards. If that’s what you want to, then you’re in luck.

If you’re a guy and you want to get a girl to like you, this is a hug.

9. The hug that lasts

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This kind of hug keeps on without either person having to say anything. It is a silent expression of love and support that doesn’t require any words. It is not only expressed between couples but also between loved ones in general.

Whoever hugs you like this, will always stand by you through thick and thin.

All these hugs beg the question: what type of hugger are you?

10. The bear hug

This hug involves wrapping your arms completely around another person. It’s a sign that they want to protect them.

It’s easier to implement if one person is much bigger than the other. It’s common for men to do this to a woman they want to look after.

It’s not sexy or romantic but is rather a sign that the hugger truly cares for them.

It’s also one that parents use on their children to show that they’re there to protect them.

It can either be done from the front or back.

11. The straddle hug

This is where the woman opens her body and jumps into the man. This hug signifies that the woman is truly in love with their man as it shows that the woman fully trusts the man.

After all, this hug leaves the woman totally exposed.

If you’re doing this hug naturally, it shows that there is a great physical connection and the trust between the two of you is healthy.

12. The pickpocket hug

Only those in a trustworthy and intimate relationship can do this. This hug occurs where you hug each other in a way that you can put your hands in each other’s back pocket.

Perhaps you’ve seen this when people have been walking together before. It’s a great sign that you’re comfortable with each other and the physical connection is strong.

13. The quick hug

This hug is what the title suggests – a hug that doesn’t last long at all. It has no romantic connotations to it, and may even appear a bit rude. But don’t be fooled, it’s not exactly rude.

Generally, it means that there is affection there, but it’s kind of weird to hug each other, so it’s best to keep it quick.

Guys who are awkward and don’t know the girl well might do this hug.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t want to develop a deep connection with you (otherwise they wouldn’t hug you at all!) but they’re just being a bit awkward about having a real hug.

14. The hug with head on the shoulder

This is where the man or woman lays their head gently down on their partner’s shoulder. If this hug occurs, there is strong affection and you’re both willing to look after each other.

You most likely love each other and the relationship is going strong. It also means you’re extremely comfortable together.

15) The one-sided hug

This hug happens when one person is keener than the other.

It means that one person is trying hard to hug a person who doesn’t really want to be hugged. They don’t even lift their arms to hug back.

This is a bad sign of a one-sided relationship. This is also the same for friendship. A relationship works best when both are as committed as each other.

RELATED: Is your man pulling away? Don’t make this one BIG mistake

How to hug a guy

If you’re a girl, a great hug doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. All it takes is a genuine commitment to hold someone. Being half-hearted and hesitant won’t help you out.

Guys aren’t looking for the ultimate technique that makes them feel good. It doesn’t have to be sexual, or sensual. You just need to commit and be all in when you’re doing it.

Here are two methods, depending on whether it’s a romantic hug or a friendly hug.

Method 1: The romantic hug

1) Smile at your man and give him eye contact.
2) Wrap your arms around him, sliding both arms between his arms and torso, connecting them at his upper back.
3) Press your chest into his. This is a way to experience a “heart to heart” hug. You can even rest your cheek on his shoulder or chest.
4) Just relax and feel the warmth between the two of you. Let it happen naturally. You’ll both know when to stop.
5) If you want to lift the temperature, stroke your hand on his back and hug him even tighter.

Method 2: The friendly hug

1) Make eye contact and open your arms. Then proceed to move in.
2) You don’t have to be as close as you are in a romantic hug. You can keep your feet more apart.
3) Open your arms wide and place them on his back. Wrap your hands together.
4) Make sure your head is going the opposite way to him to make it more comfortable.
5) Squeeze but don’t hold for too long. You can just squeeze for a second or two.
6) Step away and smile at them.

How to tell if a hug is romantic

If you want to know whether a hug is romantic or not, there a few things you can look for.

1) First, you’ll want to get a baseline of how he usually hugs other people.

This will give you an indication of whether his hug with you is romantic.

2) Is he holding his hug longer than he usually does?

This means that he likes being close to you. He wants to develop rapport by prolonging the hug and showing you that’s he’s comfortable getting close to you.

3) Is he squeezing tighter than he does with other people?

If he is, this is an excellent indication that he wants to make you feel comfortable. He wants to be there for you.

4) Is he stroking your back?

This is a huge sign that it’s romantic and he is attracted to you. If he does it slowly and sensually, then he likes you. Usually, this will be on the lower/middle back. If it’s on the buttocks, then he’s a bit naughty, and he might be looking for something sexual.

5) Does he lift you up?

This is a definite romantic signal. He’s trying to show you his dominance and that he can take care of you.

What to do when a man hugs you from behind

1) If you don’t know him

If a man hugs you from behind and you don’t know who he is, it can be frightening. He might be coping a feel of your body, which is extremely rude.

So if you don’t know him, it can be a dangerous situation.

You can first push his arms away to signal that you don’t want to hug him. If that doesn’t work, then you might want to push your head back to headbutt him. That will certainly shock him and get him away.

 2) If you like the guy

Now, I’m sure that a random guy doing this isn’t the majority of cases. Most of the time the guy will like you, or you’ve been previously flirting.

So if you’re enjoying it, you can put one arm on his arm, like your comfortable and you can lean your head on his upper shoulder.

If you like him, but you don’t really want to do this hug in public, you can turn your body around, give him a warm, proper hug and then proceed to move away.

What kind of hugs do guys like

This is a question that many women have on their mind, but the truth is, you don’t have to be so complex about it. There’s no specific technique.

The most important thing is that you’re genuinely invested in giving the hug. Don’t hesitate, or else it’s just awkward.

If you like the guy, your feet can be close to his, and you can move your body in and relax into his chest.

If he’s just a friend, then your feet can be further apart from his, and you can hold the hug for a shorter amount of time. Then you can smile at him and proceed to move away.

He doesn’t really want the perfect woman

How much time do you spend trying to be the kind of woman you think men want?

If you’re like most women, it’s a LOT.

You spend all this time making yourself look sexy and attractive.

All this time presenting yourself as fun, interesting, worldly, and not needy in the slightest. You spend all this time showing him just how good you’d be for him.

How amazing his future would be if he chose you as the woman by his side…

And it doesn’t work. It never works. WHY?

Why do you work so hard… And the guy in your life just takes you for granted, if he even notices you at all?

Many women give up on love. They never let themselves get too close to a man, for fear of scaring him off. But other women try a different approach. They get help.

In my new article, I outline why men back away even when you think you’re doing nothing wrong.

I also outline 3 ways you can invite a guy into your life by giving him exactly what he needs from a woman.

Check out my new article here.

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Coert Engels

I'm a South African based writer and am passionate about exploring the latest ideas in artificial intelligence, robotics and nanotechnology. I also focus on the human condition, with a particular interest human intuition and creativity. To share some feedback about my articles, email me at

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