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23 Different Types of Hugs And What They Mean

Well aren’t you just a little over-analyzer? Don’t worry – I am too!

That’s probably why I became a dating coach, because just like you, I knew that there were a bunch of hidden meanings behind things like hugs and I wanted to spread the word to others.

Hugs Are A Form of Body Language

In fact, this is not some “woo-woo” kind of thinking. Body language is a real thing!

The common rule of thumb is that “that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken.” (PsychologyToday)”

See! So there is a hidden meaning behind the different types of hugs. Today I am going to show you exactly what each hug means.

To make it a little easier, I even broke them down into three larger categories as you can see below.

Now you can find out exactly what the different types of hugs are and what they say about your relationship with the person.

Acquaintances/Not Very Close

These types of hugs are friendly hugs that you would do with someone you’re not super close with. These may be for a co-worker or someone you have just men.

#23 – Hips Out Hug

hips out hug

This type of hug is when the two of you touch each other’s upper bodies, but below the waist stays far apart.

Although it looks weird in photos, it’s actually a very natural and common thing to do when you’re just meeting someone.

You want to show them that you’re being polite and want to make contact, but you don’t want to get too close.

You don’t want to make yourself too vulnerable.

Related: How to Meet New People – 40 Ways To Meet New People

#22 – Cheek Kiss and Hug

Cheek Kiss Hug

This one might not be as common in the US, but all over the world this is a very popular way to greet people.

This type of hug is used for close family and friends, but also people who you don’t know very well.

Some cultures will stick to just one cheek kiss, while others (like Spain, Italy and France) prefer the kiss on each cheek.

Remember that with this type of hug, you don’t actually put your lips on the person’s cheek. Instead you place your cheek against theirs and make a kissing sound with your mouth.

Related: 5 Ways To Small Talk Like A Pro

#21 – One-Armed Hug 

one armed hug

This is a very casual hug that doesn’t take a lot of commitment. If someone gives you this kind of hug, it means that they want to be nice, but they aren’t going out of their way to show you how much they mean to you.

This is a normal hug for people who are just meeting, or for good friends that you see on a regular basis.

If you see your good friends or family often then you don’t need to show them “more affection” often so this hug will do.

If you are a single woman who is looking to improve her feminine energy, this is a great hug to initiate with men (whenever you feel comfortable).

For example, if you’re at a gathering or a dinner party and are leaving, you may want to give the hosting couple a one-armed-hug while you say thank you and goodbye.

This is a very feminine and elegant way to behave and will start to get your energy attracting higher-quality men.

To learn more about elegance and attracting men, click here.

#20 – Short And Quick Hug

short and quick hug

In this type of hug, you just barely put your arms around each other and immediately pull away.

It’s a very short hug that barely even happened.

This hug is very casual and reserved for people who do not know each other well, or perhaps don’t even like each other.

This hug doesn’t have much meaning or caring behind it and is usually done in an “I guess I have to” kind of situation.

You may even experience this type of hug by a person that you don’t like or doesn’t like you.

Related: How To Tell If A Man Is Attracted To You

Good Friends or Family

These types of hugs are very warm and loving hugs, but they do not have any sexual or romantic implications.

Although couples will often perform many of these hugs, they only do so when they are trying to say “I love you and care for you” instead of “I want to ravish your bones.”

#19 – Back-Slap Hug

back slap hug

Two people go in for the hug, and one of them (or both) gives a friendly slap on the back.

This is the kind of hug you’ll often see men do to their guy friends that they haven’t seen in a while.

If a man does this type of hug to a woman, it likely means that he doesn’t see you as a romantic interest at all.

This is an extremely casual type of hug, but is usually reserved for people who are closer than acquaintances or just meeting.

Related: 25 Signs a Man Is Attracted To You

#18 – Bear Hug

Bear Hug

This is a big ‘ol front-facing hug where both people ensure they are wrapping their entire arms around each other.

It is usually matched with a big bear-like grin and eye-contact.

This type of hug is used when two people really like each other and are very happy to see each other, but it is still platonic.

So if you are receiving this hug from a family member or a potential love-interest, just know that by itself, this hug doesn’t signify that a man is attracted to you in a way that’s more than a friend.

Related: 10 Obvious Signs A Guy Wants You To Chase Him

#17 – Side Hug

Side hug

This is when two people stand side by side and have one arm wrapped around the other person’s side.

Although many couples will do this hug on a regular basis, this hug by itself does not signify any romantic connection.

It is a common type of hug seen with mothers and their children, or even fathers. Friends also engage in this type of hug often.

This hug is usually reserved for closer family or friends but doesn’t mean that the person giving it to you has a romantic interest.

Related: Will I Ever Find Love?

#16 – Forehead Kiss and Hug

Forehead kiss

This is when two people hold each other, and one of them gives them a kiss on the forehead.

It is very loving and caring, but it is not a sign of sexual passion or lust.

It is often seen when one person is older or has more authority than the other person.

So you can see this hug with a father and a daughter, a grandfather and daughter, or even a mother and young son.

This hug can be used with couples with a romantic connection but even in that circumstance, it’s not seen as sexual.

This type of hug is very caring and has nothing to do with passion or sex. So if a husband is giving this type of hug to his wife, it could be in an intimate moment or time of need.

It doesn’t signify passion or lust.

Related: The Differences Between “Love” and Being “In Love”

#15 – Strong Hug

Strong hug

This hug is a full embrace that requires a tight squeeze.

Much like the “forehead kiss” hug, this hug is very caring and loving, but it is not sexual. It can be seen in a father/daughter hug or other family member or close friend.

This hug says “I really care about you” and is reserved for family, friends and romantic connections that we hold very dear.

Related: Does He Love Me? Realistic Signs You’re In A Healthy Relationship

#14 – Long Hug

long hug

This is a hug where two people wrap their arms around each other, and hold themselves in that position for a minute or more.

This type of hug is usually done when two people care about each other a lot, and haven’t seen each other in a while.

So if someone has been away for months or even a year and now you’re seeing them for the first time, you might hold onto that hug for longer than usual.

This hug is reserved for close friends, family or loved ones but is not a sign of romantic connection.

Related: How To Attract A Man And Keep Him Interested

#13- Hug Walk

walk hug

This is when two people do the “side hug” but continue to hold that position as they walk together.

This is a common hug for couples but is also seen in family and female friends.

With this type of hug, you are telling the person that you really enjoy spending time with them.

Related: Will I Be Single Forever? Find Out What’s Holding You Back In Love

#12 – Head-Hold Hug

head hold

This is when two people embrace and one or both of them cups their hand around the other person’s head.

This is a very “protective” type of hug. This hug says to the other person “I want to keep you safe.”

For this reason, it is often seen with parents when they hug their young children.

If a grown man hugs a woman like this, it shows that he wants to protect her. You could see this hug from an older brother to a younger sister, or from a husband to a wife.

If a man does this kind of hug with you, he is showing a lot of masculine energy. You can learn more about how to use your feminine energy to spark attraction with a masculine man here.

Related: How To Use Femininity to Attract Higher-Quality Men

Romantic/Love Interest

Now for the fun hugs! These hugs are reserved only for people to who we have a sexual attraction. If you are experiencing any of these hugs with a man, congrats!

It means you have the hots for each other and a passionate relationship!

#11 – Netflix Hug 

netflix hug

This is the Netflix and chill hug! It’s when you’re cuddling each other on the couch while you watch TV.

This type of hug is not a passionately sexual hug, but it is very romantic and only used between people who have a romantic connection.

Related: What Makes A Good Husband? Traits of A High-Quality Man

#10 – Eye Contact Hug

eye contact hug

In this kind of hug, the couple wraps their arms around each other and stares deeply into each other’s eyes.

Having that kind of intense eye-contact is a great way to make sparks fly – and this was even scientifically proven!

There was a famous study done where people were told to perform a series of events and ask certain questions to each other.

The result was that strangers would fall in love with each other.

Eye contact was an important part of this experiment as you can see here:

Asking 36 specific questions plus four minutes of sustained eye contact is a recipe for falling in love, or at least creating intimacy among complete strangers.

Thrive Global

So holding eye-contact while hugging is a very romantic and intimate thing to do!

Related: Needs Vs. Wants In Relationships

#9 – Sit and Hug

sit and hug

This is where two people will sit in a public area and hug each other.

This is a public display of affection and it is done between couples who care deeply for each other.

It usually means that this couple is in a good and healthy place in their relationship and their proud of each other.

Related: Signs of Jealousy in A Man – Cute or Unhealthy?

#8 – Lip Kiss and Hug

kiss and hug

This hug is when you kiss on the lips while hugging.

It is a romantic greeting but is not necessarily sexually charged. It’s more of a sign of “comfortable love” than “sexually charged passion”.

Related: The Differences Between “Love” and “In Love”

#7 – Butt Grab Hug

butt grab

This hug is when you embrace and then one partner squeezes, and even holds onto the butt of the other person.

It is more sexually charged than romantic. You could easily see this type of hug in a “friends with benefits” couple because it doesn’t really say “I care about you” as much as it says “I want to bang you.”

Related: How Many Dates Before You Have Sex?

#6 – Spin Hug

spin hug

This type of hug is when the two people embrace, and once lifts the other up and spins them around.

Now this hug is obviously innocent and not sexual if done with an adult and a child. Children are small so they are easily swung around and this hug is common with them.

But assuming both people are grown adults, this hug becomes much more difficult to perform.

Since it’s a very physical hug, it does have implications of sexual attraction. It’s less romantic and more sexual.

Related: How To Know If A Man Loves You

#5 – Talking Hug

talking hug

In this type of hug, you are embracing the person while continuing to talk.

This type of hug is done between romantic partners who haven’t seen each other in a while. They miss each other.

They want to catch each other up on their lives while still feeling their physical presence since they haven’t felt it in so long.

Related: Tips for Long Distance Relationships

#4 – Piggy Back Hug

Piggy back hug

With this hug, one person is carrying the other person on their back. While this could be done with a child, if the two people are grown adults, it’s a very romantic and playful hug.

This hug means that you don’t just see each other as romantic partners, but also as friends and partners in life.

It is a very caring hug that says “we like to have fun.”

Related: How To Know if He Wants A Relationship A Fling?

#3 – The Pocket Hug

pocket hug

In this hug, one or both partners will have their hand in the other’s pocket.

This hug is both romantic and “sexually passionate”.

It is a more juvenile public display of affection that is often seen among teenagers.

If you are an older couple and doing this hug, it shows you have a youthful playful side and are not afraid to show it to each other.

Related: How To Make A Man Fall In Love With You

#2 – Behind Hug

behind hug

This hug from behind is actually both sexually charged and romantic.

This is the best type of hug if you’re in a long-term relationship because it says “I care about you AND I’m still sexually attracted to you.”

The reason why this hug is so special is that it’s a suprise. One person will put their arms around their partner while they are not looking.

This means that the hug is one-sided and is given to the person not because they “have to” but because they want to.

Related: How To Make a Man Fall In Love With You From Dating App To Marriage

#1 – Straddle Hug

straddle hug

This hug is when the woman is straddling the man while he’s sitting down or standing up.

This type of hug is practically sex with clothes on!

It’s an extremely sexually charged hug and if you’re experiencing this then you have definitely got a romantic connection with them.

How To Attract High-Quality Men

I hope you found this article helpful, but it does you no good if you’re not attracting High-Quality.

If you’re a confident and successful woman, you need a confident and successful man.

If you’re interested in learning what High-Quality men look for in a woman, check out my Free Guide on “How To Attract Higher-Quality Men” by Attracting Better Men.


I hope you enjoyed this article on the different types of hugs. Remember that body language is a very important part of how people communicate!

Love, your favorite dating coach.


Lana Otoya

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