According to the New York Times, the act of touching releases oxytocin, a hormone that produces the feeling of love, bonding, and well-being. That’s why when basketball players touch each other during games, it encourages them. Basically, touch makes you feel like someone is helping you carry the load on your shoulders.
Therefore, we can safely assume that touching, especially in the form of hugs, is a great way to show support, acceptance, and love. So, hugging is a wonderful way to touch another person and make them feel supported, protected, and loved.
I know I love getting hugged; who doesn’t? I know people who are “huggers” who just hug everyone they encounter or leave as a way of greeting or saying farewell to another person. I wouldn’t call myself one of those types of huggers, but it’s good to know those people are out there, and I’d love to share with you the meaning behind the different types of hugs!
But there are all kinds of hugs. How do we know what each hug means, and what does it mean when a guy squeezes you in a hug? We’ll look at the answers to these questions in this article.
Guys who show romantic hugs are wanting you to know that they want to be more than just friends. They may be trying to show you with their body language that they want to have sex with you or just start up a romantic affair. Take the cues if you’re interested!
What it is: This is when a guy comes up from behind you and puts his arms around you when your back is facing him; he might rest his head on your shoulder, kiss your neck, or even tickle you while he does this. He could even take this opportunity to get naughty and touch you in inappropriate places (or appropriate depending on your feelings).
What it means: This means he wants to protect you and keep you secure. He’s basically saying, “I’ve got you.” When guys do this, they are wanting you to know that they are your security blanket, that you don’t need to look for safety anywhere else because they have you covered.
What it is: This is when a guy pulls you in close during a hug, squeezing you tight. This embrace may be strong, tight, and you may even feel like you can’t breathe for a moment. It may feel like your body is being crushed as he holds you as tight as he can. If he’s particularly savoring the moment, he may even close his eyes.
What it means: This hug means that he is into you; he is very happy to have his arms around you and wants the moment to last forever. He’s trying to indicate his feelings with his body language; he’s there to protect and comfort you whenever you need him. It’s a comforting and reassuring hug that lets you know he’s committed to you.
What it is: This happens when two people who are hugging lean their heads on each other’s chest or shoulder - whatever is natural depending on their height. If this hug only has one person resting his or her head on the other, it may be more of a one-sided hug, or at least, the strong feelings may seem to come across that way.
What it means: These hugs are typically mutual expressions of togetherness and affection. They mean that both parties want this moment to last forever. You can be sure that this guy feels the same way about you as you do with him. He may be trying to express more than just “like” with you if he has his head on your shoulder.
What it is: This hug usually happens when two people are intimate with one another like when they are making out, just made love, or will be making love soon. It may be full of kissing, feeling each other up, or pleasing each other in other ways; it depends on the relationship. It could just be two people cuddling during a favorite flick.
What it means: These hugs are usually mutually welcome; both parties want to hold each other and show affection. When guys hug during cuddling, you know that he really wants to be there.
What it is: This is when someone grabs another person, even picking them up if they so desire, with all of their might, showing off their strength and desire to have a good hug. This person may even grunt as they squeeze the back because it is taking all of their energy. Usually, this hug is reciprocated as much as possible by the recipient.
What it means: The bear hug shows safety and security. He enjoys spending time with you and savors every second you’re together. He’s got your back; you can be certain that he isn’t going anywhere soon. He likes you a lot; he may even love you. He really cares about you and your well-being and has your back.
What it is: This is when someone wants to stay part of the embrace for as long as possible. If this is part of a long goodbye or a hello from someone you haven’t seen in a long time, the person may just be trying to make the moment last as long as they can. It can be a little awkward if the recipient doesn’t expect the hug to last that long.
What it means: He’s definitely into you and is seeking a deeper connection; he’s trying to show you love and attention. You can trust in him and in your relationship because he cares a lot about you! He has shown you with his body language that he wants more!
What it is: This is when guys put their hands in the pockets of girls they are intimate with. It usually happens when two people are dating and want to show their commitment to each other in public, in front of many people, like in High School. In the movie, For All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, she asks her fake boyfriend to do this in front of everyone.
What it means: He wants more than just friendship. He adores you and wants everyone to know it! Guys put their hands in the pockets of girls they really like, ones they want to show off to everyone. It’s kind of a naughty hug too because he gets to grab your butt with his hands.
When guys give these kinds of hugs, it usually means they don’t want a romantic relationship. However, depending on the context, if this is the best hug they are physically able to give you, you should know that their hugs are signs of romantic affection.
What it is: This is when someone puts their arm around another person’s shoulder when the two people are sitting or standing side-by-side. This may happen when they want to show camaraderie as they sit in a stadium or wedding. They want to show others that they are together, but that’s the closest they can be at the moment.
What it means: When guys give these types of hugs, they just see you as a pal. Some guys may give you this type of hug if they can't reach you in any other way, and this could mean they like you. But, usually, guys who hug like this just want you to know that they are there for you as a friend.
What it is: This is when a girl runs up to a guy, and he, in turn, catches her as she enthusiastically shows up in front of him. He may do this because if he doesn’t, she would surely knock him to the ground with all the excitement she’s bringing to the relationship. It may be a guy running to another girl or guy as well.
What it means: This can be a romantic gesture if a boyfriend hasn't seen his girlfriend in a long time, but usually, guys who give girls these types of hugs are just playing around and want to have some fun.
What it is: This is when an individual takes another human being, someone he or she’s close to, like a friend or girlfriend, picks them up, and spins them around in a circle; this usually happens pretty fast, but if the twirler isn’t very strong or if the special someone who gets to be twirled is big, it may just be a half-circle.
What it means: This is another type of hug that's just for fun. Sometimes guys will hug girls this way as friendship or after not seeing them in a long time. An example of this hug might be seeing someone at the airport for the first time after a long visit apart.
What it is: This is when one individual hugs another one along the stomach or waistline. Since this hug can seem a bit awkward, especially if the hugger is taller than the recipient of the hug, so the hugger may lift the recipient up in the air as if to say, “Hey! Come here, you!” If there’s romance involved, the hugger may give some kisses, too.
What it means: This is a typical friendship embrace. However, this can be quite intimate. If a guy holds on tight, keeps his hands on your back longer than expected, or strokes your back with his fingers, he wants more than friendship.
These hugs are either not welcome or are very uncomfortable. Individuals who offer these embraces are using their body language to tell you something, something like, “I may have your back, but I’m not interested in being too close to you.”
If a guy gives you one of these hugs, pay attention to where his arms, body, head, and feet are. His body can tell you everything about how he feels for you. If his back is mostly toward you or his feet point away from you, he’s not all that interested.
What it is: This is one of the more awkward hugs. It typically involves the upper portion of the body only with nothing below the chest touching. It may be a one-handed extension of a handshake, an effort to show there are no hard feelings. However, it can be romantic if there’s something blocking the bottom portion of your bodies.
What it means: These hugs are unwelcome. Usually, it’s a hug for the sake of just having one. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s like a pat on the back. You shouldn’t be under the impression that this guy wants anything to do with you; he’s just being polite.
What it is: This is typically a very fast embrace of some kind. It can be any type of hug, but it typically doesn’t last more than a minute or so. While this may be a romantic gesture, especially if there’s just a timing issue going on, it usually happens when one individual is in a hurry or just wants the hug to stop taking place.
What it means: These hugs could mean anything. It depends on the context. If your boyfriend gives you a hug like this, don’t assume he is mad or uninterested; he may just be in a hurry. However, in general, these hugs are just meant to be friendly.
What it is: This is sometimes known as the ragdoll hug, because one individual just goes limp in the other’s arms. The hugger may be trying to give any type of hug, but the recipient just is not a willing party; they don’t want to be touched, or they feel like the gesture is too forward or taking too long, so they go limp in an effort to convey this.
What it means: This is an unwelcome and uncomfortable embrace. If you touch someone and they don’t reciprocate the gesture, you should know that what you are doing is unwelcome, so you should stop.
What it is: This sometimes a pat on the back happens between distant relatives or with individuals who have just met but are somehow feeling like a hug is in order based on the context of the situation. It may happen between team players, business partners, or acquaintances. This may have one or several pats on the back.
What it means: These gestures mean warmth. You may not even be this individual’s friend, but they want to give you a pat on the back to say, “Congrats” or “Well Done!” This individual is touching your back because you’re a buddy or pal - nothing more.
What it is: This is when the hugger reaches out his arm as if to shake the recipient’s hand but instead bends the elbow, wrapping his or her arm around the shoulder or neck of the recipient. This may be an effort to extend the embrace a little, or it could be just a form of the quick hug; it really depends on the relationship between the parties involved.
What it means: This individual is not showing much care in the hug; they don’t want to be doing it but are making an effort. Consider context, though. If your boyfriend hugs your back with one arm, he may just not be able to use the other arm for some reason, like if it’s full of groceries or something.
This means that he cares about you and wants the moment, when you are in each other’s arms, to last as long as possible. He probably feels the need to be close to you and feels like the longer he hugs you, the closer he is to you.
Cuddling is usually reserved for romantic relationships, so if you are cuddling, you probably already know that he likes you. If he wants to hold on to you and keep you tight in his arms, he probably cares about you quite a bit. He’s wanting to be closer to you.
If she is trying to make the moment last longer by squeezing you in a hug, she probably wants to be more than just friends. She is trying to make the hug last as long as possible and feels that hugging is a great way to show you she cares.
If a guy gives you a side hug, he probably just wants to be close friends and nothing more. However, if there’s something preventing him from giving you a full hug, he may just want to get closer to you, and a side hug was the best he could do.
If a man wants to have a romantic relationship with you, he’d love a kiss on the lips, neck, shoulder, or anywhere, really. A kiss is a kiss; if he likes you, he’ll take what he can get. If he’s just looking for friendship, a kiss on the cheek works.
We’d love to hear more about your favorite types of hugs, whether you’re a hugger or not, and any hugs you know of that I didn’t list in this article.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. We’d love to hear more about the hugs you like!