Hugging is a common greeting and expression of warmth, and a meaningful sign showing you care about a person. There’s a thin line between platonic hugs of greeting and something more.
When it comes to women’s hugs, the deed takes on a whole new level of complication, leaving men confused, flabbergasted, and pleased, more or less all at the same time.
This is because women can play mean mind games, and they can use their charms—and arms—to get what they want or tell you they don’t want you. We dish out the different kinds of hugs women give to help you figure out just what the hell they’re up to.
#1 The proper and polite hug. This is a hug for hug’s sake only. In other words, for the sake of social etiquette. It’s the kind of hug in which she may act like she’s hugging you but without touching you—like you have some kind of disease. This can be offensive if not for the accompanying “polite smile.” If you’re out on a date with her, and she gives you this hug, it means she’s not into you and perhaps will not want to go out with you again.
#2 The quickie, gotta go hug. This hug happens when you catch each other in the street or somewhere public, and she’s in a hurry. Acknowledging you with a hug, no matter how quick can mean one thing—they are happy to see you but are truly in a hurry to head somewhere else.
It can also mean something else, especially in a situation where she’s not really in a hurry but just wants to get the hug over with. She may come close to you, touch shoulders, avoid eye contact, and just head on her way, pretending to be in a hurry. She may have been avoiding you, but you came up to her. So instead of being rude, she gives you a quickie hug.
#3 The buddy hug. This is one warm hug you don’t mind getting from her, just like all the other crumbs of attention she throws your way. It’s when they wrap their arms around you and pat you on the back. It’s warm, friendly, and nice—except you would rather hug her in a different, more romantic way. Well, tough luck, chap. If she gives you this, then you’re just in the friend zone.
# 4 The bear hug. You know when you’re so close and comfortable with each other you can do just about anything without being self-conscious? This is that, in hug form. She doesn’t care if the hug messes her outfit or her hair, she’ll run to you with arms wide open and then hug you tightly. Good news: she missed you and is happy to see you. Bad news: she most likely just sees you as a dear friend. *But I’m sure it’s better than nothing, right?*
#5 The sleepy shoulder hug. This is not a hug a lot of girls would give you if she doesn’t feel safe around you. This sweet hug is when she wraps her arms around you and rests her head on your shoulder for a while. If you just met her, you’re in luck because she feels comfortable around you already. If you’ve been seeing her for a while, you’re in luck too.
There really is nothing wrong with this kind of hug—unless this is all the hug she gives, then it just means she sees you only as a shoulder to lean on, literally, and nothing more.
Also, watch out if she pushes back when you try to pull her closer. It really just puts you back into that all-too-familiar friend zone.
#6 The one-sided hug. Perhaps the most awkward of all hugs, the one-sided, unreciprocated hug is when you hug her, and she lets you, but her arms are limp on her sides with her body becoming stiff.
If she gives you this at the end of the first date, don’t expect a second one. If you already know her and she gives you this, then you better think about what you may have done to upset her or turn her off.
#7 The squeezing hug. This is a simple-to-decode kind of hug. If she hugs you with one or both arms with that extra squeeze and lovely smile, you know she had fun and whatever it is she had with you, you can expect she’d want to do it again. It’s not much of a passionate or romantic kind of hug, but at least it’s a good sign.
#8 The snuggly hug. This kind of hug is more like a cuddle. You can expect this from a girl who likes you and feels comfortable and safe around you. This often happens when the two of you are sitting side to side, whether in the movies, on the couch, or just about anywhere.
This means she likes being around you. At this point, especially if the two of you are alone, you better watch out for other signs telling you you’re going to get some nookie tonight.
#9 The lingering hug. Now this is a very subtle hug that only the most highly aware can detect. This hug is when she wraps one or two arms around you and she has her hand on your back, pulling you in.
She’ll hold that hug for just a few extra milliseconds—just a tad bit longer than the standard three-second hugging rule. Usually, this is her way of letting you know she has a thing for you. Just watch for her facial expression afterward to know for sure.
#10 The side-by-side hug. This is perhaps one of the sweetest hugs she can give. It’s like the snuggly hug, except you are usually walking side by side. She will wrap her arms around your waist or an arm around your arm. This means she likes you or she’s comfortable around you. In fact, so much that she wants to stay close to you wherever you guys go. It’s also a way for her to tell the world, “This guy is mine.”
#11 The boob hug. While the lingering hug is subtle, this one is not. It’s the somewhat more daring cousin of the lingering hug, and it only means one thing: I want you!
Here, she will hug you with one or both arms, but what you should watch out for how she intentionally presses her breasts against you to make sure you feel them. She may even follow it up with a lazy, sexy smile and a wink. If that’s the case, you’re one lucky lad!
A hug can tell you a lot about what a woman thinks about you, and whether she wants to take your relationship to another level. Hugs can be the most wonderful ways to get physically close to her, whether you are just friends or are dating. A hug can provide you with clues about your relationship with her.
Reading these types of hugs women give can help you decode those signals and take out all the guesswork about their body language. By knowing what they really mean with their hugs, you can know when you really have your game on or if it’s really game over for you.