Hugs are probably the purest forms of expressing one’s love when words are not enough. A hug is a close embrace to express your strong affection and deep connection. Hugs can build bridges between parents, children, or siblings, and may even heal broken hearts.
While hugs are extremely common, they’re also finely nuanced. You can tell a lot about the kind of relationship you share by analyzing the manner of the hug. Most hugs tend to be intimate gestures from a special person, but a lot of them can be misinterpreted if you don’t read the subtext. We list 25 different types of hugs and their meanings.
25 Different Types Of Hugs And What They Mean
1. The tight hug
A tight hug is a kind of full-bodied, warm embrace where you completely wrap your arms around your loved one. An extra squish highlights the closeness you share with the person. This type of hug usually happens in emotional situations when you do not have enough words to explain, such as when you meet someone after a long time or when you bid farewell. Only people whom you have known for a while will be comfortable with a tight hug.
2. The side hug
The side hug is relatively less intimate and mostly shared between friends. It is more relaxed and often showcases that you are in a good mood. You can see employees sharing such a hug at the workplace or when people pose for photographs. A side hug may appear casual, but often could be genuine and meaningful. Long-term acquaintances share a side hug on certain occasions or at parties to give positive energy.
3. Polite hug
The polite hug is a formal hug usually shared with colleagues or distant relatives in an attempt to create a social bond. A polite hug tends to be short and quick. You should pay attention to the finer nuances of such a hug as the receiver may seem uncomfortable or awkward.
4. The bear hug
The bear hug is probably the most genuine and meaningful hug. A real and tight hug is usually shared in moments of joy or excitement. A lot intimate, such a hug involves wrapping your arms around another person. Typically, such hugs are platonic! The tight embrace fills you with warmth and relieves you of stress and anxiety. The hug is a reassurance of how much you care for the relationship.
5. The long hug
The long hug is typical of long-term relationships or shared between friends. A comforting and strong embrace, you may yearn for such a hug when you feel low. You take the other person in your arms and hold them tight to send out a message that you are there for them. The hug provides much-needed warmth and emotional support to your romantic interest, and speaks of your incredible chemistry.
6. The back hug
The back hug is a surprise hug that signifies deep feelings or is often shared during happy moments. The back hug expresses your strong physical connection in trustworthy and intimate relationships. Such a hug indicates that the two people are fond of each other. A gentle backstroke can express what a million words cannot.
7. The straddle hug
A full body close embrace with deep eye contact, the straddle hug is often shared between romantic partners. A private and intimate gesture, the hug often has an underlying sexual overtone. The hug highlights a good physical connection and mutual trust between the two people.
8. The London Bridge hug
The London Bridge hug involves the upper part of the body touching while the lower body stays apart. London Bridge hug is a formal hug or cordial embrace when two people maintain a certain distance from one another. This is the most awkward hug. We often see such hugs between diplomats or politicians. Such hugs are often shared to strike a social bond or to establish a non-personal relationship.
9. The eye-to-eye hug
The eye-to-eye hug is common to new couples and people with deeper feelings. Such a hug could often be an expression of romantic love when two people get lost in each other’s eyes. The eye-to-eye hug is a personal and intimate one, which indicates a strong and deep bond between two people. Slow dancing with your soul mate often results in this type of hug with a gentle squish.
10. The pickpocket hug
The pickpocket hug is also a kind of passionate embrace but can be casual. You put your hands on their hips closer to their back pockets, and it is reciprocated similarly. A pickpocket hug is a sign of your affectionate feelings for each other, along with the security of your relationship.
11. Patting hug
A hug accompanied by a gentle pat is meant to pep up the mood of a sad or a dejected person. Such a hug is platonic and an excellent indication of camaraderie.
12. Quick hug
A quick hug is often misconstrued as unaffectionate or cold, but may not always be true. A quick hug rarely has a romantic subtext.
13. Buddy Hug
Ever placed a hand around your buddy? That is a buddy hug! A buddy hug is not shared in a romantic relationship. You can see siblings sharing a buddy hug, which is never one-sided.
14. The hug with resting heads on each other
Resting your heads on each other while in a warm embrace is a cozy cuddle. It is a deep and long-lasting romantic hug that makes one feel secure. You are madly in love with the special person if you rest your head on your partner’s head. This type of hug is an intimate gesture that indicates the mutual trust and deep commitment you share with the person.
15. The hug with twirling you around
The hug with twirling you around is an example of happy hugging. In this type of hug, a taller person lifts a relatively shorter person and twirls her or him around with a tight hug. You can often see such hugs at airports when two people meet each other after a long time.
16 The hug around the waist
A hug around the waist can indicate a strong or casual relationship. This type of hug can signify that the person wants to spend as much time together as possible. A more intense one can grow into a warm, loving embrace and is typical of a passionate relationship. Observing one’s body language can reveal a lot about how they truly feel!
17 The ragdoll hug
The ragdoll hug is an interesting type of hug, which signifies a one-sided relationship. The ragdoll hug may indicate that the other person may not want to walk the extra mile to take the relationship to the next level. This type of hug can be considered cold and off-putting. However, there is a possibility of misreading the other person’s true intentions. It could be that the person is a dear friend who is too shy or not too comfortable with physical affection.
18 Sloppy hug
The sloppy hug is mostly shared at happy occasions or parties, where you need to appear to be warm and friendly to form social bonds! This type of hug may last longer but may not mean anything. You do it because it is polite. The sloppy hug is not intimate and often common between male and female friends.
19 Slow dance hug
A slow dance hug is a sweet and intimate gesture, possibly seen on dates with your Valentine or at weddings during a waltz. This type of hug signifies your shared desire to remain locked in a close hug. The whole world tends to fade away when this is accompanied by deep eye contact. The hug speaks about your incredible chemistry and connection.
20 The catcher hug
The catcher hug is the physical manifestation of missing someone. This can apply to all kinds of relationships. The catcher hug will be shared by two people in a long-distance relationship or when you meet your best friend after a long time. You rush towards them in excitement and share an intimate embrace. This hug exudes positive energy and displays your real emotions.
21 Flirty hug
A flirty hug is the sign of a newfound love or the onset of a new relationship. Such a hug involves light touch and subtle expression of extra attention. This is typical of outgoing people who are trying to explore your mutual chemistry without saying anything explicitly. The flirty hug is a nice gesture with an exclusive look that conveys your strong feelings.
The self-hug is a special type of hug. One cannot always depend on others for hugs and emotional reassurances. In such a scenario, self-hugs are ideal. Just wrapping your arms around yourself in a tight embrace is a wonderful feeling of the affection you have for yourself!
23 The cuddle hug
Cuddles form the basis of a serious relationship. The cuddle hug is a lovely way of showing your strong bond with your romantic partner and involves kisses and nuzzling. The cuddle hug is snug and cozy when you wake up in the morning or when you are on the couch watching television together. This type of hug signifies the loving and caring nature of your relationship.
24 Group hug
Assemble your squad for this one! They are your special people with whom you have developed a deep bond over the years. Be it your coveted inner circle trio or your entire gang, this hug is probably the friendliest type of hug. Nothing is as warm and comforting as being surrounded by your loved ones, locked together in a warm embrace.
25 One-sided hug
The one-sided hug is probably the most awkward of all hugs. The other person just isn’t involved in it. You may feel cold as the other person shrugs you off quickly. A one-sided hug may make you feel unwanted, but try to read your relationship dynamic beforehand. You should not encroach into the other person’s personal space.
Hugs have become a conventional norm in recent times. However, some people prefer to have their personal space and shy away from physical touch. They may open up only to their family members or romantic interest. If the person is an acquaintance or colleague, they may prefer something formal like a handshake. Try to reserve your tight hugs for your close friends and romantic partner.
Hugs are therapeutic. They can bring comfort and can be de-stressing while also conveying your strong bond and emotional connection. Analyzing body language will tell you a lot about the nature of your relationship. Try to read your unique relationship with the other person and accordingly decide on the type of hug to avoid confusion.