Hugging it out is a great way to end an argument and make peace with each other. We should do it more often, and the world will be a better place. The thing is, hugging can do a lot of good for our health, our happiness and our relationships. It builds trust, brings us closer, and helps us express our feelings better.
12 Types Of Hugs And What They Say About Your Relationship
Let’s see how to read the social cues better and express your love and affection towards one another with these 12 types of hugs.
1. The side hug
A side hug is a relaxed, casual and quite versatile type of hug. It’s for couples, friends, colleagues and acquaintances alike. Although some people claim it’s only half a hug, when it’s genuine and comes from the heart, a side hug can boost the mood of both participants and strengthen their bond.
This type of hug casually says, “I want to be close to the person near me, and I’m not afraid to show it”. For example, if you are together at a party, socializing with others, stand near your partner and gently place your arm along their lower back. It will show you are a closely-knit couple, comfortable near one another and protective of your love.
A side hug can also be a casual type of hug that you can use when greeting an acquaintance or taking a family photo. Simply drape your arm around each other’s shoulders and let the sides of your bodies meet.
2. The warm bear hug
This is that strong and kinda’ rough type of hug where you put your arms around someone and squeeze very tightly, showing a burst of affection towards one another. This type of hug is usually long and tight, and full of intimacy.
It will come naturally when you meet a dear friend you haven’t seen in a while or when your granny greets you for the holidays. However, it won’t hurt if you use this type of embrace to show affection towards your lover, your husband or your wife more often. Just do it, and you’ll feel a sudden surge of happiness, love and affection. Squeeze tightly and let the wave of devotion, passion and tenderness embrace you both.
3. The “head on shoulder” type of hugs
This type of hug is mostly a couple’s type of hug that strengthens your connection and speaks about a relationship anchored in love, affection and deep respect.
It shows that you two are willing to spend your lives with one another and will always look after each other, no matter what. It’s a relaxing type of embrace that you could also use to reflect on your lives and plans ahead.
4. The heart-to-heart embrace
The heart-to-heart embrace can also be a warm bear hug where the huggers embrace with their left sides so that their hearts touch. It can be a long, tight embrace used to comfort one another and share love, joy and deep affection.
Arms are usually intertwined so that you embrace your counterpart’s whole body, whether you’re seated or standing. Engaging in a heart-to-heart embrace can be unintentional and instinctive. However, if it doesn’t come naturally, don’t worry! You can practise it. Make sure you hold the embrace for longer and close your eyes and enjoy the moment. It will nourish your relationship and help you feel closer to one another.
A heart-to-heart embrace is especially important in moments when you feel tired and emotionally drained. So, don’t be afraid to ask for it or give it to those who look like they need it.
5. Group hugs
These are the best types of friend hugs for close-knit groups. You just gather your squad together and engage in a special embrace to celebrate, comfort or simply show your affection to each other.
Do it often when you meet with the entire gang, and you’ll see that your bond will get stronger over the years. It’s a nice feeling as well. Being surrounded by your best pals, holding tight to each other, locking your arms in a warm embrace, smiling, laughing and joking about things. It’s the magical stuff that true friendships are made of.
6. The self hug
Going from group hugs to self-hugs is not a mere coincidence. We want to stress that self-love is as essential as friendships. You’ve got to love yourself to be able to love others.
Apart from your relationship with your loved ones, family and friends, you must develop a good relationship with yourself. Self-love and self-esteem make life a lot easier and more enjoyable.
Wrap your arms around yourself and close your eyes. Stretch your body, squeeze your arms and clear your mind. Whatever the issue at hand, forgive yourself. Let go of the things you can’t control, and stop worrying. Everything will be ok.
7. The quick hug
Surely you’ve experienced this type of hug where you quickly hold each other for a few seconds and then awkwardly act as if nothing important happened and try to stop your brain from thinking about it.
When in a romantic relationship, this quick hug can mean you’re not fully committed or ready to take your relationship to another level. Love and affection might be there, but you still have some emotional or mental barriers you must tear down before fully throwing yourselves in each other’s arms. When this happens at first, don’t stress too much over it. Keep it casual and relaxed. If it keeps happening after long periods, then maybe something is off in your relationship, and you need to discuss it and put it into words.
A quick hug can also happen between friends, siblings or colleagues. Again, let it be if it’s at the beginning stages of your relationship or if you’re not looking for a closer connection with each other.
8. The “pat-on-the-back” type of hug
You’re undoubtedly familiar with this type of hug, and you’ve probably heard over the years that a pat on the back mid-hug might represent either being uncomfortable or wanting to cut the hug short. However, it’s not always the case.
Haven’t you felt the urge to pat someone on the back when they’re hugging you just to show your support to them? The pat-on-the-back hug is mostly a friendly hug that speaks about camaraderie and reassures your friendship. There is not much intimacy involved, which is how men usually greet their buddies when they go for a beer.
It’s a “safe” hug that you can also share with someone from your family, showing that you are there for them. It’s not necessarily bad if it happens in a couple, either. When you give your partner a hug with a pat on the back, you’re basically showing appreciation that goes beyond intimacy and stands at the foundation of your love and respect for one another. However, if it’s the only type of embrace you give each other during a romantic relationship, that’s a red flag.
So, balance is key. Alternating between warm tight embraces and pats on the back is the healthiest way to grow your relationship.
9. The prolonged hug
If there’s one hug that can heal any wounds, it’s this one. It doesn’t matter if it’s heart-to-heart or tight. All that matters is that you keep closer for more than 40 seconds and abandon yourself to that warm, fuzzy feeling.
A prolonged hug can be comforting when something bad and serious happens, and you just need to nestle yourself in the arms of your significant other. It can also be a loving and tender moment spent with your lover, whispering sweet nothings in each other’s ears and enjoying the warmth of your bodies and the intimacy of the moment.
10. The one-sided hug
As the name suggests, a one-sided hug is when there’s just one hugger and one receiver. The receiver of the hug is not reciprocating the gesture and typically just stands or sits with their arms by their side. Normally, you would say this is bad because there’s no reciprocation. In some cases, it is. It might be a forced hug, where the receiver doesn’t want any part of the action.
However, sometimes, the receiver can reciprocate with a touch on the hand of the hugger or by laying their head on their shoulder. On this occasion, it becomes a comforting hug, and it’s lovely and intimate.
11. The hug around the waist
This hug is mostly a couple’s thing. It’s quite an intimate gesture to put your hand around a person’s waist. So it can either be a romantic partner, a person you have a romantic interest in or a close friend.
By putting your hands around another’s person’s waist and pulling that person closer, you signal that you want to spend as much time together as possible. It shows you trust each other and are comfortable together. It also involves staring into each other’s eyes and maybe even getting flirty. From a simple hug, it can evolve into a passionate kiss.
12. A hug from behind
Hugging from behind is another couple’s thing that shows trust, love and deep affection towards one another. It also allows the hugger to whisper sweet nothings in their partner’s ear.
The body language of such a hug tells who the protector is in the relationship. Usually, the person who hugs from behind assumes this role. A hug from behind can go on longer than other hugs without being awkward. It can happen randomly, and it can come as a surprise for the receiver, and that’s the beauty of it.
Jeez, talking about all these types of hugs makes you want to go and hug your loved ones now, doesn’t it? Go do it and give them a quick kiss as well. It can make their day.