15 Types of Hugs with Images and Their Meanings

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It feels great to hug someone, isn’t it? But do you know what it means to both of you involved in hugging?

Yes, I know, it does mean a lot!

Right from birth and throughout our lives, we rely on one of the most effective physical touches, that is – different types of hugs. Now, have you ever thought about how many hugs you need in a day? The more, the better – isn’t it?

Hugs are one of the best ways to show your love and affection. It communicates a lot of emotions that even words fail to express. Sometimes, when you feel sad, depressed, angry, and low, all you need is a hug and nothing else to lift your mood. When a hug is heartfelt, it can resolve any differences and heal broken hearts. Also, it is a form of showing friendliness and greeting people. But if you don’t read the subtext, you can, sometimes, misinterpret a hug.

Types of Hugs and Their Meanings

Types of Hugs and Their Meanings

Do you know that there are a number of hugs that express different kinds of emotions? In this post, I will talk about the different types of hugs and their meanings, so you don’t misinterpret a hug.

Read on.

1. The Long Hug

The Long Hug
Image Credit: jerseyshorescene.com

This type of hug is most commonly shared between people in long-term relationships. It can be your family member, your friend, or your lover. This strong and comforting embrace from you to your loved one is the best medicine for times when they feel low and crave a hug. Take the other person in your arms and hold them tightly for a minute or so. It means that you are there for them – no matter what. Your loved one will get the much-needed emotional support and warmth. And do I need to tell you that your relationship will be stronger than ever?

2. The Bear Hug

The Bear Hug
Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.co.kr/

I like the bear hug a lot. It is meaningful and genuine at the same time. Generally, you go for a tight and real bear hug when you want to share your excitement or your moments of joy. It is a lot more intimate compared to a long hug. When you give a bear hug, you wrap your arms around the other person. But did I tell you that bear hugs are mostly platonic? Well, yes! The tight embrace is all about relieving the other person of anxiety and stress and filling them with warmth. This hug tells the other person how much you love and care for the relationship.

3. The Polite Hug

The Polite Hug
Image Credit: https://kalingatv.com/

A polite hug tends to be quick and short. This is generally a formal hug shared between distant relatives and colleagues when they try to create a social bond. But if you give someone a polite hug, you have to be a little careful and pay attention to finer nuisances. After all, you don’t want to make it awkward or uncomfortable for the other person, right?

4. The Side Hug

The Side Hug
Image Credit: www.crosswalk.com

The side hug is mostly for friends. It is not that intimate but a more relaxed hug. Most of the time, it shows that you are in a pretty good mood. Side hugs can be common in your workplace too. You can even see people go for this hug while posing for pictures. This kind of hug may seem casual, but it can be meaningful and genuine as well. If you have long-term acquaintances with someone and you meet them at some parties or certain occasions, you can share a side hug with them too! Trust me, this will give a positive vibe to the other person.

5. The Tight Hug

The Tight Hug
Image Credit: ghandar.wordpress.com

This hug is especially for your close ones. Okay, I know, you kind of understood it from the name itself, isn’t it? So, when you go for a tight hug, your full body gets involved. You wrap your arms around your close one completely. And did I tell you that you can squish them a little bit more too? This kind of hug often takes place when you are in an emotional situation, and you don’t have enough words to explain it to the other person. This can be the time when you bid farewell or meet someone after a long time. But, of course, reserve your tight hugs for your near and dear ones only. I LOVE tight hugs. It is so calming and reassuring.

6. The Pickpocket Hug

The Pickpocket Hug
Image Credit: www.india.com

This hug is for your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife. It is kind of passionate yet casual. When you go for a pickpocket hug, you put your hands on your partner’s hips – close to their back pockets. And your partner does the same! When you hug this way, it shows that you both have feelings of affection for each other, apart from the fact that your relationship is secure.

7. The Eye-to-eye Hug

The Eye to eye Hug
Image Credit: www.momjunction.com

Have you just got into a romantic relationship? Then you may already know what I am talking about here! The eye-to-eye hug is common in people with deeper feelings or new couples. This hug is often an expression of passionate, romantic love where you get lost in each other’s eyes. This intimate and personal hug suggests that you and your partner have a deep and strong bond with each other. When you slow dance with the love of your life, it often results in an eye-to-eye hug. Of course, there is an extra squish!

8. The London Bridge Hug

The London Bridge Hug
Image Credit: https://brightside.me/

When you hug the other person, and both of your upper body touches each other but the lower body remains untouched, it is known as a London bridge hug. It is a cordial embrace or rather a formal hug – when you maintain some distance from each other. To me, this is one of the most awkward hugs! You can often see politicians and diplomats hugging each other like this. The London bridge hugs are to establish a non-personal relationship or strike a social bond.

9. The Straddle Hug

The Straddle Hug
Image Credit: thedenter.com

Do you have someone in your life with whom you share the most intimate relationship? Then the straddle hug with them is a must! In a straddle hug, you embrace your partner with your full body and keep deep eye contact (most of the time). This intimate and private gesture has an underlying sexual tone. It suggests that you two have a good physical connection along with mutual trust.

10. The Back Hug

The Back Hug
Image Credit: www.shutterstock.com

Did I tell you how I love the back hug? Most of the time, a back hug can be a surprise hug to your partner that often signifies the deep feelings that you have for each other. This is often shared during moments of happiness. The back hug suggests that you have a trustworthy, physical, and intimate relationship with your romantic partner. You hug your partner from the back when you are madly in love with each other. And did I tell you how a gentle backstroke is all you need when you want to make the moment all the more special?

11. The Hug That Involves Twirling You Around

The Hug That Involves Twirling You Around
Image Credit: https://www.freepressjournal.in/

This is a romantic hug that you often get to see in movies – when the hero hugs the heroine tightly and then lifts her and twirls her around. In this type of hug, the one who lifts the other person is the taller one. And the one who gets lifted is the shorter one. This hug is kind of cute. 

You often get to see this kind of hug at airports when two people in love meet after a long time.

12. The Hug Where Your Heads Rest on Each Other

The Hug Where Your Heads Rest on Each Other
Image Credit: www.momjunction.com

When you hug this way, your heads rest on each other, and you embrace each other in a cozy cuddle. This long, deep romantic hug has the power to make you feel secure. When you are in love with a person and want to feel all loved and secure, you rest your head on their head. This hug is an intimate gesture that signifies the deep commitment and mutual trust you share.

13. The Buddy Hug

The Buddy Hug
Image Credit: momjunction.com

Have you ever placed your hand around your buddy? Well, that’s exactly what a buddy hug is! This kind of hug is not for people in love or romantic relationships. Rather, it is meant to be shared between you and your mate. Of course, siblings can share a buddy hug too. And did I tell you that this hug is never one-sided?

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14. The Quick Hug

The Quick Hug
Image Credit: www.momjunction.com

Just as the name suggests, a quick hug is when you hug the other person quickly, in a hurry. People often misunderstand this hug as cold or unaffectionate. But that is not the case. And generally, a quick hug doesn’t have any romantic subtext. After all, you want to give the love of your life a long, tight, and passionate hug, and not a quick one, isn’t it?

15. The Patting Hug

The Patting Hug
Image Credit: www.momjunction.com

When a hug is accompanied by a sweet and gentle pat, it is known as the patting hug. It is meant to cheer up a dejected or sad person. This type of hug doesn’t have any romantic undertone, as it is a platonic one.


Not all hugs are meant for everyone. If you notice that the person you are about to hug is not comfortable, it is better to stick to handshakes. Reserve the tight hugs for your loved ones!

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