10 Rules For Hugging A Guy - A Friend, A Crush, Or A Boyfriend

These rules will help you figure out how to hug a friend, crush, or boyfriend

By Akila Clark
10 Rules For Hugging A Guy - A Friend, A Crush, Or A Boyfriend

Hugging a guy who’s just a friend vs a boyfriend

When we are young, we learn about this magical thing called communication. We learn how the proper tones to use when speaking to children and adults. We also learn how body language can affect how someone feels. What about love language? This is the universal language that everyone knows, and it all starts with a hug. That’s right, a hug. A hug is an act of holding someone tightly in one's arms, typically to express affection.

One of the most complex things about this seemingly simple gesture is knowing the proper way to hug a guy. Is this guy just a friend, your boyfriend, or a crush? The last thing you want to do is hug your crush like he’s your brother and your boyfriend should be hugged like he’s your best friend you. Hugs can do so much for any relationship or friendship. When you hug people you’re speaking to them with your body. Imagine how powerful that is.

1. If the opportunity presents itself, don’t be awkward

There are many moments throughout your day wherein you interact with people. You say hello, you text, wave, make small talk, and laugh. Next thing you know, you’re crossing paths with your crush at your favorite lunch spot and time freezes. You look around, then you run! That's wrong; don’t run! Avoiding someone makes the situation way worse than actually approaching him. Go on, speak to him, give him a hug, ask him how his day is going. Don’t hesitate! Don’t call him your pal! And don’t spill his coffee when embracing him! Doing any of these things will make the entire situation awkward.

The first time you greet a guy in any way other than genuine, you could make the outcome of your meeting totally different. A hug isn’t supposed to be awkward, even if you’re just hugging your crush that you’re afraid to talk to. Just because he isn’t your boyfriend doesn’t mean you can’t show him physical attention. Your crush would appreciate it just as much as a boyfriend would. Hug him! It’s okay!

2. Never hug your best guy friend like a boyfriend

Speaking of awkward, have you ever had a guy friend who was like a brother, then all of a sudden, he started to hug you more frequently, fall for you, and want to become your boyfriend? Maybe, just maybe, it all began with the way you hugged him.

Ask yourself: do you bury your face into his chest when you hug, especially if he's taller than you? Have you ever hugged him really tight for more than a few seconds? If you answered yes, this is one of the reasons your best guy friend started catching feelings for you. Only a guy who’s your boyfriend deserves these types of hugs. Sending mixed signals is the last thing you want to do. Not only will you hurt your friend’s feelings, but you could also lose a good friend, all because your hug sent him the wrong signals about how you truly feel. Your best guy friend isn’t guaranteed to be a great boyfriend; you guys are just friends for a reason. So, make sure you hug him as such.

3. If the guy isn’t your boyfriend keep it brief!

Another rule when hugging your guy friends is having good timing. It’s a scientific fact that hugging causes you to physically and emotionally connect to someone, whether they are your boyfriend or just a friend. The longer you hug, the stronger the connection becomes.

Timing can tell a guy a lot about the meaning behind your hugs. Imagine you’re in a rush and only have two seconds to chat. This time frame is the longest you should hug any guy who isn’t your crush or your boyfriend. Not only could this send the wrong signals to your friend, but also to the people around you. It’s not rare that people could mistake your friend for your boyfriend. It’s fairly easy for people to assume things. They use the actions of others, like how you hug your guy friend, to make these assumptions. So, if you hug your best guy friend like you would hug your boyfriend then you just gave people a reason to think you guys are in a relationship.

4. Pay attention to how he responds to your hug

One thing to focus on to determine your next move after going for a hug is how he’s responding to you. Does he embrace you with equal energy or is he trying to back away? Does the guy hug you with one arm or two? Did he pull you in close like a boyfriend would or did he keep some distance? Be sure you consider all of these factors because it’ll save you some time and maybe even from embarrassment.

Reading between the lines has saved so many people from possibly ruining a great moment all from one wrong hug. It’s easy to say things nicely to keep from hurting someone’s feelings, but the body never lies. If he wants to hug you for a long time, trust me, you’ll know. Never second guess the power of physical intelligence. Your body and instinct will understand how to respond to him based on how he reacts to your hugs. Just remember, don’t force it!

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5. Be clear of your intentions when hugging a guy

As mentioned before, body language is something learned at a young age. You have to implement all the things you learned about communication into how you hug a guy. You could be showing gratitude and appreciation to a friend or your boyfriend. There may be times when you have to say hello or goodbye when you hug. Are you embracing your crush in front of a group of friends? You have to be aware of what you are trying to say to this guy in your life so that the intentions of your hug are clear.

It’s easy for things to get lost in translation when it comes to this. Asking someone, “what did that hug mean?” is awkward. So, save yourself from drama and stay conscious of your actions and why you are hugging him. Usually, your boyfriend would understand what your hugs mean. After all he is your boyfriend! But for a guy you aren’t in a relationship with, your intentions have to be straight forward so that there is no miscommunication about where things are going, if anywhere at all.

6. Don’t flirt when hugging your guy friend

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It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, run up to your guy friend, and embrace him with a tight squeeze! For some, it comes naturally to greet your friends with a hug in that manner. Unfortunately, this is borderline flirting. Think about it. You jump up and run to your best guy friend. He spins you around, a natural reaction to you jumping in the air. Your arms are around his neck and both of you are laughing. Doing this, or anything remotely close to it makes you guilty of flirting with your guy friend. Now you’re in a sticky situation and you'll need to figure out if things need to be cleared up or if it’s even a big deal. Don’t set yourself up for drama. Be aware of your flirtatious actions when hugging anyone you’re not dating.

7. How you position your arms will always matter

A great way to know what level your hugs are on is to give them labels. Having labels helps you understand how to position your arms. If you’re hugging a friend, you can give him the ‘Friend Zone’ hug, which is pretty distant and bland. You give these types of hugs with one arm, quick and easy. There’s no extra time or body interaction. The great thing about this type of hug is that height is not a factor. It doesn’t matter if he’s taller or shorter than you, the friend zone hug is one of the safest!

This type of hug will prevent you two from any misinterpretation when it comes to his position in your life. Next, you have the ‘Best friend’ hug. He’s been your best friend for years so joke around with him a bit, that’s okay! There is a difference in being playful and being flirty. If he’s taller than you, your arms may go around his neck, but remember to stay mindful of your timing and body space. Having a guy BFF who’s shorter than you can be just as simple.

@aepalomares / Instagram

If you’re hugging your crush, you want the hug to be a bit longer with one arm around his shoulder and neck and the other arm going around his lower back. This arm placement is a bit less casual because it allows you to be naturally close without feeling forced. Lastly, when hugging your boyfriend, you want to place both of your arms under his, going around his lower back. Doing this gives him full access to embrace you and throw a couple of forehead kisses in there.

You may be wondering, how do any of these hugs work if my crush or boyfriend is shorter than me? To be honest, it doesn’t matter how tall he is, you guys like each other or are probably in love! Emotions go beyond physical characteristics. Whether it’s a crush or a boyfriend, go for it and make sure you say the right thing with your arm placement. Sometimes having a guy in your life who may be significantly taller or shorter can make you wonder what's the best way to physically communicate, but in the case of hugging, it’s pretty simple.

8. Show some affection, don’t be afraid to get close

Some of the best hugs are the ones you give your boyfriend when you cuddle, when you miss him, showing him gratitude, and during those 'just because' moments. Don’t be afraid to pull your lover close and give him the affection he deserves. Just because he’s a man doesn’t mean he’s against hugs and a midday cuddle. When you hug your significant other, you want to pull him close and tight. Those hugs can say so many of the right things, even the things you’re afraid to say aloud.

The first time you cuddle with him, be sure to place your body just slightly over his so he can cuddle you as well. Laying your head on his chest makes it more intimate and romantic. Hugs and cuddling are a great way to show attention. Make them count!

9. Eye contact will take you a long way

Take a moment to think about the first time you kissed a guy. Did you close your eyes before you went in for the kill? Did you look away and hope he didn’t notice? Try this next tip. Next time you hug a guy, look him in the eyes. Eye contact goes hand in hand with body language. Your eyes hold so much emotion about how you’re feeling at any given moment. Just like a hug can allow you to connect with someone physically, eye contact does the same thing. It’s not as awkward as you may think it is. It’s a guarantee that the first time you really look him in the eye before hugging him his response will be far more satisfying!

10. Notice if he actually wants to hug you

The definition of rejection is to dismiss a proposal or idea. Have you ever felt rejected after attempting to give a guy a flirtatious hug? What made you so sure he wanted to hug you in the first place? This rule is probably the most challenging rule of them all. You have to tap into your love language skills to recognize if a guy wants to hug you and in what way is he trying to.

Sometimes, people can be hard to read, but it’s up to you to correctly interpret those signals to save yourself from embarrassment. For instance, if you and a guy have never discussed having feelings for each other, don’t go up to him with a hug full of batting eyelashes and tight grips. Maybe stick to that friend zone hug instead. Another example is when you have a guy friend who doesn’t like other people getting all up in his business, keep it casual or don’t hug him at all when you’re around your friends. Reading between the lines is vital when trying to notice if a guy wants to hug you or not. He can’t reject your hug if you don’t propose the idea.

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