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How to Hug a Girl: 25 Tips to Give a Girl the Kind of Hug She Wants

Knowing how to hug a girl can be tricky, especially if you’re initiating the gesture. If you aren’t sure of the rules of hugging a girl, here’s your guide.

how to hug a girl

Hugging a girl seems like the easiest thing in the world to do, but if you’re ignorant regarding the certain unspoken rules on hugging the opposite sex and want to know how to hug a girl, these tips can keep you from making a misunderstood move.

Just think of it like this: a big lumbering dude approaching a girl with arms wide open can be either seen as a sign of affection if done correctly, or misunderstood as a form of sexual harassment if done mindlessly. Therefore, it is advisable to know the proper ways to hug a girl before taking her into your arms. Unless you want your intended romantic gesture be interpreted as a creepy move.

How to hug a girl – The little details you must know

If you’re wondering how to hug a girl the right way, remember these tips to make sure the one you hug feels loved and not like a victim.

1. Girls prefer to be the “hugger” instead of the “huggee”

While guys don’t really mind when they get a surprise hug from the opposite sex, ladies tend to be more conscious of their personal space and warier of intimate physical contact.

Check out the 11 types of hugs a woman gives and what they really mean so you can understand what she feels when she hugs you.

2. Consider what type of relationship you have with the girl

Are you two close? If you are, how close are you? Is she an acquaintance? A friend of a friend? Like childhood friends for more than ten years? Are you romantically involved? Are you formerly romantically involved? Is she family? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before hugging her.

3. Look for signs she wants to be hugged

A relaxed, open posture inviting you to close in is a good sign she’ll take your hug. If she’s smiling wide, her arms are open and she seems relaxed, great! However, if her body language seems closed and she puts distance between you, it tells you to back off and keep your hands off her. [Read: 13 signs of unspoken attraction to know if someone is into you]

4. Is it really appropriate to give her a hug at that moment?

Hugging is a form of intimate contact given as a sign of affection, friendliness, intimacy, or support. If the situation doesn’t require one, then maybe hold off for later. [Read: The man code: The most important rules of a gentleman]

Hugging a girl requires 60% of a man’s effort: relax your body and take the hugging stance which is opening your arms as an invitation. The other 40% would be the girl accepting the gesture and moving in close to you.

Real life is not like Korean or Japanese drama where you pull her as she moves away from you, hugging her tight as she breaks down into your hug in tears. Doing that might result in a slap or an uncomfortable struggle to run away from you.

6. Play it safe if you’re not sure – and sneaky!

If you’re just not sure if the girl is ready for a hug, try this move.

As you say goodbye, *slightly* lean your shoulders towards her as you move in towards her and bring your hand out from the side of your waist, like you’re going in for a wide handshake. This move appears casual, but it’s cheeky and a smart thing to do, because she won’t be sure if you’re going in for a handshake or a hug. And just leave it up to her to take that decision.

If she moves in for a hug, hug her. And if she stretches out her hand, shake her hand!

[Read: Friend zone or interested? 15 clues to read your crush’s mind instantly]

7. Always be gentle

Don’t hug a girl like you would hug an old college bro. Keep those rough manly hugs where they belong.

8. Mind where you put your hands

Depending on the nature of your relationship with the girl, always keep your hands in a woman’s neutral places. A comforting pat on the back or a gentle rub on the shoulder to comfort a crying girl would be appropriate but beyond the borders of her lower back calls for a slap. [Read: How to comfort a girl is the most thoughtful way a man can]

9. Mind your hygiene

Hugging a girl after you’ve done your rounds in the gym would be a turn off even if the said girl is head over heels attracted to you. At the least, make sure you shower before giving the ladies a hug, or give her a fair warning that you’re too dirty for a hug!

10. Mind how long your hug lasts

As a rule, long hugs are for people who are close and have a more intimate relationship with you. Short friendly hugs are for more casual settings. Giving a long hug to a girl whom you’ve just met can be perceived as awkward and creepy.

When it comes to knowing how to hug a girl, let her control the duration of the hug if you’re not sure if you’re lingering. As soon as you feel her arms lift off your back, do the same.

[Read: 23 hacks to be a lot more attractive to women instantly]

Types of hugs for every girl and every occasion

**Friendly hugs for friends, family, acquaintances you want to be close with or even strangers you’ve shared a moment with. These are the most harmless and casual of hugs.

1. One-arm sling

When it comes to knowing how to hug a girl, you should remember that this is the least intimate of hugs where the hugger wraps one arm over the receiver’s arm or shoulder and is done with a slight press of both your bodies. [Read: 20 types of physical touches and what each touch means]

2. The casual greeting hug

The casual hug is done using only one arm where each places their hugging arm over the shoulder and pressing your upper torso together in a quick movement. There’s some distance between huggers from mid-torso downwards. This hug is done quickly.

3. The side hug

This is a hug where the receiver is not facing the hugger. The hugger wraps both arms from the receiver’s side just like a bear hug. As such, the receiver cannot hug back.

4. Comfort hug

Just like in the movies, this is a type of hug you give to those who need comfort or a shoulder to cry on. The hugger wraps one hand on the back of the receiver’s head while the other hand is over her back. The receiver faces the hugger’s chest and wraps both arms over the hugger’s back. There, there. [Read: When a woman is crying: The gentleman’s dos and don’ts]

**Intimate hugs for people who have a special meaning to you. As the name implies, these are more intimate and involves more body contact. Used for your special someone, your lover, or your spouse.

5. Full contact hug

Similar to purpose as a comfort hug, but with both bodies pressed tightly, and slightly daring hand positions. The hugger wraps one arm over the receiver’s neck or upper back while the other hand is wrapped on the lower back. The receiver does the same creating a mirror image of the hugger. Heads are placed over the other person’s shoulders.

6. Slow dance hug

Just like how you would hold a girl on your prom night dance, this type of hug is romantic and kind of sweet in a cute way. Girl wraps her arms around the guy’s neck while the guy places hands around her waist. This hug is perfect if you’re closing in for a kiss, or just playing some music and dancing while you talk face to face. [Read: How to touch a girl on a date and make her desire you]

7. Hug from behind

Commonly used for surprise hugs, the guy sneaks from behind and wraps both arms over the girl’s waist. The hugger then presses their bodies close together, and you may add a little neck nuzzling or ear nibbling for your pleasure.

8. The make out hug

This is a type of a full body hug where the girl wraps her arms around the guy’s neck and her legs wrapped around his waist. This requires strength since the guy is actually carrying the girl’s whole weight. From what it looks like, you kind of have an idea what this hug is for.

[Read: Shy guy guide: How to hug a girl without feeling awkward]

Summing up – The 3 questions you need to ask yourself when you hug a girl

So now that you know the different types of hugs, how to hug a girl, and the hugging etiquette, you know all it takes to confidently hug a girl. If you’re not sure she was coming in for a hug, a quick hug solves that without any awkwardness. But if you’re still confused, here a few questions that can help you make up your mind in a second!

First, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is it okay to hug her at that location and exact moment?

Are you in a crowded elevator? Are you walking across a dangerous, rope bridge? Are you in the middle of an intense session of Jenga? If your answer to any of these is yes, then no, it is not okay. Don’t rush it. There will always be a chance for you to hug her somewhere that physically allows it. [Read: 16 non-sexual touches to feel connected and loved]

2. Is she okay with being hugged?

Again, use your instincts. Use your eyes and ears, too. If she looks uncomfortable in your presence, or if she sounds exasperated or annoyed, it may not be the best time to go in for a hug.

3. Are you really ready to hug her?

Even if she is okay with hugging you, are you really up for it? If you’re too nervous, you might scare the girl you like. Take a deep breath, loosen up, and don’t overthink it. Hug her when you feel the time is right. If you’re not feeling very confident about it, just step closer, and wait for the girl to make a move. No jitters, and no awkwardness here!

[Read: The biggest clues a girl gives if she wants you to make a move]

Things to remember while hugging a girl

1. AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: Don’t hug a girl if you have a boner. Of course, you won’t do it. But it wouldn’t hurt to check before going in for a hug. That is, unless you confidently know she wants to feel your boner! [Read: 19 signs she wants the D and wants you to take her home]

2. Don’t try anything crazy… yet. No twirls. No running into each other. No movie-copyrighted hugs either. You have to work up to that first.

3. Do not sniff her hair even if you think you can be discreet about it. It comes across as creepy. Just don’t do it.

4. Don’t accidentally kiss her. Yep. You don’t want to go there. Hugging her is already nerve-wracking enough, kissing her requires a whole other story.

How to initiate the HUG

Finally! On to the good part! Here’s a summary and a quick walkthrough on how to hug a girl like a cool, confident guy that you are. Follow these steps to ensure you’re giving the girl you like the nicest hug she’s ever had.

1. Face her. The small movement makes a huge impact. Facing someone sends out a signal that your attention is focused only on them.

2. Lean towards her. This is when your motive is expressed. Leaning in means you want to be closer to that person. What happens next is up to you.

3. Open your arms. This is the universal signal for, “Hug me.” Combine this with the first two steps and the girl will know what’s up.

4. Wait for her to open her arms back. Give her a second here, and wait for her. Make sure she opens her arms too, or else there’s no point in continuing further. No open arms means no hug.

5. Step forward *or inch forward*. Let’s say she does open up for the hug. That still doesn’t mean you’re in. It’s possible she’s just being polite.

6. Close your arms around her slightly. Now, you’ll find out if the hug was worth all the hard work and effort you put into reading this feature.

7. Wait for her to do the same. If she does hug you back, oh boy. It’s all perfect so far!

8. Tighten your hug. Don’t hug her too tightly or else she might start to feel uncomfortable. Just hold her a bit tighter, but do not smother her.

9. Check to see how she reacts. If she stiffens, she’s not into it. If she squirms, she’s not into it. If she lets go, she’s done being into it. If she stays for a little bit longer, you’re golden. [Read: 15 body language cues a girl gives away if she likes you]

10. Wait for her to let go. It’s only polite to let the huggee let go of the hugger. If she doesn’t, you can probably let go of her about 2 – 5 seconds after initiating the hug. But we know very well you’d love to make the hug last a little bit longer, right? Once she lets go of you, smile. Show her how much it meant to you.

Remember, a hug is not the be-all and end-all of a relationship between a guy and a girl. There’s more to come, but it sure helps to start with something like a warm and cuddly hug to show your girl how much you care about her.

A hug is one of the most intimate physical gestures you give to a girl as a sign of affection. And when you know how to hug a girl the way she wants to be hugged, it has the power to comfort, cheer, and express your affections in the warmest way possible. 

Want to know more about how to decode a girl’s mind? Check these out:

Friendly hug vs. romantic guy – How to feel the difference instantly

28 things a guy can do to make a girl melt and like him instantly

How to make a girl really like you without ever asking her out

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...