Hug. Isn’t that the most comforting and reassuring word you can hear?
Wikipedia defines hugs as a form of physical intimacy, while the Cambridge dictionary defines it as to hold someone close to your body with your arms, to show that you like, love or value them (1). We have specific hugs for specific relationships. Like the reassuring hug for your mother, a hug of support from your father or also, the BFF hug.
Perhaps the widest range of hugs that we have are the ones for our romantic partners. When you are in a relationship, you develop a variety of hugs that mean several emotions over the course of time. Let’s go through some of these hugs and see what they mean.
If you remember Ryan Gosling’s hug from The Notebook, you know what we’re talking about. This hug is typical when either of you is going through one of the worst moments and the other shows up like a ray of sunshine. This hug is also the type you experience after a separation. Apparently, distance does make the heart grow fonder.
What It Signifies: That your partner is extremely happy and reassured to see you at that moment. This could also imply that your partner is extremely expressive and would like to express physically rather than through words. However, a word of caution – a deadlock hug could also signify that the partner is scared of losing you and it is his or her way of reassuring themselves that you are still around. Have an honest chat with them about it to find out whether that’s the case and reassure them.
2. Hug Of The Upper Half
It feels as uncomfortable as it sounds! When your partner is reluctant to make full body contact through the hug, it’s time to have a chat.
What It Signifies: Mainly reluctance. But you do need to have a chat about why your partner is reluctant to hug you. Are they disappointed about something or are they uncomfortable expressing a hug in front of other people?
3. Legs Around The Waist
You lucky person, you! How fortunate you are to be greeted with such a hug.
What It Signifies: That you share an extremely passionate relationship and that neither of you has problems expressing how much you have missed each other. Enjoy the moment!
4. One Way Street
Unfortunately, some people just don’t return the hug. You hug with all the affection you have inside of you, and they just stand there at attention as though expecting to be called up for duty at any minute now.
What It Signifies: That he’s just not that into you! Although your partner may not be a hugger – how can someone not enjoy hugs? We hear you! – extreme reluctance to even accept your hug implies a deeper lack of necessity to hug you. Some can be taught; some have to be let go of.
5. Eye Contact During Hug
Oh, boy! Cue the love ballads of the 80s already! Remember the dances of your teens, when you would just stare into the eyes of your crush/boyfriend/girlfriend without even blinking while locking your foreheads too? Yeah, that’s the kind of hug we are talking about. This is probably the most intimate of hugs, where you are also speaking through your eyes about how much you love the other person.
What It Signifies: A high level of physical and emotional intimacy in the relationship. It is truly a soul connection. The two of you have no troubles talking through your relationship and do enjoy plenty of intimate moments together.
6. Buddy Hug
The one that’s half a hug, half a declaration that you are not quite into each other. Where it’s easy to either look at one another or look elsewhere and feel completely normal.
What It Signifies: A strong friendship that will carry your relationship through anything you will have to face. Few couples are as good friends as you are, so feel lucky and invest well in this relationship. Friendship is, after all, the best foundation for any relationship.
7. Back Hug
Or the Joey-came-back-to-hug-Chandler hug. What a great moment that felt like!
What It Signifies: Trust and love underscored by a strong friendship. Also, a relationship where impulsive intimacy is well received and reciprocated. Hugging someone from the back can also signify a level of protectiveness about the other person.
8. Safe Hug
Where the other person pats your back out of gentle affection and tolerance.
What It Signifies: Not the most outwardly passionate relationship, but whatever floats your boat!
9. Bear Hug
Probably the best of its kind, where you don’t care who is watching or what they are thinking and saying about your hug.
What It Signifies: That your relationship is your own special world, and you don’t care who is watching. You want to seize the moment, and hug your partner until they are sure of how you feel. Do it more often is all that we would say!
Whether you want a celebratory hug or one that spells reassurance, a hug is an emotional action that can make or break your day. So, the next time you reach out to another person think about what kind of a hug you want to give them.