How to Tell if a Hug is Romantic?

How to Tell if a Hug is Romantic?

How to Tell if a Hug is Romantic

Hug. There are all kinds of hugs. Side hug, friendly hug, frontal hug, and hug from behind. A warm hug, tight hug, bear hug, the list goes on.

Hugs are a gesture of love, friendliness, and being nice. However, differentiating friend hug vs crush hug needs knowledge, observation, and experience. Understanding signs and body language can be helpful. Signs can help you tell if a hug is romantic.

Hugs can convey a lot more emotion than hours of conversation. It can bring down stress levels, trigger the release of happy hormones, and bring comfort to the hugger and the hugged.

When you are crushing on someone and want to know what they want to convey with their hug, read on. Here you will find more about the romantic aspects of frontal and from-the-back hugs. If you don’t know the person well, here are some signs to tell you whether there is a romantic angle to their hug.

Hugs and their meanings

In a romantic context, a frontal hug and a hug from behind can be significant. Let’s decode friendly hug vs romantic hug and see when hugs can have romantic connotations.

Frontal hug

In this, your chests, stomachs, shoulders, and arms would be touching each other. It’s a comfortable position for both and is often used in romantic situations. These are a few variations of the frontal hug.

  • The hands of the taller person will circle the waist of the shorter one, while the shorter person will place their arms around the taller person’s neck. A hug around the neck or waist has romantic tones.
  • One person can lean their head against the neck/chest of the other. This is definitely a romantic hug.
  • Romantic hugs last longer than platonic hugs. They hold each other tightly and relax their bodies into an intimate hug.
  • One person stroking or massaging the other person’s back/arms or caressing their hair is a highly intimate and romantic gesture.
  • If one person is showing reluctance to let go or letting go gradually or continues to keep touching the other, it sure is a romantic hug. Eye contact after an intimate hug is another sign to confirm the romantic angle. 

Hug from behind

This is a spontaneous gesture to surprise the person you love. It’s simple and sweet and not complicated. 

  • When the body of your hugger is leaning against your back and their arms wrapped around you, there is no doubt about the hug being romantic.
  • The hugger holding you tight with one arm holding the other in your front is undeniably romantic. If the hugger is taller, they may hug you over the chest or even over the shoulders. When a guy hugs you with both arms, look no more.
  • The hugger may lean their head against your neck or back for an intimate romantic hug. When a guy buries his face in your neck, his intentions are clear.
  • Like the frontal hug, the hugger may massage your arms and hold you tight from behind for long enough and then relax into an intimate hug.
  • Typically hugs from behind end with you turning around to face the hugger and proceeding to a frontal hug. 

How to tell if a hug is romantic?

Discerning friend hug vs crush hug isn’t easy. Signs are quite helpful to interpret the meaning of a physical gesture like a hug. While some of them are subtle, others are easy to understand.

When you get a hug from someone you’re crushing on and aren’t sure about their intentions, you may find these signs helpful.

1. It’s awkward

You may know what awkward hugs are. You are not sure about the intention of the other person or your guess is wrong. Whether the hugs are romantic or not depends on the relationship you share with the other person. Even if you haven’t revealed your romantic feelings for each other, their hugs can be romantic. 

As you don’t know each other well enough, you are not aware of what is ok and what they are comfortable with. Your arms will be in the wrong position or your noses will bump against each other. It’s as if you have never hugged before.

Both of you are self-conscious and nervous because you are in love.

2. Their breathing is uneven

At the beginning of a romantic relationship, the sight and proximity of your loved one will make your heart beat faster and breathe shallow, fast, and labored. Most often you hold your breath when you see your loved one. You may say that they “took your breath away”. 

When you notice shallow and uneven breathing in the person hugging you, it is a sign that romance is in the air. 

3. They sigh deeply and audibly

Sigh is a sign of relief and relaxation. After the buildup of stress and anxiety, we sigh aloud to release the tension. When you hear the other person sigh loudly when hugging, it is a sign of deep feelings for you.

The feelings associated with the loud sigh can be anything – a sign of happiness to see each other or a yearning to be with each other. If you are hiding these feelings or at least not revealing the feelings, it can build up tension in your interactions. 

For instance, when you see and interact with a person daily, you won’t sigh when you hug. Usually, you sigh deeply when you are seeing them after a long time. A point to note here is that you don’t sigh when you hug a person whom you don’t have any feelings about.

But the feeling behind the sigh is still a mystery. It can be your wish to be together or to reveal your feelings for each other.

4. They hold you tight and relax

Another way of putting this is they melt in your embrace. If you still haven’t revealed your feelings for each other, there is bound to be much sexual tension between you two. Even if it is a friendly hug and isn’t meant to be a romantic hug, it can still bring down the stress level between the two of you. 

When the built-up tension finds a release in the form of a hug, your bodies will relax. This may seem like melting into each other’s arms. Both of you are so relieved to have the opportunity to be close to each other. You both surrender all your resistance at that moment and enjoy it as much as you can. 

Can you feel their muscles relaxing? Can you feel the weight of their body? If yes, they definitely have romantic feelings for you.

5. They take it slow and savor each moment

When you have been dreaming about this moment for a long time and finally when the moment comes, you don’t want it to end so suddenly. You want the moment to last forever. These are part and parcel of romantic thoughts.

Platonic hugs are just like saying “Hi!”. It’s a way of greeting each other and nothing more. It’s a prelude to the conversation. So, you are not keen on prolonging the hug. You hug and move on to the conversation part. 

But a romantic hug is different in so many ways. When you have romantic feelings for each other and haven’t yet revealed them, hugs become all the more important. Since you are still not planning to come out and say it out loud, you want the hug to remain forever. 

6. They blurt out something idiotic

Some people cannot hold their tongues when they are nervous. They seem to have no control over their mind or what they say. This is the reason why they say stupid things while hugging. This can be a cringeworthy joke or a silly comment. This may be so unrelated to you or the situation that you cannot help noticing it.

In the early days of the relationship, when you two haven’t yet talked about your romantic feelings for each other, it can be hard. While some get flustered by a surge of emotions, others may do this when they are unsure or embarrassed. 

The worst part about this is that it will stay in your memory forever. You may even joke about it later on. But for now, this is a sign of romantic interest.

7. They go beet red

Blushing is always a sign of romantic interest. When we are crushing on someone, even a look or a touch can make us tremble and blush. When it is a hug, even if it is casual and platonic, the emotions we feel can be colossal. 

They may have dreamed about this opportunity many times but never expected it to happen so suddenly. With your bodies so close together, they will experience a sudden love rush. They may feel awkward and self-conscious and all those emotions may show up on their face as a blush.

Come to think of it, who would blush when hugging a friend? That says it all.

8. They have their hands in the pocket

This may come as a surprise to you. Hands in the pocket is a well-defined body language with clear meanings for different situations. If this person is placing their hands in their pocket before and after hugging you, it is an indication of their shyness and reluctance. It is also a sign that they are trying to impress you by appearing “cool”.

At least in some people, this is considered a defensive attitude. They may be worried about your reaction. They are trying to make the impression that they are cool irrespective of your response. Or this gesture can also be interpreted as their attempt to distract you from their embarrassing antics while near you. 

No matter its meaning, this is definitely a sign that romance is in the air.

9. They lock eyes with you

Eye contact is considered one of the most significant indications of love and romantic interest. You can read a lot of a person’s thoughts and emotions when they make eye contact with you. 

If they are giving you a love-filled gaze before and after hugging you, look no further. The hug is romantic, no doubt. 

Like so many other body language signs, this one also is happening without their knowledge. Even if they want to, they may not be able to avoid it altogether. From the love gaze, you may be able to decipher their intentions accurately. You can differentiate between friend hug vs crush hug. 

Even if a person is shy and not yet ready to say it out loud, you can learn a lot if you know how to read body language.

10. Their hands go around your waist

When we hug a person, it need not always be around the waist. If this person hugging you is wrapping their arms around your waist, it is considered a romantic sign. The lower their hands are, the more love they feel for you. 

The reason is simple. In a friendly hug, the arms usually go around the torso and won’t go as far down as the waist. So, this means this person wants to be more than friendly.

Again, it also depends on your response. If you like the person and give encouraging signs, the person may feel bolder to place their hands around your waist. You can help by showing no hesitation and leaning closer to their body.

11. They caress your hair

Though this may sound strange, this is very much a part of human nature. Touching hair and letting fingers run through the hair is considered very seductive. From the time this person falls in love with you, they may be dreaming of being near you, talking to you, and touching you. 

This person has been looking at you and adoring you for some time now. They definitely love the opportunity to touch and smell you. Even if the hugs are platonic, this will allow them to be near you and know you at close quarters. Don’t be surprised if they stroke your hair or smell them. 

They may even try to hold the smell in their memory so that they can enjoy it later on when you are no longer with them. If they don’t want you to know about their romantic interest in you, they may do all this slyly, without your knowledge. 

Final thoughts on friend hug vs crush hug

A hug between friends and a hug between romantics can be quite different. A hug between friends is usually more open-ended and casual, while a hug between those in love often has more of an intimate quality to it.

Initially, this person may hesitate to come too close to you fearing your reaction. If you are encouraging, they will come closer. In a romantic hug, there is no such thing as being too close. They may be closing their eyes and savoring every moment of the hug. Hugs are more an experience for someone in love than merely a physical gesture.

Does this person pull away and look/smile at you before hugging you again? They are just trying to reassure themselves that this is actually happening. Reluctance to end the hug and be apart is another sign of romantic interest. 

From a simple hug, you can deduce a lot of meaning if only you know what to look for. Armed with these signs, you will be in a better position to take a sneak peek into their minds. 


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