How do you feel when you need a hug? For most people, a hug means comfort, joy and connection. When you’re sad, being in someone’s arms gives you relief and consolation, and when you’re happy, you share your happiness with another person by hugging them.
Hugs are a way of relating to another human being and show each other that you care. A hug is a way to share your feelings and communicate without words. Not all hugs are the same, but all of them either bring you closer to the person you’re hugging or show them that you want to keep them at a distance.
A back hug is one of those special hugs that can’t really be interpreted as anything but loving. Hugging from behind is special because it can be playful, comforting or intense. Read all about this sweet way of hugging and test your findings on your partner.
Is Hugging From Behind Romantic?
Hugging from behind is romantic because being enveloped in your partner’s arms and having them at your back is enough to make anyone feel safe, protected and loved.
Most hugs can be romantic – it’s all about how it’s done. The back hug is one of the types of hugs that happens between people who care for each other. Because most of the time the bodies of the people who are hugging are very close. If someone you’re not close to were to hug you from behind, it would be inappropriate.
Back hugs are very unusual between people who don’t have romantic interest in each other. Because it’s so intimate, hugging from behind mostly happens between people who are in a relationship or who want to be in one.
The exception to this would be very close friends comforting each other in a difficult situation or parents hugging their kids to show them support and make them feel safe. These examples tell you that this kind of hug is always full of love.
This is also true in a romantic relationship: the back hug makes you feel loved. The lack of eye contact doesn’t make it any less intimate – in fact, it helps you bond because you’re facing the world together.
How To Tell If A Hug Is Romantic?
Paying attention to someone’s body language is one of the easiest ways to tell if they’re interested in you. This includes the way they hug you and their reaction when you hug them. Since many types of hugs can be friendly or romantic, the same hug can say, “I love you” or “hey, buddy”, and the difference is in the execution.
You can probably already tell someone’s intention by how their hug makes you feel, but sometimes wishful thinking can affect your judgment and a friendly hug might seem romantic. Here’s how to tell them apart.
The space between your bodies says a lot.
If only your shoulders and arms are touching and the rest of your bodies are apart, one or both of you wants to keep their distance. This is the way you’d hug someone you don’t want to hug or don’t want to touch, such as a colleague or someone you don’t know well.
The closer you are to the person, the closer you get to them physically. A romantic hug includes full body contact, starting with your hearts touching all the way to your feet. Someone who hugs you like this wants to be as close to you as possible.
The way you hold someone while hugging them is an expression of feelings. A warm, tight hug shows affection, but it can be a sign of either romantic interest or friendship. Still, in general, a friend will squeeze you to show you they’ve missed you or how much they care, but a lover will melt into you.
A loose hug without pressure indicates a lack of desire to be hugged or it can show anxiety. Look for more clues to know for sure.
Long love hugs that show deep feelings tend to linger. When you can’t explain love with words or want to show it with physical touch, leaving a lover’s embrace is hard. Romantic hugs last for a long time, comparable only to hugs you receive from someone you love that you haven’t seen in a long time.
Shorter hugs usually have a more platonic nature, but if your partner briefly hugs you in passing, it means that they couldn’t resist hugging you, if only for a short time.
When your lover’s arms are around you, holding you tight, where are their hands? Hand placement while kissing and hugging betrays their feelings. Hands in your hair or arms wrapped around your waist are intimate.
If their hands move, they tell more of the story. A pat on the back is friendly, but slow caresses are romantic. If their hands drop to your butt, you’re in the naughty hug territory which can lead to further intimacy.
Is it possible to tell if you’re on the receiving end of a warm hug? Even though it can’t be measured, your feelings will tell you if the person is hugging you to show you how much they care for you. Your senses and feelings are the best way to figure out if you’re being hugged warmly or not.
A warm hug gets its name because it makes you feel warm inside. When you’re hugged by someone who truly wants to hold you in their arms, you can feel it. You feel your connection through your skin and you feel their love.
What Does A Hug From Behind Mean?
Now you know that you can tell from a hug if someone is interested or friendly, but there are lots of other things being hugged reveals.
Back hugs are intimate by nature, so whoever hugs you from behind is comfortable with you and wants to show you that they care for you. If someone you don’t know well hugged you from behind, you’d probably feel that it’s creepy.
Still, this is a hug that most often happens between couples or people who are interested in each other and who are already close. A back hug can be similar to spooning standing up: it lets you relax in your partner’s arms, safe in the knowledge that they’ve got you.
It conveys such feelings as:
• Comfort: ‘I’m here for you’, or ‘Be there for me’. Usually it’s the taller partner who gives the back hugs, but the shorter one can be as comforting or in need of comfort as them. Hugging from behind can mean that you’re asking for protection and support or offering them, depending on which one of you needs it at the moment.
• Safety: ‘You’re safe with me.’ Sometimes a back hug is all about protection. For example, when a guy hugs a girl from behind, he’s following his hero instinct, especially if she’s feeling vulnerable at the moment.
• Reassurance: ‘You can relax now.’ A back hug brings you closer to each other because you share perspective during the hug. Facing the same way makes it seem that you’re as one, a united front that no one can come between because you can rely on each other.
• Playfulness: ‘Let’s play!’ Lighthearted fun is another side of this heartwarming hug. For example, when your partner hugs you to try to playfully stop you from doing something, pretending to trap you in their embrace, if you were to look at their face, you’d see a smile.
• Desire: ‘I want you.’ The closeness can turn suggestive and bring you yet closer. If your partner kisses the nape of your neck, smells your hair and caresses your body as they hold you, it’s a sign of the desire for physical intimacy.
• Affection: ‘I care for you.’ Showing your partner how you feel about them is as important as telling them. For example, when your partner back hugs you and enfolds you in their coat to keep you warm while they’re wearing it, it shows their care for you.
• Love: ‘I love you.’ Being enveloped in your partner’s warm embrace reveals the unmistakable feeling of love for you. As you’re holding their hands on your waist and leaning back into them, you never want it to end.
Why Do Hugs From The Back Feel So Good?
Hugging from behind is different from other kinds of hugs because the people hugging aren’t only focused on each other, but on the rest of the world, too. Having someone at your back is a signal that shows everyone that you’re not alone.
Back hugs make you feel loved, comforted, safe and cared for, and above all, they make you feel that you have another person you can depend on. Back hugs give you both and are a great way to bond with your partner and deepen your connection, especially if physical touch is your love language.
Touch, but especially hugs, are healing and shouldn’t be underestimated. The many benefits of hugging include relief from pain, improvement of physical and mental health and increased immunity.
Oxytocin, the so-called ‘love hormone’, is released during physical contact and plays a role in creating social bonds. Hugging also increases Serotonin, a neurotransmitter needed to make you feel happy and content. Low levels of serotonin cause anxiety and depression.
The next time you hug a loved one from behind, lay your head on their shoulder if you’re taller or press your cheek into their back if you’re shorter, quietly ask them to protect you and promise you’ll protect them. You’ll see the power of hugs in action.
You’ll both immediately feel calmer, less stressed and irritable. Hugs strengthen our bonds with others. When you hug someone, your focus is entirely on them, no matter how short a time it lasts.
Types Of Hugs
Physical touch is one of the 5 types of love language. People who express their love primarily through touch appreciate physical closeness far more than words of affirmation. This kind of person will tell you they love you by deepening your physical connection rather than outright saying it.
Hugging from behind speaks of comfort, safety and love, but there are many different types of hugs that have their own message. Friendly or romantic, genuine hugs are an expression of care and happiness for spending time with you.
1. The classic hug
Your run-of-the-mill friendly hug, often accompanied by a pat on the back, not too short, but not long, this kind of hug can be described as neutral. You’d hug a friend or a family member you’ve seen last week like this, if they’re a hugger type, or it can turn into a one-sided hug if they’re not.
This isn’t the type of hug that shows you’ve missed someone badly or that you have deep feelings for them. Still, even though this is the most basic of hugs, it shouldn’t be underestimated. Even a short hug is meaningful and it’s a way of establishing contact with someone and still has all the benefits as any other hug.
Sometimes this hug can linger a little – hands might slide down backs and hips might come closer. While not quite in the category of a real romantic hug, these adjustments can indicate a budding interest and a testing of the waters.
2. The bear hug
A bear hug makes you feel warm and fuzzy and properly hugged. Held by someone you love, completely wrapped in their arms, gives you a sense of safety and love. This is when all the benefits of hugging can be most intensely felt.
This isn’t a quick hug or the kind of hug that isn’t for everyone. You only give bear hugs to people you care for and even then, not always. Bear hugs are for friends you’ve been missing and haven’t seen a while or a family member who’s feeling upset and needs a hug.
Romantic partners share bear hugs, but their meaning isn’t primarily romantic even then – giving your partner a bear hug means you want to comfort them and make them feel happy in the same way you’d offer it to someone else you love.
3. The comforting hug
When you think about giving a hug to someone who needs it, the first thing that comes to mind is comforting them. This is the kind of hug shared with someone who needs it because they’re sad, afraid, hurt or upset. It’s a sign of support, friendship and care.
Many people, when they’re feeling like they need a hug, even hug themselves because touch is such a powerful thing. Hugs make you feel good because of the effects of physical touch on your well-being, but receiving a hug from someone also makes you feel good because they let you know that you have someone who will be on your side when you need it.
This kind of hug often includes soothing words of comfort and rubbing the back of the person being hugged to give you a feeling that you can let go and rely on the person who’s hugging you. Sometimes just knowing that you don’t have to deal with all of it on your own is enough to make you feel better.
4. The embrace
The embrace might be compared to the bear hug by its intensity, but it’s reserved only for those in romantic relationships. When your lover holds you in their arms, their focus is solely on you and your love, and unless you and your partner are close, having such attention on you can feel overwhelming.
Position of the arms and hands in an embrace varies, but it always makes you feel loved and cherished. Your partner touches your waist, envelops you in their arms or places them behind your neck. However they choose to embrace you in that moment, it’s always with care and desire to show how they feel.
If you place your head on their chest or shoulder, giving yourself to the hug, you’ll feel the connection between you and your lover more strongly and show them that you’re in it as much as they are.
5. The hug around the waist
Hug around the waist is a romantic hug that’s more playful than the embrace. Instead of holding you to show you the depth of their love, your partner is feeling flirty and wants you to know it. With this kind of hug, a kiss on the cheek or on the lips are common and makes it that much sweeter.
This hug is flirty and sexy, so it’s reserved for romantic partners. When your partner places their arms around your waist, they can pull you close in a way that would be uncomfortable to someone who isn’t in that kind of relationship with them, but makes you feel good.
Variations of this hug include the pickpocket hug, where your partner puts their hands inside your back pockets or the teasing hug, where they play with you leaning close then slipping away. However your partner chooses to give you a hug around the waist, it will always put a smile on your face and heat in your cheeks.
6. The eye-to-eye hug
Your partner’s forehead on yours looking directly into your eyes is an intense experience. Eyes are the windows to the soul and eye contact strips you bare and reveals all of you to the other person. An eye-to-eye hug is a way to connect with someone who makes you happy and lets them know how you feel.
In long-term intimate relationships, partners can communicate by only looking at each other because they’ve known each other on a deep level for a long time. To them, eye-to-eye hugs are a way to reassure each other.
In relationships that are still blooming, partners show one another they’re willing to be honest and open with each other. Hugging strengthens bonds between people and intimate hugs like this one show how much you want for those bonds to grow.
7. The straddle hug
This is an intimate hug, shared only by lovers. It goes a step further from an embrace or an eye-to-eye hug – it can be the same either of those, but your lower halves are also in contact. With one partner straddling the other and being in their lap, the intimacy is unmistakable.
Because clothes can disappear if you add kissing while you’re in your partner’s lap, things can get heated and a straddle has the potential to become a naughty hug. This is why it’s usually done in private.
Another version of this hug can be done standing up, with one partner wrapping their legs around the one standing up and holding them under the thighs. If you haven’t seen your partner in a while, the urge to jump on them when you do might make it impossible to resist and give them this hug.
8. The side hug
This type of hug can be friendly and casual or used to softly care for the person you care about. You can hug friends in this way or make it more intimate for your lover.
The difference is in the rest of your body language and the position and movement of your hands. To make it more romantic, you can rub your lover’s waist with your hand or tightly wrap it around, lay your head on their shoulder or throw your thigh across theirs.
Side hugs while sitting down are a way to cuddle with someone you want to be close with. They can also be a way of holding the other person while you’re walking together. Placing your arm around their shoulders or their waist and pulling them into your side feels comfortable and comforting.
Your Sweet Embrace
There must be some people who don’t like hugs, but it’s unlikely. Everyone needs to feel close to other people, and physical touch has the power to bring us closer to each other. When you’re feeling stressed or upset, a hug can help you feel better.
Hugging from behind is one of those special hugs that are reserved almost exclusively for lovers. This type of hug provides feelings of comfort, safety and connectedness. Because you’re so close, a back hug gives you and your partner a sense of intimacy.