How to Hug a Girl

Two Methods:Hugging a Girl You LikeHugging Friends

Hugging a girl is exciting and terrifying. If you're like most people, you're probably stressed about making sure you do it right so that she knows you care about her, instead of feeling awkward or grossed out. Hugging can be natural and intimate, or can be invasive and uncomfortable. Although this can depend largely on who is doing the hugging, proper hugging etiquette can get you far.

Method 1
Hugging a Girl You Like

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    Wait for the right moment. When you hug a girl is just as important as how you do it, so play it safe by picking a good moment. Three good times are:
    • When you first see her. It's always nice to be greeted by friends with a quick "friends" hug (even if you want to be more than friends).
    • During an emotional moment. Whether you're on the same team that just won a big game, or if she's having a hard day, a hug can be a really good way to reinforce that you're there for her.
    • When you are parting ways. As with the greeting hug, saying goodbye with a hug is a nice, friendly gesture.
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    Try to figure out if she'd like to be hugged. Girls make it obvious with their body language when they are open to physical contact. Based on how she is standing, or how she greets you, you can figure out if she is comfortable with you going in for the hug.
    • Signs she is interested:
      • She makes eye contact with you.
      • She plays with her hair around you.
      • Her hips or feet are pointed directly toward you.
      • Her tone of voice is animated and bright when she talks to you.
    • Signs she isn't interested:
      • She doesn't hold your gaze.
      • Her body language is "closed" (crossed legs, folded arms, body turned away).
      • Her tone of voice is flat when she talks to you.
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    Approach her gently. Resist the urge to dive in and hug her as quickly as possible. Instead, take a deep breath and move in at a pace that allows her to decide whether or not she wants to hug you. Make eye contact, move a little bit closer to her, then lift your arms and pull her in.
    • If you've read the signs incorrectly and she doesn't want to be hugged, it's essential that she has a second to back out before you make contact. Otherwise she'll feel forced, and the situation will turn awkward.
    • The upside is that slower movements are generally considered more romantic. So if she does want you to hug her, a smooth and gentle approach will seem all the more intimate.
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    Decide how long you're going to hold the hug. The duration of your hug says a lot about what it means to you. Here's a basic guideline to follow:
    • The longer you hold on, the more intimate the hug is. Embraces longer than a few seconds are meant for significant others or close family members.
    • Shorter hugs are more casual. The average "hello" or "goodbye" hug should be about one or two seconds of holding.
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    Release. Pull back from the hugging position in one smooth move. Typically, you want to begin to pull back before she does. Ending it a few seconds earlier than you have to can keep the hug from veering into awkward territory.
    • If she starts to let go or you can feel her go limp in your arms, it’s best to just immediately release. The exception to the rule is the "intimate" moment (for example: she's upset and crying or you just kissed) in which its considered appropriate to slowly pull back.
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    Finish it off in a cute way. The way you end it should depend on the situation. If you really like this girl, though, the end of a hug is your chance to do something adorable that she'll remember. Try these scenarios:
    • For a casual greeting or goodbye hug, say "I'm so happy to see you!" or "See you later!"
    • For a hug that acknowledges an accomplishment, that often means a congratulations for an award won, a job well done, a wedding, or other significant life moment. Generally, "Congratulations!" is a great thing to say.
    • For a comforting hug, tailor what you say to the situation. "It's OK," or "I'm here," are both good things to say.
    • For the buddy hug, say whatever sparked the hug in the first place. "You're awesome," or "We really rocked that ultimate Frisbee game, didn't we?" is always fun.
    • If it was a more intimate hug, we'll leave those follow-up words to you. Make them count!
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    Learn about different hugging positions. If you're still nervous, read up on these different hug positions and visualize which one might work best for your particular situation:
    • Slow-dance: Her arms will go upward to around your neck and your arms will go under hers. You can put your arms around her waist or higher up her back. The lower your hands go on her back, the more suggestive the hug is. This can be a very intimate hug—use it wisely.
    • Big bear and little bear: Her arms will go below yours and you will wrap around her back while her arms wrap around your waist. This is a friendlier hug and allows her to be pulled close to you and have her head rest on your chest.
    • One-arm sling: This is the least romantic kind of hug—more of a buddy hug, really. This is when the hugger comes in from the side and wraps one arm around her shoulders or neck, as a casual friendly hug.
    • T-Rex: Both the hugger and the girl’s arms stay around the waist and lower-back area. This will allow for the both of you to rest your heads on each others shoulders. This is going to allow for a friendlier, less suggestive hug.
    • Criss-cross: One arm goes up and the other goes down to create an "x" with your arms and hers. This can lead to the perfect "pull back and kiss" position where both of you still have your arms holding on to each other with enough room to still kiss.
    • From behind: This is a hug you only do with a girl you know well, and unless she likes scary surprises, let her know it's you as you move into the hug. This is a very intimate hug that can lead to very intimate things very easily.

Method 2
Hugging Friends

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    Go with the flow. While, customarily, people have greeted each other with handshakes when first introduced, these days people frequently hug on introduction without thinking twice about it.
    • This is more often seen among groups of friends than one friend introducing you to another friend.
    • Use your instincts, but the best rule of thumb is that if you're offered a hug, go for it.
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    Make contact. Remember to keep the physical contact quick and light for hugging friends. Anything more prolonged might be misinterpreted as romantic.
    • Lean in, bending from your waist. The idea here is not full-body contact, which is a much more intimate and personal hug.
    • Wrap one arm around her arm, and place your hand in-between her shoulder blades.
    • Wrap your other arm around her, and place your hand below your first hand.
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    Hold briefly and release. Two seconds is the ideal length for a friend hug. Let go of her as soon as this much time has passed, and resume conversing as you normally would.


  • Watch her body language. If she wants a hug she'll have her hands out of her pocket ready to move if they have to. If she has her arms crossed, don't even try.
  • Don't hold her too tight. She's not a squeeze toy, so don't treat her like one. Hold her firmly enough so she's comfortable, but leave her room to move.
  • Have good hygiene. Unless you just finished a game of ultimate Frisbee (or other vigorous activity), if your body or breath smells bad, she may not have fond memories of the hug.
  • If a girl (you know, *the* girl) comes up behind you and wraps her arms around your neck and sets her head on your shoulder from behind, she is comfortable with you and is showing you affection. If you feel comfortable too, lean your head back on her neck and talk to her.
  • If you make a mistake, try to recover casually and don't worry about it. Use humor to diffuse any awkwardness.
  • If you know your girl well enough, she may be flattered if you pick her up and spin her. Be careful with that, though: some girls don't like that, and she may flatten you instead!
  • At a time when she's upset about herself,make her fell better by giving her a hug.Hold one hand near her shoulder and another near the upper part of her butt.


  • Be careful where you place your arms on a hug; you don't want to accidentally touch them inappropriately.
  • Don't smother or grab her too suddenly.
  • If she doesn't want to be hugged, don't go in for it. A forced hug can sometimes be off putting.
  • If it is just a friendly hug, don't hold on for more than three seconds.

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Categories: Etiquette