How to Hug a Girl


Hugs are not only an excellent way to show someone you care, but they’re also an expressive gesture that can make a person’s life healthier and happier. You can hug a girl in a platonic or romantic way, depending on the situation. But no matter how you choose to hug a girl, you can show how you feel.

Whether the girl you want to hug is a crush or a friend, this article will show you everything you need to know on how to hug a girl. Friendly and romantic hugs alike can feel comfortable with practice and a little insight on exactly what you should and should not do. We’ll explain what type of hugs to use in certain situations and give you all the steps to execute a flawless hug.

Why Are Hugs so Important?

Hugs are insanely beneficial to humans in a wide array of ways. And the more hugs you receive at a younger age, the better. Research shows links between babies who are hugged frequently and well-adjusted adults, in both humans and rodents.

Hugs aren’t only physical; they’re chemical. When you hug a person, they release oxytocin, which is the love hormone responsible for social interaction and sexual reproduction behaviors. Research also shows oxytocin help build trust between individuals and can even provide other benefits like counteracting feelings of depression and boosting the immune system.

The love hormone’s role extends to bonding between two people, and you can increase the hormone further through breastfeeding, sex, or giving birth. Giving and getting more hugs can boost this hormone, and thus, increase your relationships with girls you like.

It only takes 10 seconds, according to a study on the meaning of hugging from Jan Astrom and Lena Forsell, to feel benefits. Hugging comes with health benefits such as:

  • Fighting off infections
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Less fatigue
  • Boosted immune system
  • Eased depression
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower risk of heart disease

And the effects are intensified with full-body hugs versus side hugs. They stimulate the nervous system, which can cause:

  • Increased self-esteem
  • Less tension and worry
  • Lower amounts of fear
  • More gratitude
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness

How to Initiate a Hug with a Girl

To be the hug initiator, you can let a girl know you want to embrace in varying ways. If you’re familiar, wrap your arms around her waist and rest your head on her shoulder or neck. She may move into a full-body hug from there, but don’t assume she will move either.

Some situations may call for a side hug instead, like if you’re not as close with the girl. A hug from the back is much more romantic and can seem forward with a female you’re not yet familiar enough. With a side hug, you extend a single arm and wrap it away from the person quickly.

Whatever you do, make sure to turn your head to the side, or you risk awkwardly bumping into her. Tilting your head to the side makes the embrace more comforting.

What Type of Hug Do You Want to Give?

Think about the hug you want to give. There are a plethora of varying hugs for different situations. Some situations may call for a two-arm front hug or one-sided arm hug, for example. Romantic relationships are closer, with hugs from the back, whereas less familiar relationships may feel more comfortable with a side hug. You must recognize the types to know when to perform each.

Here are the most common types of hugs and what situations they’re typically used in:

  • Polite hug – The type of hug between colleagues and acquaintances, they usually are sideways, or only a portion of your upper body touches each other. It’s somewhat awkward and tends to indicate some discomfort or distance in the relationship.
  • Bear hug – A tight and reassuring hug that can speak many words, bear hugs happen with people who deeply love each other. It’s common among family members, and the embrace can shed anxiety and stress in moments.
  • One-arm hug – Hugging with a single arm can be polite or embracing, such as when you walk together, for example. It’s ideal for friends, family, or acquaintances that you feel a bit more comfortable around.
  • Friendly hug – Hugs between friends typically include arms around each other’s shoulders or waists, and they suggest you have reached a level of comfort that’s beyond romance. Couples can also hug in this way; it just means they’re also friends. Give this hug sitting or standing, and your relationship is bound to last.
  • Intimate hug – Intimate hugs are full-body embraces with eye contact, which takes this type of hug to a new level beyond friendship. The eye contact shows this hug is about much more than physical touch, and they are shared between special couples.
  • Back hug – A back hug or hug from behind tends to be shared between couples or parents and their children. It suggests trust and protection, and if you receive this hug type, you can expect the person is willing to keep you safe from harm.
  • A-frame hug – A more awkward stance, this hug takes place between two people who don’t want to full contact. They stand a foot apart and bend at the waist to reach closer, so only the shoulder meets the other person. It’s common among acquaintances or people meeting for the first time.

Are You Shy?

If you’re shy or an introvert, the thought of hugging a girl can feel quite scary. You might feel awkward and nervous at even the slightest of exchanges with a girl, and your palms might sweat when you even think about hugging a girl you romantically like.

Consider how nervous you may feel when you’re about to hug someone, and you can plan out how to flawlessly hug a girl with ease. Then, it won’t matter how nervous or shy you are.

Basic Steps for a Hug

There are a few basic, unwritten rules on hugging many people follow. First of all, you must always respect her space and look for permission before touching her, particularly if you don’t yet know the girl well. If you’re already intimate, you still should avoid moving too quickly.

For a basic hug, use these steps and tips.


Walk toward the girl you want to hug and smile at her to figure out whether the hug is even warranted. Not every female will want to hug you, so a smile can help break the ice. If you smile at her from a distance and she warmly reciprocates the smile, or you already know her well, you can assume hugging her won’t place you in an awkward situation.

Be Cool

Don’t rush over to her or walk too fast. You may seem over-eager and reveal how nervous you feel, which can throw off strange vibes and make her feel weird. Remain natural as much as possible. Walk slowly and calmly. Imagine yourself strolling through the park.

Emanate Confidence

Carry yourself with confidence, especially if you want to learn how to hug a girl you have a crush on. Many times this is the exact reason girls request a shy guy. No matter how nervous you feel, get a grip on your emotions, and counteract your feelings with confidence.

You can also use these tips for good posture to display more confidence:

  • Keep the shoulders back and relaxed
  • Take deep breaths and don’t tense up
  • Maintain a straight back, without stooping or hunching
  • Hold your chin and head high
  • Rest your hands at your sides, and don’t fidget

Maintain Eye Contact

Eye contact is, by far, one of the easiest ways for a guy to better understand a girl. If you approach a female and want to hug her, make eye contact, and greet her warmly. More personal relationships increase the amount and intensity of this eye contact.

Know When to Open Your Arms Wide

Signal to her that you want to go in for a hug by opening your arm wide, but don’t do it too soon. Allow your arms to remain by your side until you fully approach her and open them wide within a final couple of steps. Make sure the palms face up, and your elbows stretch all the way out for maximum effort.

Most people go in for a hug with their right arm first, probably because most adults are right-handed. Research also suggests that many people use the left arm to hug people they either feel negative toward, as the right side of the brain is responsible for processing these thoughts.

Whichever arm (if not both) you choose to use, never open your arm wide from too far away unless you’re meeting your girlfriend or haven’t seen the girl in many months. A wide-open arm is a faux pas, so walking toward her with wide open arms will only make her wonder why you’re so excited.

Tilt Your Neck to the Side

Decide before going in for the hug which way you plan to tilt your neck. Like kissing, you need to tilt and never keep your head directly straight, or you may bump into each other. And if you’re not prepared and wait for her to select a side instead, a lady may be able to spot your nervousness.

Don’t fumble. Instead, move your head into the tilt slowly. The girl should tilt her head the other way, and the two of you should ideally fit together like two peas in a pod.

Lean In

If you’re close or friendly, lean in toward the girl as you hug her. You don’t have to touch your bodies together fully. However, make sure not to lean too far so that only your shoulder touches either. Your torso from around the navel and above should touch during the hug.

If you have a more romantic relationship, the hug may move into more of an embrace from there. When hugging a girl that’s not yours, however, don’t move your hands along her back without permission.

Keep Hand Placement in Mind

Speaking of where to place your hands, guys can sometimes fumble with their hands during a hug. Just as you should never run your hands along a female’s back or other body parts without her permission, you also should never clench your fists to resist seeming uncomfortable. Try resting your hands on her back way above her hips. Caressing is best only with girlfriends and partners.

Don’t Flinch

Signs of awkwardness, like flinching, can show a girl how nervous you feel. You may feel excited, but don’t make it too big of a deal. Some guys who aren’t accustomed to regular hugs may misunderstand hugs. Remember, hugs are just a warm and friendly gesture.

Release Slowly

When you’re in mid-embrace, don’t let go too soon or hug for too long, either. Both scenarios can make you seem awkward. However, there is no set time limit for hugs. A few seconds should be fine, as many people stick to around 2-4 second hugs. They may turn longer if you haven’t seen a loved one in a long time, however.

Then, move from the hug into a friendly conversation.

How to Hug a Girl Based on Specific Situations

Sometimes the basic steps for hugging a girl won’t cut it. When you need more detailed advice, turn to the following situations.

How to Hug a Girl from Behind

Knowing how to hug a girl from behind the right way is crucial. Otherwise, you may come off as creepy. This type of hug is for the lady you adore, and it signifies that you want the other person. Use this hug for girlfriends and romantic partners, helping them feel safe in your embrace. It’s a great way to let someone know you miss them or feel affectionate.

To start, approach her from behind. Don’t startle her, but silently walk up to her while she is washing the dishes or sorting through the mail in her home office. Avoid loud noises to acknowledge your presence. You don’t need to say anything at all. Slowly wrap your arms around her waist and hold her close to you.

For a bonus, you can kiss her head or neck to show extra effort. Hold this hug a bit longer than a basic, friendly hug. Let go of the embrace when you’re ready, and leave them to the task at hand, knowing you’re thinking about them or pull them around for more intimacy.

How to Hug a Girl When Sitting

When you’re sitting, hugs can easily become awkward. However, there are times where you’re sitting with a girl and want to comfort her. A hug is a nice way to show her that you’re there for her, and they’re especially calming in situations where someone is going through an emotional time, like in a panic attack or high anxiety situation.

Move closer to her first. You need to be able to reach her to hug her. Inch forward, and when she responds, you can proceed with a one-arm side hug around her shoulder. It’s a reassuring way to let her know you’re there for her, and it’s consoling if she’s crying or upset.

Add in a light shoulder squeeze or nudge for a boost. She may lean into your shoulder next as a natural response to this hug type. Let her if you want but be ready for the possibility of her moving closer if you hug her this way. For this reason, you can use this hug to get closer to a girl you like as well.

How to Hug a Taller Girl

Hugging a girl much taller than you can be difficult. Never shame a girl for being taller than you. Instead, stand on your toes to better balance your height with hers or wrap your arms around her waist. You could also try standing on higher ground or stairs to gain some natural leverage.

If you feel awkward, go for the side hug instead. Wrap one arm around her waist from the side if the height difference is too drastic.

How to Hug a Short Girl

Hugging a short girl may feel more intimate because you can wrap your arms around her torso and pull her in with her head against your chest or keep some space. The intensity with which you use to hug a short girl may depend on your relationship. The closer the hug, the closer the relationship.

The hug you can accomplish with short girls that you can’t with a girl much taller than you, however, is the twirl. Add in a fun flair to the hug by twirling her around, which is an excellent way to show her she is appreciated, and you are thrilled to see her.

Perfect when you haven’t seen a loved one in a long time, twirl hugs work best if she is smaller and lighter than you. You can also use a twirl to show a girl how you feel without being overly obvious, which is ideal for beginning new relationships and meeting new people.

First, you must embrace her with both your arms and hold tight so that you don’t drop her. Pull her up slightly off her feet and spin her around a few times. Don’t fall and keep your arms around her to keep her from falling as well. You’ll probably want to avoid too many spins, however. Otherwise, you may start to feel dizzy.

If you’re great friends or close family, a bear hug is another fun way to express your excitement at seeing each other. On the other hand, pulling her into your chest and resting your head along the top of her head can signify warmth and utter protection.

How to Hug Goodbye

A goodbye hug is a bit different than saying hello. You would never walk up to a person from a distance with outstretched arms. There is a way you can effectively hug someone to leave them with affection. Hugging a lady goodbye before you leave a social gathering is a nice way to show she is loved and cared about, and the slower you move, the more you can show her how reluctant you feel about leaving.

You announce it’s time for you to leave and start to say your goodbyes. After you get up to leave, you can extend your hand to your friend to show you want them to stand with you to embrace before you go. If you’re already standing, move in slowly until they notice and reciprocate.

Pull her in slowly, leaving her with a tender and soft embrace. Wrap your arms around her back, but not too low, and slightly pat. Hold the position for around a minute or two and distance yourself.

If you don’t know each other well, a one-arm side hug is perfectly acceptable for a goodbye too. Just don’t pull away immediately. Allow at least one arm to rest for a moment while you say your final goodbyes. Then, pull away and step back.

Tips for a More Romantic Hug

If you want to give your girlfriend or partner a more romantic hug, try these hug-intensifying tips:

  • Hug her from behind
  • Draw your torsos (chest and stomachs) together
  • Embrace her tightly
  • Release a loving sigh while you hug
  • Allow her head to rest on your shoulder
  • Whisper something sweet in her ear
  • Caress her lower back with your palms
  • Lean your head against hers
  • Slightly lift her as you hug
  • Release from the hug extra slow
  • Touch your foreheads together as you hug for a better gaze into her eyes

Hugs Work Magic

A hug is an effective tool for so many occasions. You can use them to say hello or goodbye, tell a friend you missed them or let a girl know you like her romantically, or get closer to your loved ones. They’re for parents, siblings, family members, friends, lovers, and even acquaintances you barely know. Depending on the situation, you can use hugs as a gesture to convey how you feel too. The benefits are astounding too! Hugs really can bring people closer together.

Use these tips on how to hug a girl to express yourself the right way. Find the hugging type perfect for your situation and maintain a calm, cool vibe rather than allow your nervousness to manifest. With these steps, you can avoid awkward situations no matter what hug is right for the situation.

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