A hug from behind reveals a desire to protect.

Decoding a Man's Hug

by C. Giles

A simple hug has the power to lift your mood, transform your day and make you feel great. However, a hug may be confusing if you're not sure how the hugger feels about you. If a man you have a crush on hugs you, you may read too much into it because you hope he feels the same way. Perhaps you are concerned that a married man is hugging you in a way that implies more than friendship. Everybody hugs in their own way, but some basic points will help you decode a man's hug and know where you stand.

1. The Platonic Hug

A basic, friendly hug with no romantic intentions will be warm but brief. A man may place his arms around your body, draw you toward him and hold you in that position for a couple of seconds, keeping his lower body away from yours. A longer embrace doesn't necessarily indicate that a hug is anything more than platonic. It depends on the circumstances of the hug. For example, a man who hasn't seen you for a long time, or who is seeing you under difficult circumstances, such as a bereavement, may hold the hug for several seconds. If a man pats your back while hugging you, this is a good sign that he has no romantic feelings toward you, says the "Cosmopolitan" article, "Hidden Secrets His Hug Reveals." He's likely to hug his male friends in the same way.

2. The Romantic Hug

The differences between a platonic hug and a romantic hug may be subtle. If a man wants to convey his attraction to you, he may position his hands on your lower back when he hugs you, says the article "How to Give Him a Hug That Tells Him You Want to Be More Than Friends," in "Glamour." He may then raise one of his arms to hold the back of your neck and gently draw your head towards his shoulder or chest (depending on your respective heights). His embrace may be tighter than it would be in a friendly hug, and he may press his lower body against yours for a little added chemistry.

3. The "I Want You" Hug

When a man desires you, the way he hugs you should leave no doubt in your mind of his intentions. He will pull you close, until there is no space at all between your bodies. His hands may trail the length of your back until they are resting on your buttocks. According to "Cosmopolitan," the farther down your body his hands rest, the more passionate he is feeling. However, this hug isn't always only about physical intimacy. If a man leans his head forward to rest his forehead against yours while he is hugging you, he is looking for an emotional connection too, body language expert Patti Woods tells "Cosmopolitan."

4. The Needy Hug

A man who rubs your back in a comforting way while he is hugging you may be saying more than "I'm here for you." According to Christopher Blazina, author of "The Secret Lives of Men," he may be trying to tell you that he needs comfort, too. If he doesn't feel able to communicate his needs through words, he may try to convey them via his hug.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images