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Shy Guy Guide: How to Hug a Girl without Feeling Awkward

how to hug a girl

Hugging someone is not exactly hard to do, but guys who are too shy to make a move could use a little help. So, these tips help you know how to hug a girl.

I have a confession to make. I am a hugger. I’ve been one for twenty-six years, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Why? Because hugs are awesome. There’s no substitute for the feeling you get when you open your arms and someone comes in to seal the deal with a tight and warm embrace. It’s like drinking the first non-scalding sip of hot chocolate on a rainy day. But if you are unsure how to hug a girl, we’ll help you initiate hugging action.

There’s also a surprising fact about hugs, according to a study done by Pennsylvania State University. Hugging someone five times a day makes people happier. So, it’s no surprise someone would want to hug and be hugged in return.

When is it appropriate to hug someone you like?

In situational terms, hugging someone is appropriate in many instances. When you arrive at a get-together, when you’re greeting a date, or when you’re welcoming a visitor.

And it’s not just during happy times, you can hug someone sad to make them feel better, hug someone angry to help them calm down, hug someone you don’t know to show you don’t care about your differences. Hugging is universal. Hugging is a part of who we are.

I usually hug someone when my instincts tell me it’s okay to hug them. It took me a while to discover there is that little part in our gut that pings whenever we’re faced with two choices. In this case, the choices were, to hug or not to hug.

When I see my mom, that ping says yes. When I see a close friend, that ping says yes. When I pass a stranger on a street, the ping says no. When I see a coworker, that ping says ‘not now.’ What? There’s a ‘not now’?

Of course, there is. That’s part of how your instinct works. It tells you that there’s a possibility of a ‘yes,’ given the right circumstances. If I build a better and more intimate relationship with a coworker, i.e. become their friend, then my gut tells me it’s okay to hug a person.

Still, not everyone approaches hugging the way I do. Some are more guarded, while others are more open to the idea of hugging everybody. If you want to hug the person you like, it’s down to what your own feelings tell you. Do you think it’s fine to hug this person? Do you think they’re the type who would be okay with it? [Read: How to get a girlfriend 101: 11 tips to make it happen]

Hugging someone you like

In relationships, a hug is something you do to feel safe. It’s what you do to show affection. It’s a reflex. It’s a part of romance. A genuine hug, without fear, insecurity, or despair feels like home. It’s exactly what you need when you least expect it.

Usually, people who are romantically connected go for the kiss, for fear of being placed in the friend zone. Lucky for you, that won’t always be the case. Why? Because just as a kiss is more than just two lips meeting in a mutual point in space, a hug is more than just two bodies of mass clasping together in place. Did I just rhyme about two thirds of this paragraph? Moving on…

When I’m in a relationship, I know I really like the person when I can’t stop hugging them. I’ll hug them while watching television, while cooking, while walking. Heck, if it was legal, I’d hug them while they were driving! That’s because hugging makes me feel safe and secure. More importantly, a hug can take away the pain whenever I feel like the weight of my problems bear down on me.

How can a guy hug a girl he likes?

The best thing to do would be to ask, but that’s hardly the usual route people take. Hugging a friend or a family member is easy. You just do it without thinking twice. Hugging a girl you like, on the other hand, is quite different.

Guys who are confident enough in their own skin can just go in for the “lovely to see you” hug and be done with it. Shy guys have a harder time because they’re probably shaking inside and wondering if the girl they like is going to reciprocate their hug. If that’s the case, here’s our advice for you.

First, ask yourself these questions:

#1 Is it okay to hug her at that location and exact moment? Are you in a crowded elevator? Are you walking across a dangerous, rope bridge? Are you in the middle of an intense session of Jenga? If your answer to any of these is yes, then no, it is not okay. Don’t rush it. There will always be a chance for you to hug her somewhere that physically allows it. [Read: 16 non-sexual touches to feel connected and loved]

#2 Is she okay with being hugged? Again, use your instincts. Use your eyes and ears, too. If she looks uncomfortable in your presence, or if she sounds exasperated or annoyed, it may not be the best time to go in for a hug.

#3 Are you really ready to hug her? Even if she is okay with hugging you, are you really up for it? If you’re too nervous, you might scare the girl you like. Take a deep breath, loosen up, and don’t overthink it. Hug her when you feel the time is right. [Read: 8 cues a girl gives if she wants you to make a move]

Things to remember:

#1 AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: Don’t hug a girl if you have a boner. Of course, you won’t do it. But it wouldn’t hurt to check before going in for a hug.

#2 Don’t try anything crazy… yet. No twirls. No running into each other. No movie-copyrighted hugs either. You have to work up to that first.

#3 Do not sniff her hair even if you think you can be quiet about it. Some girls aren’t partial to sniffers. It comes across as creepy sometimes. [Read: Social anxiety to social butterfly: How to be less awkward]

#4 Don’t accidentally kiss her. Yep. You don’t want to go there. Hugging her is already nerve-wracking enough, kissing her requires a whole other article.

How to initiate the HUG:

Finally! On to the good part! Follow these steps to ensure you’re giving the girl you like the nicest hug she’s ever had.

#1 Face her. The small movement makes a huge impact. Facing someone sends out a signal that your attention is focused only on them. [Read: How to ask a girl out when you’re a shy guy]

#2 Lean towards her. This is when your motive is expressed. Leaning in means you want to be closer to that person. What happens next is up to you.

#3 Open your arms. This is the universal signal for, “Hug me.” Combine this with the first two steps and your girl will know what’s up.

#4 Wait for her to open her arms back. Make sure she does this, or else there’s no point in continuing further. No open arms means no hug.

#5 Step forward (or inch forward). Let’s say she does open up for the hug. That still doesn’t mean you’re in. It’s possible she’s just being polite.

#6 Close your arms around her slightly. Now, you’ll find out if the hug was worth all the hard work and effort you put into reading this feature. [Read: Sugar, sugar: How to sweet talk a girl and make her melt]

#7 Wait for her to do the same. If she does hug you back, oh boy. You are one lucky guy!

#8 Tighten your hug. Don’t hug her too tightly or else she might start to feel uncomfortable. Just hold her a bit tighter, but do not smother her. [Read: 13 rules of etiquette for the modern gentleman]

#9 Check to see how she reacts. If she stiffens, she’s not into it. If she squirms, she’s not into it. If she lets go, she’s done being into it. If she stays for a little bit longer, you’re golden. [Read: 15 body language cues a girl gives away if she likes you]

#10 Wait for her to let go. It’s only polite to let the huggee let go of the hugger. If she doesn’t, you can probably let go of her once you start to feel your arms cramp. But we know very well you’d love to make the hug last a little bit longer, right? Once she lets go of you, smile. Show her how much it meant to you.

Remember, a hug is not the be-all and end-all of your relationship. There’s more to come, but it sure helps to start with something like a warm and cuddly hug to show your girl how much you care about her.

[Read: 11 types of hugs a woman gives and what they really mean]

Have you tried hugging the girl you like before? What was it like? Do you think these tips can help you in the future? Tell us in the comments below!

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Danielle Anne
Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
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