Does It Mean Anything When My Ex Boyfriend Hugs Me?

A hug….

It’s such a simple gesture, isn’t it?

And yet, people seem to continually complicate the meaning of it when it comes to relationships.

Well, this is especially true when it comes to women trying to dissect their ex boyfriends every move.

A few weeks ago a woman in our private support group posed a question that I have gotten at least a hundred times.

What does it mean if your ex hugs you? Is it a good thing?

Well, more specifically her exact statement went like this,

So, does it mean anything when an ex hugs you?

Or are you overthinking things too much?

Let’s Ask The Experts…. (Seriously!)

Now, those of you who know me know that when it comes to the content that goes on this website I like to go WAAYYY above and beyond.

I am also not above trying something new.

Now, I know what you are thinking,

“What do you mean by that, Chris?”

Well, when it comes to an ex hugging you I know exactly where I stand with what I think (obviously.) However, I wanted to see if other experts in the relationship field agreed with me so I did something I have never done in the history of this website, I asked them!

More on that in a second.

Over the years I have learned that you often end up with a better outcome when you tackle a question with multiple minds instead of one.

No seriously…

They have done multiple studies and found that when people work together the ultimate outcome is often better.

It’s the two minds is better than one theory.

So, here is how I have decided to answer “if hugging means anything” when it comes to your ex.

I have decided that I am going to include my opinion with multiple different experts and let the fates decide! In other words, I am going to give you my opinion which you can follow if you want but I am also going to see what the most common answer was among all of us and let the collective group decide the ultimate answer.

After all two minds are better than one 😉 .

Of course, doing things this way presents an interesting problem.

Where the heck am I going to find relationship experts?

I’d like to introduce you to HARO!

HARO stands for “Help A Reporter Out” and I was basically able to connect with a bunch of experts (like myself) through it and ask them about the ultimate hugging question of the century 😉 .

Ultimately I was able to connect with 6 experts from all walks of life (relating to relationships.)

For example, some of the experts were licensed psychologists, popular names with relationship websites and psychics.

Alright, enough build up.

Let’s get right down to business.

Expert Take #1: Chris Seiter ( Professional Relationship Consultant Specializing In Breakups)

Hey that’s me!


Alright so does it mean anything if your ex boyfriend hugs you?

Well, that’s a question that ultimately has two answers depending on the context.

You see, I am of the mind that context is everything when it comes to these kind of scenarios.

Allow me to elaborate.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you and your ex boyfriend have just broken up and the two of you decide that you should exchange your things (as is typically the custom) and somewhere during that very brief interaction he gives you a very quick hug.

Kind of like this,

Well, in that case I’m inclined to believe that it’s just a hug.

Nothing more…

Now, let’s switch gears for a moment and completely change the context.

Let’s imagine that it’s been a few months since you and your ex broke up.

The two of you have been flirting a lot recently and he asks if he can see you and you readily accept.

During this interaction he literally says,

I have missed you so much

He then hugs you pulling you in tight and holds the hug for what seems like an eternity.

You melt in his arms as you feel exactly where you are supposed to be.

In this particular case I would say that, that particular hug probably means something.

So, to sum up I think that when it comes to hugging it’s all a matter of context.

Context is everything.

But let’s see what the other experts have to say.

Expert Take #2: Karen J. Helfrich, LCSW-C (Psychotherapist)

First up with have Karen J. Helfrich from Now, Karen is a Licensed Psychoterapist and I thought she had a really fascinating take.

Here’s what she had to say,

“Hi, Chris!

This is a great question. In general, I counsel clients that unless the hug is following a declaration of intent to get back together, a hug is just a hug and doesn’t “mean” anything. In general, if a man is interested, there is no question about whether or not he is interested. Women deal in subtlety, not guys. It is important to make decisions based off behavior you can see, not feelings you can only imagine. In a break-up situation, the feelings are too strong and cloud judgement. If he’s not super clear, it’s just a hug.

Thanks, Chris!


P.S. I have a Lily, too! They are the best!”

If you didn’t know my daughter’s name is Lilly,

(Here is my Lilly, Karen!)

So, where I was all about the context of the hug, Karen was all about the clarity of it!

In other words, it is her belief that in order for a hug to truly mean something a man will make some type of deceleration of intent before engaging in the act.

For example, if he says “I love you” and then hugs you then the hug probably means something.

Let’s move on to our next expert!

Expert Take #3: Davida Rappaport (Psychic, Speaker, Tarot Instructor)

I thought it would be super fun to get a quote from a psychic and that’s when I was introduced to Davida Rappaport!

So, here is what she had to say,

“Many of my clients want to know about re-uniting with ex-boyfriends. They tend to obsess over them because they still love them (even if the relationship might have been abusive) and want them back.

Because dating is difficult, they find it easier to want to go back to their ex-boyfriends. They ask me if their ex still loves them or misses them or thinks about them, which is an answer I cannot ethically provide them. What I can do is provide them with possible answers.

Each relationship is unique, even if similar and there is no right answer. The quality of the hug makes a difference. Here are a few options for you:

  1. Sometimes when exes run into one another, they may hug. Depending upon what their relationship was like prior to the break up would determine the significance of the hug.
  2. If this hug is not the same type of hug experienced when they were dating, it may just be a friendly hug – a “Hi, how are you?” type of hug.
  3. If the hug is warm, loving and genuine, this shows that the ex-boyfriend still cares about his ex-girlfriend; he may, indeed, still love her. It does not necessarily mean he want to re-kindle the relationship. It may be, but it is up to the ex-girlfriend to ask if he wants to get back together again. Assumptions create messy emotions and imaginations run rampant.
  4. If a man still cares about his ex-girlfriend, it does not necessarily mean he wants to get back together with her. I try to remind my clients that they shouldn’t read too much into the hug. If in doubt, ask him what he is feeling.
  5. If the ending of the relationship was stormy and difficult, assume that whatever type of hug is offered and received, it is just a friendly hug.

I hope this helps.”

I think this is a really great take by Davida. She took a scattershot approach to answering my question if a hug means anything from an ex boyfriend.

So, instead of giving a general answer she decided to talk about the specifics of the hug.

Was the hug the same type of hug you used to experience before the breakup?

Was the hug warm, loving and genuine?

But Davida also made it clear that it’s important to not read too much into the hug. Assumptions can create messy emotions after all (her words not mine.)

So, what is Davida’s ultimate take on if a hug means anything?

Well, I think it’s kind of similar to both experts 1 & 2.

In other words, it looks like a pattern is starting to form.

Let’s move on to our next expert.

Free On Demand Coaching
Yes, please

Expert Take #4: Erika Martinez, Psy.D

Next up we have a clinical psychologist located in Miami named Erika Martinez (hey that’s close to where I am.)

Anyways, here’s what Erika had to say to my inquiry,

Hi Chris:

I saw your query and thought I could be of some help. I’m a clinical psychologist in Miami, FL, and I love helping young professional millennials (early 20s to late 30s) get unstuck in love, work, and life.

Most of my clients are young professionals (late 20s to 30s) navigating the dating waters of Miami’s tough dating scene.

Does it mean anything when an ex boyfriend hugs their ex girlfriend?

It depends on the nature of the hug. If it’s a quick “nice to see you” hug, then it probably doesn’t mean anything. But if he lingers or prolongs the hug, then maybe he’s still got some feelings for you. Chances are there’s no spark left if it’s an awkward hug, though.

What is the possibility that the ex boyfriend still likes their ex girlfriend?

It’s a possibility. He liked her once before after all. But this really depends on how the relationship unfolded, how it ended, and if there was closure.

Are they just being friendly?

If they run in the same circles and coincide often, then yes, it is possible that he’s being cordial.

I like Erika’s take!

Want to know why?

It’s almost exactly the same as mine (and I tend to be biased towards myself.)

Good job Erika!

Ok, all kidding aside lets move on to expert 5.

Expert Take #5: Ms Hitch (World Renowned Relationship Expert)

I know what you are thinking,

It’s like the woman version of Hitch!

Pretty awesome, right?

You can find Ms Hitch here so make sure you check out her website and support everything she is doing 🙂 .

But what does she have to say about hugs?

From the top,

Does it mean anything when an ex boyfriend hugs their ex girlfriend?

“No, not at all. We have to stop thinking too far into things, that don’t even matter.”

What is the possibility that the ex boyfriend still likes their ex girlfriend?

“Liking” doesn’t mean Anything! Just because you like somebody does not mean you want to be with them. That is why they are an Ex and you didn’t try to make it work because you just “LIKE” them.”

Are they just being friendly?

“Yes, and what is wrong with just being friendly. That is what we are suppose to do as beings.”

So, it looks like Ms Hitch took a hard stance against a hug meaning anything.


Now, before we start adding up all the opinions to see what the most common answer was lets hear from our last expert.

Expert Take #6: David Bennett (Certified Counselor)

Next up we have David Bennett.

David runs a very popular website called The Popular Man. However, what I found to be even more fascinating is that he runs it with his identical twin brother!

So, here is what David had to say about an ex hugging you and if it means anything.

When an ex hugs a girlfriend, it could mean a variety of things. The key is to observe the other body language associated with it. For example, how tight is the hug? Is it a simple and quick hug? If it simple, quick, and awkward, it is nothing romantic, and the boyfriend may view it as simply being nice.

However, if the hug lasts a while, and is the type of hug he gave back when the relationship was happy, then he may still like his ex-girlfriend. Ultimately, most exes want to stay away from their former partners, so any type of physical contact, especially a long hug, could be a sign he is still interested.


David is a big believer in the body language associated with the hug.

Noted, kind sir!

Now let’s move on to the super fun part and consolidate all of the expert answers to see if a pattern emerges on what the collective group thinks about on if an ex hugging you means anything.

Consolidating The Expert Takes

There were a total of 6 experts who were kind enough to give me their opinion.

Now, the thing that I found really interesting is that each one of us had very similar, yet slightly different takes on an ex hugging you.

Chris Seiter (me): In order to determine if a hug from your ex means something you need to look at the context of the hug.


Karen J. Helfrich: Karen believed that the clarity of the hug was the most important thing to study. If a man makes a declaration of intent before he hugs you then that hug probably means something.


Davida Rappaport: Davida’s answer was pretty much a combination between my answer and Karen J. Helfrich’s.


Erika Martinez: I liked Erika’s answer because it was very similar to mine and like I said, I am a tad bit biased 😉 . However, I can also see a little bit of Karen and Davida’s answer wrapped up into hers (looks like we have a pattern begging to form.)


Ms Hitch: Ms Hitch decided to take a pretty hard line on if a hug means something between an ex. She flat out said no! So, Ms Hitch breaks from the overall pattern that we had developing. However, there is a lot of truth to the points she makes.


David Bennett: David had a really fascinating take I thought. He was all about the body language of the hug. Now, there were a few other experts who cited body language in their answers, namely me, Davida and Erika.

The goal here is to come up with a singular answer on if it means when an ex boyfriend hugs you.

Now, there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat but I think the easiest way is to look at all of the experts answers above and see which part of the answer was repeated the most amongst us.

So, give me a second as I wave my magic wand as I find out the answer



(waving wand)



(Still waving)



Ok, there was one common theme amongst four of our six experts.

Body Language!

  • I made mention of body language in my answer
  • Davida briefly made mention of it in hers
  • Erika followed suit
  • And finally David’s entire answer was about body language.

So, according to the majority of our experts body language plays a gigantic role in determining if your ex boyfriends hug means anything.

How did the hug feel?

Was it warm and loving?

Was it cold and quick?

How long did the hug last for?

All of these things can give you insight into what a hug from your ex means!	

Written by EBR Teamate

Chris Seiter