If a guy hugged you and rubbed your back, this post will show you likely reasons why and what would make them more likely.

So, what does it mean when a guy hugs you and rubs your back? Likely reasons why a guy would hug you and rub your back are that he is attracted to you, he considers you a friend, he is trying to cheer you up, or that he is sad.

There are multiple reasons why a guy might do it, but there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause.

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What does it mean when a guy hugs you and rubs your back?

Below are likely reasons why a guy would hug you and rubs your back.

He likes you

The reason why he hugged you and rubbed your back could be that he is actually attracted to you.

This would be more likely if he seems to only hug you and rub your back, he hugs you for a long time and if he hugs you the most.

If he is attracted to you, it would be likely that he would also show other signs of being attracted to you such as:

  • Mirroring your own body language (for example, he copies your hand and facial gestures, stands with the same stance, smiles like you and he talks at a similar speed and pitch)
  • Pointing his feet at you
  • Touching your feet with his
  • Finding reasons to touch you
  • Basing his plans on your schedule
  • Holding prolonged eye contact with you
  • His pupils dilate when he sees you
  • Getting agitated when you’re with other men
  • Sticking around when you’re with other men
  • Watching you when you’re with other men
  • Staring at you then quickly looking away or smiling when you notice
  • Standing closer to you when talking to you than he does with other people
  • Talking to you with a deeper voice than he does with other people
  • Sitting or standing with a straighter posture when he notices you
  • Adjusting his hair or clothing when he notices you
  • Uncrossing his arms when he notices you
  • Looking at your lips
  • Asking your friends about you
  • Asking you more questions than other people in the group
  • Getting defensive when other men are around
  • Laughing and looking to see if you’re laughing as well

He considers you a friend

The reason why he hugged you and rubbed your back could be that he considers you a friend and he normally hugs his friends and rubs their backs.

If that is the case, it would be likely that he would hug you in the same way that he hugs his other friends and it would be likely that he shows the same body language around you as he does around his other friends.

Even if he does hug his other friends and rubs their backs, it could still be the case that he is attracted to you. If he is, it would be likely that he would interact with you in a slightly different way by doing things such as paying more attention to you and positioning himself to be closest to you. It would also be likely that he would show many of the signs of attraction mentioned in the first section.

He was trying to cheer you up

The reason why he hugged you and rubbed your back could be that he thought that you were feeling sad.

If he did, it would be likely that you would have been sad at the time and that you would have been showing signs of being sad such as those mentioned above.

It would also be likely that he would only have hugged you and rubbed your back then and not at other times as well.

He was feeling sad

The reason why he hugged you and rubbed your back could be that he was feeling sad himself.

If that is why he hugged you and rubbed your back, it would be likely that something would have recently happened that would have caused him to be sad.

It would also be likely that he would have shown signs of being sad in his body language by doing things such as:

  • Talking with a flat pitch
  • Watery eyes
  • Taking deeper breaths
  • Inhaling quickly through the nose
  • Looking down
  • Slouching
  • Being more quiet than usual

It would also be more likely to have been the reason if he hugged you after you had just been reassuring him in some way.

He wants to be more than just friends

If he has been your friend for a while, the reason why he hugged you and rubbed your back could be that he is attracted to you and he wants to be more than just friends with you.

If that is the case, it would be likely that he would hug you for slightly longer than he does with his other female friends, he might hug you the most and he might hug you lower down.

It would also be likely that he would have been showing signs of being attracted to you when around you as mentioned in the section above and you might not have picked up on them.

He would be especially likely to get defensive when you’re both with other men, get agitated when you’re talking to other men, to have dilated pupils around you, to hold prolonged eye contact with you and to base his schedule around your schedule.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason.

Consider who initiated the hug

It would also be helpful to consider who initiated the hug.

If he was the one that initiated the hug, it would be more likely that he was showing attraction. However, he still might have done it for a different reason such as being friendly, sad or thinking that you were sad. So, it would help to consider if either of you were sad or if he also hugged other people as well.

Whereas, if you initiated the hug, it would not be as strong of a sign that he is attracted to you since he might have thought that you wanted to hug. He still might have done it because he is attracted to you but it would be necessary to consider whether or not he showed multiple signs of being attracted to you in his body language.

Consider when and where he hugged you

It would also help to consider the timing of when he hugged you.

If he hugged and rubbed your back when you were both alone together, it would be more likely that he either did it because he is attracted to you or because one of you was sad. If neither of you was sad at the time, it would be most likely that he was showing attraction especially if he hugged you around the lower back.

Whereas, if he hugged you when he was also hugging other people when saying goodbye, it would be more likely that he was being friendly because he hugs his friend’s goodbye. However, if he only hugged you and rubbed your back, he hugged you the longest and lower down than he did with his other friends, it would be a sign that he is attracted to you.

Consider your relationship with him

It would also be helpful to consider the type of relationship that you have with him.

If he has been your friend for a while, it might be the case that he wants to be more than just friends with you. If he does, it would be likely that he would hug you a lot, more than he does with his other friends and that he does it more tightly, for a longer time period and lower down. It would also be more likely that he would show signs of attraction around you as mentioned above.

If it was a guy that you don’t know very well, he might have been trying to be polite if he did it when he was also hugging other people goodbye. But, it would be likely that he was showing attraction to you and it would help to consider the body language that he was showing and the way that he hugged you.

Think about the way that he reacts to seeing you

When trying to understand why he hugged you and rubbed your back and the way that he feels about you, it would be helpful to consider how he reacts to seeing you.

If he reacts to seeing you by noticeably changing his body language, it would be likely that he has good or bad feelings about you.

If he reacts to seeing you by:

  • Raising his eyebrows
  • Smiling
  • Holding eye contact with you
  • Making space for you
  • Pointing his feet at you
  • Adjusting his appearance
  • Sitting upright
  • Uncrossing his arms
  • Having more dilated pupils

Then it would be likely that he has positive feelings about you and that he hugged you and rubbed your back because he is attracted to you.

Look for multiple signs in his body language

When considering the body language that he showed when he hugged you and rubbed your back would be helpful to consider multiple aspects of his body language.

This is because he might show a single body language sign for a variety of different reasons. This can make it difficult to accurately assess why he is showing it.

Whereas, if he shows a number of body language signs that all suggest the same meaning, it would be more likely that he is showing them for that exact reason.

Compare the way that he interacts with you with others

When trying to understand how he feels about you it would help to compare the way that he interacts with you with how he interacts with other people.

If he seems to hug other people and rub their backs and he shows the same behavior and body language around you as he does around them then it would be more likely that he hugged you and rubbed your back because he considers you a friend.

Whereas, if he only seems to hug you and rub your back, he hugs you in a more intimate way and he changes his body language and behavior when he is around you then it would be much more likely that he is attracted to you.

If you want to learn more about body language, a book I would recommend would be The Definitive Book of Body Language (on Amazon). It shows you how to interpret body language and understand people's true intentions.

Author

I created and currently manage Body Language Central, one of the premier sources for body language-related knowledge. Body language plays a key role in our daily lives. I hope that my website can help condense the wide amount of body language information available and allow you to make full use of it in your daily life. You can read more about me and my website here.