The Seemingly Innocent Flirting Move That Actually Creeps Some Girls Out

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It’s hugging, guys.

I know, hugs are great, right? What could possibly be wrong with hugs? “Koalas hug!” you might argue. But did you know that koalas have to be sedated with drugs before humans can touch them or else they’d rip your face off? Similarly, sometimes the only reason a girl is hugging a guy back is because she’s polite.

Imagine you are a girl and you see a male acquaintance from across the room. You walk up to say hi and he goes for a hug. You wrap one arm around one side of his body and you instinctually avoid pressing your boobs against his ribs. This is an ordinary social interaction that you probably repeat many times a day.

But then, the guy says, “What kind of crap hug is that?” and because you feel like you can’t say no, you wrap both arms around him before he squeezes you really hard. There might be a kiss on the cheek involved. Before you excuse yourself, he’ll initiate another super-hug that feels like you’ve been dragged unwillingly to second base.

There are definitely grosser, more creepy things a guy could do to a girl. Last night a man on a curb offered me a dead bird he had sandwiched between two pieces of bread. And I’ve ridden the New York subway during rush hour. Maybe the hugger in question isn’t even trying to feel boobs, but is just one of those warm, peace-loving affectionate people who does a lot of yoga. That doesn’t mean the hug victim is.

Hugs are great when they’re between actual friends or when you’re crying or when you just got a new job. They’re considerably less pleasant when you’ve been pressured and guilted into it. If the girl you are hugging tenses up while it’s happening and is not smiling when she comes back up for air, she is not into the hug. If she was into you before, she might not be now — and you might have to do some damage control.

Just something to think about, guys. Hugs aren’t the answer to everything.