I have been meaning to write about side hugs since practically the inception of this blog, but I never found quite the right angle to write from. However, a recent side hug experience gave me (literally!) a good angle, so here goes.
First, let’s define the side hug. If a regular hug is a full embrace, then the side hug is a half-embrace. It involves one arm and one shoulder of each participant. However, just as regular hugging has gradations of intimacy, I have found that the side hug does as well.
Second, side hugs are pertinent to discussion because they run quite rampant in Christian communities. Average self-respecting (beta) church guys usually face the dilemma of not wanting to be seen as the pervy creeper (or borderline gay) who hugs all the girls in a big embrace, but also wanting to be seen as a friendly and encouraging guy (who also gets to touch women). A regular hug is often too much, especially with jittery 20-something women. This is where the side hug comes in: a method for touching and conveying camaraderie and care, but not in a creepy way!
There are basically three different levels of side hugging. Below I have listed the types and the associated romantic prognosis for each.
180-degree side hug: In the 180-degree side hug, your shoulders and the hugger’s form a straight line.
Romantic prognosis: Never going to happen.
Obtuse angle side hug: The obtuse angle side hug shows a little more rapport between hugger and huggee. This is the category into which a lot of church side hugs fall.
Romantic prognosis: Getting warmer, but either the girl is putting on the brakes, or the guy is still too big of a beta. Alternatively, the girl wants the guy, but she’s too chubby/frumpy/hasn’t otherwise passed the boner test…but he does think she’s a nice person.
Acute angle side hug: The acute angle side hug is more or less just a second arm away from being an embrace.
Romantic prognosis: Her hamster will go crazy wondering WHAT IT MEANS. If you’re a guy who goes around giving acute angle side hugs to women, you probably have options. Also, you could probably flip the acute angle side hug into a regular hug, and the woman would not object. Works best if preceded by kino.
I hope this breakdown is beneficial to the readership.
ETA: Have a good or bad side hug story? Share it in the comments. It’s almost Christmas, we can be a little social. :)