Difference Between Hugging and Cuddling

Hugging vs Cuddling

Hugging and cuddling are physical activities that are indulged in by human beings to show their love and affection towards each other. A hug is perhaps one of the few physical acts that are universal in nature and competes with a cuddle that is a similar show of affection between adults. Many people remain confused between hugging and cuddling as they do not see any difference between the two acts. This is primarily because of the fact that both involve two people embracing each other when they want to express their happiness or joy being in each other’s company. However, there are differences between hugging and cuddling that will be highlighted in this article.


When you see someone who is close to you after a long time, you are inclined to show your affection towards the person by hugging him. This is a physical act of intimacy that is used all over the world and is not considered vulgar in most cultures. Hugging involves wrapping ones arm around another person who does the same with his hands. Though there are societies and cultures where this expression of intimacy is considered offensive if it is done in public by two people belonging to opposite genders, especially if they are young, hugging is nevertheless one physical act that has no or very little of sexual feelings involved, and it is purely an expression of warmth and affection.

Hugging is one act that is performed even to show support or solidarity towards another human being. It is one nonverbal communication act that is used in all situations and between people of all ages. A mother can hug her kids; a brother can hug his older or younger sibling, and a small kid can hug his grandparent, and so on. However, between two lovers of the opposite sex, a hug can involve sexual feelings. To hug another person, you need to be in a standing position.


Cuddle is a gesture that is similar to hugging where two people embrace each other in a lock for a long duration. Cuddling is considered to be more affectionate and involving romantic feelings especially when two young adults adopt this posture. However, a mother can cuddle her toddlers to express her love and affection towards them. When cuddling is between two lovers, it requires touching of bodies of both people with arms of at least one of the two persons embracing the other person. Cuddling can take place standing, sitting or lying down. Cuddling is nestling with your lover for warmth, and to show your love and affection. In the case of young adults, it is a physical act of intimacy that is also called an affectionate embrace.

What is the difference between Hugging and Cuddling?

• Cuddling is more intense, longer, and more active than hugging

• Cuddling often involves romantic feelings whereas hugging is more of an expression of friendship and warmth

• Hugging is mostly done standing whereas cuddling is seen more while sitting and lying down

• Hugging can also be done to express support and solidarity in sorrow, whereas cuddling is done only to express love and affection

• Cuddling is mostly romantic or between a mother and her toddler, whereas hug can take place between people of all ages

• Hugging can be an expression of joy or happiness whereas cuddling is always romantic except between parent and child)