Cuddling is used as a form of emotional communication between people, and different styles of embrace can show how someone feels about you. Hugging is a common way for young people to greet each other, so it is important not to jump to romantic conclusions when someone gives you a hug. However, certain signs may indicate if a cuddle means more than just a friendly "hello."

Length of Hug

A study published in the "Journal of Ethology" in 2010 showed that hugs last for three seconds on average -- but can be longer, depending on the circumstances. The research, carried out by the University of Dundee, showed that longer embraces signified a deeper, more supportive relationship, while shorter hugs were more neutral. If your crush lingers in for a longer cuddle than your other friends do, it may mean that he has deeper feelings for you.

Body Contact

Generally, the closer a guy is to you physically, the more he sees you as being emotionally close. Hugs which involve your crush pressing his chest, hips or face against yours are generally signs that your relationship is deeper than a friendship. While other friendly hugs can involve a lot of body contact, such as the bear hug, touching is usually confined to the upper torso. If a guy's hips, legs or feet are very close to yours, that's a much more intimate hug, indicating deeper feelings.

Arm Positions

If a hug is only a friendly gesture, the arms are usually placed higher on the other person; for example, around the shoulders, under the arms or around the upper back. But if your crush's hands wander a little lower, this may be a sign that he wants to be more intimate with you. If a guy puts his hands around your waist or lower back, this is more of a romantic hug, perhaps signalling that he'd like to draw you towards him for a kiss.

Back

If your crush hugs you from behind, this is a good sign that he cares about you. When a guy covers your back with his body, it signals that he wants to protect you, body language expert Patti Wood tells "Cosmopolitan" magazine. Giving you a gentle rub on the back as he cuddles you also shows he cares about your well-being. However, patting, rather than rubbing, may show that he just wants to stay friends.