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Why a Guy Touches You the Way He Does

Updated on May 25, 2017
SerenityHalo profile image

Andrea loves to write on the zodiac, Myers Briggs, and texting. She is an expert on romance and relationships. She also has two cats.

Reading Body Language

The way a guy touches you is sometimes easy to understand, but at other times it can be downright confusing. You can't always flat out ask what he is doing, and he might not even know how to explain. Sometimes a gesture is platonic and at other times, it is sexual.

Below is a list of some of the most basic touches that can happen between two people so you can gauge whether you are in a romantic situation (holding hands through a whole movie), a sensual one (the Lover's Knot), a sexual one (passionate kissing), or a friendly one (high fives). Sometimes you'll see all these moves in a relationship. Also, this list might give you some pointers on what you would like to see in your relationship.

Below is a quick chart breaking down some common touches and which "zone" they fall into. The rest of the article details specific touches on various parts of the body and specific actions like hugging and picking you up.

Touch Gauge Chart

French Kissing, kissing your neck, kissing your stomach
Kissing your face
Kissing your hand
No kissing
Hands on or near butt
Hands sliding up your back while kissing
Holding hands while kissing
Handshake, high five, thumb war
Lover's Knot
Dropping head in lap
Basic hug, under five seconds
Sucking your bottom lip
Kissing arms or shoulders
Kiss goodbye
Possibly, kiss to cheek
Hands caressing ribs
Hands caressing upper back
Cupping your face in their hands
Tapping your shoulder
Legs around hips
Sitting on his lap during a movie
Head on your shoulder
Sitting side by side, no physical contact
Massaging your neck
Staring into your eyes
Side arm hug

You know a guy likes you best when he

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Your Hair

Hair is a special part of a woman. Depending on the type of hair you have, it could be one of the most attractive parts of you, or nothing special. If a guy spends a lot of his time with his hands in your hair, that means he definitely has you in mind. Men adore hair, especially long locks. It's something a lot of them don't have, and they know it's personal. It's also safer than some other parts of your body to focus on.

If he caresses your hair, then he deeply has a thing for you. You've soften up his heart. If he tugs on your hair, this is more playful. He wants to get your attention; he wants you to acknowledge him; and he wants you to play with him like a kindergartner. He may also put your hair in a ponytail, braid it, or do other playful gestures.

He may put his hands through your hair while making out, and he may put your hair to the side so he can touch your skin, but he shouldn't be pulling your hair or hurting you (unless that's what you want).


Your arms are not the most sensitive part of your body. If he is latching onto your arms, it means he wants to feel like he is on the same page as you. He may want to show you that he's playful. He may also caress your arm, which should come off in a protective way, not a creepy I-want-to-bang-you way.

Some guys are more comfortable linking arms than holding hands, while others are all about the hands. You get different vibes when someone's hand is on your arm as opposed to your hand. Putting your hand on someone's arm is all about sending a message rather than starting a back and forth dialogue. Try thinking about the touch when it happens and review how it feels later. Did the touch feel genuine, tender, and comforting -- or did it feel calculated, too strong, or awkward? If you slow down and think about how the touches feel to you, you'll start to understand them more in their unique, personal ways.

He may put his hands on both of your arms before he gives you a kiss. Guys tend to be attracted to your shoulders as they have a different look to them than theirs. They can be intrigued by the softness.


This is probably the first part of you that any guy will touch. It'll probably start with a handshake, high five, or fist bump. It's the easiest way to break the touch barrier. It's not the most sensitive part of your body, and you can communicate a lot with a squeeze, rub, or just by going limp. If you ever get a strong tingling sensation in your hand, which is rare, then you both definitely have a strong connection for each other, whether romantic or not. Hands are all about partnership when together. If he's kissing your hand, that shows a lot more tenderness. It's a good sign if he wants to hold your hand. If he's clinging to your hands, that might be weird. Try softening your hands, arms, and shoulders so he'll hold onto you longer.

You might also experience some thumb wars or other childlike games so that he can hold your hand and get closer to you. Some people say holding hands is more intimate than other gestures, even kissing and the like. Likely the two of you will compare your hands. The differences in size, the way your skin feels, and possibly even your grip.


A whole lot can be communicated with a hug. It's one of the easiest ways to read someone's emotions. The length of a hug can say a lot -- a hug that lasts longer than usual means someone has strong interest. Is he really talkative during the hug? It might mean he's nervous or really likes you. Hugs shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable. If you don't want him to hug you, tell him up front. Otherwise, he'll probably keep doing it. A pat on the back means that the hug needs to end, wandering hands means someone wants more, and laughing is a good sign. A hug from behind means he was really excited to see you.

Some other key points of interest here:

  1. A side hug isn't as strong as a full chest-to-chest hug.
  2. A one arm hug is less intentional.
  3. If you can hear his heart beat, this is likely a strong hug.
  4. Sometimes a good hug leads to him picking you up and having you wrap your legs around him.
  5. You start to release oxytocin in a long hug. This also happens with cuddling.
  6. Hugs are good for your emotional well-being.
  7. A lot of guys show initial interest by giving you a hug. It means you are higher up on the list of valued people, whether a friend or more.
  8. You might get a little massage from a hug.
  9. Some people are honestly better at hugs than others.
  10. You should not feel crushed. Just like a handshake, too much pressure is bad.
  11. A goodbye hug means they want to leave you with a good impression.
  12. Sometimes a hug is more powerful than a kiss.


Feet are the more unconscious part of the body. If his are pointed towards you, that might mean he likes you. We tend to point our feet in the direction of the people we like. And this is subconscious. If he starts touching you with his feet -- which you probably won't appreciate -- he definitely has a thing for you.

Again, he may try to keep your feet warm as women tend to have colder feet. Similar to hands, the two of you may compare your feet, the difference in size and feel. Some people care about feet more than others. It can be a safe zone to touch compared to other places, so it could be one of the more initial flirty spots. Feet are also ticklish.


People don't usually walk up to someone and touch their legs. Consider it like your arms. It's a playful area — it's not as intimate as your lips, neck, and face.

But, there is one cuddle move that shows a lot of intimacy, and it has to do with legs: the Lover's Knot. You may when cuddling find yourself face-to-face with your legs intertwined. This cuddle move is seen usually at the beginning of a relationship, when you are in a honeymoon state. Obviously, this full body cuddle can indicate a lot. You can go whatever direction you want to from there. You may play footsie early on in the relationship. He may draw your legs toward him to have you sit on him.


Our heads are our most vulnerable parts of our body. If someone lays their head in your lap, on your shoulder, or puts their forehead next to yours that means they feel comfortable in your presence, and vulnerable enough to do so.

Most people don't just plant their head on somebody, so it's an intimate touch. If he drops his head in your lap, he definitely has the feels for you. It's a form of cuddling. And it might make you uncomfortable since it's terribly close to a world of strange things. He probably wants you to rub his head if he's gone this far. He may -- like a cat -- put his forehead next to your forehead as form of bonding.

Also, a lot of men will try to stare at your eyes before kissing you. Or grab your head with both hands before kissing you. Or kiss parts of your face before moving to your lips. Expect hands and lips on your head.


A gentle shoulder rub can go a long way. The shoulders are a more polite area than your lower back. If you feel like he's giving you a signal through your shoulders, he probably means something romantic for the long term, or something like a best friend. It's not to be taken as overt. Sometimes guys really like a pair of feminine, rounded shoulders. They're fascinating to them in comparison to what's popping underneath their necks.

Weirdness aside, they may kiss your shoulders because they like them so much. They may also wrap their hands around your shoulders in public to mark the relationship and also guide you through busy crowds. This shows togetherness.


Your back can go a number of ways. It's like a canvas where he can write any kind of message he wants. If his hand is going low, then that means he has one thing on his mind. If he gives you a pat on the back, he's being supportive, friendly, and maybe trying to get you used to his hands.

The back rub is generally intimate, but some people just like to give massages . . . for whatever reason. He may feel the need to guide you through a crowd by putting his hand on your back. This could be just a polite gesture. If he keeps his arm around you and your back, then unless he's really uncomfortable and needs to stretch, he's claiming you and making it public to others.


The neck is a vulnerable spot full of nerves. We don't ordinarily place our hands right on someone's neck. Consider whether he's giving you a massage, a quick poke, or a swipe. One way or another, he's trying to get your attention and could be protective of you since he's likely behind you.

Sometimes guys go for behind the neck because it's a surprise, and he wants to see how well you'll react. This may also be a way for him to smell your hair or play with it. It makes for a move that can go a number of different, yet positive ways. It's also . . . pretty sexual. A kiss on the neck probably means he wants more. It's also a good spot to find your natural scent, which can be addictive.


This is a self-explanatory area. He definitely is trying to initiate something if he touches your lips, whether with his hands or with his own lips. Even if you have just a bit of mustard and he's trying to get it off your face — he wouldn't do it if he wasn't into you. And kissing.

  1. A peck on the cheek: kind, likely suggestive.
  2. Peck on the lips: testing the waters
  3. French kissing: making out, getting steamy and personal
  4. Sucking the bottom or top lip: intimacy
  5. Touching your lips with his fingers or the side of your cheek to move your lips: admiration for your lips


He either sees you like a football player, his girlfriend, is being kind of a jerk, or is letting you know what he wants later. Not every girl likes this move and it makes some feel objectified. Others couldn't care less. It's probably not the first move a guy should make on a girl unless he can tell she's the aggressive type. Communicate what you want either with words or by moving your hand. And go with your gut instinct. If you don't like it, consider why.

If Picks You Up

He wants to show off his strength. He also really likes the idea of holding you and picking your steps for you. It oozes masculinity in his mind. He also likes having the feel of you all around him. Definite sign of romance right here.

Good luck with your relationship!

© 2015 Andrea Lawrence


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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 16 months ago from The Caribbean

      Back then and still, he'd have to tell me that he likes me. Of course, people are different and interprets love differently. I would enjoy the touches but not take them for granted. Good read though!

    • SerenityHalo profile image

      Andrea Lawrence 5 weeks ago from Chicago

      Friendly bonds are great to have.

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