I totally get this question..I love being hugged ( by friends, family, relatives..anyone) and I can't say that I can fully tell what their intentions are but I get the general idea.<br />
Light Hug: They don't really mean it. They do the whole "barely wrap your arms around you" thing and it's like, you're not being serious, screw you. <br />
Tight Hug: Emotional. They're either really sad about something or really happy to see you -either or, it shows they can trust you or that they missed you. <br />
One arm: Half assed. They're trying to be cool to maintain a status or they're trying to be all "bro hug" but deep down, they want to fling that other arm around and give you a full -frontal - female hug.<br />
Another one I usually get is what I like to call the "Cliff hanger" : When someone doesn't understand boundary issues or is incredibly drunk, wraps their arms around your neck, slowly dragging behind you as you walk.
Light hug: You seem like you need a hug, but I don't know you that well or I'm not much of a hugger.<br />
Tight hug: Can I never let go?<br />
One arm hug: I either have something in my other arm, or I don't really want to hug you, or you don't need a big hug
Only if the person wants to make their intent known. If I get the "little too long" hug with their private parts drilling into mine I would say they want to know me biblically. A limp hug says "back off *****" but a bear hug says "I am so liking you please let me!" Just an old girls opinion.
Yes, always. If they are the sort who feel that men ob<x>jectify women they will not make a firm hug for fear that they will send a signal that it's ok for my "man nature" to act all cave-mannish. So in a sense they are dissing me, judging that I won't have the power of restraint. For God's sake, hug me like an Italian! stop being so sensitive! it's just a hug!
In my opinion: No.
I think it says a lot more about their emotional confidence and affection towards you, than intention.
Most people are simply too uptight to give a tight hug to anyone they are not intimate with out of fear of sending the wrong signal or uncertainty over how they might be seen by others.
Yes a close lingering hug means a lot of things such as genuine affection and the confidence to admit it. But it doesn't tell you what kind of affection (familiar, erotic or just friendly) let alone anything about the intentions in that particular moment.