There are already many excellent & humourous answers on alternatives to hugging on here, mine won’t go down that route:
I think most women know when a guy isn’t openly affectionate. My boss won’t hug anyone, even colleagues that worked with us for years, and were leaving!
When he knew someone was going in for a hug, he would just extend his arm for a handshake. We all criticised him for that.
Some guys are ok with a woman going in for a kiss on the cheek.
If I’m honest. Over the years, all the men that are close friends or whom I’ve dated, are big huggers. That warm feeling of affection and emotional connection is second to none. If a guy can’t hug, that’s a big turn off/deal-breaker for me.
A woman won’t necessarily get offended, she’ll just assume you’re ‘closed off’. I have two brothers. The eldest hugs me so tight, and then lifts me up off the floor when he sees me. The other won’t hug me at all. He’s a very private person. They both love me, just have different ways of being openly able to express it. However, I do feel I’m closer to my eldest brother more because of it.
I do judge people on this. More because, I like a person (man or woman) to be comfortable with affection (giving & receiving). It’s a sign they’re an emotionally open individual. I must stress, it’s not a reflection of who they are as a person. For example, both my boss and brother, I would trust with my life.
If all else fails, just be honest. My boss makes it abundantly clear he never does hugs, that way no one takes it personally. I suggest you follow suit.
Thanks for the A2A, Saloi. Sorry, for my personal assault on non-huggers. I grew up as an intensely introverted child then switched in adulthood. Best thing I ever did was learn the value of being a ‘warm’ person 🙂