Ever gone down a busy street or been in a restaurant to see that two people are being extremely kissy face or worse? You’re not the only one who feels agitated by these love-sick couples, but what is too much of a PDA (aka: Public Display of Affection)? A long time ago any display of affection outside the home was entirely frowned upon. Now it seems everyone has their own sense of what is and isn’t proper in public. So here’s a rundown of common PDA’s that you see all the time and how I feel they rate on the acceptable/unacceptable scale.
Holding hands is acceptable anywhere. After all, parents have to hold their children’s hands in order to assure safety. I suppose in some way adults hold hands to feel secure and not alone in many ways that children do. Holding hands doesn’t offend anyone as far as I know and is acceptable virtually anywhere. While you don’t have to be an exclusive couple to hold hands, it can sometimes be easier to stay together in public if you are holding hands. How many times have you lost a significant other in a crowd at christmas-time to some window display? Holding hands isn’t just for lovers, you know.
Honestly, I find it cute to see older couples walking hand in hand somewhere. Truth be told I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it – that goes to show that as you age you can still love, be loved and be proud OF being in love. Too many people keep that simple gesture hidden and it makes people look unhappy to me. I’ve never honestly seen a couple holding hands looking sad. Unless of course it’s for emotional support in a very difficult time, but that’s not a display of affection. That’s human compassion.
Now, I think it’s downright cute to see a couple steal a kiss when they think nobody is looking. These people seem almost child-like in the innocent sort of way. Truthfully, a small kiss doesn’t bother me, however constantly stopping to meet lip to lip several times for a small makeout session can be somewhat agitating to others around. There comes a point when a simple kiss (like the one kiss at a wedding or at the reception every time a glass is clanged) can become annoying.
Most everyone would be thrilled to know you care about this person and there isn’t a crime in that. However, repeatedly letting people know in a kissy manner can just be considered rude. A genuine faux pas. Not everyone is in the mood to see young (or old) lovers hot and heavy in a kiss. Just use discretion when having the urge to kiss your other half. It may sound rude but in all honesty not everyone has a desire to see that. So leave it at one small kiss and all is forgiven.
Making out is a real no-no. In fact, probably the biggest no-no you can ever do in public. I won’t say that solely teenagers and the young are guilty for this action, but they seem to be more into these PDA’s than older people. Let me just emphasize how rude this is. Would you honestly wish to go somewhere public with your children, perhaps, and see a couple all in embrace and passionate like you see in the movies?
There’s only so much of a romantic visual when a couple starts going hot and heavy in public – hair messing up and clothing becoming wrinkled. It’s not entirely the message of acceptable behavior that children and teens need to see. When you’re making out you’re not focused on anything but the immediate person you’re with and not the public who probably are around you (since this is public). Sure, there’s the understanding honeymoon couple but even they can be frowned on. That’s why the phrase, “get a room” was created. People may think it’s cute to see in the movies but in real life it’s just disgusting.
Cuddling seems to be an all right option. It gives the closeness that makes the couple feel good without offending too many people around. There are always those who frown on any contact between couples beyond an escort-like arm to a function. But having an arm about another and snuggling close is all right. Sometimes the extra heat can come in handy- especially if you’re walking down a street in the winter. What I’m trying to say is that cuddling is harmless and less annoying than other displays of affection.
Whatever you define as a PDA, be sure that you accept responsibility should you get in trouble for your actions. This can include being escorted out of a restaurant or even getting in trouble for lewd acts in public. Don’t say they don’t happen – they do. Use your discretion and above all else please have respect for others around you. While you’re happily in love, not everyone is happy to see that.