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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Public Displays of Affection in relationships: PDA

What is PDA / Public Displays of Affection? Is PDA okay? Are public displays of affection okay or acceptable? How much PDA (Public displays of Affection) is okay or enough? How much PDA / public displays of affection is too much? How far is far enough with regards to PDA / public displays of affection?
kissing in public

Public displays of affection (often shorted to PDA) is a highly debated topic world wide. This article explores what it is as well as commonly asked questions with regards to it.

What is considered PDA / Public displays of affection?

Public displays of affection can be used to describe any form of physical intimacy between a couple in public. This ranges from kissing, physical flirting or cuddling to holding hands, etc. 

Are Public displays of affection okay and acceptable?

holding hands in public
Depending on the extremity or levels of the particular act of PDA it can either be accepted or frowned upon. It is perfectly okay and widely acceptable to see couples holding hands, or peck kissing (on the lips, cheek, forehead or hand) in public. It is often unacceptable to be seen french kissing, making out or touching each other overly intimately in public.

There are many reasons for this:
Firstly it is intruding on other peoples privacy. Many people don't feel comfortable sitting next to a couple who suddenly start making out or french kissing openly. It's considered rude and overly forward.
Secondly depending on where you are (which determines limits as well) there could be children around and it would completely wrong of you to be making out or anything else in front of kids.
Finally, some things should be kept private or for the bedroom. We know you're in love with your boyfriend / girlfriend but seriously every one doesn't want to know or see the intimate details of your relationship.

How much PDA is too much?

As with everything there is limits to Public Displays of Affection too. PDA all depends on the environment, atmosphere and those around you. If for example you're in a semi private environment such as a basically vacant beach or in an empty garden then it should be okay to steal a quick french kiss along with holding hands or cuddling. The environment is basically private and due to the fact that you're not in close proximity to anyone you shouldn't be offending anybody.
kissing at a party

If you're at a party or club where everyone around you is making out, kissing or close up dancing with a partner it shouldn't be a problem to kiss, make out or cuddle with your partner as it's clearly acceptable to everyone in that particular environment.

If for example you're at a mall, movie, theme park, the zoo, etc where there are lots of other people and the place is completely public (there are also lots of children around) then you should probably minimize level of PDA. Minimizing doesn't mean pretend you're not in a relationship or keep far away from your girlfriend / boyfriend but rather stick to basic less offensive thing such as peck kisses, holding hands and hugs. Leave the french kisses and making out for a more private area.

flirting at a bar
What to do if your girlfriend / boyfriend hates public displays of affection but you don't.

No two people are the same. The fact that you might find it endearing to be cuddled or held in public, love holding hands and showing your love off or find subtle kisses sweet when you're out, that doesn't necessarily mean that your boyfriend / girlfriend would feel the same.

You need to find out what it is that he/she doesn't like about showing each other affection in public. If it's a feeling of shyness or embarrassment try and tone things down to holding hands or hugs and see whether or not she/he feels comfortable with that.

Be sure to talk about it because there could be other reasons for him / her feeling less comfortable with PDA which might not be as easy to solve (most reasons are similar to possible reasons why he hasn't asked you out yet - read here) such as infidelity, secrecy or lack of commitment.

What to do if your girlfriend / boyfriend loves public displays of affection but you don't. 

falling in love
There could be many reasons why your girlfriend / boyfriend might be highly interested in PDA (sometimes maybe more so than you). The top two reasons for this could be that:
- he/she is very excited to be in a relationship with you and proud to have you as her/his girlfriend / boyfriend and would like everyone else around to know that
- he/she is far from shy and sees absolutely no problem in showing the same kind of affection he/she does in private in public too

Just as with the previous problem (your partner disliking PDA) the best way of solving this is to talk about it. Find out why your partner loves PDA (as well as address the reasons why you don't) and come up with a compromise. Maybe decide on which things are okay and which aren't: hugs and holding hands or peck kisses verses french kisses and making out. Also decide where you would do what. Make sure you both agree on certain limits and everything should be okay.

There is nothing wrong with showing off your relationship and showing the one you love affection no matter where you are. Just be sure to stick to certain boundaries and limits as well as keep those around you in consideration. Public Displays of Affection as a part of romance can be a beautiful thing when done properly and in moderation according to surroundings and atmosphere.
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