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Do Not Go From “AWW” To “EWW”: 8 Simple Rules To Follow When Indulging In Public Display Of Affection

Gone are the days when public display of affection was considered a crime. It had been categorized as a sin, for way too long, such a sin that it was given it’s own acronym : PDA — something usually reserved for bonafide law-breaking behavior, like an ASBO (Anti Social Behavior Orders), or DUI (Driving under influence).

Well, this is the 21st century and people around you are indulging in public display of affection everyday, be it in your college or at the workplace. Some of them are adorable which makes you and your friends go all ‘AWW’ while the others display their affection so “passionately” that you can literally see their saliva exchange even if you don’t want to. (EEWWWW)

Suggested read: What your style of public display of affection says about your relationship

I can totally understand that it’s all about a rush of blood to your head and you suddenly feel like getting closer to your partner and hold them a bit tighter in the midst of all your college friends. The good news is if you know how to do it well, it can seem cute and affectionate, but if you cross that thin red line, you can quickly cross the border into being repulsive and disgusting. We all feel excited in the heat of the moment and want a thrill. But aren’t we all smart enough to be able to temper that excitement with some common sense?

The task of making everybody (including your partner) around you feel comfortable with your public display of affection is treading pretty thin ice. So, here are 11 simple rules of public display of affection etiquette.

1. First things first

couple kissing_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Public display of affection may not seem like a big deal when you’re in the heat of the moment. That said, acting overly affectionate with your boy/girlfriend out in the open can offend others. The definition of inappropriate display of affection may vary depending on the people around you. Holding hands is a perfectly acceptable form of PDA. It’s conservative enough that no one thinks twice about it. It is almost always sweet to see a couple holding hands while they walk around in public together. It reminds us that love is comforting. Hugging is completely fine too. Yes, I don’t want it to turn into a two-minute grind session, but hugging in general is great. Again, it’s perfectly conservative enough that no one is going to turn heads in judgment. But think about exchanging saliva and you might wanna look around!

2. Make it look proper and acceptable

This is a basic step of public display of affection etiquette that you have to understand. Always remember to make it look adorable. Gentle touches are romantic and loving. Holding hands, with fingers intertwined is perfectly fine. So is the peck on the cheek, and perhaps a quick peck on the lips. When you’re in public, keep it simple. Keep it sweet. And save the sexier stuff for behind closed doors.

3. Kissing

couple kissing_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

There is kissing and there is kissing.

Soft kisses are sweet. Things are totally fine as long as it’s a peck on the lips or cheeks, even with a little lingering. Your hands can rove about, as long as you remember to be nice and gentle.  It’s when it becomes a full-on makeout session that you start to grab eyeballs.

If you’re at a concert or in any other setting that can help you steal a kiss without much attention, sure, go ahead and share in the magic. But elsewhere, don’t go overboard. Remember- some things are best kept personal.

Suggested read: 11 naughty date night ideas to rev up your love life

4. Stop when it’s uncomfortable

No, I am not talking about you your partner, but about the people around you! You may enjoy a bout of smooch sessions, but does the public want to see your public display of affection? Most pda couples don’t care a hoot about what people around think, and that’s where things go wrong. If it’s getting to the point that you can feel yourself drown in a swathe of stares, it’s time to control the hormonal avalanche. It doesn’t hurt to be aware of one’s surroundings and only go so far as to not make others squirm in discomfort.

5. Keep it real and short

couple hugging_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

So your partner has their arm around you or at the very least, is just grazing about your spine. These forms of public display of affection aren’t met with cold, disapproving stares and are real enough to ward off any undesirable attention. In the same way when you kiss your partner while dropping them at the train station or airport, there’s something endearing and honest about the goodbye kiss. Unlike full on tongue action or simply a pucker-less peck on the cheek, this kiss expresses the comfort of a sweet familiar mixed with the primal need for connection. It simply shows how much you love your spouse and how much you are gonna miss them. An understanding of what gets yays and nays is crucial to knowing where to tread and where you’d fall off.

6. Don’t use PDA to seduce someone

This might sound a bit weird and irrelevant. But people do indulge in an unwarranted level of public display of affection for attention! Dramatic much? You bet. Refrain from using PDA as a manipulative tool- that’s so not cool!

7. Don’t hesitate if the occasion is big

couple hugging_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

If  you want to congratulate your partner for doing really well at work/topping the university with great marks or simply being smart enough to go out with you on a fine date then don’t hesitate to go big. Don’t give a half-cold-friendzone peck on the cheek – from an audience perspective that is actually more awkward. Because let’s face it if you HAVE to see a couple celebrate the feeling of togetherness, you’d much rather be drenched in a mush-downpour than be teased by a semi-mush-drizzle!

8. Don’t be always glued to each other and ignore your friends

So, you and your partner went for a friends get-together, where you’ll introduce your significant other to your friends. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you and your partner you don’t need to stick to each other throughout the party. There’s a different kind of affection that oozes out whilst talking with your eyes even if your partner is standing half way across the room. When you can read his/her eyes, you know you two are gonna go a long way. Also you’ll notice how your partner interact with people in other roles different from the one he/she is in front of you. Getting to see him or her, while maintaining a connection only known to yourselves, in a room full of people oblivious to the silent fire  is pretty dope. Occasionally circle back to him/her, share a joke,  kiss on the cheek of your partner and subtly touch them, then leave and go back to your friends. Life is nothing without best friends, so never miss on spending time with them. Cause like your partner, your friends also look up to you.

Suggested read: 13 compelling reasons you might be bored in your relationship

People are changing, they have become much more independent and rational, what with the society around ever-shifting to accommodate newer, more radical modes of thinking. Movies are helping the gen-Y to think out of the box . So are books. Maybe this is the reason why there is a surge in public display of affection. Barriers have been knocked down in popular fiction, and so perhaps it’s no surprise that this sense of liberation has extended to people’s real lives. And there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you’re doing it right and keeping in  mind what is acceptable and what isn’t, when you’re out in the open. As IN your relationship, so outside, there’s no reason not to respect BOUNDARIES!

Featured image source: Pinterest

Article Name
8 Simple Rules Of Public Display Of Affection Etiquette
Never fail to follow the public display of affection etiquette when indulging in PDA.
Shreyan Basu Majumder

Shreyan Basu Majumder

Photographer. Cinematographer. Editor. I love my camera more than my girlfriend. Anything artsy grabs my attention. Also, I judge people on their music taste cause 'You are what you listen to'.