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PDA or not PDA? How much is too much?

Now that you’re divorced, you’re hypersensitive to the couples that seem to cluster all around you. Everywhere you turn you see a young couple in love or an adult couple in lust! Though you know you’ve been there at different points in your life, once you witness the happily paired off, it can create either feelings of disappointment or hope (I say let’s go with hope, but that’s for a later blog entry). So, all that lovey-dovey-ness going on begs the question: How much PDA is too much for most people? Hard to say because, culturally, there are pretty much zero rules for public displays of affection.

According to Anjali Mehra, a relationship specialist based in Mumbai, “PDA is totally fine if

you're holding hands, putting your arm around your partner, or giving someone a quick kiss, but anything more than that crosses a line.” But many couples feel like they can cut loose wherever they are, especially in the early “Oh, isn’t he/she a dream come true” phase. People get touchy-feely at bars all the time. And depending on what kind of bar you’re in, you can probably get to second base if you want, but that doesn’t green-light you to do it. Context matters here because an upscale wine bar isn’t the ideal spot for full-on canoodling, although a dive bar might be.

Also, movie theaters have long been the go-to destination for PDA seekers because they’re dark and quiet. Relive your high school days by getting a little action at a matinee? That seems safe enough.

But here’s the deal: Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, namely those around you. Likely one wouldn’t be offended by seeing others hold hands, kiss a little, or do that uncomfortable walk-and-embrace thing (which really only works when both people are the same height.) All of that seems appropriate enough but “You might be alarmed to see someone sticking their tongue down another person’s throat in the mall food court. Use your judgment,” Mehra says.

My thoughts are to do what you feel comfortable with. Love is natural, even if it’s genuinely just ‘like.’ New relationships are exciting so test what you feel comfortable with and personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about what others think (although I do believe keeping your tongue in check in public is always a good idea). Perhaps dating PDA decorum is interpreted by many generational, old-school folks as “OMG, get a room.” In my opinion, however, in today’s world, the more love we show, the better. Although all in good taste (figuratively and literally) 📷

What are your thoughts? P.S. For other perspectives, check out Lifehacker’s article How Much PDA Is Too Much PDA? Until next time, Erin


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