Public Displays of Affection

I'm not sure how to articulate this question, so a bit of background.

I've been with my girlfriend for over 19 months now. We "fit" each other. All the fuzzy happy romantical movie type stuff, including the whole "real life with problems" thing.

When walking together, we hold hands. Sometimes, we wrap arms around shoulder/waist. We stop in unoccupied store aisles and share a hug.
She leans on me when we're watching TV/movies together.
I'll rest my hands on her shoulders if I'm standing behind her when she's sitting.
I find myself rubbing her hand or arm if she extends it to me.
I hold the door for her and place my hand on her back as she walks through.

I don't particularly care if anyone sees - I love her, am in love with her.

Yet, I was told tonight (a repeat of something that was off-handedly mentioned twice, that I recall, over the last year) by someone that, for other people, watching "PDA" like this makes them immensely uncomfortable and embarassed.

But... I don't understand why. (Mostly because there wasn't an explanation more than "it just does.")

Do PDA make you uncomfortable? Do you engage in them? Or do you believe/understand this position, regarding being embarassed by PDA, and for all intents and purposes "hide" your gestures for complete privacy?

Vulash 13 years ago
While technically what you described is PDA I would actually just call it normal. When I hear of PDA I think of people sucking each others faces or constantly repeating "no you're the cute one" in mushy voices. Those things do annoy me - I don't know about uncomfortable. Normal behavior like you described doesn't bother me at all though. I would say the issue lies with whomever expressed that opinion to you unless somehow you've drastically underplayed what you're doing.
Adiene 13 years ago
yeah What Vulash said. Sounds like they are the one with the issue.
People don't show each other that they care about one another enough now days, (not PDA but in gen).
What you describe I really don't refer to as PDA at all. The whole sucky face, groping etc that was what I was raised with knowing as "PDA" .. they just need to get over themself and go on about their business imho... Just ignore them. this is where many issues today start. Ppl stop showing they care about others infront of people then it becomes a habbit and soon we just forget about it at all ... sad sad sad.
I think it is wonderful that you do do these things and I hope that you continue to. Ppl need that constant assurance, no matter what they say, we all have that desire its just human nature.
Den 13 years ago
Seriously, my 17 year old niece and her high school friends do more than this at school. Its very common for kids to be very huggy/touchie these days. I think its great.
Lessa 13 years ago
yeah it all sounds normal to me hun, Hubby and i are having our 11th anniversary this week and still when we go out he will rub my shoulders, I lean on him, hold hands, arms aroud waist, etc. People comment on it but usually in a good way.. A lady asked David to convince her husband to massage her shoulders last week, lol. We dont make out in public like we did when we were kids, but meh, Im too old for that.. Id prolly gross people out.. I can wait til Im at home and kids are in bed for that ><.
Darsa 13 years ago
I think it all sounds just fine, not to mention totally sweet Hubby and I are like that after 14 years of marriage and people just don't get it. I mean, PDA to me means sucking on body parts, dry humping in the aisles, and generally being gross. NOT being obviously in love with each other, as it sounds like you are.
ROzbeans 13 years ago
Only disturbing when really ugly people do it. O_O No I kid, just as long as I don't see tongue filled, lingering kisses, I'm good.
Nianya 13 years ago
Sounds to me like the person who complained is just jealous and it makes them uncomfortable.

Showing affection in that way you described is way different in my book of what PDA is. If a couple looks like they are adutioning for a porn movie.. thats the one thing I find tacky and not appropriate for public eyes.

Keep on doing what you're doing..and let others be jealous you have such a loving, respectful relationship.
Verileah 13 years ago
I think it depends - I don't give a fuck what people do when they're out together in public, but PDAing when with a group-of-friends-or-family gathering that is a mix of singles and couples is something of a social faux-pas. Single people feel uncomfortable because they are not with someone, coupled people feel uncomfortable if they do not in some way 'measure up' to the displayed affection level, everyone feels like two people in the party are too wrapped up in each other to really engage with the group. That's a generalization, of course, and I'm sure plenty of people will mentally chime in with "well -I- never feel uncomfortable or inferior or jealous or any of those low-minded things", but from a social behavior standpoint, people are expected to anticipate how they might make people feel in group situations, and conform to some mutual comfort level based largely on non-verbal cues.

I think it's fine to moderate your behavior, and shows you're thinking of the whole group/general public/restaurant/jail cell, not just you and your sigother. It's also fine to be affectionate and show how highly you regard your sigother's feelings/needs. Where people choose to draw the line really depends on the situation.

In any case, I think it's pretty tacky to complain about someone's PDA level, especially in such a passive aggressive manner (-some- people feel uncomfortable - who can really say why, they just do). Next time stab him in the eye and run away.
Vex 13 years ago
wow. if that makes them uncomfortable they sure don't want to see me =x
Mileron 13 years ago
This issue came back to a head tonight. As I'm sure had been figured out, this originally came from family. Now, I'm getting additional grief (in conjunction with the pda thing) because apparently, passive aggressively saying to someone that "some people don't feel comfortable receiving birthday gifts" is supposed to mean "don't get me anything." I hate family that doesn't make any fucking sense.
Verileah 13 years ago
Did you stab them in the eye?
Den 13 years ago
I never refuse gifts... ... ...
ROzbeans 13 years ago
I never refuse gifts... ... ...

Roger that.
LillianaSapphire 13 years ago
To me, it just sounds like you are being a gentleman, and showing ya girl that ya care, by subtle displays of affection... What I would call PDA, is a couple stood there sucking each others face, like their lives depended on it.... Oh, and public groaping.... That kinda freaks me out a lil bit... The things you described, wouldn't make me feel uncomfortable....