In an effort to keep couples on the straight and narrow and alleviate bystander gag reflexes everywhere, I want to discuss some ways to engage in PDA without annoying those around you. While some couples remain beyond help, the rest of us are searching for a healthy middle ground. As we try to navigate the cross section between affectionate and appropriate, we often fumble. That’s okay. However, there are ways to avoid being "that couple" in public without looking like two buddies. Here are 7 ways to engage in PDA without annoying those around you.
1. Less is More
When you’re out with your significant other, make your touches few and far between. When you do make physical contact, make it count. A hand squeeze here and there or kisses on the forehead are small tokens of affection that pack a punch. Maintaining a less is more policy is one of the easiest ways to engage in PDA without offending those around you.
Nothing screams more inappropriate than an ill-timed passionate kiss. If you have a moment when tons of people aren’t watching, sneak one. But if there’s a lull, please don’t fill it with your tongue. Also, consider the time of day. If it’s later at night, you’re probably okay to go on the friskier side of things, but keep it keep it daytime appropriate at your local public park.
Similar to a good marketing strategy, knowing your audience is key. Play to their comfort zone and know that you’re doing the right thing by keeping it conservative. Religious adults and children didn’t RSVP to come to your bedroom, don’t open the blinds.
4. Laugh at Love
I have always been a firm believer that the cutest couples engage in PDA as a part or result of a humorous interaction between one another. I have a friend that jokingly squeezes her boyfriend’s butt in public when he’s not paying attention. He generally responds by gently swatting her hand and scurrying off. He loves it, but it’s cute to watch him be embarrassed.
5. Be Genuine
Don’t do it because you have to, do it because you want to. Don’t feel like you need to be affectionate 24/7. Whatever you do, don’t do baby talk or anything that detracts from the sincerity of your physical affection. People love to see others that are genuinely in love. If you supplement your actions with phony talk, it detracts from the original message.
6. Conjunction, Not Your Function
You came into this world as two very separate, yet complete organisms. Stay that way. Couples that are always physically connected become about as attractive as Flubber in acid wash jeans. Remember that while you love and depend on each other, the world loves to see independent people thrive together, not become mindless, handholding drones.
7. There is a Time and a Place, Mostly a Place Though
I go by the kindergartener rule. If you are in a place that a kindergartener could possible walk by, be conservative. This doesn’t mean within 200 feet of a school either; it means any public place that people would most likely bring children. Except for movie theatres, those are the PDA equivalent of a green light.
Bonus Point: Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle, NO
After watching high school kids stand behind one another, attempting to walk bottom to pelvis, I am a firm believer that no form of PDA should inhibit range of motion. If you can’t move, you can’t love. That’s my motto.
While there is absolutely no one "right way" to show affection to your significant other, there are ways to do it without offending the general public. Be conscious and courteous and you should be fine. What is your favorite type of PDA to engage in?