Caution: PDA

Karen Holcomb


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How much is too much when it comes to public displays of affection? You may think that act of love you’re showing may be inconspicuous, but people notice, and they don’t always care for it. Make sure you’re conscious of your audience. It’s selfish to think that no one sees what you’re doing with your boyfriend or girlfriend. For most displays, you would probably be doing everyone a favor if you “got a room.”

A “peck”

— Let’s get this definition straight. A peck refers to an extremely quick, close- mouthed kiss, and is acceptable on the forehead, cheek, mouth or hand. Be aware of your surroundings, put a little bit of distance between the two of you and others before you go in for any sort of kiss. Being too close to a couple displaying any sort of affection can make people feel awkward and can make you see rude. That being said, a peck can be tolerable in most situations, but is inappropriate when you’re in a more professional setting.

Sucking face

— Before you do it — don’t. This is probably the most common PDA offense made by couples. Why you think it’s okay to have a make-out session in front of others is beyond comprehension. It’s selfish. You aren’t thinking of how people around you are feeling, although you’re feeling great getting some love. There are better places for you to play tonsil hockey than in front of an audience. It makes people very uncomfortable to bear witness to such a passionate form of affection.

The hickey

— Even if you aren’t getting a hickey in public, it’s still proof that you were recently part of some over zealous kissing if not more. If you are the recipient of a hickey, do everyone a favor and try to cover it up by wearing a high collar, scarf or some other neck-covering accessory. Girls you can try to cover it with make up, but make sure it’s well blended because no one buys the curling iron or hair straightener excuse.


— Really? Did you have to go there? This should go without saying, but this comes off as immature, rude and obviously inappropriate in any public location. Save it for when you’re behind closed doors. There is no reason you should be grabbing, pinching or smacking your boyfriend or girlfriend’s backside (or front side for that matter) while in the presence of others.

Hand holding

— If you feel the need to be affectionate with your significant other, this is the way to go. It’s adorable. Grabbing your boyfriend or girlfriend’s hand is hardly noticeable, and for those who do notice, you’re not making them uncomfortable. If anything, you’re just showing them you two care for each other.

Copious cuddling

— Here’s the situation: you both have your arms locked around each other, but it’s not just a simple hug. You’re holding your boyfriend or girlfriend for an excessive period of time in a love embrace soaking in each other’s essence. Despite the fact that you both want to be extremely close, it may be best to abstain until you’re in a more private setting. This is by far not the most offensive type of PDA but can still be discomforting for those around you.


Karen Holcomb at [email protected].