Too Much PDA? (And I’m Not Talking About Your Cell Phones)

Loving Gestures are Nice to See, Intimate Groping Isn’t


Published: April 3, 2008

Have you ever been the witness to an overly-affectionate couple, who just can’t seem to get enough of one another?  We all have at one point or other seen public displays of affection (PDA) between people.  The question is how much PDA is too much?  Or is there even such a thing as too much; should people just make out wherever and whenever they choose regardless of who’s watching? There is a reason why some things were meant to be behind closed doors.  We don’t all want to witness groping, smooching and pawing.

Now, there is a difference between PDA and excessive PDA.  As we all know, couples exchange a kiss or a hug and that’s pretty normal. It’s only when these love like gestures are taken to the extreme that other people may get offended, annoyed or more so uncomfortable.

Is excessive PDA really a genuine feeling between people who can’t take their hands off one another?  I tend to think it’s just an exhibit people put on because they feel they have to show the rest of the world what a nice couple they are. It really isn’t necessary.  Public displays of affection are natural; it’s a part of human nature. However, just like anything else taken to the extreme, a great deal of it is just not.  Excessive PDA is people wanting to put on an act, that many us of rather not see.

One of the most obnoxious places to see some PDA is on the subway, or, rather, a crowded subway. The worst place for it is when you’re tired from school, work, on your way home; the trains are packed back to back and you have the unfortunate luck to be smack dab in the middle of a couple who look like they are sword fighting with their tongues. Now it’d be fine if you didn’t have to be between the two hearing every smooch and kiss being exchanged, but it can be a very awkward situation for any bystander. You try to look anywhere but at the couple, however it seems like the entire train is focusing on these two as well. When you’re caught in these types of situations, don’t you just feel like saying, “Wait until you get home, or at least wait when there isn’t a third party involved in your private moment.”

It’s bad enough witnessing excessive PDA when you’re alone or with friends, but it’s mortifying when you’re with family. I have to say, one of the most uncomfortable situations I’ve been in was being out with my cousins and some other family members at a restaurant and having to be seated next to people who were on top of each other the entire time.  At first, we all acted as if it was nothing, trying to ignore the display next to us, but the two just kept going without caring that they were creating a spectacle.  I tried to talk about other things, create conversation, but I knew no one was really listening.

The truth was, I didn’t even know what I was talking about; I just wanted to make the atmosphere a little less weird.  Even when you don’t want to look, you’ll end up glancing over anyway because you can only stare in one direction for so long.  These kinds of circumstances are the most awkward because you are with family.  Imagine being out with your parents, uncles, aunts or other relatives. You would not want to catch sight of this. It was an over-the-top demonstration!

Now, while many of us mind too much PDA, there are others who are rather amused by seeing a couple on top of each other.  Many people get a laugh out of it and just can’t seem to look away, but is that a good thing?  Do you really want someone watching what you are doing with your significant other?   You could be providing some voyeur with entertainment, and on this day and age, you might even find a video of yourself on the Internet.  People should be careful of their surroundings; you never know when you may catch someone’s eye, especially if you are doing something that will get you the attention. Please, couples, save the overly affectionate motions for places where I don’t have a front row seat.