PDA

PDA, or public displays of affection, have always been something that confused me.  There are so many rules involved with what you can and cannot do and what is or isn’t appropriate.

Early on, I resolved to just not do it to avoid any of the hassle that comes along with it, but inevitably things happen… like getting drunk.  In that case, I decided to try and muddle through the mess of PDA do’s and dont’s to create a more coherent concept.

The general rules for PDA and relationships seem to be as follows:

1.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, a true boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, PDA is acceptable between the two engaged parties, however it is overtly annoying to all of their friends.  I, for one, do not appreciate having to sit in a restaurant and watch the two people sitting across from me tongue-wrestle.  We get it, you think you’re in love… save that for private time please.  If I want to watch porn, I’ll go online.

2.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, an exclusive hook-up that other people know about, PDA is acceptable between the two engaged parties but is still overtly annoying to all of their friends.  A good way to tell if your PDA is over-the-top in situations like this is if you hear the phrase “Why don’t you two just go out already?” a lot.  That means you are all over each other way to much to not be in a real relationship.  Take the hint.

3.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, an exclusive hook-up that other people aren’t supposed to know about, apparently PDA is acceptable when the boy wants to do it, but is a huge faux pas when the girl wants to.  Double standard much?  For example, I personally find it unfair that he is allowed to grab me while we’re walking down the street with a group of people and kiss me, but when I’m twisted and in the bar, I’m not allowed to lean on him.  Get outta here with that.

4.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, a non-exclusive hook-up that other people know about, PDA is acceptable only around those who know about the relationship, and they are therefore forced to be okay with it due to time constraints.  This is good for people who enjoy sharing because they have to learn to not mind engaging in PDA with a person who will do it with someone else immediately after them.  But hey, to each’s own, of course.

5.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, a non-exclusive hook-up that other people aren’t supposed to know about, PDA is the worst thing you could possibly do, and your friends feel bad about this and are constantly telling you to “find someone who appreciates you.”  Needless to say this relationship has a lot of issues because as soon as his other girl walks in, you’re forced to pretend like you don’t know him. 

6.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, you met randomly at the bar one night, had fun, and then bumped into each other again the next weekend, PDA is completely acceptable and fairly tolerable by your friends.  Since the original encounter was completely under the influence, it is generally assumed that anything you do together from now on can be chalked up to “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay”… if you will.

Understanding these rules makes navigating the dating world a little easier, but personally, I don’t like following these rules.  I think that if you are in a relationship with someone (in any of those aforementioned six categories) then you should be able to do whatever feels natural at the time… while still being polite to your friends, of course.  After all… if you’re willing to get it on in private then you should definitely be willing to deal with it in public.

If they don’t like it, then they are probably lying about something.  See below:

1.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, a true boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, and they don’t want to engage in PDA, that means they probably have another significant other stuffed away in a corner.  I don’t care what excuse they gave you.

2.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, an exclusive hook-up that other people know about, and they don’t want to engage in PDA, that means that “exclusive” probably doesn’t mean the same thing to them as it does to you.  You should probably find that out before you catch something.

3.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, an exclusive hook-up that other people aren’t supposed to know about, you have to first ask yourself why other people can’t know about it, before you even worry about the PDA situation.  Honestly, as I stated before, “exclusive” probably doesn’t mean the same thing to them as it does to you.

4.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, a non-exclusive hook-up that other people know about, the odds of PDA not happening are slim, but in the event that they don’t, this is one of the few cases where it could just be a preference choice.  But you should also wonder why you’re hooking up with them if it’s not exclusive… hello STDs?

5.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, a non-exclusive hook-up that other people aren’t supposed to know about, you again must ask yourself why other people can’t know about it.  This scenario can be especially damaging to someone’s self-esteem since you’re both allowing them to have their cake and eat it too, while exposing yourself to the hassle of trying to hide it from the world.  You shouldn’t even be thinking about PDA if you’re in this situation.  Worry about your mental state first.

6.) If you are in a relationship with a person, that is, you met randomly at the bar one night, had fun, and then bumped into each other again the next weekend, you should first consider what you are doing with your life, especially if this happens more than once, and then smack yourself in the face for even being concerned about PDA.  At this point, you don’t really deserve an opinion.  Sorry.

It’s a lot to wrap your head around, I know.  Suffice it to say that the whole concept of PDA is stupid If you do it in private, you should be able to acknowledge each other respectfully in public, and you should not get all bent out of shape if someone gets a little over-affectionate when they are under the influence.

I mean, dang… don’t make it so obvious your girl-on-the-side could be watching.

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