Are PDA (Public Displays of Affection) okay if you’re a grown adult in a relationship?  Is PDA necessary, desirable, or simply in poor taste? Does everyone need to see you and your partner canoodling in a restaurant, or making out at the beach?  Is there a guideline for appropriate PDA or should it all just be private and kept behind closed doors? 

The answers differ depending upon who you’re asking. Age, demographics, and the way you were raised to think about love and affection can all affect your attitude regarding PDA.  It’s certainly a personal choice that each couple has to make for themselves. Hopefully a thoughtful choice that takes into consideration the people that you’re around and where you are at any given time. Who will see you if you and your partner begin to share a PDA?  Are there small children?  Pay attention to your surroundings before you act. 

There is an appropriate level for PDA and you’ll probably want to stop short of the “we need to get a room” level. Hold hands, sure. Arms around each other is acceptable; a sweet kiss or a warm embrace. Tongue, maybe. Once things begin to stir and feel steamy, you should probably break it up and use some discretion. Take a break and find somewhere more private to continue. 

For those who enjoy exhibitionism in their sexual life, this line can easily become blurred. Please just take into account that your actions can be viewed as objectionable to some people and you should be discrete if there are children around. Certainly you have no wish to harm anyone, and you can fulfill your desires to be watched by using a camera at home with your lover.

So be mature, be adult and take into account what is deemed appropriate for you  at any given time and place. Enjoy being with your partner and showing how you feel about them, but keep in mind that not everyone wants to or deserves to witness your PDA. 


About the Author:

Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.