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Holding hands to kissing, how much PDA is okay? Simple rules you should know

PDA might make some cringe, but not others. You’re free to do whatever you want to do with your partner, but if you want to embrace public displays of affection, just be sure to follow these unwritten rules.

sex and relationships Updated: Jul 03, 2018 12:21 IST
Sanya Panwar
Sanya Panwar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PDA,Public Display of Affection,Public display
There will always be some lovey-dovey moments couples share in public. But PDA can sometimes be inappropriate. (Instagram)

Public displays of affection, commonly referred to as PDA, is perhaps one of the most polarising topics when we talk about relationships. Some people love holding hands and literally cannot keep their hands off one another, while others think any kind of PDA is gross. This study even breaks down why some people like PDA and others don’t.

“PDA is totally fine if you’re holding hands, putting your arm around your partner, or giving someone a quick kiss, but anything more than that crosses a line,” says Anjali Mehra, a relationship therapist from Mumbai.

Anjali is not saying that you can’t show affection in public places, but that anything that lingers for too long or is too risque (like below-the-neck touching) could make the people around you uncomfortable.

No one is expecting to see a couple getting close at a grocery store. (Shutterstock)

“You’re free to do whatever you want to do with your partner as long as it’s consensual,” says Kolkata-based clinical psychologist Aparna Sengupta, adding “But if you’re in a public setting, you can’t know if the people around you consent to witness what you’re doing.”

Anjali agrees that the people around you do have a right to ‘consent’ (or not ‘consent’) to what you do in their presence. And if someone tells you to stop, you should stop. Location matters, she says.

“If you’re at a mall or restaurant or a grocery line, there are lights and kids. No one is expecting to see a couple getting close. But, if you’re at an adults-only space, then the rules are different. There are no PDA rules,” Anjali says.

Some public displays of affection might be okay at adults-only spaces, like a bar or a house party. (Shutterstock)

Furthermore, Aparna suggests you feel the situation out. If you’re somewhere that people might expect to see light-to-moderate PDA, like a dark movie theatere or a bar, then some public displays of affection might be okay, she says.

“Elsewhere, you’ll be able to tell when what you’re doing crosses a line,” Aparna says.

So, what exactly are the benefits of those who are indulge in PDA? Apparently, happier relationships. According to this study, if you and your bae are into PDA, there’s a good chance your relationship is more likely to last.

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First Published: Jul 03, 2018 12:21 IST