When is PDA too much?

Image by Sidney MacDonald

Public displays of affection, or “PDA,” for short, is a term often used to describe how couples show affection towards each other in public spaces.

The top definition on Urban Dictionary describes PDA as “basically any physical (hugging, kissing, holding hands, groping, etc.) interactions (except for sex of any kind) in public, most of the time around sad single people who don’t wanna see that shit.” According to this definition, I can guess that there are many different opinions regarding PDA.

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello were recently seen at a basketball game together, where they were photographed making out, and from there, that photo became a meme.

As a couple, Shawn and Camila have been photographed many times participating in PDA to the point where I think they see what they are doing as a joke.

For example, that super cringy Instagram video they took of themselves making out badly after people started to say they looked like fish when they were kissing.

So, my question is: how much PDA is too much PDA?

A lot of people have varying views on the amount of PDA that is appropriate to show, and I think many have changed their views about it going from high school to post-secondary. It could also be looked at from the point-of-view a young relationship to an older relationship perspective.

In high school, I think a lot of people believed that when you were in a relationship, you sort of had to prove it to the people around you.

This is why I would always walk through the hallways and see couples partaking in public displays of affection (cuddling at lockers, kissing in between classes, holding hands while walking down a hallway that was so crowded that them walking side by side disrupted the flow of traffic).

Also, I think there was the belief that this is what a relationship is; all of these displays are what it means to be in a relationship.

But in university, I think the way people view PDA has changed. Although, yes, I still see people in the hallways making out, I don’t think there is the factor of having to prove your relationship to anyone.

PDA is not used to prove how good your relationship is, but, rather just used to show affection to your significant other.

No one is constantly watching your relationship like it might have been in high school and you have the ability to have people not be a part of your relationship, judging everything that you do. While I don’t really enjoy watching videos of people making out with each other on my Instagram feed or even really walking down the halls and seeing people kiss, I understand why people want to do that with their partner.

    I believe that there is a time and a place for everything: maybe making out in the library or at a basketball game is not the best idea, but you can publicly show affection for your significant other and people should not have a problem with that.

Just be aware of your surroundings and make sure consent is always present.

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