PDA? More like FML!

Emily,
The person I am dating has an opposite opinion of appropriate Public Displays of Affection. I don’t believe it’s a situation when the public aspect of it is a turn on (it’s more of a lack of caring of what bystanders may think).

Thanks for your help,
Bad And Rad Heathen Under More Puritanically Intimate Nearby Grounds
Dear BARHUMPING,

I’ve been in your shoes. Not literally, because my feet are very small and I doubt that our feet are the same size, but I’ve been there. Although I’m not completely against PDA, I do not exactly wish to show the world what my tongue looks like. Unless, of course, I’m drunk and trying to bring back ‘WAAASSAAAAAAAPPP’. I’ll hold hands, hug, and give the occasional kiss, but full on public make outs are a no go for me.

With that being said, there are certain places or situations where I wouldn’t be offended if I saw people making out. I kind of expect to see this type of behavior at a bar. In fact, I did just this past weekend. I made fun of them to my boyfriend and friend, and I also stared at them a lot because I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m very, very nosy. I also wanted to know their backgrounds and if they were dating or they were strangers. But they weren’t hurting anyone, they were just passionately and drunkenly showing their affection. Fine!

If your date wants to tongue tango (I’m sorry I wrote that just now, it’s so gross) and you don’t want to, you can say, “Hey! I like you and I’m cool with [insert what you are cool with like holding hands or hugging or fingering under the table or whatever], but I’m really not comfortable with making out or anything more than that.” If s/he is upset about that, it seems like they may need to brush up on boundary setting. Sometimes people feel liked or valued when the person they like treats them how they like to be treated. Maybe your date feels sexy when s/he makes out with someone in public, maybe that helps them feel like you like them just as much as they like you. That’s fine and good, but if you’re uncomfortable with PDA, then you can ask them what else would help them feel more confident in your feelings for them. We all deserve to get our rocks off, but not if the other person is less than excited about it.

With a handshake and a head nod,

Emily

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