PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION (PDA): an aid or setback to Good relationship.Vol. 9, No. 3

An interactive session between the moderator and the members of Bed Briefing House.

Topic: PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION (PDA): an aid or setback to Good relationship.

Date: 29th October, 2020.

Venue: Bed Briefing Telegram House.

Moderator: Mr. Ozioko MaryCynthia

Time: 7:00pm

Collator: Miss Adaobi Obiekezie.

Our topic today is PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION (PDA): an aid or setback to Good relationship

WHAT IS REGARDED AS PUBLIC? Public simply means the people as a whole: populace. It is a group of people having common interests or characteristics specifically. The group at which a particular activity or enterprise aims.

The name “public” originates with the Latin publicu, from populus, to the English word ‘populace’, and in general denotes some mass population (“the people”) in association with some matter of common interest. DISPLAY as seen in the topic can be defined from this context as the fact of someone showing how they feel.The act of showing a feeling or quality by what you say or do, or how you look.

Then last term being AFFECTION simply means a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something. A tender attachment; fondness. Affection or fondness is a “disposition or state of mind or body” that is often associated with a feeling or type of love.

WHAT IS PDA? Public displays of affection (P.D.A.) are acts of physical intimacy in the view of others.PDA is the term used to describe any form of physical contact between couples in a public setting. It includes everything from kissing and cuddling to holding hands or exchanging light touches.PDA is a Physical affection that has been defined as “any touch intended to arouse feelings of love in the giver and/or the recipient in view of outsiders.

In most of the Western world, such as Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States, it is very common to see people holding hands, hugging and sometimes kissing in public. It is not usually socially acceptable to be overly explicit, such as engaging in sexual activities. Kissing is more commonly seen in adult night-life, such as nightclubs. Public display of affection is regarded as unacceptable in India if it disturbs others or creates a nuisance.

Same-sex physical contact is only allowed. ETIQUETTES of PDAs Everyone has a different definition of what’s acceptable when it comes to public displays of affection. Some couples would never dream of going beyond holding hands or linking arms outside of the house, while others are comfortable being all over each other wherever they are. Even so, it’s the reaction of onlookers that really matters. While you’re wrapped up in the romance of it all, witnesses to your public displays of affection could feel anything from horror and disgust to delight. It’s about context. Consider where you are and who’s around. Hand-holding may be fine, but you probably wouldn’t indulge in heavy petting. Take the setting into account. Are you enjoying a romantic stroll on the banks of a river with almost no-one around? Or are you crammed into a corner on a packed rush-hour tube? Only one of THESE is PDA-appropriate.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION. They include but not limited to the following:

(1) Hand-holding: Holding hands is one of the simplest ways to display affection in public. However, it can have good and bad connotations. A passive, detached hold implies a polite closeness with little passion while interlocked fingers symbolises genuine intimacy.

(2) Arm-linking: Linking arms is a go-to move for many established couples. It’s comfortable and socially acceptable – even families and friends can adopt this pose without raising eyebrows. It’s a casual gesture but also a display of unity, showing your strength as a couple.

(3) Hands in pockets: Walking with your hand in your partner’s pocket can make movement a little challenging but it’s a playful gesture that indicates an easygoing relationship dynamic. It’s also physically intimate and often popular with new couples.

(4) Subtle touching: Couples exchange subtle touches to signify a range of meaning, from flirtation to comfort. It’s a more constrained display of affection that shows you’re comfortable with one another but don’t have anything to prove.

(5) Kissing: A quick kiss to say hello or goodbye will rarely raise eyebrows. Anything more passionate could make onlookers uncomfortable. Even so, if you do feel comfortable enough to kiss your partner in public it means your relationship is open and mutually loving, thriving on closeness and physical intimacy.

(6) Saying “That’s my boyfriend” or “This is my wife.”: Introducing someone as your significant other is perhaps the most powerful public display of affection. A married woman saying “This is my husband” might seem like a small thing, but it is the result of a hard-won victory following a fight that lasted for years.

(7) Going to get the car in the rain: One of the nicest things someone can do for you is go grab the car when it’s pouring out. They are choosing to get soaked so you don’t have to. It’s a sign of affection that is deeply appreciated by its recipient.

(8) Hugging: Not “bro” hugging but warm, nuzzle-in-your-neck hugging. Hugging is generally considered a platonic, nonromantic sign of affection, one acceptable for friends and family.

(9) Fixing hair: Nothing is sweeter than fixing your boyfriend’s hair on the way into a party or out of the house. Even if his hair doesn’t need it, doing so tells him you are looking out for him.

Others include:

(10) Asking someone to take you people’s picture.

(11) Straightening ties.

(12) Fixing collars.

(13) Removing stray eyelashes.

(14) Setting a special ringtone for your partner.

(15) Dancing with your partner at parties or events.

(16) Going to the beach together.

(17) Holding open doors for your women.

(18) Sitting next to each other at a bar.

(19) Pecks on the cheek etc

(20) Whispering sweet words into your partner’s ear.


I know how hard it can be to go through difficult times in a relationship. You’re angry with them, upset at the situation, and the last thing you want to do is pull them in close while you’re out in public.But that might actually be what they need. Here’s how showing your partner a public display of affection can make your relationship a lot better.

(1)  It shows your commitment: Couples who are actively showing signs of affection out in the open are usually way more confident in their relationship. Why? Because it shows your commitment. You’re showing the entire world you want to be with that person and that person only.You’re not afraid who sees. That’s important for your partner to know and feel if you want to make your relationship better.

(2) It makes them feel appreciated: A lack of feeling appreciated is one of the main reasons couples end up breaking up. They don’t feel like their efforts are acknowledged and that sucks. They work so hard just to get nothing in return.Public display of affection is a great way to remedy that. By actively showing the person you love and care about them in front of tons of other people, you’re showing them you appreciate what they do for you.

(3) Being cared for publically just feels better sometimes: Sometimes it means more to be cared about in public than in private. There’s something more meaningful about a partner who doesn’t care if the world sees how much they love you. It can have a bigger impact and therefore, can save our relationship if it’s in trouble.

(4) If you have kids, it’s good for them to see: Showing your kids how great it is to appreciate and care for your partner can be great for them. When they see how good you are to each other, it sets their own standards for a partner early on. They’ll require more love and appreciation later in life and this will help them find a great significant other of their own. And when you do this right by your kids, you feel better as a team.

(5) It establishes a connection, even in rough times: You could be very upset with each other about something at home but when you get out in public and still hold hands, it shows the connection you truly have. It tells the world that, no matter what, you’re partners. You’re a team. That mindset can be super beneficial to the both of you in keeping your relationship happy and healthy.


(1) Being too affectionate in public, shows a lack of general etiquette skills.

(2)When you and your partner make out in front of other people, they are likely to feel extremely uncomfortable. It may elicit a wide range of reactions from people.

(3)While PDA can be a sign of comfort and security in a relationship, it can also be a sign that there are deeper problems there, too.

Some people show PDA because they’re feeling insecure in their relationship,” says Cobb. May 29, 2018.


In some relationships, it becomes an issue when one of the partners is for public display of affection and the other is not. Now showing a public display of affection is taken as that one of the partners does not want the world to know about their relationship. In some cases, the reason may be that one of the partners is shy and more reserved.

Whatever the case may be, both partners should be on the same level field when it comes to the public display of affection in order to promote compatibility. PDA changes With The Phase Of Relationship; the Level of public display of affection changes over the course of a relationship. It is more prevalent in the honeymoon phase, and it slowly fades out as the relationship progresses. Some couples also engage in a public display of affection as part of foreplay and to get each other sexually turned on. The more intimate things are in public, the more intimacy may happen behind closed doors, or the opposite may also be true in some cases. Overall, public display of affection leads to a healthier relationship.

CONCLUSION. People like public displays of affection because they think it is pleasurable and they like to brand their partner, basically saying “Stay away.” It also gives women a nice feeling when their partner is showing them off in public by being flirty or kissing them. It gives them a sense of relationship security.

And don’t forget; the rules surrounding PDA also extend online and a degree of etiquette should be maintained here too. Sharing a partner’s post, uploading an intimate photo, and commenting publicly on their posts all count as public displays of affection. Practise moderation. Sharing news of a partner’s new job or the occasional couple selfie is acceptable – and will likely generate plenty of likes – but daily, gushing expressions of love will sour opinion quickly. If you feel you need to show off your relationship in public it could signal that you’re insecure about it and overcompensating. Over-the-top PDAs are all about appearances. Whether consciously or not, you’re projecting an idealised image of your relationship. Unfortunately, the more intimate the public display of affection, the more intimacy may be lacking behind closed doors or vice versa.


1. Couples Who Celebrate their Marital bliss publicly, does it in any way show that their relationship is stronger than those who don’t?

Answer: Like I said previously, display of intimacy publicly doesn’t really mean that the couple are highly intimate behind close doors. So those who celebrate theirs publicly might be genuine or just to impress the audience but it doesn’t in anyway imply that theirs are more stronger than those who express theirs in secret.

2. Can it help the couples at all, to increase their marital intimacy behind closed doors?

Answer: Yes, it can help resolve issues as I explained above.

3. However, do you think that there are other possible means to strengthen intimacy beyond public display of affection?

Answer: There are much better ways. They include:

(1) Good communication skills.

(2) Feeling free with your partner.

(3) Displaying all the affections I mentioned above and lots more privately not only on the public.

(4) Seeing your partner as your blood brother or sister as the case way.

(5) Praising God together & Tabling their needs, fears & worries to God also strengthens relationships.

God bless you!!!

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