Public displays of affection, or PDA, are actions or gestures that couples engage in to show their affection for each other in public. This can include holding hands, hugging, kissing, and even cuddling. While some people may feel comfortable engaging in PDA, others may not be as open to it.
So, why do people engage in PDA? is there a difference in PDA behaviour between genders? Do we enjoy?
One reason some couples engage in PDA is to show their love and affection for their partner openly. In a society where it is not always easy to express one's feelings, PDA can be a way for couples to show their love for each other in a public setting. For some people, PDA is a way to reaffirm their commitment to each other and let others know that they are in a committed relationship.
A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that men and women both value physical affection in a relationship, but men place slightly more importance on it. This may be one reason why men are more likely to initiate PDA. In a survey of over 1,000 adults, men were more likely to initiate holding hands, cuddling, and kissing in public compared to women. With that said, it doesn't mean that women don't engage in PDA at all.... in fact, the same survey found that women were more likely to initiate hugging in public.
Another reason people engage in PDA is to feel closer to their partner. Physical touch can be an important aspect of any relationship and PDA can be a way for couples to feel more connected to each other. Engaging in PDA can also create a feeling of intimacy and can strengthen the bond between two people.
PDA can also be a way for people to feel more confident in their relationship. When a couple is comfortable displaying their affection for each other in public, it can be a sign of a strong and healthy relationship. Engaging in PDA can also boost one's own self-esteem and confidence, as it can be a sign that one's partner is proud to be in a relationship with them.
It's important to remember that PDA is a personal choice and not everyone feels comfortable with it. Respecting each other's boundaries is crucial, and our partners need to be comfortable with it. It is also important to be mindful of one's surroundings and to be aware of any cultural or social norms that may dictate what is and is not acceptable in terms of PDA.
In conclusion, people engage in PDA for a variety of reasons including to show their love and affection for their partner, to feel closer to their partner, and to feel more confident in their relationship. While men may be slightly more likely to initiate PDA, both men and women value physical affection in a relationship and may engage in PDA. It is important to remember to respect each other's boundaries and to be mindful of one's surroundings when engaging in PDA.
"The importance of physical affection in romantic relationships: A study of gender differences" by C.E. Floyd and M.M. Tix in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
"Gender and Public Displays of Affection" by K.L. Fingerman, J.M. Birditt, and T.A. Antonucci in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.